Monday 2 October 2017

Passage to India review

Urgh we lost the internet here, it is really stressful as we need to buy supplies to renovate the house.

Moan over, onwards to the review.

Massive apologies to Ray!  Sorry this has taken forever to be published, blogger wouldnt let me do it on my phone as it thought I was hijacking my own account!

Passage to India.  Wow, this was a long hard slog of a book.  It wasnt even that many pages but I felt like I was really having to push myself to bother reading it.  I was really quite excited to read it as well.  

Some of it I was really quite upset with, they way the British called the Dr to the club and then had gone away themselves.  Rude, plain rude.  It revulsed me in parts.  One part that really stuck in my craw was when asked if he had children, Dr Aziz says he has 2 sons, previous to this he had told Mrs Moore he had a daughter and 2 sons.  I disliked that greatly.

I was actually not wanting to read it after Adela accuses Dr Aziz of assaulting her as was afraid to read of the outcome.  How was he to be treated?  Did he really do it?  The people at the club become the mob and the Indians outside are also the mob and have their own riot.

Adela accuses Dr Aziz about half way through the book and then it rambles for a very long time to come to the conclusion he is innocent.  I know it is about the politics at the time and how the religions mix, I just couldnt get into it as it brought out some emotions I didnt think I would have.  I thought it was going to be a travel book of some description with words that painted the landscape, in some small way it did.  On page 6 there are some lovely *visuals*, the lamps in the sky etc.

Will I read it again?  No, sorry it was a real let down after Howards End.

4/10 at best.


Janie Junebug said...

It's not one of my preferred books. I read it several years ago and don't want to read it again.


Tracy said...

Oh what a pain re the internet, fingers crossed for you getting it back soon. Nothing worse when you need it.

Sol said...

Hey Janie, I wont be reading it again.

Hey Tracy, have you seen the TV programme Bad Move with Jack Dee?

That is my house right now!

Raybeard said...

No need to apologise, Sol. You kept us informed of your difficulties, trying as they were/are, so I knew it was a case of 'we'll see it when it appears'.

This was another re-read for me. First time round, it was some 25 years ago and about a decade after the David Lean film which I really liked - apart from that well-documented folly of Lean's persuading the admirable Alec Guinness to take on the role of the Brahmin Professor Godbole, against Guinness' better judgment which he quickly regretted.
I did admire the book on that first visit and during that read the images of the film served as a convenient device to conjure up the characters and landscape they inhabited. I haven't seen the film again at all in the meantime, yet reading the book once more I still found the cinema images playing a major part in my understanding.
Unfortunately, any 'magic' I'd experienced that first time had by now been well dissipated. In fact I found it all a bit of a heavy plod, with frequent mind-wanderings.

The story is a captivating, human one, set against the backdrop of the final decades of the British rule in India. I couldn't help once again being caught up in the plight of the goo-natured Dr Aziz and didn't blame him one bit when, after all he's put through, his naive former trust turns to bitterness. The character of the 'culprit' for his situation, Adela, is a much more complex one and it never fully resolves within the story.
The other characters are less well-defined, though Mrs Moore is a good foil too the main two (played by the majestical Sybil Thorndike in the film, her final role).

It's not a book I'll return to in a hurry - and only then if I have nothing better to do, which is unlikely. I don't know about 'Only connect' (whatever that means), but in this case there was precious little connection for me.

Sol said...

As Always Ray you put it so well. I have no connection to any of them, there was no click. I was talking to my sister about it all and she said I probably didnt like it because we are more politically correct now. And as we had family in India for a long time, in the not too distant past, that I find it all raw that maybe someone in my family could have treated someone else badly. She also said she couldnt believe that I dont read the 'back cover' of any of the classics I am going to read. I dont, because I want to think what I want to think and them make up my mind. I hope you are well. Honest, it has put me off moving again in case we have problems again like this with the internet. It is so ingrained in me, 'dont know something? Google it'. Disgusted with myself typing that, but it is completely true.

Started Little Women, going well so far!

Raybeard said...

My comment was really incomplete, Sol - I was rushing off to the cinema (Christopher Robin), hence the several mistypes I would normally have picked up on - but you've covered the salient points in your own review so I won't bother with writing any more, save saying that the condescension aimed at Dr Aziz by some, but not all, of the British characters was quite hideous, though I can well believe it happened like that. However, as you say, we are seeing it through 21st century consciousness - not that that makes it any better for those on the receiving end.

I'm okay, thanks. Not any of the computer problems you are going through, thank heavens. Yes, without the internet I'd be lost too and I do now feel especially guilty about using it to help me with crosswords, above all a site that lets you type in the letters you've got and it'll tell you what words fit. It's cheating, I know - but once you know it's there it's terribly hard to resist. Just like having an unwrapped piece of chocolate right beside you.

I've had a look in our local Waterstones for a copy of 'Little Women'. They only had a hardback @ £14.99 - and considering I've already read it once (and given the paperback recently to a charity shop, silly me!) I don't want to spend all that money on it. I might be going to Brighton later this week where I ought to have better luck. If not I'll have to plead to be excused this month's read.

Hope that next time we 'speak' your computer situation is MUCH improved.

Sol said...

No problems Ray, I am reading it already anyway. Waterstones prices take my breath away! I bought the paperback 2nd hand and it doesnt even look like someone opened the cover.