May 9, 2014

Book Review: River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh

When I completed the Sea of Poppies, I was all the more thrilled to go on to the second part, but some travel plans had me taking something which was lighter to carry around. During this time, I ended up reading some reviews on Goodreads and across various blogs. Many of the reviews did bring about a feeling that this is not going to be as good as the first part, something which happens to so many of the books which fall into a series mode.

But when I did start reading it, on completing the first 200 odd pages, I felt the story was wonderful and it was more about the opium than about the people involved in it. The characters who came across every paragraph in the first book were almost sidelined and in fact when I think of it, I do not know how many times they were mentioned through the book itself. But, the book has a different set of people and a life which picks up for them after the ship wreck. A changed scenario, but still bound together by the opium trade.

When I was done with done with 350 pages, I started to pick up pace, and that is when things were not the same again. The turns in history are beautifully woven in and to see how the East India Company and British have had their share of supremacy all through those years.

The book winds down with tragedies and then in a sudden instant you are transferred back to a different era where all the opium details was an old man narrating his life and the past to small eager ears.

I had read very iffy reviews about this book, and those did make me feel a little unsure, but once I started to read with more concentration the story was beautiful. I think it took a while for it to grow on me and capture my full attention, but once that happened, it was a wonderful read.

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. That is a good rating and recommendation.
    Will try to pick it up soon.

    1. Read Sea of Poppies first in that case. This is the second book in the trilogy

  2. That is high .. 4.5 out of 5 .. wow..


    1. It was good, especially right after reading the first part:)


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