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A Passage to India

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  51,596 Ratings  ·  2,381 Reviews
What really happened to Miss Quested in the Marabar Caves? This tantalising question provides the intense drama of racial tension at the centre of Foster's last & greatest novel.
Kindle Edition, Penguin Classics, 376 pages
Published by Penguin (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)
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Community Reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 11, 2014 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
Jul 28, 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
Feb 06, 2013 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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Chrissie
Feb 08, 2017 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is so far my favorite book by E.M. Forster. I tried A Room with a View first and gave that three stars. This one, set in India probably about a decade or two before independence, mirrors British colonialism and the multicultural diversity of the land. This one has much more meat on its bones. Religion, multi-ethnicity, colonialism, imperialism, the dogged belief in the superiority of the rulers over the ruled and most specifically how very difficult it is to communicate over cultural barrie ...more
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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Fionnuala
May 27, 2011 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.
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

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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
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Kim
Nov 01, 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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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
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
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peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب که از سه بخش کلی و 37 فصل تشکیل شده است، یکی از پرفروشترین کتبِ انگلستان میباشد و به گونه ای نشان دهندهٔ قدرت و روابط استعماری غرب و نژاد پرستی میباشد که <فورستر> مسائل استعماری را در قالبِ داستان بیان نموده است
داستان از آنجایی جان میگیرد که پیرزنی به نامِ <مور> به همراه عروسِ آینده اش یعنی <عادلا> به هندوستان سفر کرده اند تا مراسمِ ازدواج <عادلا> و <رونی هزلپ> پسرِ <خانم مور> را که ساکنِ هندوستان است را در آنجا برگذار کنند... زمانیکه
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Kinga
Jun 27, 2014 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
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Mohammed
Nov 21, 2011 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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Diamond Cowboy
Jan 22, 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
Jason
Jun 22, 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
Amanda
Jan 07, 2017 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
3.5 stars rounded up because I recognize the importance of this work as part of the literary canon I just didn't love it. This is my 3rd book by E.M. Forster and my least favorite. I had a hard time getting into this. To be honest I found the beginning to be a bit of a slog and if I hadn't been reading this as part of a challenge I may not have finished it. BUT, I'm really glad I did because it all comes together nicely in the end. I listened to the audio which was a good choice for me. It pulle ...more
Komal
Feb 24, 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
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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
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Paula W
Jan 31, 2017 Paula W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With everything going on this week, I can't help but think that this novel is still timely and relevant after all these years.

The book had a bit of a slow start for me. However, it was important for the author to fully describe exactly what life was like in British-controlled India, from where they lived to how they lived to who they interacted with and under what circumstances they were allowed to do so. Rampant racism and religious intolerance didn't only occur between the British and the Ind
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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 12, 2009 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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David Redden
Jul 22, 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
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James
Oct 16, 2012 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ah what a great book. While the action recap is a picnic gone wrong there is a joy and wisdom to this book.

Joy in the lovely writing, in the send up of social mores particularly the bit where nobody really wanted to go on the bloody picnic in the first place anyway, and in the enduring comedy of travellers trying to find the essence of the country on their own terms.

Wisdom in the prescient skewering of the Raj through the absurdity of the positions people were forced to endure and the snapshot
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مروان البلوشي
تاريخ القراءة الأصلي : ١٩٩٩
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؟
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
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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
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Lyra  Goga
Mar 26, 2017 Lyra Goga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I spent the whole day and night reading this book and it was such a pleasant read. I don't know what exactly was there in this book, I really can't put it in words, that made it so special to me. Whatever it was, it truly satisfied my soul.
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
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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 qu
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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
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More about E.M. Forster...

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“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.” 184 likes
“Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.” 129 likes
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