Sea of Poppies (Bookray)

by Amitav Ghosh | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780719568954 Global Overview for this book
Registered by katrinat of Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on 10/29/2008
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 katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Brought for the European Booker Roundabout, this is going to be read then travel to the roundabout participants first, then anyone else who wants to participate in a ray.
P.S I'm in love with the gorgeous cover.

Bookray - Shipping order

-> franaloe (Netherlands) (Booker Roundabout)
-> Lari (Netherlands) (Booker Roundabout)
-> Xeyra (Portugal)(Booker Roundabout)
-> Sternschnuppe28 (Germany)(Booker Roundabout)
-> iliotropio (Belguim)(Booker Roundabout)
-> Cross-Patch (UK) (Booker Roundabout)
kalise (Austria, eu) SKIPPED
Scribacchina (Italy, eu) SKIPPED
kbmarsh (UK, eu) SKIPPED
lucy-lemon (UK, eu) SKIPPED
mucker28 (UK, EU) SKIPPED
wanderingstar8 (UK, anywhere) SKIPPED
MarthaK-H (UK, eu)
arturogrande (UK, EU)**its here**
MarcThomas (France, eu)

Journal Entry 2 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, November 14, 2008
This was a hard book to read, good but hard work. Parts of it I loved and other parts I felt where too long, I felt that I skim read bits of it towards the end.

I thought I'd post some questions and things for people to think about for after they have read the book, to hopfully spark some discussion through the JEs
- What sort of a person is Deeti? How does her 'rebirth' change her? Where does this power come from?
- How did you feel about the friendship of the two convicts?
- On-board the women almost lose cast, yet heirarchical positions are still strongly held by the men onboard ship. Do you agree? Whay do you think this is so.
- Does the fact that Sea of Poppies is based on real historical events affect your reading of it?
- Sea of Poppies is the first in the Ibis Triology, does it work on its own? Do you have any predictions of what may happen in the later novels?

Some of these questions are taken from the books webpage

I felt that Deeti was freed from social contraits when she remarriaed and changed castes, the change and the openess and love of her new husband spurred her on to push for the happiness and rights of the others. The women accept her and they become equal, as they are all suffering in the same way, they are all also onboard as a means of escape and thus see the new place as a place without caste. Deeti comes to love several of these women and through this and her strength she is soon seen as the representative for the whole group.
I felt that the book was a complete story alone, but I will be interested to find out the fate of the characters particuarly Deeti, Paulette, Zachary and Neel in a future book.

I will be sending this out in the next week to start it moving.

Journal Entry 3 by katrinat at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Saturday, November 29, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (11/27/2008 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom



Starting its long journey around Europe, lets hope it arrives safely each step of the journey x

Journal Entry 4 by franaloe from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Wooooow, what a thick book! It is a good thing Christmas is coming up; enough time to read.
BTW, I really do like the cover, too!

Journal Entry 5 by franaloe from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, January 04, 2009
In the beginning of the book I thought this book was going to be hard read. All those Indian words that I had no clue of what the meaning they could have. Crazy. Plus there were just too many stories and characters to get an overview. However, once all stories came together and the overview was clear, the book got my full attention.

I only realized at the end of the book that this is the first part of a trilogy. Although the book can theoretically stand alone, the end is too open to really satisfy. Too much is happening still, and too much is told and speculated about the future of the main characters to just consider this story as finished.

I had to keep reminding myself that times were different at the time of the story. I wish women could have stood up for their rights more, but of course that was out of the question then. Actually, they act quite independent and self secure, considering their caste and the time they are living in.

I will definitely keep my eyes open for parts 2 and 3, as I am very curious what will happen upon arrival...

The book is on its way to Laui. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by Laui from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Saturday, January 10, 2009
Caught it, a little delay because it was sent to my parents. I love the horsey bookmark! I'll start reading this week, keep you posted!

Journal Entry 7 by Laui from Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, February 01, 2009
Finished it! I agree that it's not an easy read, maybe because of the multitude of story lines at first. I did like it, but there were parts that I disliked.

