HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Passage to India (Folio Society) by E.M.…
Loading...

A Passage to India (Folio Society) (original 1924; edition 2005)

by E.M. Forster, Glynn Boyd Harte (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,654102351 (3.77)468
Member:li33ieg
Title:A Passage to India (Folio Society)
Authors:E.M. Forster
Other authors:Glynn Boyd Harte (Illustrator)
Info:Folio Society (2008), Hardback with slipcase, 292 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites, Folio Society
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, India, Raj

Work details

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (1924)

  1. 50
    The Raj Quartet, Volume 1: The Jewel in the Crown; The Day of the Scorpion by Paul Scott (FemmeNoiresque)
    FemmeNoiresque: Scott's The Raj Quartet, and particularly the relationship between Daphne Manners and Hari Kumar in the first novel, The Jewel In The Crown, is a revisioning of the charge of rape made by Adela Quested to Dr Aziz. Race, class and empire are explored in the aftermath of this event, in WWII India.… (more)
  2. 50
    Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster (li33ieg)
    li33ieg: Same author, different setting, same core themes
  3. 30
    The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: You could use the theme of colonialism to pair The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver with Passage to India by E. M. Forster.
  4. 41
    Maurice by E. M. Forster (li33ieg)
    li33ieg: The man is brilliant! One should read all of his books!
  5. 21
    The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: These two novels bear close relationship in setting and circumstance.
  6. 10
    Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (Booksloth)
  7. 00
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (WildMaggie)
  8. 00
    Staying On by Paul Scott (KayCliff)
  9. 00
    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (kiwiflowa)
  10. 00
    Slowly Down the Ganges by Eric Newby (John_Vaughan)
  11. 00
    Hindoo Holiday: An Indian Journal by J. R. Ackerley (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  12. 23
    The Jewel in the Crown [1984 TV Mini-Series] by Christopher Morahan (li33ieg)
    li33ieg: Similar period and themes
1920s (3)
Unread books (1,041)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 468 mentions

English (96)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
I almost gave up on this one because almost nothing happens for the first 150 pages and the prose is extremely dry. The author paints a very precise portrait of racism and class-ism in British occupied India.

It is easy to see why so many people hold this book in such high regard; it was obviously groundbreaking when it was published. It will never take the place of To Kill a Mockingbird in my heart.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Audiobook narrated by Sam Dastor.
3.5***

In 1920s northern India an older British matron, Mrs Moore, arrives to visit her son, Ronny Heaslop, who is the British city magistrate of Chandrapore. She is accompanied by Miss Adela Quested, a young, naïve, somewhat repressed school teacher, who is to be engaged to Mrs Moore’s son. When Mrs Moore visits a local mosque she encounters Dr Aziz, a local Muslim doctor, and they become friendly. After a second meeting, he offers to take Mrs Moore, Miss Quested and a group of friends on a day trip to visit the famous Marabar Caves. At the caves something happens to frighten Miss Quested, with the result that Aziz is accused of a scandalous crime.

This classic explores class differences and the clash of cultures. Every character seems to have a preconceived notion of how “the others” should behave (or have always acted), and each reacts based on these preconceived notions. Their strongly held opinions on how “every Indian” or “all Hindus” or “those British” behave, think, and feel color all their interactions, with the result that no one sees clearly what is really happening. Even the “good” characters fall victim to their own prejudices, frequently without realizing it. Friendships are broken, and even when a character realizes his/her mistake there seems no way to undo the damage.

I have never visited India, but the novel gives me a sense of what it might have been like during the era of British Raj. Tensions are high with Indians chaffing under British rule. And yet there is a certain “romance” about the adventure of visiting this very foreign place.

Sam Dastor is merely adequate voicing the audio book. The voices he uses for the women are high pitched to the point of screeching. And several of the Indians don’t sound much better. I suppose he was trying to help differentiate the characters in those long back-and-forth conversations, but it just irritated me. 2** for his narration. ( )
  BookConcierge | Apr 30, 2016 |
Contains light spoilers.

With a backdrop of British Colonial India, A Passage to India is the story of Dr. Aziz, a Muslim Indian physician who is sympathetic and welcoming of the Brits. The story begins with Dr. Aziz meeting an elderly lady who is visiting her son with Miss Quested, a flighty priggish young woman who wants to meet a "real Indian." Dr. Aziz, in welcoming exuberance, gives a polite but insincere invitation to his house and is shocked when Miss Quested takes him up on the offer. Embarrassed by his home, Dr. Aziz instead suggests that he host a trip to the Marabar caves. But in those caves, Miss Quested gets lost, and in her fear thinks that Dr. Aziz has accosted her, when he is actually in another cave looking for her.

