“Super interesting take on expat life. I think Forster captures the nuances really well, as I used to be a brat-expat in the Middle East and can relate to a lot of what's described in this book.”Nicole S wrote this review Saturday, November 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very poetic and flowery language - a joy to listen to. I think I need awhile to process the deeper meaning of all this, especially in light of India's eventually-successful struggle for independence, which culminated 20-some years subsequent to this novel's publication.
A better understanding of the "hundred Indias" prior to reading this novel would have put me in a much better place to understand the issues at the heart of this novel - that Indians effected their own subjugation to Great Britain as a result of continually trying to please and welcome the people who would oppress them.
A case of a confused British woman incorrectly accusing an Indian of attempted rape (the facts of which are never completely explained, other than the certainty that the accused was, in fact, completely innocent) is enough to bring to the surface all the underlying cruelty and racism of the relationship between the Brits and their Indian "protectorates". The story centers around the accused Indian (Aziz) and the transformation of his attitude toward the Brits from willing, accomodating, and welcoming to bitter, resentful, and generally anti-British. Aziz, in my mind at any rate, represents India in general and its changing attitude toward the presence of westerners.
I enjoyed the novel, especially the motivation it gave me to explore deeper into a facet of world history I knew very little about prior to this.”
“I am listening to this on Audible. Not my usual read, but I am finding it interesting.
“Forster has perceived the ironies and contradictions of India (as it then was) quite well. Ofcourse, the book does not embrace the whole of India as he himself through the character of Dr. Aziz says, "Nothing embraces the whole of India, nothing, nothing." The book addresses several issues- the prejudices weighing in the minds of the Indians and the British, the class divide, the differences in culture and outlook and lastly religion, which naturally turns towards spirituality. The novel displays insight, research and also wit. ”Vismai wrote this review Friday, August 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Clash of cultures when an Indian man is accused of a crime against an English woman.”Lise Lyng Falkenberg wrote this review Thursday, June 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Forster complicates notions of India and nationhood a great deal. We listened to this on audiobook, which made portions hard to follow, particularly at the beginning. But there are large portions of poetic prose that make this book worth listening to.”Lance Cummings wrote this review Sunday, May 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“At first, I enjoyed this book's subtlety and nuance. It begins to tackle compelling topics and present them in an interesting manner. Ultimately, however, I am overwhelmed by the depressing and atheistic tone of this book. It is Waiting for Godot meets a really long boring book in India. ”Mrs. D wrote this review Thursday, April 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was just plain depressing. The story has a somewhat happy ending, but it's made you so cynical leading up to that point that it just seems like a bad joke. This book has fantasic imagery though, and E.M. Forster really makes you think. About what specifically is exactly the point.”Erin Grasse wrote this review Sunday, April 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I couldn't get into this one. It seemed a bit choppy and I found it hard to read. I made it past chapter 3 and decided to put it down.”booksandbeach wrote this review Monday, March 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The story of A Passage to India is a very complex one. Forster weaves together the lives of four main characters: Aziz, an Indian doctor; Mr. Fielding, an English principal; Ms. Quested, a young English woman; and Mrs. Moore, her mother-in-law to be. All these characters are so uniquely different and clash and collide when it comes to so many different topics, be it religion, culture, colonialism, sexuality...it makes the book hard to follow at some points. Although I guess the main idea with which they are all struggling to figure out is whether or not the English and Indians can be friends with one another while the Indian people are living under English colonial rule. The book starts out with Aziz and his friends debating this very issue and all the characters, aside from Mrs. Moore possibly, seem to go back and forth on the this topic quite a bit throughout the course of the novel.
I think what I found to be particularly great about this book was that every character was flawed. No one was perfect. At the climax of the story Aziz is accused of harassing Ms. Quested in a cave and put on trial. While Forster could have easily turned this into an anti-English narrative, he did not. He gave every character many many layers. Not one character was all good or all bad. The English had their flaws as did the Indians.
As I said, it was a very complex book and I think the randomness of the conversations between Aziz and Fielding made it harder for me to understand at times what was going on. I also don’t know much about India in general and I feel that if I did I would have possibly appreciated the book more. However I’m glad to have read it. It’s something that I will have to keep thinking over for some time.”