Amitav Ghosh Goes Up In Smoke

Posted on | October 1, 2011 | Comments Off real gambling systems

I have a review of River of Smoke, the second volume in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, up at the Barnes & Noble Review.  I’ve liked Ghosh in the past, and the first volume—once I got past its faux-historical vernacular—made for a spirited summer read.  The new installment, not so much.

The second book of a trilogy is a bit like the middle set of a tennis match: however engrossing the action, whatever happens at the end will necessarily recolor what happened before.  River of Smoke, the midway point in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy—his chronicle of the Opium Wars, the nineteenth-century contest between the British Empire and the Qing Dynasty over the fate of trade in China—is densely packed with happenings and intrigue without ever managing to come together as a novel in its own right.  Instead, it reads as a very long prelude to what one can only presume will be the outbreak of war in the as-yet-unpublished third book. [More here.]

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