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Der rauchblaue Fluss (2011)

von Amitav Ghosh

Reihen: Ibis Trilogie (2)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
8685019,060 (3.94)1 / 340
Ein monumentaler Roman über Ruhm und Leid in einer frühen Ära der Globalisierung
  1. 90
    Die tausend Herbste des Jacob de Zoet von David Mitchell (Tinwara)
    Tinwara: Mitchells book is set in a similar enclave: the island of Dejima near Nagasaki, where only Dutch merchants were allowed to trade (but not to enter Japan) Set in the year 1799.
  2. 10
    The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China von Julia Lovell (wandering_star)
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Bof... bof.. bof ! Ce qui m'avait plut dans le premier tome c'était la manière dont, sous couvert d'une histoire épique et pleine d'aventure, Amitav Ghosh décrivait la société indienne du début du XIX° siècle permettant d'expliquer en partie et de comprendre les tensions, les rigidités, les rancœurs qui ont nourries l'histoire de ce sous-continent. Dans ce second tome, l'histoire se déplace en Chine en plein début de la première guerre de l'opium, il faut attendre les trois quarts du roman pour retrouver au travers des événements qui se précipitent à Canton, l'analyse subtile décrivant les relations colons entre occidentaux, entrepreneurs indiens, riches commerçants chinois et madarins chinois. Le roman est un long descriptif de repas, de plats les plus étonnants, de vêtements typiques, de toutes les types de transports pouvant flotter,... sans parler des longs descriptifs de plantes, fleurs, jardins, parcs,... Finalement l'épique et l'aventure ne sont pas très présents, l'analyse politique, sociale et économique quelque peu mis en arrière. La construction même du roman est pour moi l'illustration que Amitav Ghosh a perdu le fil de sa narration et test en tâtonnant d'autres styles (épistolaire par exemple) ou aborder des thèmes qui auraient pu être intéressant mais qui ne sont pas suffisamment développer (l'art et plus particulièrement la peinture comparé entre l'occident, l'inde et la chine..) car arrivant sans logique dans la trame de la trilogie. ( )
  folivier | Feb 4, 2021 |
Oh, I can not wait to read this. The US booksellers say it isn't available until 9/27...too long to wait. Powells shows 75 copies in their Int'l warehouse. I am ordering it just as soon as I finish grade reports...Happy Summer Reading!
  edutechteacher | Dec 6, 2019 |
Currently reading this book and really struggling through it but too far in to give up so will slog through to the end and maybe something wonderful will happen. Had high hopes having really liked the first book but the link to it doesnt survive the first few pages (unless the end goes back to it). A very contrived plot but at least it is very well written and you do learn about the opium wars (or at least it makes you want to know more about them) but I wouldnt call the book entertaining which in fiction is mainly what I am after (that, and well written prose). I did buy the 3rd book so I know what I do once this one is finished (or will I!). ( )
  ELAB1972 | Jan 2, 2019 |
This is second of three volumes of novels about the British opium trade to China in the mid 19th century.
While the first volume carried the historical background lightly on the wonderful story telling, this second volume is more laboured. The historical background is now the lead part of the book, and weaving the historical with the narrative has become more contrived.
But, having said that, this series is shaping up as something special, and I will be certain to read the final volume.
Read March 2018 ( )
  mbmackay | Mar 14, 2018 |
While an enjoyable read, this book does not hold the same sway over the imagination as the prior book in the series, Sea of Poppies. I've spent some time trying to decide why this is so, because the writing style is in no way inferior -- Ghosh still brings a painterly eye and a sense of setting and place that is vivid and clear to the page. His word pictures are jewel-like in their detail and brilliance. His sense of history, also, is beautiful and finely told. I'm sure an immense amount of research went into the book but it never weighs down the narrative. He is diligent in letting the reader experience history as his characters do -- as events unfold, rather than as a great backdrop to their lives. Because of this, he is able to maintain a level of suspense and drama in their lives that is rarely diluted by the perspective of an omnipotent narrator. And if there is the occasional foreshadowing, or rare moments where a character's fate is telegraphed to the reader, well these are easily forgiven lapses against the panoramic story Ghosh is telling. If I had read this book first, I would have loved it for the description of life in Canton alone. Likewise, Ghosh's characters are all beautifully drawn, complex and driven by motives that are wholly real and understandable and compelling. They stand on their own, and do not demand of the reader any knowledge of the events that occurred in the first book, although reading Sea of Poppies certainly enriches the reader's perspective. But the continuing stories of Paulette and Neel and Ah Fatt -- central characters in the first book -- are taken up via the simple expedient of introducing them through the eyes of the people who become involved in their lives: a botanist/explorer who runs into Paulette during a visit to a neglected botanical garden; an opium trader whose ship is docked for repairs, where it is recognized by Ah Fatt. The coincidences are striking, but credible. Certainly plausible enough not to derail the story.

