Home > Indian Culture > Book: Sea of poppies

Book: Sea of poppies

I do not normally read fiction books. I was recently bored by reading many technical papers and one day I got ‘Sea of poppies‘ in my hands and I couldn’t stop reading it.

The story in the novel is situated in 19th century British india,  which was addicted to opium trade.  The story attempts to bring together all kinds of people of the time on a ship traveling to Mauritius. The author has crafted a marvelous story to illustrate  views of these people about the world around them. The story is full of drama and planted with many historical facts and circumstances. I am very much impressed with the author’s understanding about the 19th century India.

An Indian can see nothing but evil in the British empire and a Brit tends to engage in cost benefit analysis. The Brit will ask you if there are no benefits of the empire to India. Certainly, we can count some benefits. For the Brit, this is sufficient for not calling the empire as absolute evil. In my view, nothing is absolute evil, but the British empire was work of some very nasty people and their perpetual pretense of building a virtuous empire.  This pretense still continues in the minds of many people, like Andrew Roberts. Sea of poppies very well exposes this pretense.

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  1. Vaibhav
    May 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Yes, I like Amitav Ghosh for same reason, painting history with a human touch. ‘The Hungry Tide’ is what I read first and spend next few months reading whatever I could get hands on by him. ‘The Glass Palace’ was a real treat to history, and the ‘Sea of Poppies’ (which I am told is going to be part of a trilogy), was fantastic as well.

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