This book really disappointed me. I have always loved Ghosh's books, so I would have to call this a big let down. This book needs a glossary of Indian terms. Maybe the dialogue was made real through these terms, but it also became impossible to really understand the what was being said. Most paragraphs had terms that were not defined either in Wikipedia or any dictionary I could find on the net. Sure some of the terms I found on the net or knew from previous reading, but MANY I could only guess at from the context. This was very annoying and wrecked the book for me. I could never enjoy the plot. Also, the book synopsis here on GoodReads is not correct. The purpose of the voyage of the schooner Ibis was NOT to fight the 19th century's opium wars. Not at all! I could not become attached to any of the characters since often I had difficulty understanding what they were sying.