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A Passage to India

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  38,930 ratings  ·  1,876 reviews
When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced 'Anglo-Indian' community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the 'real India', they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 376 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Penguin Books (first published June 4th 1924)
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Autumn♥♥ I agree with you that they had panic attacks. I think they both had some mystical revelation in the cave which altered their lives. I suspect some…moreI agree with you that they had panic attacks. I think they both had some mystical revelation in the cave which altered their lives. I suspect some ancient God of that area induced the panic. Adela seemed to be super confused but her friend had a greater insight into what happened there.
I recently read Picnic at Hanging Rock and a similar confusion occurred there due to the large possibly granite rocks which create an electromagnetic field. There were also sexual undertones in Picnic at Hanging Rock. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
“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
...more
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
Kim

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
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jul 12, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
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
"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
“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
K.D. Absolutely
May 07, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (20
Shelves: 1001-core, 501, classics
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
...more
Mohammed
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
...more
Komal
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
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
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
David Redden
Aug 14, 2008 David Redden rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
‘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
Fionnuala
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.
·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
Monique
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
...more
Laura
Hailed at its publication as Forster’s masterpiece, A Passage to India explores the complex relationship between Indians and the colonial English, a relationship muddled by racism, cultural misunderstandings, and inherent religious and philosophical incompatibility. The essential question of the novel is whether it is possible for friendship to bridge the racial divide between the English and the Indians. The tragic events of the novel suggest not, or at least not yet, though Forster does offer ...more
Michael
Jun 12, 2008 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a few
This is my first E.M. Forster book, and definitely will not be my last. His style seems to be a bridge between late Victorian and early modernist, and it is obvious that he is not quite sure which way to go. It is beautifully written, perhaps a little too beautifully written. The characters are fully formed, yet somehow leave you unaffected by the tight reign the author has on their every thought. Forster's take on the complexity of the racial situation in colonialist India is as fair-minded as ...more
Heather
I completely related with one of the main characters in the book, Miss Questad. She accuses an Indian man of assaulting her while they are hiking in some caves (sorry if I just gave part of it away) and realizes later that she made a mistake. Her mistake brings out the worst of racial tensions and class distinctions. It reminded me SO much of my experience in Jordan a few summers ago when a Jordanian man at one of the tourist attractions was not very "gentlemanly". The laws in Jordan are a lot m ...more
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
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It is the early 1900s (pre-WWI) in British India, and a new arrival to the country, Mrs Moore, almost accidentally befriends a young Indian doctor, Aziz. Aziz is a cheerful, optimistic Muslim man who is determined to know the English occupiers on an equal footing, and Mrs Moore's friendliness and lack of prejudice only encourage his view that this is possible.

Mrs Moore's son, Ronny, is a government official, a district magistrate, and she has come in order to chaperone the young woman who might
...more
Susan
What a complete and utter waste of time. I wanted to poke my eyes out and throw this book in the trash. Needless to say I hated it.
Kathy
Beautiful writing. Describes the tension of Anglo-Indian relationships in British India and explores what makes friendships.
Joshua Rigsby
I almost gave up on A Passage to India early on. Forster takes a long time to build his characters, their worldviews, and the interrelationships among them before he touches a match to the story's inciting incident. By the time the plot finally begins to move it does so somewhat slowly, and the denouement takes a good while to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

That said, there are two things Forster does exceptionally well.

The first is depict the complexities Western attitudes toward the East
...more
Nikki
I'm not wildly enthusiastic about this book. It gives you an interesting view of India as a British colony, and some of the descriptions are lovely, but overall I found it quite dry and hard to read in anything but little chunks. The story itself isn't wildly inventive, of course: it reminded me a lot, at least around the middle, of To Kill A Mockingbird: a native is wrongly accused of assaulting a woman, the woman's part is taken by all, etc. It's not a new story -- of course not, since it coul ...more
Jeffrey Saraceno
Although this book is claimed by many to be "A classic of modern fiction," I found it quite inaccessible and downright boring. It's as if Forster upended a dictionary, shook out all the words, and then rearranged them blindfolded. The action (what little there is) doesn't happen until you've made it halfway through the book (if you even last that far). Against my better judgment I suggest watching the movie, as it would be less of a time commitment, and might actually be enjoyable. But if you do ...more
Tatiana
"A Passage to India" turned out to be quite an interesting read. I can't say Forster is now one of my favorite writers, very often I don't understand him, but this story of colonialism and racial tensions was surprisingly intense. This was not a novel about India (as I originally thought), but rather an exploration of cultural differences that can't be overcome.

Written decades before India finally gets rid of its British oppressors, "A Passage to India" demonstrates a great insight into a very t
...more
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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
More about E.M. Forster...
A Room with a View Howards End Maurice Where Angels Fear to Tread The Machine Stops

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“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.” 134 likes
“Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.” 99 likes
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