Little did he knew that this is going to change his life forever. The second part takes him on a long voyage to China to assist his employers in setting up their base withthe help of local viceroy.
The third and last part makes a forward leap to the adopted son in the remote Indonesian island, as an official of customs at its ports. The writing is fascinating and Kunal is able to take us through the life of Hiren from the orthodox Brahmin family to the complex and notorious trade of narcotics, from the shores of Calcutta to Hongkong and South China. Often put in the middle of the conflicts, Hiren, introduced an Indian Prince was requested to get in the dangerous game of getting the rebels and the rulers in the path of surrender.
The fate made him the silent spectator of the mass murder of many under the British and Chinese rulers. The language is very vivid and descriptive and the subject is interesting. This is my second book of Kunal Basu. He is a good writer, with flowing language and very visual style of writing. You sit back in the dark recesses of colonial history, almost with a sigh of contentment. This is familiar territory; the Calcutta of sahibs and superintendents, of memsahibs as frail in their muslin chemises as the poppy flower itself, of Chowringhee in all its imperial glory, setting itself aflame to welcome another Viceroy, while at the back, in the crowded alleys and lanes, the teeming life of the natives.
It's as sharply etched in black and white as a Daniells' print, until you notice that blurring the edges is the blue-gray smoke that winds through the centre singeing the image so that nothing is left, except an acrid sense of loss. By this time, you have inhaled so deeply of the potent weed that you cannot say whether it is the effect of the opiate however removed that has drugged your senses into accepting the strange visions that Basu conjures before you, or whether it is his skill as a fabulist that powers his narrative.
Catalog Record: The opium question | HathiTrust Digital Library
It hardly matters that the Kolkata-born Basu is a first time novelist, or that the blurb describes him as a teacher in some of the better known universities of North America and the UK, without telling you what he teaches. He has opium in his blood.
There is nothing timid about Basu's intentions. He starts off briskly with the precipitous birth of his hero in the midst of the turmoil of the Mutiny that leaves him fatherless. Arthur Golden. Marlon James.
THE OPIUM CLERK. A Novel | Kunal Basu | First Edition
Diane Setterfield. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Categories: Contemporary Fiction Historical Fiction. The Opium Clerk. Description Kunal Basu's panoramic first novel follows the vagaries of Hiran's life, and the flow of the opium trade, from Calcutta to Canton.
Disguised as a missionary, he survives cholera, piracy and war in China, arriving back in India to find his homeland on the verge of another rebellion. And he finds himself suddenly father to a half-caste son, the child abandoned by the Englishman and his wife when they fled back in disgrace to Britain.
As Hiran dedicates himself to the education of his new son, the cycle of regeneration continues. Douglas, now an adult, neither black nor white, flees India himself for the Orient, again carried along on the flood of opium, this time to Borneo, to Sarawak: the land of the White Rajahs. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions Bestsellers in Historical Fiction. The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris. Add to basket. Cilka's Journey Heather Morris.
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