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Publisher's Summary

In the India of 1942, two rapes take place simultaneously - that of an English girl in Mayapore, and that of India by the British. In each, physical violence, racial animosity, the coercion of the weak by the strong all play their part, but playing a part too are love, affection, loyalty, and recognition that the last division of all to be overcome is the colour of the skin. The whole spectrum of Anglo-Indian relations is vividly evoked in a brilliant assessment of emotions, personal clashes and historical reasons that eventually prised India - the jewel in the Imperial Crown - from its setting.

©1966 N.E. Avery Scott (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Thomas
  • Grand Rapids, MI, United States
  • 11-07-11

Great Audio Book!

This is an engrossing story and the narrator gives a fantasic performance, with a different voice for each character. I wish he did the rest of the series but this seems to be the only volume available with him. Well worth listening to.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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This is one to get

Would you listen to The Jewel in the Crown again? Why?

I would listen to this again as it seems so rich in human experience that I expect to find more in it every time I read it.

What other book might you compare The Jewel in the Crown to and why?

It's often compared to A Passage To India, but Paul Scott's knowledge and interest in both India and the Raj clearly dwarfs Forster's. Forster's book is largely satire (and written long before the tragedies Scott describes), whereas Scott's much longer work feels populated with real people in serious situations.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh and cry, in equal measure.

Any additional comments?

Sam Dastor was born to narrate this book -- his astonishing mastery of a wide range of British and Indian accents, as well as characters, is unparallelled in my experience. Please somebody persuade him to perform the last three books in the series. I cannot imagine anyone else ever coming up to his standard.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An achievement by any standard

Broad and deep with great vision,empathy,and intellect. A cut far above comparable novels in every sense. Skillfully read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Terrific narrator and great novel

If you have ever wanted to read the Raj Quartet, The Jewel in the Crown narrated by Sam Dastor couldn't be better. His rendition of the characters' voices as well as their accents is so good that much of the time I forgot that this was the same narrator doing all the different voices. Now that I have listened to the first book in the Quartet, I plan to read the other three. My preference would have been to listen to the rest of the quartet as audiobooks, but unfortunately the samples of Richard Brown reading have convinced me that I would not like his narration at all. Oh, to have the rest of the Quartet read by Sam Dastor! Audible, are you listening?

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Any additional comments?

An outstanding performance of a complex, multicultural, layered novel. Hoping Sam Dastor will record the rest of the quartet.<br/>

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Favorite brought to life

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, a wonderful experience.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Jewel in the Crown?

Kumar interviewed in prison while Lady Manners watched.

Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor – was your favorite?

All

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

See above memorable moment

Any additional comments?

Have always loved these books. A wonderful read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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My favorite books

What did you love best about The Jewel in the Crown?

This novel and the ones that follow are about as nearly perfect as books could be for me. The story is compelling, the characters are unforgettable, the history is fascinating. I have read all these books before (The Raj Quartet) and have watched the PBS series probably twenty-five times and I have never tired of them.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters in this novel are simply unforgettable: Daphne Manners, Hari Kumar, Ronald Merrick, and so many more.

Any additional comments?

I listened to an earlier sound recording of this series, and this one is far superior. The reader is awesome at becoming different characters in a completely believable fashion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gives a frank portrait of the Raj and racism

I so enjoyed the film adaptation of the book, and the original story was even better, made real and richer by the excellent narration.

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A masterpiece of television, now a listen to it.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Those who enjoyed the ITV television series will enjoy this in equal measure. Sam Dastor knows his characters. Having backpacked around India in the 60's and early 70's when the British Raj was still fresh in the minds of that land, it is easy to follow and understand Sam Dastor in character.

What other book might you compare The Jewel in the Crown to and why?

Heat and Dust and The Far Pavilions were also masterpieces of British television. These three tales were for many their first taste of British Raj. I first backpacked to India in 1969 before returning to do my GCE A ‘Levels including English Literature. On the syllabus was A Passage to India by E.M. Forster. What a treat and piece of cake. Researching, I found Walt Whitman's 'Passage to India' in the Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse, and that Forster had indeed borrowed the title.

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

I have to thank Audible.com for introducing me to Sam Dastor, starting with The Buddha and the Sahibs, Kim, and The Story of India. Is this a trick question? All Sam Dastor's performances are absolutely outstanding.

