The author begins the Ibis trilogy with an intense reading experience, as an international cast of characters come together in the era in which England began to push the opium trade ever wider through the East.
These characters and their fates become as engrossing as the lives of the reader's own families and friends. Exciting reading which makes the wait to read the next book breathless.
Il classico romanzone che ti trasporta in un altro mondo. India, il Gange e una barca. E tante vite che si intrecciano. In inglese dev'essere una lettura spettacolare, in italiano comunque cattura quanto basta. Finale in sospeso, anche un po' tirato via rispetto al resto, ma è solo il primo volume di una trilogia, quindi aspetto di leggere gli altri due....Continua
Great fun, and though it lags in places, overall its a worthy read. Covers the adventures of a group of Indians (and colonials) around the time of the Opium Wars in the early 19th century. Includes tall ships, lots of opium, and a fair smattering of sailor-talk using words that vaguely make sense until you look back and realise you have no idea what they mean: dolphin-striker; martingale; kippage.
The book is really a story of two halves. The first following the travails of the main characters in colonial northern India, and the second an exciting (and claustrophobic) sea journey towards Mauritius.
A great start to what will be a trilogy. Ghosh has a background in social anthropology, and the story is interwoven with interesting cultural sensitivities. Four stars only because the text is in places a little uneven, and its easy to get lost in the thickets of dialogue full of patois and contextual references.
But, perhaps this is not necessarily a bad thing. Books where we have to work at understanding characters' experiences are maybe more representative of real life ;) At least we don't feel patronised by the author....Continua
An extremely intelligent, exciting and 'must read' story! There are so many characters that it has a close resemblance to Dickens' style of writing. Each character is either introduced in great detail or the detail is gradually revealed as the story progresses. The characters are superb. I just loved them! Eventually a selection of these characters embark on a voyage on an old slaving ship named The Ibis. The story is never rushed. It takes a long time before the crew and 'passengers' are assembled and ready to sail, and although we know the ship will set sail eventually, it's impossible to skip pages in our eagerness to get there, because each page is full of interesting and stimulating facts that we can't afford to miss.
The last few pages left me quite breathless due to the build-up of tension. If ever there was a 'cliff-hanger' with which to finish a book this is it!
Complicated, entertaining and beautifully written, just as I expected it to be. The characters are well depicted and history flows behind them with all its contradictions. Ghosh confirms himself as an amazing writer who does not want his reader to fully understand everything. Language iteself would deserve a whole essay. Put apart your dictionary, you don't need it!...Continua