Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh

Part one of Amitav Ghosh’s trilogy charting the connections between India and China, the British Empire and the Chinese Emperors, and the lucrative trade in opium and cheap labour in the late 1800s. Great characters, centred on the Ibis, a refitted American slave ship. Large chunks of the dialogue are at first incomprehensible, being either in the hotchpotch lingua franca of those who live their lives on the sea or the Anglo-Hindi and Anglo-Bengali hybrids that I’m guessing evolved during the British Empire, but once your inner ear tunes in it all starts to make more sense….

Author webpage: Sea of Poppies – Amitav Ghosh