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Sea of Poppies (English)

Author: Amitav Ghosh
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 528 Pages
Publisher: Penguin
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Sea of Poppies (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.280

The novel, Sea of Poppies, is first book of the trilogy Ibis and has been written by the Indian author, Amitav Ghosh. The novel deals with life in Calcutta and on the banks of river Ganga preceding the Opium Wars. This novel earned a Man Booker Prize nomination for the author.


Summary Of The Book


The book Sea of Poppies is set in the 1830s earlier to the Opium wars and involves the lives of Deeti who is a common villager, Zachary Reid who is an American sailor, an opium trader Benjamin Bumham, Paulette who is a French orphan, and a zamindar named Neel Rattan Halder.


Amitav Ghosh commences the narrative with Deeti, who is a typical caring housewife and mother who is married to a cripple, Hukam Singh. She soon realizes that she had been drugged with opium on her wedding night so that her husband’s brother could consummate the marriage instead of her infertile husband. When her husband dies, Deeti entrusts her daughter to the care of some relatives and decides to perform the ritual of Sati. But she is saved from it by Kalua, and the pair runs away together. The story then proceeds to look into the lives of Zachary Reid, Neel Rattan Halder, and Benjamin Bumham. All the main characters of the story have an association with opium, and their stories merge when they meet on the ship Ibis. 


The author compares the main protagonists of his book to poppy seeds originating in immense numbers, which almost appear like a sea. Ghosh feels that like the poppy seeds, all the characters are unsure of their destiny. Another prominent comparison in the book is between river Ganga with river Nile. Ghosh feels that both the unselfish, ever-providing rivers are responsible for the growth and progress of the civilizations on their banks. He puts forth his philosophy in an enrapturing way in Sea of Poppies, attempting to make it a thought-provoking read.


About Amitav Ghosh


Amitav Ghosh is a renowned Bengali Indian author known best for his books written in English.


As an author, Amitav Ghosh made his debut in 1986 with the novel The Circle of Reason. He has since then written many a fiction and non-fiction. Besides the very popular Sea of Poppies, The Hungry Tide, The Shadow Lines, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, River of Smoke, and In an Antique Land are some of his well-known novels. 


Born in July 1956, Ghosh was educated at first-rate schools in India. Later, he obtained a D.Phil from St. Edmund Hall in social anthropology. Subsequently, he became a professor and has taught at Queens College, City University of New York, and Harvard. For his contributions, the author was awarded the Padma Shri award by the Indian government in 2007. He has also won the Sahitya Akademi award, the Dan David Prize, and the Arthur C. Clarke award, besides being a nominee of the Man Booker Prize in 2008. At present, the author lives in New York along with his wife Deborah Baker, and they have two children.

Specifications of Sea of Poppies (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Authored By Amitav Ghosh
Author Info

Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford, and has taught at a number of institutions. River of Smoke is the second in the Ibis trilogy, which was shortlisted for the Man Asian... Read More

Book Details
Publisher Penguin
Imprint Penguin Books India
Publication Year 2009
ISBN-13 9780143066156
ISBN-10 0143066153
Language English
Edition 1stEdition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 528 Pages
Territorial Rights Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal
University Books Details
Specialization B.A(English)
Dimensions
Height 1.22 inch
Weight 398 g
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Book Reviews of Sea of Poppies (English)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (16)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
Reshma Bhatnagar
28 Dec 2011
Immersive virtual reality!

To me, Sea of Poppies is the best work of fiction that Amitav Ghosh has ever produced, and that's saying something!

The descriptions of people and places sucks one in and refuses to let go. The imagery that Ghosh paints is breathtaking, and in spite of rich detail, a well defined plot keeps one gripped almost as effectively as a thriller does.

A single negative: as the first part of a trilogy, the story ends rather abruptly (how I hate thee JK Rowling, for making book series fashionable, how I loathe waiting). It made me preorder A River of Smoke, the only book besides the Harry Potter...
()

To me, Sea of Poppies is the best work of fiction that Amitav Ghosh has ever produced, and that's saying something!