A Passage to India was a fantastic book on so many levels. With Miss Quested's ill-advised acceptance of Dr. Aziz's invitation (among many other ill-advised behaviors from the ladies), it highlights the differences between Indian culture and British culture. Dr. Aziz is overly accommodating, and the stand-offish British are entirely unaware of his putting himself out--they take all his welcoming exuberance quite literally.

The characterization was also quite deep. For instance, it showed Miss Quested's priggishness by her wish to see a "real Indian," her pronounced reserve by her interactions with her potential fiance, and her openness to suggestion by her continued accusations of Dr. Aziz (which she seemed unsure of, but which were egged on by others of the British community).

The writing style was sleek and symbolic. For instance at one point, before any of the horrifying incidents unfold, Mrs. Moore sees a wasp which reminds her vaguely of Indian culture. This wasp foreshadows the horrible events that follow.

And most importantly, the A Passage to India outlined the failings of British colonialism, the blindness and priggishness of the British impressions of Indian people, and the resulting hostilities.

I loved this book. This is my first Forster book that I've read, and it will most certainly not be my last. ( )
1 vote The_Hibernator | Mar 11, 2016 |
A young British schoolmistress, Adela Quested, and her elderly friend, Mrs. Moore, visit the fictional city of Chandrapore, British India. On their arrival, Adela is to marry Mrs. Moore's son, Ronny Heaslop, the city magistrate.

Meanwhile, Dr. Aziz, a young Muslim Indian physician, is dining with two of his Indian friends and conversing about whether it is possible to be friends with an Englishman. During the meal, a summons arrives from Major Callendar, Aziz's unpleasant superior at the hospital. Aziz hastens to Callendar's bungalow as ordered, but is delayed by a flat tyre and difficulty in finding a tonga and the major has already left in a huff.

Disconsolate, Aziz walks down the road toward the train station. When he sees his favorite mosque, a rather ramshackle but beautiful structure, he enters on impulse. When he sees a strange Englishwoman there, he angrily yells at her not to profane this sacred place. The woman, however, turns out to be Mrs. Moore. Her respect for native customs (she took off her shoes on entering) disarms Aziz, and the two chat and part friends.

Mrs. Moore returns to the British club down the road and relates her experience at the mosque. Ronny Heaslop, her son, initially thinks she is talking about an Englishman, and becomes indignant when he learns the truth. He thinks she should have indicated by her tone that it was a "Mohammedan" who was in question. Adela, however, is intrigued.

Because the newcomers had expressed a desire to see Indians, Mr. Turton, the city tax collector, invites numerous Indian gentlemen to a party at his house. The party turns out to be an awkward business, thanks to the Indians' timidity and the Britons' bigotry, but Adela does meet Cyril Fielding, headmaster of Chandrapore's little government-run college for Indians. Fielding invites Adela and Mrs. Moore to a tea party with him and a Hindu-Brahmin professor named Narayan Godbole. On Adela's request, he extends his invitation to Dr. Aziz.

At Fielding's tea party, everyone has a good time conversing about India, and Fielding and Aziz even become great friends. Aziz buoyantly promises to take Mrs. Moore and Adela to see the Marabar Caves, a distant cave complex that everyone talks about but no one seems to actually visit. Aziz's Marabar invitation was one of those casual promises that people often make and never intend to keep. Ronny Heaslop arrives and rudely breaks up the party.

Aziz mistakenly believes that the women are really offended that he has not followed through with his promise and arranges the outing at great expense to himself. Fielding and Godbole were supposed to accompany the little expedition, but they miss the train.

Aziz and the women begin to explore the caves. In the first cave, however, Mrs. Moore is overcome with claustrophobia, for the cave is dark and Aziz's retinue has followed her in. The press of people nearly smothers her. But worse than the claustrophobia is the echo. No matter what sound one makes, the echo is always "Boum." Disturbed by the echo, Mrs. Moore declines to continue exploring. So Adela and Aziz, accompanied by a single guide, a local man, climb on up the hill to the next cluster of caves.

As Aziz helps Adela up the hill, she innocently asks him whether he has more than one wife. Disconcerted by the bluntness of the remark, he ducks into a cave to compose himself. When he comes out, he finds the guide sitting alone outside the caves. The guide says Adela has gone into one of the caves by herself. Aziz looks for her in vain. Deciding she is lost, he angrily punches the guide, who runs away. Aziz looks around again and discovers Adela's field-glasses (binoculars) lying broken on the ground. He puts them in his pocket.

Then Aziz looks down the hill and sees Adela speaking to another young Englishwoman, Miss Derek, who has arrived with Fielding in a car. Aziz runs down the hill and greets Fielding effusively, but Miss Derek and Adela have already driven off without a word of explanation. Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Aziz return to Chandrapore on the train.

Then the blow falls. At the train station, Dr. Aziz is arrested and charged with sexually assaulting Adela in a cave. She reports the alleged incident to the British authorities.

