Sea of Poppies

by Amitav Ghosh | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780719568961 Global Overview for this book
Registered by star-light of Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on 9/16/2008
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, September 16, 2008
This book was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and is my contribution to the 2008 Booker Challenge run by Fleebo. I must confess one of things that attracted me to this book was the pretty cover with a nice shiny bit in the middle of each poppy!

Other BookCrossers not doing the challenge are welcome to join (Australia only) - just PM me and I'll slot you in somewhere.

Bookring order:
DrCris (asked to be removed)
Back to me (star-light)

I'm not that fussed about the order. If you're going to see someone in person then feel free to pass it along. Just make it clear in the journal entry who has the book. Thanks!

From the book's website
At the heart of this epic saga, set just before the Opium Wars, is an old slaving-ship, The Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, its crew a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a truly diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt Raja to a widowed villager, from an evangelical English opium trader to a mulatto American freedman. As their old family ties are washed away they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races and generations. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, and the exotic backstreets of China. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, which makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive - a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists.

Journal Entry 2 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Monday, October 27, 2008
Whew, this has taken me a looong time to get through. I found this one hard work, I think because of the unfamiliar vocabulary that took getting used to. Also there are a lot of characters and it was a real test of my memory keeping them all straight in my head at first. Once I got over those stumbling blocks I found the book quite enjoyable. It’s very dramatic (I can picture it being made into a movie) and I’ve developed empathy for many of the characters. It's so brave of them to journey across the sea. Being the first book of a trilogy, Sea of Poppies leaves many loose-ends and I’m interested enough to read the next book in the series when it comes out. I’m hoping things will work out for them.

Journal Entry 3 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Mailed to jubby to start the ring.

Journal Entry 4 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, November 03, 2008
Received in the post today. Thank you.

Journal Entry 5 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Rushing to postbox.

Comments to come.

Journal Entry 6 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (1/6/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Posting to Miss-Jo.

Journal Entry 7 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've had several aha! moments with this book, the most recent being when I just read the journal entries and discovered that it's going to be part of a trilogy. That made me slightly less annoyed at some of the characters than I had been when I finished reading the book. The first aha! moment I had was when I realised that the parcel that had turned up for me... from someone I didn't know... stamped in Singapore... labelled 'baby clothes'... wasn't a bomb after all! Reusing envelopes is praiseworthy but in this case it gave me and my colleagues a few very weird moments.

So, back to the book. I wasn't sure about yet another Booker book set in India but I enjoyed it much more than I expected, probably partly because it was a historical novel exploring very different issues to the standard fare. Sometimes the language was annoying and difficult to follow but I stopped noticing it very quickly.

And I loved a lot of the characters. Their prejudices and limitations made them believable and their hearts and interactions made them likeable. I'll be looking out for their further adventures.

Thanks star-light for sharing. I'll be seeing Fleebo at meetup tonight, so I'll subvert the listed order by passing this on to her.

Journal Entry 8 by Fleebo on Friday, January 16, 2009
Received safely. Thanks!

Journal Entry 9 by Fleebo on Saturday, March 07, 2009
Well! Here we have yet another story set against a historical background which I know nothing about. I started reading it thinking "Oh no... not another Indian village life story..." but there are a whole lot of very curious characters here, and I was soon eager to find out how they all come together (not having read the reviews, or even the blurb on the back). The style takes a certain amount of concentration to read, but it is very interesting. I don't think that the book particularly needs sequels.
As I mentioned, the history involved is new to me too. I know nothing about Mauritius, during its time under British rule or any other time. The only Mauritians I ever knew were of Chinese appearance with French accents, (so cute! I adore unexpected accents) which doesn't appear to mesh with what I read here. And then there's the whole Opium Wars part, too. Wikipedia calls...

PS. Looking at a map of Mauritius, French placenames far outnumber English ones. I remain confused...

Journal Entry 10 by Fleebo on Monday, March 09, 2009
Sujie has asked to be moved to the end of the list, so I'll take the book along to meetup and see if tqd or goodthinkingmax are ready to take it on.

Journal Entry 11 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I enjoyed this one. It was a slow start as I realised I had to concentrate hard on some of the dialogue but eventually I was engrossed in the characters and hurried through the last part of the book, impatient to find out how the characters would come together. The setting and history was completely unfamiliar to me and I became quite fascinated by the opium, the ships and the etiquette. I did not know it was to be a trilogy until I read these Journal Entries when I finished the book. I will be keen to read the others.