In my opinion Deeti was more annoying in her new role. I don't see a woman 'mothering' like that, it was not very real to me anymore. Part of it (the annoying bit) is also part of me personally. I honestly don't think that anyone in such a situation would really behave like that. Other characters from the story were more true, like Zachary, though he maybe was painted as a bit of a softie. I don't know, I do believe his sentiments, but I feel that it might be a bit too modern?
The friendship between Neel and Ah Fatt seemed genuine to me, and it's like the guy in the prison says: they're all they've got, they have no choice but to be friends.
About the women aboard: I think it's easier to be equals when you're with a small number. And maybe this is because they're all in the same room, and not in different positions? Because I feel that the male coolies feel they're more equal, too. The only two standing out are Paulette and Deeti and they have big secrets to keep, so it's easier to blend in, as not to reveal yourself.
I'm quite curious about the next parts, just to know how it ends. Though I might have reservations if the sequel is as big as this one. It might be a little demotivating ;) Predictions: nah, I found this book not as predictable as I'd thought, so I'm in for a surprise!

I've asked Xeyra for her address, I'll post again when I send it out (hopefully within a week).

Journal Entry 8 by Laui at per post, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (2/11/2009 UTC) at per post, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases



I'm sorry for the delay, I've had it packed & ready for a few days, but just didn't make it to the post office...

It's on its way to Portugal now, though. :)

Journal Entry 9 by Xeyra from Seixal, Setúbal Portugal on Friday, February 27, 2009
Arrived today. Wow, this is one heavy huge book. I hope I can manage to read it in a reasonable time but my university classes started again and juggling work with school leaves less and less time for reading. Thank you for the opportunity to read another Booker Prize shortlisted book!

Journal Entry 10 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, August 05, 2009
just received today - I will take the book to my summer vacation in Denmark on Friday :-))

Journal Entry 11 by Sternschnuppe28 from Flörsheim am Main, Hessen Germany on Friday, November 27, 2009
I have been sick home throughout this week, so I was able to finally read this book. Shame on me for taking so long for such a gorgeous piece. It continues travelling to cross-patch tomorrow.

an amazon-reviewer wrote:
Set in nineteenth century India, Sea of Poppies is a picaresque novel with intellectual aspirations. The story is centered on the Ibis, a former slave ship sailed to Calcutta by a polyglot crew of lascars under the charge of Zachary Reid, a newly minted second mate. The Ibis has been purchased by British merchant Benjamin Burnham, who intends to use it to run Indian opium to China. The Chinese emperor has halted the opium trade, though, so Zachary and the crew are directed to load the hold with prisoners and indentured laborers and then transport the lot to Mauritius.

The Ibis brings together a multinational cast of jahaj bhais, or ship brothers. Zachary is a mulatto American freedman. The ship's bursar, Baboo Nob Kissin is a Bengali who believes his body has been inhabited by his dead guru. Plucky Paulette Lambert is a Frenchwoman seeking to escape from the prospect of an undesirable betrothal to an older man. Deeti and Kalua have fled their poppy growing Indian village hoping to find a a better life. Then there's Neel, a former maharajah brought down by debt and the collusion of Burnham and the British legal system.

All of their fates are brought to a boil as the Ibis makes its way across the "black water" to Mauritius. Every one of these characters is engaging, and the historical detail, from the shape of the Ibis' sails to the inside of Calcutta's Lalbazar jail, is extremely fine grained. Ghosh goes to great pains to use the correct terminology of the time, from the pidgin spoken by Indian villagers to the slang of British military men to the nautical terms bandied about by the multinational lascars. This slurry of language is what binds together the polyglot British Empire and the mini-nation assembled on the Ibis. Even if his obscure wordplay does illustrate the struggle for clarity that the characters go through in their interactions with one another, Ghosh's "abawans" and "puckrows," tossed liberally onto every page, make for tedious going at times.

The novel is rescued from its linguistic excesses by the energy, humor and intimacy with which Ghosh embraces his characters. Even though the climax of the story feels abrupt - this is the first book of a projected trilogy - it does leave us wanting to know more about the fate of the Ibis' crew and passengers.

Journal Entry 12 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I have now received all of the 2008 Booker shoertlist and I hope to read it within the month, it is the one I have been looking forward to!! Thanks to katrinat and Sternschnuppe28.

Journal Entry 13 by wingCross-patchwing from Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 07, 2010
I have held on to this book long enough, so I have bought my own copy to finish and then I'll add a JE. 6 people have asked to be skipped so the book will be on its way to MarthaK-H tomorrow.

Journal Entry 14 by wingCross-patchwing at to next participant, a ring/ray -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, February 07, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (2/8/2010 UTC) at to next participant, a ring/ray -- Controlled Releases



I have read part of the book and haved loved it, so when I saw a copy the other day I decided to get my own and move this one on. I hope you enjoy it. Happy reading!

