Certainly a well written book! And the audio book works only to complement the work. I enjoyed listening, and additionally, listening to the golden voiced Englishman voice elderly English women, in addition to older Indian men always brought a grin to my face. Describing the audiobook in one word, the word engaging comes to mind. This has piqued my interest in audiobooks, and I can not emphasize how well this example did to forge that interest.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The reputation of this book misled me into thinking it centered around Miss Quested's court case. Seen from that viewpoint and the detestable Miss Quested, the book is annoying in that peculiarly Forster-ish way. But seen as the friendship between Aziz and Fielding, the book becomes something else: one of those rare books that trace the building of a friendship between two people. I have a few issues with Mr. Forster. His depictions of romantic relationships don't even attempt to be convincing. His depictions of social prejudice and injustice are laid on as thickly as the coarsest caricatures. His attempts to treat characters fairly who have a different viewpoint from his own come across as...well, as attempts to express a viewpoint he really fails to grasp. And his female protagonists, especially Miss Quested, lack all pretense at being sympathetic. That said, Forster has enough good points to keep me interested. He periodically will punctuate his narrative with a profound aside expressing something unutterably beautiful about the world and the human condition. His patience in allowing the Aziz/Fielding friendship to simmer in the background while all the foreground actions dominated the majority of the book is simply masterful.
I also have to give Forster credit for some very prescient remarks about the future of India and England. And while I may cavil about the prejudices of some of his characters, Forster is dead on at how people tend to form ranks and polarize themselves into opposing camps at the cost of truth, justice, peaceful coexistence, etc.
Sam Dastor does a terrific job distinguishing all the different characters with their differing social and class backgrounds. And while I'm sure he did not intend it, he made it exceedingly easy to hate Miss Quested.
This is a masterfully crafted novel by a magnificent writer, as I have said in my last two reviews. The writing is perfect. For myself, and it is just me, the story just began slow; I couldn't get into it until the last half when Aziz is charged with sexual assault by Miss Quested. That's when the suspense churned and I found traction. But looking back this is a really a fine novel. Not a spy novel suspense level novel or a mystery or a crime novel but a well written classic novel. One will come away improved by it.
Loved the narration, with all the accents and easily identifiable characters. Unfortunately, the story was slow and did not pull me in.
This is a very good book but it's not Atlas Shrugged, The Great Gatsby, Sons and Lovers, To Kill a Mockingbird...etc.
It was on my bucket listening list. Check, Done
I really enjoyed the portrayal of different cultures-- English vs. Indian-- and the character development throughout the story. A great novel about cultures, friendships and relationships.
Forster, in A Passage to India, has that rare grasp of language that catches one's breath. It is beauty and pathos and longing. His precise choice of metaphor, of adjective leaves one with the sense that yes, that was just the right word. It captures the thing exactly. His style is an echo from beyond. Pity that he never personally found its Source. Exquisitely read by Dastor.