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The Far Pavilions (1978)

by M. M. Kaye

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Far Pavilions (Omnibus)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,388676,392 (4.13)235
From its beginning in the foothills of the towering Himalayas, to the burning plains, to the besieged British Mission in Kabul., 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. It begins in 1857 when, following the Indian Mutiny, young English orphan Ashton is disguised by his ayah Sita as her Indian son, Ashok. As he forgets his true identity, his destiny is set. This is a story of divided loyalties and fierce friendship; of true love made impossible by class and race; a critique of the imperialist adventure; and an examination of the cultural and spiritual clash between East and West.… (more)
  1. 40
    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)
  2. 20
    The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 10
    Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 00
    Raj by Gita Mehta (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 00
    Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March (inge87)
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» See also 235 mentions

English (64)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Doesn't really wear well ( )
  mrsnickleby | Nov 14, 2023 |
I watched the TV mini-series around the time of the 1984 Olympics (made a change from watching "V"!) and whilst the events are in a different order here, it is essentially the same story.[return][return]Ash is born in India to English parents, who are killed during an uprising when Ash is still a young boy. He is rescued by his nursemaid, who passes him off as her son, since he is dark enough to pass as a native. His new mother gets a job in the palace of a maharaja, and Ash becomes the bodyguard/playmate of his favourite son. He is also followed around by the baby half-sister of the prince who has developed a crush on him. Ash makes enemies of some of the royal household by protecting the prince, and as his second mother lies dying he finds out that he is really english and must go back to his homeland.[return][return]Back in England he is taught to be a proper sahib, although he always feels that the Indians are hard done by. After passing his army exams, he is sent back to India. One of his duties is to escort two princesses to their new palace for their marriage. During the trip he realises that one of the princesses is the one who followed him around as a child, and he is pulled back into the politics and the murderous enemies who stalked him as a child. Against his better (or worse) judgement he leaves Anjuli and Sushila with their new husband, and continues to perform as a Sahib in the English Army.[return][return]Finally he gets word that Anjuli's husband has died and has insisted on Suttee - a practise made illegal by the british, but still practised, where the live brides are placed on the funeral pyre of their husbands and are burned to death. He races back to rescue Anjuli, but cannot rescue Sushila, and has to kill her on the pyre. Then there is a big rush to escape and Ash leaves the army to live with Anjuli in the mountains.
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
MAgnum Opus ( )
  harishwriter | Oct 12, 2023 |
[b:The Far Pavilions|10222|The Far Pavilions|M.M. Kaye|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403391799s/10222.jpg|114] by [a: M.M. Kay|5665898|M.M. Kay|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] is one of my all time favorites.

As a young adult, I did not have much money, but I did belong to a book club. My selections were always the fattest and most interesting books I could get.

"The Far Pavilions" did not disappoint. I lived in California, and had once been to Mexico, but there were no exotic travels in my itinerary. My future did not hold travels to far lands. When I started to read this book, it was like I became a different person.

Looking back now, I would say this was a romanticized version of the history of the British domination of an Indian subcontinent, "The Far Pavilions" opened my mind and heart to parts of history I never knew.

[b: The Far Pavilions |10222|The Far Pavilions|M.M. Kaye|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403391799s/10222.jpg|114] is a fantastic time machine, for many years I recommended this book to any person seeking a good read. ( )
  ourBooksLuvUs | Aug 20, 2023 |
Being woefully ignorant of history, I didn't know how frustrating and ultimately tragic this historical fiction was going to be. I did find the main character Ash a tad irritating at times only to be brought up short by the realization of how young he was (he is still under 30 at the end of this epic!).

The narrator (whose name escapes me at the moment) was terrific. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kaye, M. M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adam, VikasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loon, Parma vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Tennyson
Dedication
To all those Officers and Men
of different races and creeds who,
since 1846, have served with such pride and devotion
in
THE CORPS OF GUIDES
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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From its beginning in the foothills of the towering Himalayas, to the burning plains, to the besieged British Mission in Kabul., 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. It begins in 1857 when, following the Indian Mutiny, young English orphan Ashton is disguised by his ayah Sita as her Indian son, Ashok. As he forgets his true identity, his destiny is set. This is a story of divided loyalties and fierce friendship; of true love made impossible by class and race; a critique of the imperialist adventure; and an examination of the cultural and spiritual clash between East and West.

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