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A Passage to India Audiobook

A Passage to India

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

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.

Set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s it deals with the common racial tensions and prejudices between Indians and the British who ruled India.

Many of Forster's novels observed class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society including A Passage to India, the novel which brought him his greatest success. A secular humanist, Forster showed concern for social, political, and spiritual divisions in the world.

Time magazine included A Passage to India in its All-Time 100 Novels list and it was selected as one of the 100 great works of 20th century English literature by the Modern Library.

Directed by David Lean, a film adaptation was released in 1984 that won numerous awards including two Oscars.

Narrator Biography

A Cambridge graduate who trained at RADA under the direction of Sir Laurence Olivier, Sam Dastor has long featured on screen and stage. He is best known for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and for twice portraying Gandhi in both Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986), and Jinnah (1998).

Sam Dastor has starred in many West End productions with roles such as Ariel in The Tempest, and Orlando in As You Like It. His most recent work has included starring on stage at the Wolsey Theatre in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016). He has narrated a large catalogue of audiobooks including V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (608 )
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4.0 (465 )
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4.3 (470 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Miranda 02-18-16
    Miranda 02-18-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow, but full of nuance"

    Although this book is considered a classic, I find there are too many characters and details, and it is drawn out longer than necessary. The story was not as engaging as I had hoped. Those who appreciate slow and nuanced character development may appreciate it more than I did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Reinbold 02-03-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic"

    The book is a classic and I enjoyed the narration overall, but Dastor's women can have a very annoying tone to them. Small quibble but nonetheless.

    As for the writing, I found Forster's imagery particularly compelling; he writes long discursive passages that are really quite beautiful. The story does have a strange sort of racial tone to the modern ear but I'm sure it was progressive for its age.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 10-17-17
    Michelle 10-17-17 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "A true classic"

    This novel (1920's ) resonates in today's world. Make this novel a part of your history and experience. Wonderous in every way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli 04-25-17
    Eli 04-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
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    "Amazing book."

    This was truly and amazing book filled with rich themes and symbols and a plot that left you always wanting to read on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hopkins 02-23-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A classic must read!"

    Wonderful story of two cultures who fail to understand one another and friends who do!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pierre 12-22-16
    Pierre 12-22-16
    RATINGS
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    1
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    Story
    "Enjoyable and Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 11-30-16
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 11-30-16 Member Since 2008
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    Story
    "A great story about friendship"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everard 08-24-16
    Everard 08-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    "An all time classic"

    I've returned to this book many times over the years, but to listen to Adam Dastor reading it has added another dimension of pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Lacy Virginia 07-15-16
    Jeff Lacy Virginia 07-15-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow reading but masterful"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Honest John Berkeley, CA USA 07-05-16
    Honest John Berkeley, CA USA 07-05-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    Loved the narration, with all the accents and easily identifiable characters. Unfortunately, the story was slow and did not pull me in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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.

    15 of 16 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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Helen C.
    Bristol
    5/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, some poor quality recording"

    Good story and performance, let down by some fuzzy recording quality here and there. Very noticeable through headphones. If you're listening on speakers it's less noticeable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    2/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't overlook an older book..."
    What did you like most about A Passage to India?

    A not unsympathetic colonial perspective on India that shows how attitudes were not always as prejudiced as we may imagine whilst reminding us of the worst facets of British colonial racism.


    What about Sam Dastor’s performance did you like?

    His extraordinary ability to range between Indian and British accents


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

    Definitely!


    Any additional comments?

    I imagined this would have been a lot fustier than it was.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Welsh Mafia
    North Cornelly
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • L. McCulloch
    Scotland
    4/27/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful masterpiece"

    I read this immediately after Room with a View and could see how Forster developed between the two. Both are brilliant but this is mesmerising. The performance by San Dastor is the best I have heard in an audio book and I've listened to very many.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • vikram
    9/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Brilliant book that gives a subtle insight into India and even better performance by Sam Dastor!

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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