Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > A Passage to India

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
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it was ok
bookshelves: 1001-books, india, epic-snooze-fest, bookcrossing-books
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Recommended for: people looking for literary nytol

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 while I was commuting back and forward to office HQ and even the act of opening the pages of this beautifully covered Penguin volume was enough to send my eyeballs rolling to the back of my skull. I suspect on the whole that perhaps I am being a tad harsh, and maybe this can be attributed to the fact that I have read too many novels detailing the colonial dumb-wittedness of the British abroad, particularly swooning laydees.

Poor Dr Aziz, despite running around attending to the whims and mores of the ex-pat populace and doing everything with the very best of intentions ends up in a spot of bother after Adela Quested unjustly accuses him of trying to "cop a feel" while they're out on a day trip to the Malabar caves. Aziz had previously mused on the premise of whether Indian gentlemen might ever truly manage to be friends with an Englishman and this episode surely gives him a fairly definite answer. As the trial unfolds Adela is forced to confront the fact that everything which happened the in the caves was a product of her delicate and overwrought laydee-mind, thus presumably giving the men in the courtroom further excuse to argue, over brandy and cigars, that the colonies are no place for the "wimmin folk".

I can see the point of this book, the message it was trying to convey and I can even understand why it is regarded to be literary significance but even the memory of reading it make me prone to... ZZZZZz zzzz.
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Reading Progress

March 12, 2009 – Started Reading
April 11, 2009 – Finished Reading
July 12, 2011 – Shelved
July 12, 2011 – Shelved as: 1001-books
July 12, 2011 – Shelved as: india
July 12, 2011 – Shelved as: epic-snooze-fest
July 12, 2011 – Shelved as: bookcrossing-books

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by mark (new)

mark monday 2 stars...say it ain' so!


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Great review.
Sometimes, I think "the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there".
Including the way they write novels.


Shovelmonkey1 Thanks Ian - I noticed that most goodreaders loved this book. Maybe I'll give it another shot one of these days and come out with a totally different opinion. And Mark, sorry ma petit chou, I seem to be damning all the books on the 1001 list that you loved including this one and Oscar and Lucinda. Apparently we have a similar sense of humour but our happy places on the 1001 list are widely disparate!


message 4: by mark (new)

mark monday i doubt that it's on 1001 Books, but if you dislike Absolute Beginners, that will probably bring me to tears!


Shovelmonkey1 Hmmm are you challenging me to make you cry ;). Who's this book by? I shall seek it out immediately!


message 6: by mark (new)

mark monday colin macinnes! sorta hard to find here in the states, maybe less so where you're at.


Shovelmonkey1 just checked amazon.co.uk - there are about 19 copies available over here for around £3 so will acquire a copy after pay-day and keep you posted.


Laura Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz hated this book


Shovelmonkey1 Yup i was not a fan. It is a book which many people are passionate about and i fail to understand it. If you want to read a slightly more engaging novel filled with colonial oddness then i would sugges the siege of krishnapur by jg farrell.


Ankit Dubey Finally a review that I could relate to. The prose, although beautifully written, failed to capture my attention to the extent that I began to doubt by concentrating abilities. I absolutely labored through the book and heaved a sigh of relief as I put it down. Why it is regarded as one of the great works of the 20th century, will remain a mystery to me.


Shovelmonkey1 Totally agree with you! I read it because i felt i should make it through to the final page but it failed to captivate me and i'm yet to take the plunge with another book by this author.


message 12: by Chris (new) - rated it 1 star

Chris Passingham Have you read " Burmese Days " by George Orwell. It's much better than this pile of s@@t


Shovelmonkey1 ooh good tip thanks I'll have a look for that one on kindle. am off abroad to work and looking for good reading material


Palomablue It's funny but I have misgivings about this book as well, some of them fairly serious, but I have to admit that even so, there is something about the storytelling I find mesmerizing, even if I doubt any conclusions drawn by the story itself. I'm not usually this conflicted! lol


message 15: by Sharron (new) - added it

Sharron Kennard I tried to get into it, but just couldn't sustain any interest. I, too, found myself snoozing.


Jeannette I am in total agreement with you. Large sections of boring dialogue.


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