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A Passage to India

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  49,490 Ratings  ·  2,316 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Britain’s three-hundred-year relationship with the Indian subcontinent produced much fiction of interest but only one indisputable masterpiece: E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, published in 1924, at the height of the Indian independence movement. Centering on an ambiguous incident between a young Englishwoman of uncertain stability and an I ...more
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published November 3rd 1992 by Everyman's Library (first published 1924)
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Kateřina I think it was just claustrophobia - hot day, the air in the caves was different, maybe a bat? Also, the clothes women wore back then were much more…moreI think it was just claustrophobia - hot day, the air in the caves was different, maybe a bat? Also, the clothes women wore back then were much more constricting, so it could have possibly contributed.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 08, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Adventures do occur, but not punctually. Life rarely gives us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate.”

 photo IMG_0778_zps7691e8b1.jpg
Illustrations from the Folio Edition by Ian Ribbons.

Adela Quested and Mrs. Moore have journeyed to India with the intention of arranging a marriage between Adela and Mrs. Moore’s son Ronny Heaslop. He is the British magistrate of the city of Chandrapore. He is imperial, much more so than when Adela knew him in England.

”India had developed sides of his character that she had never
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Samadrita
Make no mistake. This, to me, will always be Forster's magnum opus even though I am yet to even acquaint myself with the synopses of either Howards End or Maurice. Maybe it is the handicap of my Indian sentimentality that I cannot remedy on whim to fine-tune my capacity for objective assessment. But strip away a colonial India from this layered narrative. Peel away the British Raj too and the concomitant censure that its historical injustices invite. And you will find this to be Forster's unambi ...more
Henry Avila
Aug 10, 2016 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adela Quested, a plain looking, young , affable, and naive English school teacher, travels to distant India in the early 1920's, accompanied by the elderly , kind, Mrs. Moore, (maybe her future mother-in-law) a widow twice, and see the real country, more important, to decide if she will marry Mrs. Moore's son, the magistrate, of the unimportant city of Chandrapore, disillusioned Ronny Heaslop ( he dislikes Indians now)...Conditions are very uneasy in India, the natives hate the British rulers, a ...more
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can there ever be friendship between the colonizer and colonized? Individuals from each group? Can that trust last? Can it flourish? What happens when events put it under stress?

Forster has no easy answers in this book, as he dissects British colonial rule in India, and its impact on Indians and the British who have come there expressly to rule over India.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to th
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Fionnuala
Jan 27, 2015 Fionnuala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So easy going - and then wham!
Quentin Tarantino could learn a lot from E M Forster. He'd learn that there's no need to pile on the menace in the early stages. The shock, when it comes is much more effective if the reader/viewer has been led into thinking all is ordinary and relatively safe. Forster is a master story teller, and a true philosopher as well.
Kim
Nov 10, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

In some ways it's hard to believe that this was published in 1924, given the prescience Forster demonstrates in relation to the future of the British Raj. Towards the end of the novel, one of the central characters, Dr Aziz, effectively predicts that Indians will throw out the British when England is is involved in another war in Europe and articulates - albeit not in so many words - the need for Indians to identify as Indians rather than as members of their individual religious communities in o
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Shovelmonkey1
Jul 12, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for literary nytol
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Written in 1924 this so called literary classic and 1001 book is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the slow move towards Independence. This book has been showered with awards - I gave my copy of a good shake just to see if any of the awards had got stuck between the pages - although personally the only award I would be inclined to hand out for E.M Forster's most famous novel would be the highly coveted shovelmonkey1 pillow award for producing an epic snooze fest.

I read this book w
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Jan-Maat
In a novel with the line “a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent” it is no surprise that the centre of this cloud of writing is the idea of the difficulty, or the possible impossibility of communication and direct connection between people.

Instead understanding has to be intuitive and incommunicable, Mrs Moore knows nothing has happened but can’t convince her son, how she knows or how Professor Godbole knows about her and the wasp is unclear and if we don’t like telepathy as an answer the
...more
Madeline
Sep 12, 2013 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list
"The sky settles everything - not only climates and seasons but when the earth shall be beautiful. By herself she can do little - only feeble outbursts of flowers. But when the sky chooses, glory can rain into the Chandrapore bazaars or a benediction pass from horizon to horizon. The sky can do this because it is so strong and so enormous. Strength comes from the sun, infused in it daily; size from the prostrate earth. No mountains infringe on the curve. League after league the earth lies flat, ...more
Carol
This tediously long 362 page story set in a 1924 British ruled India begins when an "old" (twice married) Mrs. Moore brings a plain freckled-faced Adela Quested on a visit to meet her son Ronny Heaslop, the City Magistrate, with hopes of marriage. Mrs. Moore soon befriends a local Indian and Surgeon, Dr. Aziz (view spoiler) causing a political uproar.

At this point in the novel.....a little over 160 page

...more
Kinga
Apr 26, 2015 Kinga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“A Passage to India” is most of all a story of a fragile friendship which carefully treads the cultural differences. It’s a story of tiny misunderstandings and silly errors and their dramatic consequences.

Adela Quested who arrives in colonial India with the best and purest intentions ends up causing irreparable damage to the reputation of an Indian doctor Dr Aziz, and in consequence ruins his friendship with Cyril Fielding, an English teacher.

Adela is not so much a heroine but a catalyst of th
...more
Diamond Cowboy
Jan 29, 2016 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a classic peace of literature. It describes the differences in the western mindset and the eastern way of thought. It shows how there are similarities in the two cultures of England and India. There are marked differences in the religeons of Hindoism, Budism, Islam, Christianity and intellectualism. I recommend this book highly to all.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Diamond
Mohammed
Nov 05, 2016 Mohammed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
description

الهند بلد برائحة البخور وطعم التوابل. بلد اﻹنسجام والمتناقضات. أكثر من مليار شخص يتحدثون بأكثر من عشرين لغة ويعتنقون مايربو عن 6 أديان.يجمعون بين التسامح والتعصب، المسالمة والمقاومة، السذاجة والنباهة.


لا يمكن أن أذكر هذه الرواية دون أن تعرج ذاكرتي على أيام دراستها في الكلية على يد طيب الذكر د.بلعيد طه شمسان، وهو يجول في القاعة كالجواد الجامح مرددا السؤال اﻷزلي عن الرواية: مالمغزى من الفصل اﻷخير وقد انتهت اﻷحداث الرئيسية ولاقى الكل مصيره؟ حماسه الفائض لا يباريه سوى لامبالاة الطلاب الذين لا يكترثو
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Jason
Jun 25, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The India of Forster’s imagination is a vast, incoherent land of hostile earth and oppressive air; the weather, inhospitable to human life; the sun, a burning, penetrating force that crushes the soul; in the distance, sand, fields, bushes, more sand, more bushes, all indecipherable, all impenetrable to human reason. The mind boggles at the immensity and confusion of India, at the distant mountains, at the strange religions, at the endless tracts of land blending with the gray and threatening sky ...more
Komal
Mar 10, 2013 Komal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book, I was 13, and expecting to be insulted by some white guys going on about how barbaric my culture and history were and how the magnanimous British civilized us all. I was, thankfully, wrong.

It follows Mr Fielding, Miss Adela, and Mrs Moor as they come to tour India. They are shown about by Dr Aziz, a poor Muslim, and Adela's fiance Mr Moor. The basic storyline is one of Adela and Mrs Moor touring India, but then Adela eventually convicts Dr Aziz of sexual harassm
...more
Roy Lotz
Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what the novel is, exactly. It’s an exceedingly flexible and fluid form. The novel can accommodate historical behemoths like War and Peace, philosophical exercises like The Brothers Karamazov, wacky experiments like Ulysses, and mythical adventures like Th
...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 07, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (20
Shelves: classics, 1001-core, 501
Chandrapore, India during the British Raj in the 1920s. This is about a British young woman, Adela Quested falsely accusing an Indian doctor, Dr. Aziz of attempted rape. During the trial, Adela withdrew her lawsuit and admitted her mistake. The false accusation, the trial and the retraction further divided the nation between the white colonizers and the dark-skinned natives.

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet"" wrote Rudyard Kipling in his 1889-first published po
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Veronique
4.5

"India likes gods."
"And Englishmen like posing as gods.”


I first read this classic back when I was 18 and remember liking it. The main plot had remained in my memory but not much else. Re-reading it now in my 40s, I’m amazed how this text is so relevant to today’s sociological and indeed political landscape.

Forster’s novel, published in 1924, dealt with imperialism, showing the interactions between British and Indians in the fictional city of Chandrapore. As you expect, most of the English b
...more
مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي :
هل من الممكن أن يكون هناك حب وثقة بين المستعمر وأهل البلد؟ هل يبقى الغرب غرباً والشرق شرقاً؟ أم أن هناك تلاق بينهما وإن أكفهرت الظروف التاريخية..وماذا عن ميراث الإستعمار مع الذل والمهانة التي يجلبها؟
...more
David Redden
Aug 14, 2008 David Redden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Jill McKiernan
I thoroughly enjoyed A Passage to India and am now officially a Forster fan. Frankly, I'm not certain how I made it this far through my education without ever picking him up. I can't add much to what's already been written about this book, but I'll mention a few impressions anyway.

