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Sea of Poppies


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About the Author

AMITAV GHOSH is the internationally bestselling author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel The Glass Palace, and the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. He divides his time among Kolkata and Goa, India, and Brooklyn, New York.


Ghosh's latest novel is a 19th-century epic of slaves, opium and the Indian diaspora. Phil Gigante didn't seem to note the time period; he reads Ghosh's work as if its characters dated from the 1940s, not the 1840s. Gigante goes to town with the novel's voices, African, Indian and otherwise, but they are distractingly modern and aggressively stylized. When he is reading Ghosh's narration, Gigante's voice is smooth and calming, but the onset of dialogue sends him into a tizzy. The result is a shambles, with Indian voices sounding like a parody of The Simpson's Apu, and even sillier Southerner voices. The parade of clichEd vocals sinks Ghosh's work, rendering this audiobook an unnecessarily distracting historical anomaly. A Farrar, Straus & Giroux hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 18). (Nov.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

This first entry in internationally best-selling author Ghosh's (The Glass Palace) new "Ibis" trilogy revolves around the 19th-century opium trade. While the stories are grim, the language is beautiful, and actor/narrator Phil Gigante does an excellent job conveying it to listeners, moving swiftly and seamlessly among a variety of accents and pitches. The audiobook omits the glossary accompanying the print edition, but Gigante's inflexions give listeners a general idea of meaning. Highly recommended for all collections. [Audio clip available through; the Farrar hc was recommended "for larger public library collections," LJ 10/1/08.-Ed.]-Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A wonderful book, a large ambitious novel in which extraordinary people come to life and vibrant, exotic places are memorably depicted." --The Rocky Mountain News "A delight . . . [Ghosh's] descriptions bring a lost world to life." --The Washington Post "Brilliant...By the book's stormy and precarious ending, most readers will clutch it like the ship's rail awaiting, just like Ghosh's characters, the rest of the voyage to a destination unknown." --USA Today "Ghosh's best and most ambitious work yet. . . . Ghosh writes with impeccable control, and with a vivid and sometimes surprising imagination." --The New Yorker "Ghosh, on behalf of history, is unforgiving, but his novel is also a delight." --Miami Herald "A storm tossed adventure worthy of Sir Walter Scott." --Vogue "Amitav Ghosh's new novel speaks in tongues, marvelously capturing the polyglot nature of its characters. . . . Sea of Poppies is marvelous, its range and authority astonishing." --The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) "Sea of Poppies is a veritable cauldron of energy intermingling with craft." --Chicago Sun-Times

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