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The Far Pavilions Paperback – 30 Oct 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Paperback, 30 Oct 1997
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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (30 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140048332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140048339
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Rip-roaring, heart-tugging, flag-flying, hair-raising, hoof-beating ... the very presence of India (The Times )

A long, romantic adventure story of the highest calibre ... wildly exciting (Daily Telegraph )

Magnificent is the only possible description for The Far Pavilions ... not one of its 950 pages is a page too much (Evening Standard )

A Gone With the Wind of the North-West frontier (Jan Morris The Times )

A massive, meticulously researched and fascinating saga about the British in India, encompassing a guarter of a century, from the Mutiny up to war with ferocious Afghan tribemen (Sunday Express )

About the Author

M. M. Kaye was born in India and spent most of her childhood and much of her early married life in that country. Her ties with India are strong: her grandfather, father, brother and husband all served the Raj, and her grandfather's first cousin, Sir John Kaye, wrote the standard accounts of the Indian Mutiny and the first Afghan War. When India achieved independence her husband joined the British Army, and for the next nineteen years she followed the drum to all sorts of exciting places she would not otherwise have seen, including Kenya, Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Berlin.

M. M. Kaye is best-known for her highly successful historical novels, including the bestselling The Far Pavilions, Shadow of the Moon and Trade Wind, all published by Penguin, and for her detective novels, which include Death in Berlin, Death in Kenya and Death in Cyprus (also published by Penguin in one volume entitled Murder Abroad), and Death in Zanzibar, Death in Kashmir and Death in the Andamans, also collected together in one volume. Penguin also publish the first volume of her autobiography, The Sun in the Morning. The second volume, Golden Afternoon, was published by Viking. M. M. Kaye has also written a children's story, The Ordinary Princess (1991).


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have only just finished ready M.M. Kayes masterpiece after putting it off for quite some time due to its length (950 pages of tiny text) but I would urge other readers not to be put off but to dive straight in, preferably when you have plenty of time to devote to it as you won't want to put it down. The love story that threads the book is only a small part of the tale which covers an exciting period in the History of India and the British Raj. The story draws you along at an incredible pace yet the attention to detail and the vivid description of places and characters is amazing. It is all here: love, death, honour, betrayal, intrigue, war, and so much more. As one of the reviews on the book jacket states 'not one of its 950 pages is too many' and it still leaves you wishing the story could go on. An absolute cracker!
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Format: Paperback
Due to the book's size and the fact that I'd never been very interested in India, I'd been putting off reading The Far Pavilions for some time(my Mum had bought it for me at a boot fair as she'd loved it). However it is now on my mental list of all time favourite books. I absolutely loved every page of it. As well as having a fabulous fabulous story/characters etc (many parts of which are based on real life) I feel I've learnt so much about a culture that had originally been a total mystery to me. A must read if ever there was one! I'd give it more stars if I could!
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Format: Paperback
I've had this book for 15 years and read it 5 times. Lately I've read quite a few historical novels, but keep coming back to this one - I haven't found any better, even by far more famous authors. And it's not only because I, as the son of a missionary, grew up in a town central to the story. This is good read, whatever your background. But having first-hand experience, I can testify that Mrs. Kaye captures the taste of British India to perfection. Not the balanced real-life reality, which is boring in whatever country you live, but rather the romantic, wistful, glamorous and exciting images of a European looking back at having lived the life of an expatriate in India. Which is the perfect backdrop for a wonderful story. As in most great novels the underlying theme is a love story - a very romantic one - but the book also ranges from harsh soldiering to lavish royalty to grim portrayals of heat, dust, disease and poverty. The book's characters are both interesting and believable, and many of them are very likable - especially the native Indians. Anyone suffering from white-supremacy racism may well find this book an effective antidote. Even though the main charachter is British and the setting very British Empire (India of today is not like this), it is obvious that Mrs Kaye's sympathy lies primarily with India and her people, and not least the landscape - the hill country of Kashmir, the northen Punjab and the North West Frontier Province of what is now Pakistan. The title - The Far Pavilions - refers to a mountain range, which aquires exquisitely romantic, almost religious connotations as the story unfolds. This is not your typical bestseller, written to a popular recipe, but obviously a labour of love, and of deep personal knowledge of the subject matter. And just to show that I'm not going overboard in uncritical praise: Mrs Kaye's next book, The Shadow of the Moon, a similar story, is not as good as this one. Not by far.
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Format: Paperback
This is probably my favourite book of all time, and one I keep coming back to again and again. Beautifully written, emotionally gripping, exciting and above all a gorgeous, gorgeous story.
MM Kaye's other novels are good but not outstanding, and the three autobiographies are very entertaining (although she has harboured a few grudges against unkind nannies and the like for half a century and more!) yet with The Far Pavilions she seems to have touched genius. I am sure this will be a classic for decades to come, and I can't praise it highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a whim, having seen last year's promotion of the Far Pavilions musical in London. To say this is an epic story is an understatement, but it is worth the hours and hours I pored over the story - sometimes even at 3am in the morning, because I just had to know what happens next.

M M Kaye is an extraordinarily skilled author, who can not only transport you to India but to another era. Her descriptions are so vivid and colourful and the use of local dialect makes the story more authentic.

You will really sympathise with one of the main characters, Ash (Ashton/Ashok) and it seems like he has the world on his shoulders. The woman he loves, Anjuli, might frustrate you with her blind devotion to her half-sister (at the expense of her happiness - not to mention peoples' lives), but it is all essential to the story. You will root for these two to be together.

Sometimes you can forget it is a love story because so much else is going on - and, to be honest, the whole Afghanistan war section at the end leaves you feeling a bit 'huh?'

I loved this story.
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Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times and keep returning back to it. Indeed I will have to buy a new copy for my next read since my old book has now disintegrated.
The story weaves in an out, with many plots and side issues, with the theme of India and Ash running throughout. Reading this book is no small undertaking but very worthwhile and extremely enjoyable.
If you have any interest in India, thjen this is the book for you
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