Journal Entry 12 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Sea of Poppies has arrived in the post today, yay :-)

This is one of the books I've been thinking I'll really enjoy.

I'm halfway through my current bookring read and then this is next.

Thanks for sending it GTM.

Journal Entry 13 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, June 04, 2009
What a thoroughly entertaining book!
Great range of diverse characters, interesting information about poppy farmers and how coolies originated, terrific story. The hodgepodge of slang, pidgin and other languages caught me a bit off guard at first, but once I realised that it's mainly intended to be entertaining and I didn't really need to understand every word to progress with the story-line, I had a whale of a time with it. One or two laugh out loud funny passages. Of all the characters, the British Indian Pilot's slang/pidgin is much harder to understand then any other character. Even the other characters in the book can't understand him. Very funny.
I'll wait in anticipation for the rest of the trilogy, I hope it stays at the same standard.

Pucka :-)

I have livrecaches address and I'll be sending this to her after the long weekend.
Thanks for sharing this star-light, of all the short-listed bookers, for me, this might be the one that's hard to beat.

Oh, also, if anyone is interested there is a booker short-list reading guide.

Journal Entry 14 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, June 08, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (6/8/2009 UTC) at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia



Placed in the post today to Livrecache with one other.

Thanks again for the opportunity to participate in the ring.


Journal Entry 15 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, June 12, 2009
Thanks, freepages, for passing this on and for the gorgeous postcard. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks to all who have made it possible to arrive here, especially star-light for starting this ring.

Journal Entry 16 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, August 12, 2009
This book is taking me a while to get through. It's not that I'm not enjoying it, I'm just time poor and exhausted. I'd like to finish it. Is it okay if I hang on to it a bit longer, star-light? I've already had it for ages. Otherwise, unless you have other plans for it, I'll send it home.

Journal Entry 17 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Although I've been enjoying this, I'm not making room in my life to finish it so I'll send it on to Sujie today.

Thanks for sharing star-light.

Journal Entry 18 by livrecache at Melbourne, a controlled release -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (9/8/2009 UTC) at Melbourne, a controlled release -- Controlled Releases



On its way to another bookcrosser. I hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 19 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Friday, September 11, 2009
Arrived today, thanks livrecache.

Journal Entry 20 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Monday, October 19, 2009
I normally get confused by a myriad cast of characters but Ghosh makes every one a singular, believable human being just bounding off the page. I, too, found this thoroughly enjoyable; it widened my general knowledge (I'm ashamed to say I never realised the English forced Indians to sell opium - how ironic it's the West trying to convince Asia away from the current production and distribution) and the Lascar cant was not too difficult once I was in the swing of it. Ghosh knows how to tell a ripping yarn. I will be looking for the others in the trilogy, too.
Thanks for introducing me to this writer, star-light. PMing tqd.

Journal Entry 21 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, December 07, 2009
My apologies for the lateness of this journal entry! The book arrived promptly from sujie, but the computer crashed on me when I tried to make notes, and I couldn't be bothered rebooting then-and-there. Then I took the book away from the computer table to add it to Mt TBR (which was a mistake), and never quite got it back to the computer again!

But it is here, I am finally making a JE, and I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Thanks sujie for passing it along!

Journal Entry 22 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Well, this was an absolute corker of a ripsnorter of a novel! I was sold from the very beginning, when the young landbound Indian villager, Deeti, sees her vision of a ship; through all the bizarre pidgin language of the Chinese lascars (and the even more bizarre pukka-talk of the English living in India); and the journey of a young black American man who is "passing" as white on a reconditioned slave ship. And all that in the first 20 or so pages.

Then there are further characters and plots, all piled one on top of each other, higgledy-piggledy. Phew!

I don't think I could pick out a favourite character, or a favourite scene. It was a heady read, packed full with so many fabulous moments.

I'm just peeved I have to wait an unknown length of time for the next book, as this one ended half way through a great story!

I've got Nice-Find-Books' address already, and will get this one in the mail to her asap.

Journal Entry 23 by tqd at Broadway, New South Wales Australia on Monday, May 17, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (5/17/2010 UTC) at Broadway, New South Wales Australia



In the post to Nice-Find-Books today.

Happy reading!

Journal Entry 24 by Nice-Find-Books at Dickson, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I recieved this recently. Gave it go but kept getting disctracted! Will send on as soon as I have an address

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