Update to this release....For some unknown reason I mistakenly sent this book to Mafarrimond to whom I owe a massive vote of thanks for then forwarding it on to the rightful recipient. I am so grateful.

Journal Entry 15 by MarthaK-H from Hither Green, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Recieved via a rather large thump through the letterbox! Am Reading another ring at the mo but will read next.

Journal Entry 16 by MarthaK-H from Hither Green, Greater London United Kingdom on Sunday, March 21, 2010
Really enjoyed the start of this book & was getting into the characters then hit a bit of a wall with it. I have been very busy at work & the writing just became too dense for me to concentrate on & found myself drifting off & thinking about other things. Never a good sign so gave up after 100 odd pages which is a shame as I think I would have probably enjoyed it if read on holiday or at a more relaxing time.

Hope the next reader has more luck. Wrapping up and sending to arturogrande this week.

Journal Entry 17 by arturogrande from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 03, 2010
A weighty tome indeed! Thanks very much - I'll get started on it as soon as I can and try not to hold the ring up.

Journal Entry 18 by arturogrande from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, May 16, 2010
I've had a lot going on and have not yet been able to make a start on this book. I really don't want to hold the ring up any longer, so I think it would be best of I passed it on to the next reader.
I'm just waiting for MarcThomas's address, and then I'll get it in the post to him.
Sorry to have held onto this book and still not got round to reading it!

Journal Entry 19 by arturogrande from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 18, 2010
On its way to MarcThomas.

Journal Entry 20 by MarcThomas at Paris, Ile-de-France France on Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Got it in the mail today. Thanks for sharing! I'll get to it as soon as I've finished my current read.

Journal Entry 21 by MarcThomas at Paris, Ile-de-France France on Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Started reading on Sunday. I'm not sure I'll get through it easily but at least I'll try.

Journal Entry 22 by MarcThomas at Paris, Ile-de-France France on Thursday, July 15, 2010
I just couldn't get into the book. I tried a few times to take the book and read but I don't know why I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it's the too many Indian words that made it difficult for me to understand or the mixing of several stories or just the writing style but I don't want to continue reading. As I'm the last person in the list, I make this book available.

Journal Entry 23 by MarcThomas at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Released 8 yrs ago (10/5/2010 UTC) at by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases


On its way to the Netherlands as an RABCK. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 24 by wingchamonix44wing at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Thursday, October 14, 2010
The doorbell rang and I couldn't go to open the door because I had just got out of the shower. So I slipped a bathrobe on, ran to the door, but there was no one there! I could see a big white delivery van outside, but no driver. I slipped my feet into a pair of flip flops and, holding the bathrobe together, with my hands, I went out into the street to see who it was, and if they had a package for me. Two houses down I saw a man holding a package and trying to talk to a neighbour, but she is Dutch, he was German and they couldn't understand each other. I asked him "Do you speak English?" and he did. The package was for me and apparently he had been trying to explain to the neighbour that she had to sign for it. OK, so, holding the bathrobe closed with one hand, I reached with the other one to accept the package.
It looked big, but it was open at both ends and I could see bubble wrap inside and it didn't look heavy. He handed me the package and it was soooo heavy for one hand that I dropped it on my poor foot ! It hit like a brick! I couldn't bend down easily to pick it up one-handed because I was holding the bathrobe closed and both the delivery man and neighbour were watching me like hawks!
I had to take his little machine and sign on the screen whilst the book rested on my poor throbbing foot! Eventually I was able to turn my back on both of them and pick up this very heavy book without them seeing anything that they shouldn't have, but I was facing the neighbour's kitchen window at the time. I hope no one was in there looking out of the window! Please don't ask me why there was a German man delivering in Holland, and not able to speak the Dutch language! I don't know because I didn't hang around long enough to ask him.
Thank you so much MarcThomas for sending me this book! I certainly wasn't expecting anything so large and so heavy! I won't be carrying this one around in my handbag to read whilst travelling around on buses, that's for sure! The postage on this "brick" must have cost a fortune, or does France have a special book rate? I will be sending you a PM shortly. Meanwhile I'm going to go and put more poor throbbing foot up while I glance through the book. I really am happy to have a chance to read this book. Thanks for your generosity. I will be sending you a book too.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.