Buy Used
£1.89
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Passage to India Mass Market Paperback – 31 Oct 1985

4.1 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback, 31 Oct 1985
£12.99 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
£5.99
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Reprint edition (31 Oct. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140432582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140432589
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,601,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

What really happened in the Marabar caves? This is the mystery at the heart of E.M. Forster's 1924 novel, A Passage to India, the puzzle that sets in motion events highlighting an even larger question: can an Englishman and an Indian be friends?

Written while England was still firmly in control of India, Forster's novel follows the fortunes of three English newcomers to India--Miss Adela Quested, Mrs Moore and Cyril Fielding--and the Indian, Dr Aziz, with whom they cross destinies. The idea of true friendship between the races was a radical one in Forster's time, and he makes it abundantly clear that it was not one that either side welcomed.

Despite their countrymen's disapproval, Miss Quested, Mrs Moore and Mr Fielding are all eager to meet Indians, and in Dr Aziz they find a perfect companion: educated, westernized, and open- minded. Slowly, the friendships ripen, especially between Aziz and Fielding. Having created the possibility of esteem based on trust and mutual affection, Forster then subjects it to the crucible of racial hatred: during a visit to the famed Marabar caves, Miss Quested accuses Dr Aziz of sexually assaulting her, but then later recants during the frenzied trial that follows. Under such circumstances, affection proves to be a very fragile commodity indeed.

Arguably Forster's greatest novel, A Passage to India paints a troubling portrait of colonialism at its worst, and is remarkable for the complexity of its characters. Here the personal becomes the political, and in the breach between Aziz and his English "friends", Forster foreshadows the eventual end of the Raj. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

In a world far removed from the one in which Forster was writing, is there any place for a novel like A Passage to India other than as an idle curiosity of a bygone era? Written based on first hand experience of the British Raj, this open critique of colonialism caricatures the Anglo-Indian in his element, questioning the morality and justification of the British presence in the subcontinent. A Passage to India is built upon its characters, who are the led through a fairly mundane plot, a jejune stage for the actors to perform upon. Yet through their actions, we discover this world of Empire, where Anglo-Indians hold themselves aloof from the population, where relationships are grounded on the basis of ruler and ruled. Forster challenges the British Raj as it was then. But he also poses questions relevant to our everyday lives: can the cultures of East and West ever truly understand one another? is it possible even for two individuals to truly understand one another? can anything good ever come from a relationship in which one party dominates the other? and what can we really understand about 'identity' through the prism of nationhood? There is no doubt much in this book which can be analysed and overanalysed to the nauseating degree that only a literature class can provoke, and I can imagine that many who studied this novel in a classroom environment learned only to hate it. Where the simplicity of the plot provides only a thread for the characters to follow, the imagery of India's weather and terrain, her townships and cultural diversity, combine to provide symbolic tapestry lending itself to interpretation --By Felix Valencia on 3 Nov. 2012

A Passage to India is set in the rural landscape during a time of British occupation. This is a (not necessarily damning) examination and critique of colonialism and offers a very wide view of the issues it raises. There are no heroics here. Aziz is the downtrodden 'native' character, apallingly abused, to whom my sympathies attached, and yet the hatred that surrounds him turns him to hatred and propels down a vengeful path towards a kind of destruction. Only his long-standing friendship with Mr. Fielding can save him, but Mr. Fielding is English, and Aziz must reconcile himself with this and conquer his own hatred. --By Dan Crawford on 2 Aug. 2012

The language of this work is by far the best I've come across. Amazing! E M Forster is undoubtedly one of the most eloquent writers. The character build-up is slow, steady and realistic. Gives a very close picture of the Indian society that existed during the British Raj and remnants of which can still be found in us Indians - not only our buildings, out attitude, our tastes and our demeanor in general --Saad Hashmi Dec 30, 2014 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A closely observed and tremendously atmospheric story of friendships, love and racism in British colonial India, exquisitely told - it is like reading lace.

Forster almost abandons plot and certainly abandons many of the conventions of novel writing in this, his last and some say greatest, novel. The central character is Aziz, a doctor of Indian birth working for the British. He meets a white woman - Mrs. Moore, newly arrived in India and it seems they fall in love. But Mrs. Moore's companion, Adele, accuses Aziz of assault, a charge that inflames tensions and personal relationships in the Chandrapore Township.

