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The Far Pavilions Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241953022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241953020
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 4.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 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)

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

About the Author

M. M. Kaye (1908-2004) was born and grew up in Simla, India. Her grandfather, father, brother and husband all served the Raj. M. M. Kaye won worldwide fame for The Far Pavilions, which became a best-seller on publication in 1978.
She also wrote a series of detective novels, including Death in Kashmir and Death in Zanzibar, and an autobiography, published in three volumes, collectively entitled Share of Summer: The Sun in the Morning, Golden Afternoon, and Enchanted Evening.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely brilliant book, from a bygone age, I've got the actual book & electronic version too I could read this book over & over again & I have the film as well
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Such a towering love story, set in such a wonderful part of the world, firmly on my Bucket List.

Bought to replace a copy worn out with loving of it.
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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 Verified Purchase
absolutely wonderful book! Full of historical detail, interesting characters and fast-paced action. Excellent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely book lovely story I loved it
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful story of India
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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've found that often books I thought were fantastic when I was young have not stood the test of time when reread later. However, even though I've read and reread this book countless times over the years, each time it comes up trumps.

Set against a backdrop of the Indian mutiny and its aftermath, this is a huge saga of the British Raj under Queen Victoria. It follows the lives of Ash, the son of British parents who is initially raised as a Hindu servant, and Anjuli, an Indian princess, from their childhood through their various emotionally charged meetings and partings.

M.M. Kaye obviously has a strong affinity with India, and it rings out through her wonderfully elegant and colourful descriptions of the landscape, customs and people. An added bonus is that she has obviously done a great deal of research into the history of the times, and many of the characters (such as Ash's friend Walter) and the events described are factual.

The Far Pavilions is a beautifully written novel and I thoroughly recommend it to those of you who (as I do) prefer your historical romances to be strongly rooted in history.
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