The descriptions of people and places sucks one in and refuses to let go. The imagery that Ghosh paints is breathtaking, and in spite of rich detail, a well defined plot keeps one gripped almost as effectively as a thriller does.

A single negative: as the first part of a trilogy, the story ends rather abruptly (how I hate thee JK Rowling, for making book series fashionable, how I loathe waiting). It made me preorder A River of Smoke, the only book besides the Harry Potter...
To me, Sea of Poppies is the best work of fiction that Amitav Ghosh has ever produced, and that's saying something!

The descriptions of people and places sucks one in and refuses to let go. The imagery that Ghosh paints is breathtaking, and in spite of rich detail, a well defined plot keeps one gripped almost as effectively as a thriller does.

A single negative: as the first part of a trilogy, the story ends rather abruptly (how I hate thee JK Rowling, for making book series fashionable, how I loathe waiting). It made me preorder A River of Smoke, the only book besides the Harry Potter series that I have pre ordered. Be warned though: some may find the sequels disappointing compared to the masterpiece that this installment is.

Can't wait to get my hands on the final part of the trilogy!

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Prachi Sharma
08 Feb 2012
A journey through the life of characters

Another good work by Mr. Ghosh. He is a master in creating characters and you get so involved with them that you want to know what their future holds. However, it will take you the first 100 or so pages to get used to the language used by the author and also to know the characters of the story. But I think its pretty reasonable considering the fact that this is the first part of 'Ibis' trilogy. It is not the usual 'juicy' fiction but will still keep you engrossed. A must have for the fans of Amitav Ghosh.

1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Chanda Kaushik
30 Jan 2012
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Impressive, Addictive and Engrossing Story

Amitav Ghosh has done a huge amount of research into the background of life 200 years ago in India. This is a truly engrossing historical novel that starts out in India of the 1830s, against the background of the opium trade between the East India Co. and China.The first part of a trilogy, the novel tells the story of how a variety of people come to find themselves on a ship, the IBIS, and of the events on board just as it is starting out on its voyage.But is more than that.Ghosh brings the India of the 1830s alive with vivid descriptions of Calcutta as it was called then, the lives of thos... ()

Amitav Ghosh has done a huge amount of research into the background of life 200 years ago in India. This is a truly engrossing historical novel that starts out in India of the 1830s, against the background of the opium trade between the East India Co. and China.The first part of a trilogy, the novel tells the story of how a variety of people come to find themselves on a ship, the IBIS, and of the events on board just as it is starting out on its voyage.But is more than that.Ghosh brings the India of the 1830s alive with vivid descriptions of Calcutta as it was called then, the lives of thos...
Amitav Ghosh has done a huge amount of research into the background of life 200 years ago in India. This is a truly engrossing historical novel that starts out in India of the 1830s, against the background of the opium trade between the East India Co. and China.The first part of a trilogy, the novel tells the story of how a variety of people come to find themselves on a ship, the IBIS, and of the events on board just as it is starting out on its voyage.But is more than that.Ghosh brings the India of the 1830s alive with vivid descriptions of Calcutta as it was called then, the lives of those who lives there, whether poor boatmen, rich landlords, peaeant farmers and their wives or ruthless British businessmen. Food, religion, tradition, racism and castes and their impact on lives are a central part of the book. Of particular interest is the lascars who man the ship and the language they use which is essentail in giving the book a sense of authenticity.
Nice book!!