The run-up to Aziz's trial for attempted sexual assault releases the racial tensions between the British and the Indians. Adela has accused Aziz of only trying to touch her. She remembers the situation as him following her into the cave and trying to grab her. She fends him away by swinging her field glasses at him. She remembers him grabbing the glasses and the strap breaking which is what allows her to get away. The only actual evidence the British have is the field glasses in the possession of Dr. Aziz. This is no matter to the British colonists at Chandrapore, who are outraged by the alleged assault, but no one is really shocked. For at the back of all their minds is the conviction that all darker peoples lust after white women. Holding this attitude, they are understandably stunned when Fielding proclaims his belief in Aziz's innocence. Fielding is ostracized and condemned as a blood-traitor. But the Indians, who consider the assault allegation a fraud aimed at ruining their community's reputation, welcome him.

During the weeks before the trial, Mrs. Moore is unexpectedly apathetic and irritable. Her experience in the cave seems to have ruined her interest and faith in humanity. Although she curtly professes her belief in Aziz's innocence, she does nothing to help him. She insists on taking a ship back to England before the trial takes place. She dies during the voyage.

After an initial period of fever and weeping, Adela becomes confused as to Aziz's guilt. At the trial, she is asked point-blank whether Aziz sexually assaulted her. She asks for a moment to think before replying. She has a vision of the cave in that moment, and it turns out that Adela had, while in the cave, received a shock similar to Mrs. Moore's. The echo had disconcerted her so much that she temporarily became unhinged. She ran frantically around the cave, fled down the hill, and finally sped off with Miss Derek. At the time, Adela mistakenly interpreted her shock as an assault by Aziz, who personifies the India that has stripped her of her psychological innocence, but he was never there. With laudable honesty and bravery, she proclaims her mistake. The case is dismissed.

All the Anglo-Indians, who had eagerly rallied to her support, are shocked and infuriated by what they view as Adela's betrayal of the white race. Mrs. Turton shrieks insults at her, and Ronny Heaslop soon breaks off their engagement. Adela stays at the sympathetic Fielding's house until her passage on a boat to England is arranged. After explaining to Fielding that the echo was the cause of the whole business, she departs India, never to return.

Although he is free and vindicated, Aziz is angry and bitter that his friend, Fielding, would befriend Adela after she nearly ruined his life. The two men's friendship suffers in consequence, and Fielding soon departs for England. Aziz believes that he is leaving to marry Adela for her money, for which Fielding had dissuaded Aziz from suing her. Bitter at his friend's perceived betrayal, he vows never again to befriend a white person. Aziz moves to the Hindu-ruled state of Mau and begins a new life.

Two years later, Fielding returns to India and to Aziz. His wife is Stella, Mrs. Moore's daughter from a second marriage. Aziz, now the Raja's chief physician, at first persists in his anger against his old friend. But in time, he comes to respect and love Fielding again. However, he does not give up his dream of a free and united India. In the novel's last sentences, he explains that he and Fielding cannot be friends, at least not until India is free of the British Raj. Even the earth and the sky seem to say, "Not yet."

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Look in here. It's foreign. We just can't say how it got there. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Forster, E. M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Magadini, ChristopherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, Scott RussellAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stallybrass, OliverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Syed Ross Masood and to the seventeen years of our friendship
First words
Except for the Marabar caves--and they are twenty miles off--the city of Chrandrapore presents nothing extraordinary.
Quotations
"We must exclude someone from our gathering, or we shall be left with nothing."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A mysterious incident at the Marabar caves, involving Adela Quested, newly arrived from England, and the presumed guilt of charming and mercurial Dr. Aziz, are at the centre of Forster's magnificent novel of India during the Raj. Topical now, as in 1924, in its evocation of the dangers and ambivalences inherent in colonialism, as Forster said, it is 'about something wider than politics, about the search of the human race for a more lasting home, about the universe as embodied in the Indian earth and the Indian sky, about the horror lurking in the Marabar caves...'
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

In this hard-hitting novel, first published in 1924, the murky personal relationship between an Englishwoman and an Indian doctor mirrors the troubled politics of colonialism. Adela Quested and her fellow British travelers, eager to experience the "real" India, develop a friendship with the urbane Dr. Aziz. While on a group outing, Adela and Dr. Aziz visit the Marabar caves together. As they emerge, Adela accuses the doctor of assaulting her. While Adela never actually claims she was raped, the decisions she makes ostracize her from both her countrymen and the natives, setting off a complex chain of events that forever changes the lives of all involved. This intense and moving story asks the listener serious questions about preconceptions regarding race, sex, religion, and truth. A political and philosophical masterpiece.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5 3
1 29
1.5 5
2 102
2.5 21
3 340
3.5 112
4 583
4.5 77
5 332

Audible.com

4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014144116X, 0143566385

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,792,799 books! | Top bar: Always visible