So the lukewarm reaction River of Smoke generally receives is a bit of a mystery. I finally decided that my problem with the book was a certain lack of narrative focus that Sea of Poppies did not suffer from. There is, in the end, a thematic exploration to the first book in the Ibis trilogy-- is it all about transformation. Metamorphosis. Every one of the characters who end up together on the Ibis are in the process of becoming somebody new: A local rajah becomes a person without caste. A woman escapes her own funeral pyre and leaves her old life in its ashes. A French girl makes herself into an Asiatic. A black sailor slowly turns into a white sahib. There is even a man who is gradually becoming the vessel for a female spirit. The color, the history, the picture of colonial India, the vivid historical detail and the striking way Ghosh can call up a scene before the reader's eyes -- these are all hung, as it were, on the frame of this common theme of transformation. Transformation is the underlying drive each character feels -- it is what makes the reader invested in their fate. So that even though Sea of Poppies ends with something of a cliff hanger, the story does feel complete, in a sense, because at that point every character has embraced who they have become. There is nothing like this narrative coherence in River of Smoke. It is, instead, simply a story of "what happens next." Beautifully told, to be sure, but not compelling in the way that Sea of Poppies was compelling. The lives of these people are now simply leaves swirling in the winds of change, and while there is some interest in seeing where, eventually, they come to rest, there is no real sense of direction or purpose to the novel except this: what happens next. It's not quite enough for a literary novel, to be honest. Not when we already know the author is capable of telling a deep story, not just a wide one.
  southernbooklady | May 5, 2017 |
On one level, the novel that arises from this formative geopolitics is a remarkable feat of research, bringing alive the hybrid customs of food and dress and the competing philosophies of the period with intimate precision; on another it is a subversive act of empathy, viewing a whole panorama of world history from the "wrong" end of the telescope. The real trick, though, is that it is also fabulously entertaining.
hinzugefügt von souloftherose | bearbeitenThe Observer, Tim Adams (Jun 19, 2011)
 
Amitav Ghosh's two latest novels carry us deep inside the opium trade in the 1830s. River of Smoke is the second volume of a proposed trilogy. The first, Sea of Poppies, published in 2008, took us along the Ganges and to Calcutta, where the poppies are grown and the opium processed. River of Smoke follows the story through to Canton in China, where the opium is sold. The Chinese authorities are trying to prevent illegal imports of the drug, which has inflicted a plague of addiction on the Chinese population while making empire-sized fortunes for the irrepressibly shameless traders, mostly British.

In historical novels the past can sometimes feel tamed; hindsight, hovering just off the page, tells us that we know what it all added up to and what came of it (the First Opium War, during which British gunboats enforced a treaty opening Chinese ports to international trade, comes shortly after the ending of this novel). But Ghosh's novels somehow succeed in taking us back inside the chaos of when "then" was "now". His grasp of the detail of the period is exhaustive – he is so thoroughly submerged in it – that readers can't possibly remember all the things he shows them, or hold on to all the life-stories of all the characters he introduces. Both novels are cabinets of curiosities, crowded with items that hold a story of their own.
hinzugefügt von kidzdoc | bearbeitenThe Guardian, Tessa Hadley (Jun 10, 2011)
 

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Ein monumentaler Roman über Ruhm und Leid in einer frühen Ära der Globalisierung

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