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The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye

The Far Pavilions (1978)

by M. M. Kaye

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Far Pavilions (Omnibus)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,681414,249 (4.13)106
  1. 10
    Staying On by Paul Scott (BayanX)
    BayanX: India at the end for Englishmen - quite poignant, actually, what. "Don't leave me Tusker".
  2. 10
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling (MarthaJeanne)
    MarthaJeanne: I think that Ash in Far Pavillions was based partly on Kim. Both books deal with the ambivalence between cultures of those who were brought up in a different culture to the one they belonged to by birth and later education. Both are also great adventure stories that take place during the British Raj in India. The big difference being that Kim only deals with childhood, but Ash has to go on to life as an adult.… (more)
  3. 10
    The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 00
    Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 00
    Raj by Gita Mehta (mcenroeucsb)

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» See also 106 mentions

English (40)  Spanish (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Went through and read every M.M. Kaye book many years ago. I remember I loved all of them. ( )
  CC123 | Aug 10, 2015 |
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye; BFB, 1191 pages; ROOT, {acquired prior to L/T}; (5*)

This is an amazing read. The tale follows the life of Ashton also known as Ashok, a man who straddles several cultures in nineteenth-century India. He is the son of aristocratic English parents and is born in the hills of India. His mother dies at his birth and his father dies a few years later of cholera. He is raised by his Hindi nursemaid who raises him as her son to protect him when revolution breaks out.
The child grows up as a servant in the royal palace of the small kingdom of Gulkote, near the Himalayan mountains, ie: The Far Pavilions. He develops a special friendship with Anjuli, the out-of-favor daughter of the Raj, whose mother died and was supplanted by a dangerous schemer. Anjuli and Ashok tell each other magical stories and dream daydreams together when they can get away. These stories and dreams help sustain them through the cruel intrigues of the royal court.
When those intrigues almost cost Ash his life he is smuggled out of Gulkote and returned to England to claim his birthright, only returning many years later as an adult in the Royal army. With his special understanding of the cultures, his command of so many languages and perspectives of India, he still finds his birth culture alien and insensitive, and he discovers that perhaps nothing can stop the revolutionary movements that are battling more and more violently against the rule of the British Raj.
A chance assignment reunites him with Anjuli, now a grown woman who has managed to survive the intrigues of the court. Ultimately, as India ignites around them, they will have to flee together to seek out the kingdom of their childhood dreams, but the journey along the way is memorable, astonishing, and will keep you awake into the night reading this marvelous book.
Kaye's story is vivid, detailed and very well researched that's made all the more accurate by the fact that Kaye herself was born in India and educated in England. The story actually derives from a tale she heard in India of a strange wedding. When she found the diary of an English officer who had been involved in the real life incident she realized she had the makings of a fascinating story. It's a rare writer who can take such a story and weave it into something this epic and beautiful and not to be missed. It is a wonderful adventure and I was sorry when it came to an end. There was not one part of the book that I was not fascinated by; so many details of a world unknown to me. ( )
  rainpebble | May 11, 2015 |
This was not a page-turner. I could read it for 4 to 5 pages at a time, then got bored. There were characters that appeared, left for a while, and then came back. A few characters died off. Some were present the whole time. I felt a sense of loss when I neared the end, thinking, "I will miss these people." I don't understand why the author did not write about the couple years Ash spent looking for guns between books 2 and 3, and why the author locked Ash in a room during the battle at the end. She missed out on page-turning opportunities. ( )
  mainrun | Aug 5, 2014 |
Lovely, lyrical, entrancing poem of a book. I haven't read it for many years but it lives on vividly in my memory. It works as a historical epic, a tale of love conquering all, an adventure story.. I would rather see young people read something like this than Harry Potter for example, for a book like this will engender a love of reading that lasts a lifetime, as it did for me. Just a superb piece of writing. ( )
  drmaf | Nov 5, 2013 |
This is a big novel, part romantic fantasy and part a gritty history of invasion and war. It has to be big, to combine the two. Historically, it’s fascinating and very real. Romantically, it’s pleasurable and escapist, with dashing heroes and rescued princesses. It never gets overly sentimental, and the writing is both precise and dynamic. The close description of a suttee chilled me to the bone.

What holds the history and the fantasy together is a detailed understanding of India and Afghanistan, and of Britain’s relationships with these two countries in the late 19th century. The relationships between many religions, practiced by people living at close quarters with each other, is an ongoing theme of this novel. It’s really about the intersections between cultures. The geography of this novel is amazing too, beautifully and lovingly described.
( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
M. M. Kayeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adam, VikasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loon, Parma vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We are the Pilgrims, Master: We shall go

Always a little further. It may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,
White on a throne, or guarded in a cave
There lives a prophet who can understand
Why men are born . . .

James Elroy Flecker
T'is not too late to seek a newer world.
To all those Officers and Men
of different races and creeds who,
since 1846, have served with such pride and devotion
among them
Lieutenant Walter Hamilton V.C.,
my husband Major General Goff Hamilton CD, CBE, DSO,
and his father Colonel Bill Hamilton OBE, DL, JP.
First words
Ashton Hilary Akbar Pelham-Martyn was born in a camp near the crest of a pass in the Himalayas, and subsequently christened in a patent canvas bucket.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031215125X, Paperback)

When The Far Pavilions was first published nineteen years ago, it moved the critic Edmund Fuller to write this: "Were Miss Kaye to produce no other book, The Far Pavilions might stand as a lasting accomplishment in a single work comparable to Margaret Mitchell's achievement in Gond With the Wind."

From its beginning in the foothills of the towering Himalayas, M.M. Kaye's masterwork is a vast, rich and vibrant tapestry of love and war that ranks with the greatest panoramic sagas of modern fiction.

The Far Pavilions is itself a Himalayan achievement, a book we hate to see come to an end. it is a passionate, triumphant story that excites us, fills us with joy, move us to tears, satisfies us deeply, and helps us remember just what it is we want most from a novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The story of an Englishman brought up as an Hindu and his passionate , but dangerous love for Juli, an indian princess.

» see all 6 descriptions

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