Feb 7, 2010


BOOK REVIEW:Sea of Poppies Authored By:Amitav Ghosh
Sea of Poppies tells us the story, set in the 19th century, in the India ruled by the British people; and revolves around the people living in Bengal, whose lives are dependent on opium, in some way or the other. It starts with parallel stories of Deeti, who had a drug addicted husband; a zemindar, Raja Neel Rattan, whose zemindary is dependent on the opium trade to China; Paulette, who lives with her uncle, who in turn is involved in opium trading, Zachary who is to work with Paulette’s uncle for opium trading and then Jodu, Kalua and Babu whose lives are dependent on the above people. The story starts with no positivity, and all of the above people’s lives are affected by opium in unlikely ways. The story curves in a way, that it is destined for all of them to meet in a ship, sailing to Mareech, for transporting coolies to the said island. The author has been very descriptive in his writing, and it came as a surprise to me from an Indian author; but truly I feel that, in the process of producing a highly descriptive and literary piece, the track of story was lost in between, and it ended like a realistic pendulum with no mean position. In fact, author has taken help of omens and epiphanies to move on the story, which I felt sometimes illogical, and absurd at the other. The author has no doubt written very beautifully (that is why I finished it off),, but then there has to be a captivating and an interesting factor in the story ( that is why I think that, I took so much time). For the first time, this is my second book in a row, that I didn’t like. At the end, I would say that only the fans of Amitav Ghosh should pick this up.
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