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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

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3.8 (330 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Reid's Reads New York City 09-23-13
    Reid's Reads New York City 09-23-13 Member Since 2013

    Retired librarian, avid reader.

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    "Echoes of India and the British Empire"
    Where does A Passage to India rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Despite a technical snafu in an early chapter, this ranks high among my many listens, quite enjoyable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Passage to India?

    The trial, the whole of the proceedings before, during, and after, the injustice and prejudice, the internal thoughts of each of the principals -- all of that section was quite unforgettable.


    Have you listened to any of Sam Dastor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Although I have two other books with Mr. Dastor's narrations in my library, this is my first listen. His characterizations, especially of the Indian voices, are first rate.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The relationship between Dr. Aziz and Mrs Moore, starting with their meeting in the temple, and the extensive and thoughtful preparations Dr. Aziz made for the excursion to the caves, were very touching moments that explored the internal aspects of these two main characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Although I'm quite fond of Howard's End, this comes in a close second among Forster's works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 09-22-13
    Brenda 09-22-13
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    "Engrossing story and very well-narrated."
    Where does A Passage to India rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks in the very top


    What did you like best about this story?

    It captured a time in India in a timeless way -- aspects of the story resonate today.


    What does Sam Dastor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He captured the "voices" of the characters in a very believable and entertaining way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KS 08-10-13
    KS 08-10-13
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    "Perfect Rendition"
    What did you love best about A Passage to India?

    Forster's sensitive and profound penetration into early 20th century India with both the ironical detachment of the modern and the emotional engagement of the subject Indian. Fully considerate of several perspectives of civilization, history, religion, and sex, it is perfectly rendered by Sam Dastor's narration, which with its dynamics, multiple Indian characterizations, male and female intonations, and varying British accents, brings it to life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't really have a favorite character since the author compels me to appreciate every character in his or her own psychological space and limitation. A perfectly contrasting couple are the two main characters, Aziz and Fielding. Mrs. Moore is a unique and mysterious spiritual character, an English old lady with an older and wiser soul than the rational English could understand-and who becomes a spiritual figurehead for the Indians.


    What does Sam Dastor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has a variety of English and Indian voices in his stock, some old and feeble, some dry and sober, some young, some ingratiating and servile,some mean and domineering, some snobbish--as good as an excellent movie.His soft, even-tempered voicing of Forster's narration (when not in dialogue)allows the listener to consider the author's social and religious commentaryas well as hear some wonderous passages of descriptive poetry.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I wanted to savor it in its several parts and let the meaning of every scene sink in well enough before moving on to the next.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Melbourne, Australia 03-04-13
    Joan Melbourne, Australia 03-04-13
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    "Value for money - a classic to enjoy over again"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    E.M. Forster's famous novel is a fascinating and alluring drama of race relations in India under the Raj. It depicts the power and prejudice of the ruling white class, and what happens when Adela Quested, fresh from England, seeks to experience the 'real India' and socialise with Hindu and Muslim men and women. It's an unforgettable portrait of India under the Raj and the political tensions which ultimately led to Indian independence.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I personally liked the open minded school teacher, Fielding, who was an outcast from the British Club because of his unorthodox attitudes. He stood by his Indian friend, Aziz - who was accused of rape - despite misunderstandings in their relationship.


    Have you listened to any of Sam Dastor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I'm currently listening to Sam Dastor's reading of The Raj Quartet. Sam does a wonderful job of all the characters in the Raj Quartet, even better than in the A Passage to India.


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

    I watched the film A Passage to India immediately after listening to Sam Dastor' reading, and it was fun seeing the story come to life on the screen. The film was a Merchant Ivory production, and of very high quality. I enjoyed spotting the differences between the two versions.


    Any additional comments?

    There's a mysterious quality to A Passage to India, an atmosphere that, even today, is unique to India.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth United States 02-15-13
    Elizabeth United States 02-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Mystery hound

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    "A must read classic rendered very well"
    What made the experience of listening to A Passage to India the most enjoyable?

    Author's ability NOT to interfere with the writing if that makes sense. He has to do an Indian accent but if not perfect it isn't too bad.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is great, lyrical writing; it is still topical in terms of colonialism /imperialism and race relations; part of it is a gripping legal thriller.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it is the kind of book you want to draw out slowly to appreciate the writing.


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favorites written, well done by Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CK Cole 06-02-12
    CK Cole 06-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Like watching paint dry."
    What would have made A Passage to India better?

    Something happen. Occasionally there was a subtlety described that was entertaining, but for the most part it was just endless conversations between irritating personalities.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Sam Dastor?

    No idea, but I found all of the voices irritating and I was still confused about who was who. Good voices, very talented in that regard.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-16 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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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.

    11 of 11 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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • CLT
    Wales UK
    1/18/15
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    "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
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    "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
  • Chloe
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    11/21/13
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    "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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