Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-24-2008, 05:32 PM   #16
ShortNCuddlyAm
WWHALD
ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ShortNCuddlyAm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ShortNCuddlyAm's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,882
Karma: 337114
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mitcham, Surrey, UK
Device: iPad. Selling my silver 505 here
I’ll start by saying I’m glad I read the book. Although overall I didn’t like it, it did have it’s moments.

I found the whole thing very heavy handed. I know there is an element of satire in it, and in places that is played very well (Adela’s comments about all the Turtons and Burtons, for example); but in too many others it feels like one is being beaten about the head with a blunt implement upon which the author has writ his points large.

There are too few main characters to carry the burden the author has placed upon their shoulders. In that respect I felt especially sorry for poor Aziz, who ends up standing in for all Indians - and all India – far too often; and despite the authorial voice repeatedly telling us, subtly or overtly, we cannot know all India and all Indians through one person.

It chugs on for a while contrasting the established English in India with the newcomers, and both with the natives; and, well, going nowhere fast. Then comes the Marabar Caves visit, and various situations are set up in what seems like a very forced manner. The breakdowns of the two principal female characters seemed especially contrived as the book progressed, which made some of the parts that followed the caves have less impact than they might otherwise have done, and in fact less impact than they should.

Some of the best writing occurs after the caves (Richard Herley gave a good explanation as for why) – Mrs Moore’s realisation that she has approached India wrongly, the idolification or deification of Mrs Moore after she has left India (and after her death), the court scene with the Turtons and Burtons swapping seats and being moved back, the reactions to Adela’s retraction. But because of how the cave scenes progressed, some of it lost the impact it should have had. And the description of the punkah wallah was truly dire. Had it been a pbook I was reading, it might have got lobbed across the room at that point. I could understand if it was the point of view of any of the English characters, but the author should have known better.

Going back to the characters...
None of them really grabbed me enough to ultimately care what happened to them. Aziz started to, then he suddenly switched into the sort of dizzy Indian you see in old sitcoms but I don't think I've ever encountered in real life (and as I'm writing this post partition, and Aziz is a Muslim, that would include Pakistanis as well as Indians - and that sentence makes sense to me, so ner). He seemed to be trying to represent all India, in contradiction to the author telling us one person couldn't.

Mrs Moore and Fielding did engage me for a while, but then Mrs Moore got spooked by some echoes and decided to die (her giving up being interested in anything seemed to me to be clumsy foreshadowing, so I wasn't shocked that she died, only that it took so long). Fielding also had a lot of potential to be a sympathetic character through whose apparently unbiased eyes we could see the mess of snobbery, imperialism and racism. But even he finally gave in, to a degree, to the pressure to conform (I have wondered how much of Forster is in Fielding)

I really felt the novel couldn't decide what it wanted to be - a satirical novel about race relations, snobbery and inbred values, or a more serious and thoughtful one about "mystical India". I think it would have been stronger had it knocked the mystical stuff on the head and concentrated on the satire - none of the characters, with the possible exceptions of Godbole (who I wouldn't have minded seeing more of) and Mrs Moore had any connections to the mystical or spiritual side of things, which made it seem all rather irrelevant to the story.

Last edited by ShortNCuddlyAm; 11-24-2008 at 05:33 PM. Reason: removing some random asterisks that appeared between paragraphs...
ShortNCuddlyAm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2008, 06:15 PM   #17
JSWolf
Suspended
JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.JSWolf ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 35,392
Karma: 16147088
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Roslindale, Massachusetts
Device: Sony Reader PRS-650, iPad, nook STR
Did anyone actually really enjoy this book?
JSWolf is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 11-24-2008, 06:21 PM   #18
pilotbob
Grand Sorcerer
pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pilotbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,419
Karma: 9605542
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Device: Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Did anyone actually really enjoy this book?
Have you been reading the thread? See below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
All in all - a truly great read!
Quote:
Originally Posted by winspiration View Post
Overall I enjoyed the book, and found some of the descriptions of places very evocative. My favourite of these was Mrs Moore's train journey to Bombay. It was a little disjointed in places though.
So, yes so far.

BOb
pilotbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 09:25 AM   #19
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 61,019
Karma: 38191453
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: Kindle PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro
I wonder if perhaps this is an easier book to "get" for British readers than American, simply because, as Richard says, we have an much more intuitive "feel" for the "class system" (which, as Richard notes, is very much still "alive and kicking" today, despite what some may think). Even the most enlightened Edwardian (which Forster was) would almost certainly have believed that the British were more "civilized" than the native Indian people, and it would be a rare Englishman (or woman) indeed at that time who could regard a "native" as their truly social equal. We look upon such attitudes as terrible today, but there's no doubt whatsoever that they were almost universally held to be true at the time of this book's writing.
HarryT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #20
Sparrow
Wizard
Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 4,400
Karma: 1358102
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Device: Palm TX, CyBook Gen3
It's not just the British who treat the 'lower orders' with contempt - Aziz strikes the guide, the punkah wallah is an untouchable, Aziz associates Hindus with cow dung etc.
The desire to elevate themselves in their own eyes, and then look down on others, seems to be one thing all peoples have in common.
Sparrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2008, 11:31 AM   #21
Barcey
Wizard
Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Barcey ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Barcey's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,181
Karma: 3807034
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Canada
Device: Kobo Glo / PB360+ / PB902 / iPad3
Historical Fiction is one of my favourite genres right now but reading this book highlighted one of the limitations in most historical fiction. To engage the reader most authors give the central characters the same sense of humour, beliefs and attitudes of reader today. A Passage to India takes you back in time to the social attitudes and interactions of the time and it's a difficult trip to take. I found it hard to relate to nightly entertainment as sitting around sucking on a hookah, verbally jousting with friends and blurting out poetry but then I realized that this was college except that it was music instead of poetry.

I also found it difficult to relate to the incident in the cave as the major event. It's sad to think that far worse things happen in the subways of major cities every day. It made me recall an episode of the TV show "The Amazing Race" where the couples had to ride a packed train in India and the women were getting groped but couldn't move. It's sad that something that was the central traumatic event in this book is now something that's engineered as entertainment for TV.

I did enjoy the book for what it was. I imagine that the views on marriage that were expressed were very controversial at the time but today it's a common attitude. It came across as just typical conversation rather then something radical.

I really don't know a lot of the history of India during this period so I felt that the symbolism was lost on me. I felt that the relationship between Assis and Fielding was supposed to be symbolic of the relationship between India and Britain.
Barcey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2008, 03:06 PM   #22
Tattncat
Bookworm
Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Tattncat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Tattncat's Avatar
 
Posts: 646
Karma: 1029391
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Device: Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab3, Sony PRS700, Sony PRS505
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I wonder if perhaps this is an easier book to "get" for British readers than American, simply because, as Richard says, we have an much more intuitive "feel" for the "class system" (which, as Richard notes, is very much still "alive and kicking" today, despite what some may think). Even the most enlightened Edwardian (which Forster was) would almost certainly have believed that the British were more "civilized" than the native Indian people, and it would be a rare Englishman (or woman) indeed at that time who could regard a "native" as their truly social equal. We look upon such attitudes as terrible today, but there's no doubt whatsoever that they were almost universally held to be true at the time of this book's writing.
I think you are probably right. I am from the United States and the class system escaped me. Also for Dixigal re (
(I was just tossing out examples of ways to think about what is being read, not trying to be bossy or anything. Those are some techniques that help me with literary criticism, made for some truly spectacular grades in college. I never even got a chance to start this particular book!)

Now I'm curious and want to pick your brain. Has the book changed the way you would respond to someone who shows prejudice? If yes, how has it changed?) No. I have always found any type of prejudice distasteful and hopefully seldom if ever stoop to prejudice.
Tattncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2008, 04:10 PM   #23
astrodad
Guru
astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.astrodad ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
astrodad's Avatar
 
Posts: 942
Karma: 567366
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 1, iPad, iPhone 5
I had to stop reading this. I really tried to give this a go, but it stopped being interesting after the encounter in the Mosque. I read a little more than half way, but I just lost complete interest. It's very well written, but I'm afraid there's not enough for me to keep my interest. On to Gulliver's Travels.
astrodad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 10:53 PM   #24
pilotbob
Grand Sorcerer
pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pilotbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,419
Karma: 9605542
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Device: Kindle Touch
OK,

I've got to say... reading passage to India has helped me with a few Jeopardy questions... including one tonight about the first line in the book I think. There was one about EM Forster... then another one I can't recall the exact question.

Starting to read the classics has really helped my Jeopardy. Although I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the type of pipe that Sherlock Holmes smoked. Oh well.

BOb
pilotbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 10:59 PM   #25
desertgrandma
Enjoying the show....
desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.desertgrandma ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
desertgrandma's Avatar
 
Posts: 14,279
Karma: 8205023
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Arizona
Device: A K1, Kindle Paperwhite, an Ipod, IPad2, Iphone, an Ipad Mini & macAir
For pilot bob

THE REAL CALABASH PIPE
For those who never saw a pipe like this: this is a calabash-pipe. The orange/brown part is made of a gourd, forced into this particular shape while growing. The white part is made of meerschaum, a soft, plaster-like mineral that makes great pipes (queen of pipes it used to be called). And the yellow mouthpiece used to be made from amber, though this is just amber-like plastic. The pipe is clearly a design from the past, most popular in the 19th century, but they are still made. This pipe is a walking dino among pipes, and there's a reason for that. If it's well made, from real block-meerschaum, it's a great smoke, but that's not the main reason they're still around. This, lady's and gentlemen, is it:
The one and only real Sherlock Holmes pipe! Seen in many movies and on even more book covers, the ultimate symbol of the private consulting detective.
And here's the twist: Sherlock Holmes didn't smoke a calabash pipe. In all the stories Conan Doyle wrote on the sleuth, there's no mention of a calabash pipe. Holmes owned an oily black stone pipe, and old and trusted rosewood pipe, a cherrywood pipe he always smoked while being in an argumental mood, but not a syllable on a calabash. The icon of this man with cape, deerhunter-cap and a saxophone dangling from his mouth is of a later date. Since the character of Holmes was so popular, by the end of the 19th century Sherlock Holmes-plays were staged. And one of the more successful interpreters of Holmes, a certain Mr. Gilett, was a dedicated pipe smoker. And it's this Mr. Gilett who added the huge and particular pipe to the gestalt of Sherlock Holmes.

http://www.geocities.com/janneman_nl/005.html

Now you'll never be without an answer......
desertgrandma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 11:01 PM   #26
pilotbob
Grand Sorcerer
pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pilotbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,419
Karma: 9605542
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Device: Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
The white part is made of meerschaum, a soft, plaster-like mineral that makes great pipes (queen of pipes it used to be called).
They gave Calabash in the clue, they wanted to know the material it was made of. "Meerschaum" was the answer. But, my addled brain couldn't remember it.

BOb
pilotbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 07:27 AM   #27
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 61,019
Karma: 38191453
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: Kindle PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro
Meerschaum is an interesting example of changes in society. Throughout the 19th century it was worth more than silver, pound for pound, and people made vast fortunes mining it. Today, with the virtual elimination of pipe smoking, it's completely worthless - you couldn't give the stuff away!
HarryT is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MobileRead Discussion Thread: The Hound of the Baskervilles (spoilers) pilotbob Book Clubs 45 10-28-2013 01:50 AM
MobileRead Discussion Thread: The Time Traders (spoilers) pilotbob Book Clubs 32 02-24-2009 03:44 AM
MobileRead Official MobileRead Book Club: Welcome thread/November's book choice thread PsyDocJoanne Book Clubs 151 02-08-2009 08:42 PM
Read-Along: A Passage to India PsyDocJoanne Reading Recommendations 27 10-13-2008 05:56 PM
iLiad FBShot discussion thread scotty1024 iRex Developer's Corner 2 11-16-2006 05:30 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:52 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.