1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Dr.Soumya Saha
25 Aug 2014
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Poppies, The English, natives and a rich tapestry of human emotions

Do you like slow, steadily engrossing human story without too much of literary jugglery? If yes, this novel will be a very good one for you. The story revolves around a couple with a little daughter, who got caught in the vortex of "Afeem", a touching relationship between a "Phirang" lady and a man, man enough to act as her brother in the face of extreme adversities, a bankrupt "Zamindar" and his last hurrah before he is summarily punished, a "Subedar" typifying the invertebrate "peoples" of his ilk and three Englishmen with a bizzare and so... ()

Do you like slow, steadily engrossing human story without too much of literary jugglery? If yes, this novel will be a very good one for you. The story revolves around a couple with a little daughter, who got caught in the vortex of "Afeem", a touching relationship between a "Phirang" lady and a man, man enough to act as her brother in the face of extreme adversities, a bankrupt "Zamindar" and his last hurrah before he is summarily punished, a "Subedar" typifying the invertebrate "peoples" of his ilk and three Englishmen with a bizzare and so...
Do you like slow, steadily engrossing human story without too much of literary jugglery? If yes, this novel will be a very good one for you. The story revolves around a couple with a little daughter, who got caught in the vortex of "Afeem", a touching relationship between a "Phirang" lady and a man, man enough to act as her brother in the face of extreme adversities, a bankrupt "Zamindar" and his last hurrah before he is summarily punished, a "Subedar" typifying the invertebrate "peoples" of his ilk and three Englishmen with a bizzare and sometimes phlegmatic relationships between them in the backdrop of 19th century India or rather Bengal and cultivation of poppies, whether wanted or not as it's pithy spine. These assortment of peoples find themselves in a sheep named as "Ibis" and goes through the motions of it as peoples with no other options, and Amitav Ghosh brings alive their emotions brilliantly. We find dour, happy-go-lucky, free-spirited, grim, grumpy, sorry, happy peoples in the sheep and their collective chores there. This is a book with a venerable and rich tapestry of human emotions and it's various shades. A very good and smart book. The only downside according to me is in some places too much of a colloquialism and a somewhat abrupt ending, although considering it's the first part of a trilogy, it can be understandable. But may be Serang Ali would have said, "too muchi fullo". No, it's not a typographic error, to know the meaning of this, go through the book. Believe me it'll be worth it.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
R Khan
29 Jun 2014
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certified buyer
Book arrived in terrible share

The book arrived in terrible shape -- the jacket is pockmarked with water and other assorted stains, some of the pages are also stained. For a full price product flipkart should have better quality control in place.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

View all
★★★★★
★★★★★
Dr.Soumya Saha
25 Aug 2014
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Poppies, The English, natives and a rich tapestry of human emotions

Do you like slow, steadily engrossing human story without too much of literary jugglery? If yes, this novel will be a very good one for you. The story revolves around a couple with a little daughter, who got caught in the vortex of "Afeem", a touching relationship between a "Phiran... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
R Khan
29 Jun 2014
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Book arrived in terrible share

The book arrived in terrible shape -- the jacket is pockmarked with water and other assorted stains, some of the pages are also stained. For a full price product flipkart should have better quality control in place. (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Adite Banerjie
24 Mar 2014
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certified buyer
Awesome, awesome, awesome!

Sea of Poppies is an adventure/historical fiction that will take your breath away. In terms of its canvas it doesn't get any bigger or better than this -- poppy fields of the Ganges, aboard a storm-lashed ship full of convicts, stowaways, a bankrupt raja and the 19th century opium wars! Amitav Gh... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
rachhpal
16 Jan 2014
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certified buyer
enjoyed reading

As always enjoy reading Amitav Gosh,completely adore reading him because of his citations of the sea fronts, the mangroves and the touch of W. Bengal which comes out in almost all of his writings.

Sea of Poppies: Ibis the ship which is supposed to be carrying Opium to China and slaves from Indi...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
olivia roy
20 Dec 2013
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certified buyer
Sea of Poppies: Good Read

Amitav Ghosh won't dissapoint you with this one. Very intresting book and the plot thickens as you read this. A bit long though and often I got bored with the details provided, but still as I kept on I developed a sentimental affection toward Deeti (one of the protagonist). So even though this bo... (View complete review)

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    ISBN Number: 0143066153, 9780143066156, 978-0143066156

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