Passage to India – E. M. Forster

About the book

When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced ‘Anglo-Indian’ community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the ‘real India’, they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim. But a mysterious incident occurs while they are exploring the Marabar caves with Aziz, and the well-respected doctor soon finds himself at the centre of a scandal that rouses violent passions among both the British and their Indian subjects. A masterly portrait of a society in the grip of imperialism, A Passage to India compellingly depicts the fate of individuals caught between the great political and cultural conflicts of the modern world.

Reviewed by Anton U3A Reading Group:

Not an easy read. Thought provoking – raising issues. Rambling at times; not always clear who was speaking in the dialogue. A book of its time.

Star rating: ***

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8 thoughts on “Passage to India – E. M. Forster”

  1. Review by Petersfield U3A book circle 3:
    Good discussion but it was generally felt that the language was too complicated. Good story , tedious, disappointing at the end.
    Star rating: **

  2. Review by Lymington U3A reading group 2:
    Provoked good discussion and debate and encouraged us to read more of Forster.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Eastleigh Library Wednesday Afternoon Group:
    A demanding but fascinating book. Informative, multilayered and very thought provoking providing many discussion points. Although characters and situation were depicted as extreme, we thought they were probably credible for that period.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Review by EMS Valley U3A Book Club:
    Much enjoyed – particularly well constructed prose and the way Anglo/Indian tensions were depicted. Prompted much discussion about India, Pakistan etc.
    Star rating: ***

  5. Review by Milford Reading Group:
    Not an easy book to read but well worth the effort. Full of insight into the racial prejudice of the time and of Indian society and the Raj. Some beautifully written passages.
    Star rating: ***

  6. Review by The Museum Group:
    A thought provoking book. We discussed the characters in relation to their presence in the India of the 1920s and what would have been expected of them. How we view it in 2005. The book examines the British in India, the Indian population and early wish for self-government.
    Star rating: ***

  7. Review by Yateley and District U3A Reading group:
    We were impressed by the descriptive passages of this book. Set in the early part of the last century some of the text was difficult to understand. The cultural differences of the Indian people and the English attitude was extraordinary on those days. The story line was thought provoking. Dr fielding we thought was a strong characters. Our group was divided in recommending this book.
    Star rating: **

  8. Review from Fareham 5:30 Reading Group
    This book provoked some interesting discussion over whether the British have changed in how they work with people from other countries, and about attitudes to Empire, culture and clans.. However we agreed it was probably a book of its time. It seemed more of a commentary than a story. Not everyone finished this book, we didn’t find it that engroaasing.
    2 stars

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