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

Too late! The Jewel in the Crown (1984) is a British television serial about the final days of the British Raj in India during World War II, based on the Raj Quartet novels (1965–75) by British author Paul Scott. Granada Television produced the series for the ITV network.

Any additional comments?

We are blessed indeed that Audible continues to bring us these gems. As for myself, my life is enriched thereby.

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Beautifully told

What wonderful story sometimes hard but so well written and narrated. The book tells the hard truth about British india.

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  • K Bookworm
  • 02-27-15

Good start - where's the rest of the Raj Quartet?

What did you like most about The Jewel in the Crown?

It sets the scene well, beautifully written.

What other book might you compare The Jewel in the Crown to, and why?

Parade's End in another era, another place.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What happened next?

Any additional comments?

I do hope you will obtain the rest of the quartet. It used to be available in cassettes.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pamela Brooks George
  • 03-23-13

Mesmerising!

I enjoyed this so much. It is beautifully and sensitively read and had me transfixed for the full 21 or so hours. It is a wonderful story, which I knew well from the TV series, and it was fascinating to listen to the book where the details of the story are fleshed out. I am so disappointed that the other three books in the quartet are not available on audio. I do hope they will be soon and that they will be read by the same superb narrator - Sam Dastor.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • JRR
  • 12-01-12

Wonderful

This book is marvellously narrated, and I wish that it could go on forever. I do hope that recordings of the rest of the Raj Quartet are planned.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosie
  • 04-13-13

One of the best readings I have found on Audible

This is a fantastic reading of a fantastic book. As those who have read the book will know, it is made up of various accounts and the narrator is able to portray each of them perfectly.



I haven't quite finished listening to it yet, but both the book and the narrator draw you in slowly so that you become gradually more and more invested in the story and eager to know the truth.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer brindle
  • 04-02-16

Excellent story, well read, where is the rest?

If you could sum up The Jewel in the Crown in three words, what would they be?

Only the begining!

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

His reading is neither over dramatised or too flat, and it suits the story.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

I would really like to listen to all of the Raj Quartet, particularly with the same narrator as the accents and tone of his reading were just right. Has the rest of the series been recorded but not bought by audible?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Trevor
  • 01-09-15

A Masterly Reading

Probably the definitive account of Anglo-Indian relations during the latter days of the Raj.
I have watched, and very much enjoyed, the TV series but, as always, there is so much more to be had from the book. Having said that, it is sometimes rather wordy and there might be a tendency to skip if reading the print version but, as others have noted, Sam Dastor’s reading is masterly and makes this audiobook riveting from beginning to end. Not only is every character utterly individual but he also manages that most difficult (for a man) of tasks: presenting female characters convincingly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • john
  • 07-15-15

Good balance. Last throes of Empire

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Paul Scott gives an insight on the inevitable tensions in the ruled sub-continent.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Scott? Why or why not?

There is a mesmeric quality as the viewpoint on the same events changes from witness to witness

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

Dastor is a thoroughly professional narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • George
  • 05-30-15

Wonderfully written, superbly read by Sam Dastor

Paul Scott's book is a wonder of English literature. How is it that he has not had produced more masterpieces? Sam Dastor does a truly amazing job with the different Indian accents, not to mention getting the subtle class differences of the English characters spot on. A rare book that I can safely say that it was better to listen to than read. Wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly
  • 02-26-16

Fabulously read and great story

The voices here are marvellous and this story unfolds in such a subtle way that you are drawn in without realising.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in British Indian history but it is a great story anyway

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill Phillips
  • 01-11-16

Sam Dastor's informed Reading is sheer Genius.

Would you listen to The Jewel in the Crown again? Why?

Yes.

What did you like best about this story?

Everything.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It can't possibly be as good as Sam Dastor's reading.

Any additional comments?

I wish Part 2 (The Day of the Scorpion - upon which I've just embarked) was being read by Sam Dastor. Richard Brown's reading is boring and (worse still) totally unresearched. <br/><br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Graeme H
  • 07-08-15

A fine work, beautifully read

This is no nostalgia-filled love look back to the Raj. It is a psychologically acute, and deeply thoughtful work about racism, colonialism and humans trying to connect.

Sam Dastor's reading is perfection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful