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A Passage to India | [E. M. Forster]

A Passage to India

Dr Aziz is a young Muslim physician in the British Indian town of Chandrapore. One evening he comes across an English woman, Mrs Moore, in the courtyard of a local mosque; she and her younger travelling companion Adela are disappointed by claustrophobic British colonial culture and wish to see something of the 'real' India. But when Aziz kindly offers to take them on a tour of the Marabar caves, the trip results in a shocking accusation that throws Chandrapore into a fever of racial tension.
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Publisher's Summary

Dr Aziz is a young Muslim physician in the British Indian town of Chandrapore. One evening he comes across an English woman, Mrs Moore, in the courtyard of a local mosque; she and her younger travelling companion Adela are disappointed by claustrophobic British colonial culture and wish to see something of the 'real' India. But when Aziz kindly offers to take them on a tour of the Marabar caves with his close friend Cyril Fielding, the trip results in a shocking accusation that throws Chandrapore into a fever of racial tension.

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (377 )
5 star
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3.9 (254 )
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4.1 (256 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Pyrmont, Australia 12-28-09
    Susan Pyrmont, Australia 12-28-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Transported"

    As with all EM Forsters works, the language and descriptions took me to another time and place. Whilst some of the reading was a little too heavily accented to be pleasant listening the reading style in general was perfect, languid where necessary, excited as needed to convey this wonderful novel. The underlying political message was not lost.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-02-11
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-02-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary!!"

    There's a reason why books are classics. To quote Wikipedia, "A Passage to India" "was selected as [25th] of the 100 great works of English literature by the Modern Library and ...Time magazine included the novel in its...100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005." It's a novel inextricably bound up in the time and place of colonial India, yet absolutely timeless in its compassionate insights into the human character. The meaning of the title may be understood on many different levels. The skillful narration enriches the listening experience. I would give this book 10 stars if I could--it stands in a category by itself. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vee R.D.1 Blenheim, New Zealand 04-28-11
    Vee R.D.1 Blenheim, New Zealand 04-28-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "First audio book. A Passage to India."

    This audio book has lived up to my expectation for it. I had found it a difficult book to read so have enjoyed the experience of having it read to me. Sam Dastor does an amazing job of reading all the different characters.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rochelle 01-02-14
    Rochelle 01-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor sound quality"

    There is a problem with the sound quality on this version of the book. It begins in chapter 2 & is very intrusive. I'd advise bypassing this version until Audible can get a quality recording.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Rochester, Australia 05-29-12
    Martin Rochester, Australia 05-29-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic Spoiled"

    E. M. Forster's haunting masterpiece is given a poor performance here.

    The passages of narration are fine, but character voices are exaggerated to the point of caricature. It is impossible to take them seriously. Yet this is the antithesis of the wonderfully "round" characterization at which Forster so excelled.

    Find another performance or read the book in print rather than listening to this version.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura Eugene, OR, United States 06-06-14
    laura Eugene, OR, United States 06-06-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a fiber artist and teacher. I love moderate action, plot twists, diverse characters and much romance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Bit Ponderous; Enjoyable Enough and Educational"

    I think if I had tried to read this book in print, I would not have gotten very far, or I would have glossed over many parts, which are actually a significant part of the education, while searching for the evasive plot-line. Luckily, it was well enough narrated that I was kept relatively attentive throughout. I learned quite a bit about the time period and situations of British Rule and the emergence of self-identity in the ever diverse world of India during the early 20th century. I'm sure E.M. Forster would agree that no one book can cover even all of a small portion of Indian life and history thoroughly, but this was an enjoyable enough start.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisa Lakeland, FL, United States 05-30-12
    Alisa Lakeland, FL, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2009

    Literature Professor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling Story and Reading"
    What made the experience of listening to A Passage to India the most enjoyable?

    Quintessential modernist text--Forester deals artfully with British colonialism in India, managing to paint both the Indians and the English sympathetically. Most of the characters are full and dynamic. Anchoring the story in the friendship of Mrs. Moore (an elderly woman) and Dr. Aziz (a widower) begins the story's exploration of the power of relationships and the difficulty of forming and sustaining "intimate" relationships. A Passage to India is a moving story the lure of power and about the difficulty of knowing another.


    What other book might you compare A Passage to India to and why?

    Howard's End--just another excellent Forster text, dealing with some of the same issues of disconnectedness.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Aziz first met Mrs. Moore.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A quest for identity set in the heat and beauty of India...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 01-12-12
    Richard 01-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad accent"
    What didn’t you like about Sam Dastor’s performance?

    The narrator's heavy Indian accent that he applied to the various characters was VERY hard to understand. For that reason I didn't finish the book


    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn A. Davidson 05-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Narration added much to this story"

    Sam Dastor's skill in narration & accents really made this story interesting. The story itself got better as it progressed. Very well done, so much so that I was anxious to know what was going to happen to the characters brought alive by Sam Dastor, so stayed with it until the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline D. Hayes Columbia, SC USA 04-10-15
    Caroline D. Hayes Columbia, SC USA 04-10-15 Member Since 2013

    School Teacher

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    "No words can describe how good this piece is..."

    Read and judge for yourself. A classic. A must read. So culturally relevant even today. It has filled my heart with joy. Must look into more books by Forster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    7/8/12
    Overall
    "India is not a drawing room....."

    Here’s another one that I first read as part of my degree just about thirty years ago, that has again only improved with age and expanded context. I’ve always enjoyed Forster as ‘comfort reading’ and his novels are the ones that I turn to again and again with Hardy and Maugham.

    The strongest impression on this re-reading, is what a terrible state Imperialist Britain was - and what an awful set of people it put in place and maintained. Forster’s observations are very sharp and well defined. The critics now seem to set up the homosexual sensitivity against the feminist perspective and modern reviewers are always drawn to observe that the women portrayed in India come out particularly badly. However, there is absolute consistency in Forster’s observations on the dreadful male characters - all ‘of a sort’ but with a real insight which was ahead of its time.

    The notion that “all of the uprisings in colonial India have the linking theme which one can only attribute to the Jews” is particularly execrable - and one which came leaping out of the page on this reading.

    I loved the book but hated the sentiments it portrayed - and given that Forster was writing in 1924 whilst maintaining a seat at the heart of the Establishment is his really wonderful achievement. It is a book that needs to be read when young and must be enjoyed when older - one of the best achievements of English literature and deservedly part of the central cannon.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Julie
    Sydney, Australia
    3/26/10
    Overall
    "Such a rewarding choice"

    A marvellous reading of a favourite book. The narrator brings the many different characters - Indian, English and Anglo-Indian; Hindu, Muslim, Christian and atheist- vividly to life. I had forgotten how very interesting,moving and funny this book is.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • T
    3/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    I can't believe it's taken me this long! It is an exceptional book. That being said, I could not have fully appreciated had I been any younger.
    It is so well written, really gets into the complexities and emotions of people. Even characters you don't like much are three dimensional so you can see their point of view- even if you don't agree with them. For such a large book not much happens- but the words are so wonderful it doesn't matter. A brilliant performance- so well read. I can't praise it enough and will go on to read more of EM Forster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • CLT
    Wales UK
    1/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent presentation"

    A challenging novel, superbly narrated. Great writing brought to life with skill and sensitivity. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • P A WRIGHT
    11/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow burning book showing colonial prejudices"
    Would you try another book written by E. M. Forster or narrated by Sam Dastor?

    Yes, Sam was a great narrator


    Would you recommend A Passage to India to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, as the plot was very thin; very little happened, and the nuances are lost in this post colonial century. I'm sure it was relevant in its day, but feels incredibly dated.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed Room with a View and Howard's End, but found that I rarely empathized with the characters in Passage to India, and a lot of them did seem fairly thin and one dimensional. It was difficult to finish, and a disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coco the Coo
    11/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unafraid lucid and humorous"

    I wish I had discovered this writer many years ago, this story is so fresh and captivating and relevant. Who'dve guessed.....you maybe, I wasn't expecting such a lucid perspective on the British in India thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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