Mrs. Moore and Adele appear at first to be the centre of the book, but their characters fade away once Aziz is accused and instead it becomes clear that Forster is more interested in Aziz's friendship with Fielding - the British schoolmaster. He is the only white who believes that Aziz is innocent.

Forster beautifully captures the colours, sounds and spirit of India - he's obviously completely spellbound by India. His descriptions are more tender and subtle than Kipling's. Forster is just wonderful at capturing the cultural gulf between the two communities and between Hindus and Muslims. Tiny mannerisms, misunderstandings and different tastes are constantly explored and refined, often with a great deal of sly humour. India exists as a real person, there is a sense of history, beauty, spirituality and menace about the place, flies and snakes abound, cholera and disease is looked for, cars crash, carriages ride into hedges, boats capsize - danger is everywhere.
Read more ›
2 Comments 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In a world far removed from the one in which Forster was writing, is there any place for a novel like A Passage to India other than as an idle curiosity of a bygone era? Written based on first hand experience of the British Raj, this open critique of colonialism caricatures the Anglo-Indian in his element, questioning the morality and justification of the British presence in the subcontinent.

A Passage to India is built upon its characters, who are the led through a fairly mundane plot, a jejune stage for the actors to perform upon. Yet through their actions, we discover this world of Empire, where Anglo-Indians hold themselves aloof from the population, where relationships are grounded on the basis of ruler and ruled. Forster challenges the British Raj as it was then. But he also poses questions relevant to our everyday lives: can the cultures of East and West ever truly understand one another? is it possible even for two individuals to truly understand one another? can anything good ever come from a relationship in which one party dominates the other? and what can we really understand about 'identity' through the prism of nationhood?

There is no doubt much in this book which can be analysed and overanalysed to the nauseating degree that only a literature class can provoke, and I can imagine that many who studied this novel in a classroom environment learned only to hate it. Where the simplicity of the plot provides only a thread for the characters to follow, the imagery of India's weather and terrain, her townships and cultural diversity, combine to provide symbolic tapestry lending itself to interpretation.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For Goodness Sake why am I seemingly the only person who cant understand this chronically boring, relentlessly tedious pathetically meaningless tripe.HOW ON EARTH has this attempt at a novel ever become a classic? What exactly are we categorizing it in? Classic tedium perhaps? What a load of rubbish this book is, and like all of E M Forster's books (what does E M stand for, Extremely Monotonous, maybe?). I don't understand the plot and tire of the pathetic unrealistic characters. Who cares about a group of racist English boring women and about taxis in India? Yawn Yawn Yawn . Well Done, Mr Forster,you have written quite possibly the most boring book ever; or at least one of the top ten most boring books ever.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this perhaps best novel by Forster, the reader is magnificently transported to the India of the British Raj by means of an acute sense of observation, humour, and understanding of both the Indian and British dilemmas. If you've been to India, you'll recognize it, if you haven't, here's a chance to meet it at its imperical zenith. It's a heart-warming novel, and the characters will stay with you for years. You may also enjoy it simply for the language, which Forster truly has in his power. I've read it four times, I've taught it and recommended to many different people, and I've never known anyone to be disappointed!
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I love Forster. His works are at the same time a gentle slice of contemporary life and a sharp exposition of the psychological world his characters inhabit.

A Passage to India is set in the rural landscape during a time of British occupation. This is a (not necessarily damning) examination and critique of colonialism and offers a very wide view of the issues it raises. There are no heroics here. Aziz is the downtrodden 'native' character, apallingly abused, to whom my sympathies attached, and yet the hatred that surrounds him turns him to hatred and propels down a vengeful path towards a kind of destruction. Only his long-standing friendship with Mr. Fielding can save him, but Mr. Fielding is English, and Aziz must reconcile himself with this and conquer his own hatred.

The novel is set in a world of echoes. Hatred begets hatred, and historical abuses resound forever until something changes. There is racism in both the English and 'native' Indians and everything continuously feeds into the same old cycles.

Forster intersperses the narrative with incisive and beautiful sentences that give the reader no alternative but to put the book down and think for a moment; for example (on rational arguments against irrational ideas): "Outside the arch there seemed always an arch, beyond the remotest echo a silence."

I have given this four stars (and not five) because, whilst important and thought provoking, the narrative (whilst getting rather hot on a couple of occassions) never really catches fire like in some of Forster's other novels and the world we are introduced to is so alien to our 21st century minds that I found myself wishing there were more detailed descriptions.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback