☉ River of Smoke PDF / Epub ❤ Author Amitav Ghosh – Pdfr25.co

10 thoughts on “River of Smoke

  1. says:

    The absence of food doesn t make a man forsake hunger it only makes him hungrier In this the second instalment of The Ibis trilogy Amitav Ghosh sets the bar incredibly high So high in fact I got a little dizzy from all the sights and sounds and smells that I was introduced to in so many of the fascinating locals that lay painted in broad strokes before my very eyes.While the first book in this trilogy focused on the cultivation of poppies in India and the East Indian Company s opium factory that prepared the product for sale River of Smoke takes the reader up the Pearl River System to various destinations, most notably Fanqui town a settlement just outside of Canton where foreign traders were permitted to set up enclaves The Thirteen Factories At that time foreigners were not permitted to enter Canton proper even though it relied heavily on foreign trade It is here that much of the novel takes place and Ghosh s brilliant writing takes you right there And so at last to the foreign enclave or Fanqui town as I have already learnt to call it It is the farthest extremity of the city, just beyond the citadel s south western gate In appearance Fanqui town is not at all what you might expect indeed it is so different from what I had envisioned that it fair took my breath away I had imagined the factories would be prettily primped with a few Celestial touches perhaps a few curling eaves or pagoda like spires like those that so beguile the eyes in Chinese paintings But if you could see the factories for yourself, Puggly dear, I warrant they would remind you rather of pictures of places that are very far away Vermeer s Amsterdam or even Chinnery s Calcutta You would see a row of buildings with columns, capitals, pilasters, tall windows and tiled roof Some have colonnaded verandahs, with the same khus khus screens you see in India if you half close your eyes you could think yourself to be on the Strand, in Calcutta, looking at the bankshalls and daftars of the big English trading houses The colours are quite different though, brighter and varied from a distance the factories look like stripes of paint against the grey walls of the citadel ..Now that you have landed at Jackass Point and made your way into Fanqui town you may find yourself a little peckish Fear not, Ghosh lays a lavish table guaranteed to whet your appetite Consider just this one offering of many at a feast served up by one of the foreign residents It had taken two days to prepare, and included some thirty condiments crisp shoots of bamboo and slippery sea cucumbers chewy tendons of pork and juicy sea scallops taro root and abalone fish lips and mushrooms a symphony of carefully harmonized contrasts of texture and taste, it was reputed to have lured many a monk into breaking his vows.The story is told mainly from the perspective of four foreigners, three of whom I was first introduced to in Sea of Poppies There is an Indian opium trader and his secretary Neel our bankrupt Raja as well as Paulette, the orphaned daughter of a French botanist and Paulette s childhood friend Robin, a gay artist who has made his way to China in search of a real friend.Paulette s efforts to locate a legendary rare flower will take her to the sparsely populated island of Hong Kong where she begins to establish a nursery but make no mistake the real heart of this story lay with the illegal opium trade and the friction it has caused with the Chinese government who recognizes the devastating effects this drug has had on the people of China But the opium trade is big business generating immense wealth for The British merchants and others After all China has always allowed and profited as well from this in the past and the British are not inclined to desist trade now.Ghosh may have left me completely drenched and clinging to the storm swept decks of the Ibis at the end of Sea of Poppies but all is now forgiven Do not miss this sweeping, richly layered and historically accurate trilogy of the opium trade On to a Flood of Fire.

  2. says:

    Old News BAH I am going to have to come back and fix may be rewrite this review later.Current News Review updated.__________________________Where were we On the Ibis, after the storm, right Amitav Ghosh picks up the threads from there, tells us about the different directions in which the characters were scattered and then we continue to follow Neel who brings us to Canton to witness the drama and politics surrounding the opium trade psst smuggling , and an account of the events which will eventually lead to the First Opium War.Canton s foreign enclave was the hot spot of trade between China and other countries Made in China brought from China goods have been making their way into households all around the globe since back then A huge amount of goods were imported from China, so much so that Chinese had come to believe that ..the foreigners, if deprived for several days of the tea and rhubarb of China, are afflicted with dimness of sight and constipation of the bowels, to such a degree that life is endangered .For foreigners, opium proved to be a highly profitable counter trade product which ensured a two way flow of cash East India Company, with their strategic position in India monopolized this trade Opium is the bone of contention at the heart of this story.Chinese side wanted to keep opium addiction from eating them from the inside and also control the out flow of silver.British et al side losing opium trade would mean economic loss Also, the high and mighty ones said nobody, not even the Grand Manchu himself, can claim jurisdiction over a subject of the Queen of England and as Englishmen and Americans, we enjoy certain freedoms under the laws of our own countries These require us to be subject, in the first instance, to our own laws By the end of the book, we see Britishers sniggering behind Lin Zexu s back, thinking about the war to come, which of course, Britain will easily win.Amitav Ghosh carries us back to those times with his pure, un ornamental storytelling His writing is undoubtedly descriptive, no lawyer can make a case against that He tells us about the times when HongKong was only a wilderness and when people thought that Singapore was going to be swallowed by a jungle Times when it took several months to travel from one place to another, keeping people away from home for a few years at a stretch most of them also ended up having a second wife and illegitimate children in distant lands He gives us the details about how everything worked in those times He also brings out some of the subtleties about how language and social interactions changed as one moved from one part of the world to another and mingled with different kinds of communities Between all the details, the dilemmas and emotional complexity of Bahram, one of the main characters, are not forgotten either.There is a whole lot of historical name dropping going on too Many of the characters mentioned in this novel and there are about a million of them were real people One can easily tell Ghosh has done extensive research and poured gallons of history in this story For the most part, the details aren t wearisome and don t slow down the narrative.The only place where detailed descriptions bothered me were in Robin Chinnery s letters Him being an artist, his letters provide a perspective different from that of people involved in the opium trade But, phew, those letters Some of his letters went like this Hey, I have some fascinating news for you So one day I was sitting on my desk when I heard a knock on the door Then he will describe how and why he went to the place XYZ, describe the scenery he saw on the way, detailed description of the destination once he got there, back stories of the characters he met, the conversation they had And within that conversation the news of interest will be embedded.I know the messages were not limited to 140 characters back then, but will you give me the news already If you enjoyed Sea of Poppies, this is definitely worth a read It can be read even if one has not read the first part The language, a mash up of different dialects, may seem bothersome during initial one or two chapters, but in later chapters it is mostly just English and is not at all difficult to read If you have an appetite for rich details, this should be an interesting read.______________________________________Pre Reading With Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh had left us un anchored in the midst of Indian Ocean He created an ensemble cast with a rich variety of characters, made their paths converge to the ship Ibis and spun out an engrossing story And then.poof The hypnotic spell broke Very abruptly The stage vanished and so did the characters The readers were left bobbing in the ocean.Now after a gap of over 2.5 years, River of Smoke has been released Hopefully we will get to the shore this time Though this is only the second book in the proposed trilogy, who knows where he will leave us stranded now.Considering how long Ghosh Babu had the readers sitting on the edge, this better not be a disappointment.

  3. says:

    Perhaps the most amazing, brilliant historical fiction I have ever read I ve dabbled a little bit with writing, taken a few classes in college and I ve read, surely over a thousand books But I think I admire this book over anything I ve ever read thus far and I finally realize, good grief, Doug, don t try to write any You don t have what it takes Here is painstaking research, wonderful characterizations of people some of whom actually lived and every aspect of their personalities and done in the setting of Canton, China in the 1830 s This is a follow up book in a trilogy, the first of which was also excellent, Sea of Poppies and several of the characters of that book appear in this, but it is a different book and story stands on its own, although it was fun to see a little bit of follow up on some of the lives of some of the characters This is the story of the world of opium sales in China and the ruination of millions of people addicted to the powerful drug and how the government tries to eradicate the importing of the drug through primarily British sources, although one of the main characters is from Bombay and most of the product is produced in India It is extremely annoying to discover how the British businessmen justify their smuggling killing actions by giving self righteous sermons about the God given principal of free trade and how the Chinese Government has no authority to stop them It is arrogance and self righteous behavior and its very best worst It is the story of horticulture, food, tea, love, men with two families, one in each continent, an extremely talented and prolific gay artist is involved, although his letters are written in a hilariously clever way that some naive souls may not even understand that his stories include metaphors about his gay behavior, travel to the orient, miserable time at sea, elegant living of the rich and the relationships between the Chinese and the foreigners and how the Americans and sometimes Christian and mainly the British were such bullies It is a tough read and cannot be sped read I learned dozen of phrases and admired so many little clever details and descriptions and there were many story lines that may be picked up in the next book This has been advertised as a trilogy I m anxious to hear your thoughts If you haven t read Sea of Poppies yet, please read it first.

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed book one of this pending trilogy Sea of Poppies was action packed, tense, enjoyable reading with characters I liked and rooted for Imagine my surprise when River of Smoke, which I bought immediately after finishing Sea of Poppies, turned out to be a crashing bore What happened to our main characters At the end of Sea of Poppies they escaped in a storm I was anxious to follow their progress through book two Mr Ghosh had other ideas but it seemed to me that he pretty much phoned this one in We do have two returning characters, Neel and Paulette, but they are virtually unrecognizable as the people we read about in book one Instead we get new characters and they are not nearly as interesting as the bunch in book one In fact, they aren t very interesting at all Ghosh uses the technique of the letter to tell much of book two I honestly couldn t read the letters Everytime one started with Dear Pugli , the letter writer s nickname for Paulette, I started swiping pages on my iPad Don t think I missed much either River of Smoke was so dull, compared to Sea of Poppies, that I expect I will forego reading book three A big disappointment I am anxious to read other reviews I expect some people probably liked it I did not.

  5. says:

    The heaven and hell of opium continues in this 600 page book, the second in the Ibis Trilogy Sea Of Poppies was the first installment.After closing the book I could not decide if I wanted to go for a swim, take a leisurely bath, or a cool shower and then go for a walk It is such a beautiful day outside.In the end it was the shower, but the walk lost out I just wanted to lie back, relax and think.In the previous book, we all hanged onto the Ibis s deck for dear life It was in the middle of the night, in a ferocious typhoon at sea, and five men were seen in a small boat escaping life on the ship Somewhere on the Ibis there were dead people and a hundred Indian people locked up, destined for Mauritius.The second book was waiting right there next to the first one, and I just needed to know what happened to them all Sel , the storm has subsided, the wind was gone, the sun was up and mystery disappeared with the last words of the previous book.This book embroidered further on the tale of hardship and human follies around the greedy lords of opium The British had the most to lose, the Chinese the most to gain and in the process thousands of tons of opium changed hands or got lost A revolt was on the rise Britain stood to lose everything If I think back on this book I recall millions of people living in squalor, druglords living in opulent splendor, dark and doom lurked everywhere, greed was openly shared on the scrumptious menus of the rich, and life was but a fleeting streak of luck for the tough and fortunate as much as it was for the lowest of the poor But there was also the gentle bonds of friendship, a non genetic kinship, an integrity and honor that glued it all together.A tremendous amount of research went into this Ibis trilogy The second tale was just as atmospheric and informative as the first However, at one point I just skip read at least 250 pages, since the numerous characters and information dumping became just too much to endure Some of the previous book s characters survived and I found the alternating stories of Neel the Rajah who was found guilty of fraud in the previous book , as well as Paulette the orphaned French daughter of a botanist consoling Deeti, the Indian widowed farm girl, who married Kalua, the ox wagon driver with whom she landed on the Ibis, opened this book with her recollection of what happened Her memories were drawn all over a cavern on the island of Mauritius It was her memory temple Her descendants were with her when she told her story Zachary Reid also known as Zikri Malum , the son of the freed slave from Boston briefly appeared as well But it is Ah Fatt, a member of the Ibis s crew, who became center stage in this tale His family entered this second book and became the carriers of the plot.Much of the trilogy is based on the real people, which makes this one of the best historical fiction works on opium ever written The information winding through the tale is just mind blowing This is a monumental piece of work.Worth the read It is about the history shared in the book than a fast moving riveting plot It requires a lot of patience to finish I m still happy that I did it, but needed to refresh myself and take a rest I was exhausted And wow, what a happy feeling rolled over me when I lay back on my bed and thought back on this experience Embedded in the story, that s how I felt Wonderful Amazing

  6. says:

    This is the second installment in the Ibis Trilogy and I have no doubt that upon completion it will be nothing short of a masterpiece This is the most amazing work of historical fiction that I have ever read Where Sea Of Poppies mostly takes place in India preceding the opium wars, River Of Smoke moves us into Canton s Fanqui town full of merchant traders and their shipments of opium So will begin the opium wars involving India, China and Britain This book bleeds culture on every page It is full of jargon, lingo, and pirate slang that only add to its authenticity Ghosh paints vivid portraits of the people, the landscape and perhaps a forgotten time in history Everything is lushly detailed down to the food that I can practically smell off the pages to the fabled botanicals of China Amitav Ghosh is a Masterful, unrivaled storyteller who sets the bar high

  7. says:

    2.5 rounded upOh I feel mean There was nothing wrong with this book I just didn t get into it the way I expected to Amitav Ghosh is one of my favourite authors, and I remember really enjoying 1 of the Ibis trilogy when I read it years ago But this just didn t have enough story for 550 pages, and it became a laborious read I m hoping that it is an ambitious transition book between 1 and 3.In the opening pages we find out what happened to the major characters from Sea of Poppies after the massive storm that provided cover for the escaping convicts From there we stay in touch with Paulette, but it is mainly Neel who provides the continuity, as he becomes the munshi secretary for Seth Bahram Modie, a highly successful merchant from Bombay Another new major character is Robin Chinnery, Paulette s childhood friend, an artist who has made his way from Calcutta to Canton But although I say he s a major character, he doesn t really do anything he s just there to help tell the story via his frequent letters to Paulette, who is shipbound in Hong Kong I think this is my major gripe with the book by using or overusing this device, there is far too much telling and not enough showing Essentially, the book is about the First Opium War between China and England, in the late 1830s Ghosh paints an evocative picture of Canton at the time, and I think some of the characters interacting with Bahram, Robin and to a lesser extent Neel, may even be historical figures, but to be honest I don t care enough to find out.I will read on, as I have high hopes for 3.

  8. says:

    Jesus Christ, am I glad I m done with this How could Ghosh possible create a work so utterly boring I absolutely LOVED The Glass Palace, and despite a slow beginning and some troubling language in the first work in this trilogy Sea of Poppies I ended up quite taken with it, drawn into the plotlines and characters, and wanted to jump right into this while all of the terminology, names, locations, family lineages, etc, were fresh However, it seems that barely anything from S of P carries over We never see 80% of the cast here, and the ones that we do appear as helpers, minor characters who don t really DO anything other than observe others around them Neel is a writer for an opium dealer Paulette Puggly works with plants with a botanist One character from S of P, Baboo Nob Kissin, appears honestly for 2 pages, and then towards the end, 1 page All of the characters that Ghosh spent so long developing, building up, forcing me to care about, and they are either shown just fucking around or in abstentia The worst offense is that there are no emotional connections anywhere none between characters, and none for the reader to attach There were no heart rendering portrayals to clutch the reader, nothing at all comparable to the S of P plotline involving Detee and how she was to commit suicide by torching herself on the funeral pyre only to be saved by Kalua Sorry if that sounds like a spoiler, but you wouldn t be reading this if you hadn t already read S of P After reading a scene like that, one inevitably wants to see what happens to said couple Paulette does nothing but works with plants Neel does nothing but writes letters new characters like Bahram do nothing but sit around and bitch about how they can t sell their opium where is the drama, the tension, the incentive to continue reading Nothing at all even happens in this book until page 300, and then it s only to shift into 12 Angry Men mode The final 200 pages could be characterized in a single sentence the foreign members of the trade sit around in China, reading each edict from the new Commissioner, exclaim, We have to sell our opium, what the fuck, how can they tell us no while the Commissioner threatens them and How can you draw 200 pages out of this Ghosh does it He ends his book with an index explaining his resources, how he has relied extensively on historical information, and I m sure he has given us an accurate portrayal of who said what and how the noose slowly tightened on the foreign enclave before war broke out But it s certainly not very exciting to read about And what Ghosh does so well in The Glass Palace putting a human face on the greater historical occurrences, with individuals living through the circumstances, from all walks of life, converging in the end is completely missing here My final complaint, the subject of which is so utterly ridiculous that it deserves its own paragraph, is Ghosh s choice to begin the final 10 chapters with 5 10 page letters written by one meaningless character to Paulette Puggly Whether this is supposed to serve as the heart rendering quota or simply to include a different side of life perspective though that notion would be just as ridiculous, as this character s perspective is nothing other than painting painting flowers and talking to people about paintings, flowers, and paintings of flowers these sections were so unreadable that I seriously threw up in my mouth once or twice First of all, we see no real reason that these two characters are together, nothing touching or meaningful Second, the style is so preposterous, with everything over written, over emphasized, and the flattery of Paulette over loaded To read the myriad ways that this character tries to great Puggly with some honorific or lovely greeting is enough to make one smash the corner of the hard cover through one s forehead Queridisima Pugggliosa, oh Puggleebai, my dear Madame de Puggligny, dear Begum of Pugglabad It s like it s Ghosh s own little game to try and come up with the cheesiest ode to Paulette for each section, and why We are not led to see this relationship as cute, and personally I don t find any humor in it Jesus I feel like I haven t ranted against a book like this in quite a while, but I have been trudging through this each night, hoping that it would all come together at the end, hoping that Ghosh wouldn t abuse my trust, but I simply hated this book, and he didn t come through for me this time Yeah, I m sure it s historically accurate and all that, a nice portrayal of Canton and the foreign enclave in 1839 before the shit hit the fan It s like he has Neel say at the end I realized that if it were not for those paintings no one would believe that such a place had ever existed Ghosh wants this book to do the same thing, to eternize the city art, capturing the immortal However, if the reader isn t led to feel anything, isn t drawn in, isn t captivated by the circumstances of the individuals in this conflict that he is attempting to capture is anything eternized Personally, I kinda just want to forget it, and now I m not sure I have the urge to finish the trilogy

  9. says:

    In a literary world whose bestseller lists are clogged up with chick lit and the memoirs of C list celebs, it may seem churlish to make the chief criticism of Amitav Ghosh s 519 page River Of Smoke that of over ambition.Ghosh s novel the second in a trilogy that began with the Booker shortlisted Sea Of Poppies in 2008 is an epic by any standards extraordinarily researched superb in its evocation of a distant time and place But strictly in the context of the literary firmament into which the critical reaction to Sea Of Poppies has placed him, you can t help feeling that Ghosh s account of events leading up to the first Opium War in China in 1840 whilst always as elegaic as they are exhaustive might have benefited from a brutal edit River Of Smoke is set predominantly in the Chinese port of Canton, where a ragged cast of characters eventually converge as a consequence of a terrible storm which unshackles prisoners and swamps precious cargo holds of the so called black dirt the opium that British traders have been harvesting on the sub continent and smuggling into China over generations generally with the tacit approval of the Chinese authorities.As the drug takes root in Chinese society, however, a crackdown looms, threatening the livelihoods of the merchants who have grown grotesquely rich on its profits, and who see no reason why China s reinforcement of opium s illegality ought to be allowed to restrict their lucrative trade.At the centre of the story is Bahram, a Parsi trader from Bombay, who seeks to land the enormous haul that will finally earn him the respect of his rich wife s family, and enable him to finally buy their export business outright.Bahram is an ingenious creation a deeply flawed character, an opium trader with a large and generous heart a man at once covetous of and repulsed by the exclusive Club run by the gluttinous British brigade, who undoubtedly seek his membership purely as a means to suit their own ends an undercurrent of racism is implied throughout.Bahram s poor background lends a delicious subtlety to what is otherwise an insight into early Colonialism at its worst.it is not my hand that passes sentence upon those who choose the indulgence of opium. opines one British captain in response to entreaties to withhold his cargo for the good of the Chinese people It is the work of another, invisible omnipotent it is the hand of freedom, of the market, of the spirit of liberty itself, which is none other than the breath of God It itself, Ghosh s chronicle of the rising tensions between the Chinese authorities and the British merchants, which would end in war, the Treaty of Nanking and, ultimately, the secession of Hong Kong to British rule, is a shocking, riveting and undoubtedly brilliant piece of work, told in a dazzling array of colloquial tongues and imbued with no little amount of irony in respect of the economic emergence of China and India today.Settle for that central theme, you feel, and Ghosh would have an instant classic on his hands Where he falls a little short, however, is in the sheer scope of his novel His cast of characters is extraordinary, yet so many are virtual transients, their back stories carefully laid bare before they disappear back into Canton s crowded alleys, that they become almost impossible to remember they are often drawn into the ever tangled web by coincidences that seem a little far fetched a chance meeting, for example, in the Wordy Market, a bustling place of which the narrator asks where else could a man go, clothed in nothing but a loincloth, and walk away in a whalebone corset and silk slippers The momentum of the central story is also weighed down somewhat by a secondary plot which concerns another storm survivor, Paulette, who is rescued from a run down garden by an esteemed English botanist, and charged with discovering the elusive and possibly mythical golden camellia a flower, it is said, with financial potential than the tea plant.Barred from docking in Canton as a foreign woman, Paulette sets an artist friend, Robin Chinnery, the task of discovering the plant his travails are recorded in a series of letters which pock mark the second part of the novel Despite the engaging conceit, however, it is here the plot peters out Chinnery s letters recreate a rich Cantonese street life, but otherwise serve little purpose Paulette is rendered pretty much an after thought, and the eventual merging of the two strands is somewhat tenuous.If all this seems rather negative, it is not especially intended to be Have no doubt River Of Smoke is an epic, intense, richly rewarding novel, and one which its few frustrations do little to spoil It is by any standards an excellent book The abiding frustration is that it might have been a great one.

  10. says:

    A Brilliant Indian Novel about the 19th Century Opium Trade with ChinaBalzac and lots of people after him thought that Behind every great fortune there is a crime Nowhere is that aphorism baldly illustrated than in the 19th Century opium trade that enriched England, Scotland, and the United States and created a score of hereditary fortunes that have left their mark on the world for nearly two centuries since After all, when Europeans introduced China to the practice of mixing opium with tobacco in the mid 18th Century, the one sided trade in Chinese porcelain, tea, silk, and other goods was rapidly draining Europe of silver and reinforcing China s position as the world s richest country The opium trade reversed that trend Early in the 19th Century, with the Industrial Revolution gathering force in Europe, China s nearly two century long decline was underway Meanwhile, massive profits from opium enriched the endowments of Harvard and Yale, helped build Princeton and Columbia Universities launched the fortunes of the Astors, the Delanos FDR s grandparents and bankrolled the Bell Telephone Company, antecedent of ATT.River of Smoke is the second book in Amitav Ghosh s planned Ibis trilogy set among the momentous events of the massive 19th Century opium trade between India and China The first book in the trilogy, Sea of Poppies, set the scene with an in depth look at the harvesting and manufacture of opium in India River of Smoke details the life at sea and in the foreign enclave in Canton of the immensely rich men who dominated the trade, principally Britons.Ghosh s sprawling novel spans the years 1838 and 1839, detailing the events in South China that led to the First Opium War The central plot line follows the journey of a poor Indian Parsi Zoroastrian named Bahram who had risen to lead the trade division of a celebrated Mumbai shipbuilding company owned by his wealthy in laws Though not yet rich himself, Bahram has become the dean of the Indian opium traders, realizing profits for the family as great as those of many of the British and Americans but, in the racist fashion of the times, he is looked down upon as inferior However, he comes to play a principal role in the traders increasingly tense and threatening dealings with the newly energized Chinese government, which has resolved to end the opium trade Bahram is the author s invention, but the English and American traders depicted in the novel come straight from the pages of history Any lover of language will find the writing of Amitav Ghosh irresistible I certainly did Both the dialogue and the narrative text in Sea of Poppies were enchanting Ghosh had immersed himself in contemporaneous dictionaries and wordlists of 1830s India and Britain to reproduce the language and the vocabulary of not one but several English dialects In fact, a great many of the novel s characters are historical figures who left behind memoirs, letters, parliamentary testimony, and other records, and as Ghosh notes in his acknowledgments, Much that is said in this book is taken from the characters own words Even colorful is the hybrid language that emerged from the marriage of English and Hindi and surfaces in dialogue throughout the book But in River of Smoke, it s the pidgin of 19th Century Canton that stands out, and wonderful it is to behold

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River of Smoke In September , A Storm Blows Up On The Indian Ocean And The Ibis, A Ship Carrying A Consignment Of Convicts And Indentured Laborers From Calcutta To Mauritius, Is Caught Up In The Whirlwind River Of Smoke Follows Its Storm Tossed Characters To The Crowded Harbors Of China There, Despite Efforts Of The Emperor To Stop Them, Ships From Europe And India Exchange Their Cargoes Of Opium For Boxes Tea, Silk, Porcelain And Silver Among Them Are Bahram Modi, A Wealthy Parsi Opium Merchant Out Of Bombay, His Estranged Half Chinese Son Ah Fatt, The Orphaned Paulette And A Motley Collection Of Others Whose Pursuit Of Romance, Riches And A Legendary Rare Flower Have Thrown Together All Struggle To Cope With Their Losses And For Some, Unimaginable Freedoms In The Alleys And Crowded Waterways Of Th Century Canton