Forster tells a great story with enviable economy and style. Like a work of impressionist art, A Passage to India is superficially enjoyable, but the real treasure is found in what's not there. Rich, beautiful detail l
...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Abbasso gli inglesi, ad ogni modo. Questo è certo. Sgombrate, gente, e alla svelta, vi dico. Noi possiamo odiarci l'un l'altro, ma odiamo di più voi. […] Ci volessero anche centocinquantacinque anni, ci libereremo di voi, sì, butteremo a mare ogni maledetto inglese, e allora, » galoppò furiosamente contro Fielding, « e allora, » continuò, quasi baciandolo, « voi ed io saremo amici. »
« Perché non possiamo esserlo subito? » disse l'altro, stringendolo con affetto. « È quello che voglio. È quello
...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Apr 11, 2015 Inderjit Sanghera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘A Passage to India’ is E.M Forster’s magnum opus, the novel which combined his febrile artistic vision and fascination with India. Some of Forster’s depictions of India are wonderful and he is able to capture the humidity, the maleficent mugginess of the Indian atmosphere to outsiders;

“She watched the moon, whose radiance stained with primrose the purple of the surrounding sky. In England the moon had seemed dead and alien; here she was caught in the shawl of the night together with the earth a
...more
Diletta
Cerchiamo di mantenere la calma.

Premetto una cosa.
Quando ho preso in mano per la prima volta questo libro, io e lui ci eravamo chiariti per benino. Della serie "tu non piaci a me, io non piaccio a te, cerchiamo di concludere il nostro rapporto nel modo più indolore possibile e col minor spargimento di sangue."
Pensavo che lui avesse capito il patto, e accettato. Infatti la prima parte scorre abbastanza bene, parlava di cose di cui non me ne fregava nulla, ok, ma pace, me ne ero fatta una ragion
...more
Bloodorange
1. This is, to me, a book on national arrogance – mostly British, but also, more subtly, Indian (for Forster also conveys Indian attachment to national myths, but it comes as a distant second to the British sense of superiority):
"Do kindly tell us who these ladies are," asked Mrs. Moore.
"You're superior to them, anyway. Don't forget that. You're superior to everyone in India except one or two of the Ranis, and they're on an equality."
Loose translation: a British commoner an Indian reigning que
...more
Girish
Mar 23, 2016 Girish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Passage to India is a character study of people with biases, beliefs and prejudices. The setting just happens to be before independence when the book was actually written. And for me, it was really surprising that the book had taken a more pro-indian stance without villifying the British.

Dr.Aziz is a moderate who toes the line with the British while embracing his faith and held in esteem by the society. His world changes when he encounters Mrs.Moore, the mother of the collector who treats him
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·Karen·
Naturally, any book written in 1924 is bound to offend a twenty-first century sensibility, steeped as we are in a consciousness of racial stereotyping. Just occasionally, it must be admitted, Dr Aziz is portrayed as childish and petulant, and phrases such as "Like all Indians..." grate on our ears, but all in all, Forster succeeds in exposing the fatal arrogance of the Anglo-Indians, the falsity of their more-British-than-Britain lifestyle, the misunderstandings that hamper cross-cultural relati ...more
Faith
Jun 17, 2016 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
In Chandrapore, Dr. Aziz, a young Muslim widower, meets the elderly Mrs. Moore who has come to India with Adela Quested to arrange a marriage between her son, Ronny Heaslop and Adela. Aziz and Mrs. Moore form an immediate bond, for reasons that were not really clear to me. After several meetings, Aziz and his friends arrange to take the two women to visit the Malabar caves, although no one is really enthusiastic about the short trip. It is at the caves that an enigmatic event occurs which disrup ...more
Monique
Jul 23, 2011 Monique rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most complicated, difficult books I've ever had the misfortune opportunity to read. The only redeeming factor of this book was..... I fail to think of any. Well, it's a classic. I guess that's it.

The book was badly, awfully written. Most of the time I couldn't follow the dialogue, and I had to turn back a few pages to reread, because I'd realize I zoned off and didn't get a word that was written. The plot, likewise, wasn't so engaging. It felt like E.M. Forster had a one-time sojourn
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sologdin
Nutshell: racism temporarily defeated by means of more or less permanent sexism.

Novel promises to be an exercise in inverting baudrillardian dissimulation: “The streets are mean, the temples ineffective, and though a few fine houses exist they are hidden away in gardens or down alleys whose filth deters all but the invited guests” (3). That this is a colonialist’s perspective of colonized space in British India should not be irrelevant, and we might accordingly regard colonized India as a (dis?
...more
Greg
Dec 15, 2016 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"But nothing in India is identifiable, the mere asking of a question causes it to disappear or to merge in something else."

"It matters so little to the majority of living beings what the minority, that calls itself human, desires or decides."

"It is impossible to regard a tragedy from two points of view, and, whereas Turton had decided to avenge the girl, he hoped to save the man."
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Edward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M. Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".

He had five
...more
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“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.” 179 likes
“Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.” 126 likes
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