Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Passage to India . . . one down

So I finished A Passage to India by E.M. Forster yesterday. One of the books in the Time's list. It was good. It was well written. But, no, it was not the best novel I've ever read.

To sum it up, it is a novel about racism in British India between the English, Muslims and Hindus in the 1920s. The first half of the book introduced us to the characters and developed the racism theme. The second half of the book was about the incident in the Marabar Caves and the trial that came out of that.

For a "classic" it was fairly easy to read and understand. One of the things that bothered me was how Forster would jump from one characters thoughts to another- it made it hard to distinguish who the actual speaker was. Another thing I found funny and unrealistic was the level of emotion in some of the characters. For instance, Dr. Aziz would meet a English woman for a few minutes and then declare her his best friend (and be serious about it). I don't know how to explain it, but it seemed very unrealistic to me (but maybe people acted like this in India during the 1920s)??

Anyway, here are some of the quotes that stuck with me:

"[A]n effeminate youth whom he seldom met, always liked, and invariably forgot . . . ." (we all know someone like that)

"There was the problem of Professor Godbole and his food, and of Professor Godbole and other people's food-- two problems, not one problem." (Been there and done that)!

"Professor Godbole's conversations frequently culminated in a cow." (this just made me laugh)

One down, many more to go.

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