Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I'm about 50 pages from finishing Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy.  The third book is, frustratingly, the most exciting and the most long-winded.  It focuses on the British takeover of Hong Kong from China during the Opium Wars (using mostly Indian troops) and that stuff is great.  But he also throws out at least four difference romantic sub-plots that are all pretty similar and not nearly as funny as he seems to think they are.
Also, five pages of a long joke about masturbation is great.  50 pages, not so much.
Still, he’s a master of evocation.  You really feel as if you’re there, watching the British annihilate Chinese forces in order to force China to take in opium grown in India.  (The gleeful British traders coined the phrase "free trade" to celebrate their triumph.)
It just feels like the final installment was a bit of a chore at 600 pages, whereas I flew through the first two.

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