MobileRead November's book Discussion Thread: A Passage To India
#1  PsyDocJoanne 11-17-2008, 11:14 AM
Hi fellow MobileReaders!

My apologies for my absence from the board lately...I've had a lot going on, but most of it (hopefully!) seems to be under control now, so I hope to be back on the board with more regularity.

This thread is for the discussion of November's book, A Passage to India. I hope everyone has had a great time reading the book and that you are all ready for some good discussion!!

I myself should be finishing up the book tonight, so I will be ignoring this thread until then, but for those of you who have finished, please feel free to get the discussion started!


#2  pilotbob 11-17-2008, 11:31 AM
Hey... you're early. I thought this would start on the 23rd? Oh well... no matter. I am on the third section and hope to finish it soon.


#3  PsyDocJoanne 11-17-2008, 12:07 PM

Bob, you're exactly right. And here I've been desperately trying to finish up because I was sure the discussion thread should have started today

Well, I guess we'll leave this thread primed and ready for the least I'll definitely be finished by then!!

#4  pilotbob 11-19-2008, 11:43 AM
My first post about this book will be, I have finished it.

But, I just wanted to make an observation out the stupidity of the US copyright system. Had this book been published 2 years earlier it would be in the public domain and would have been for quite a while (since 72 I think). But, because it was published in 1924, and I assume the copyright was renewed it will be under copyright until 2019.

Write to your congress critters.


#5  JSWolf 11-20-2008, 09:01 AM
But could it have been written 2 years earlier and still been the same book?

#6  pilotbob 11-20-2008, 01:43 PM
Quote JSWolf
But could it have been written 2 years earlier and still been the same book?
Probably not. But due to the copyright laws this book is in copyright 49 years longer than "The Story of the Siren" by E M Forster that was published in 1920. Then again "Arctic Summer" which was published 10 years after his death will only be in copyright for 60 years compared to the 95 years that "A Passage to India" will be under copyright protection.

Just weird, stupid, and confusing. How are we supposed to avoid violating copyright if it is so damned hard to determine when something becomes public domain.

BUt, I digress. Apologies to the MRBC.


#7  Trono 11-24-2008, 05:35 AM
I've seen some comments about the book in other threads, but nothing here so far. Well - I guess I could start the actual book-commenting...

First of all I wish I'd had the opportunity to go through this book in a few longer reading periods rather then many short ones. As somebody else mentioned, the fascination of this story is about getting into the "frame of mind" of people living in a radically different place and time period than me. As it was - I got a little restless in my reading, generating an urge for something to actually happen during the first few hundred pages... First impressions was heavily influenced by this, and I found the authors strange way of describing people interacting with each other a bit tedious.

After a while, though, there was a "change of pace". I'm not sure whether it was due to changes in my mental state or the content shifting (this is a question I frequently ask myself when either entertained or bored by something). Anyhow, I "got into it" in a hole different way, and suddenly found it amusing at times. I found it timely that the author introduced some "action" when he did - the incident in the caves. A much needed boost in my opinion, but not really enough to last to end of the story. And after things had settled, the main point was yet again the difficulties regarding Anglo-Indian relations...

All in all, I found "A passage to India" to be not very entertaining, but quite educational. Obviously, the things that actually happens is not important, but rather the strange atmosphere that is created throughout the story. Strange gallery of persons - everybody comes off as rather stupid, either directly or through their actions. For several of the characters, though, this is mixed with sympathetic features and good intentions. This is sometimes amusing, and sometimes just plain annoying...

#8  pilotbob 11-24-2008, 10:07 AM
Toro... good comments.

Here are mine... First of all the abstract to this book talks about Adela being "raped" or was she? Please... some one followed her into a cave and grabbed her glasses lanyard. She ran away.

But, more surprising the book made people out to be so delicate. After the above "incident" the girl was out of her mind and catatonic for days. Have we just become stronger mentally in the past 70 years?

Going along with the same theme as above people seemed to take such great offense at the stupidest things. I am talking about the English characters not the Indian. I know that some of the slights were religious and I can understand those. But, not some of the others.

Also, that "gossip" was so easily believed and it was such a simple way to "ruin" someone... like Anthony not getting a good tip so he makes up an affair between Felding and Adela.

Finally, I hope that we have moved beyond thinking once "race" to be inferior. I have great pride that the US was able to select an African American to be our President and that I heard very few arguments based on that. Although the cooks are coming out of the woodwork. The bottom line is that we are all the same race, "human". We should embrace the differences a live by the concept of IDIC (Trek fans know what that is).

This was not the best book I have read nor was it an exciting page turner. But, I am glad that I read it through and finished it.


#9  JSWolf 11-24-2008, 10:47 AM
I did not like the local people trying to be what they were not just to make a good impression on the English people. The English people were boorish snobs who didn't really care about the locals all that much. Not all the English were "bad" people. But most were treating the locals like they were a lower class of people.

#10  VillageReader 11-24-2008, 11:08 AM
I haven't yet finished (I probably will in a day or two) which likely says something about the book, at least as far as I'm concerned.

I thought the first chapter with the vivid descriptions of India would lead to a highly satisfying read. But for reasons that I really can't pin down, the rest of the book hasn't been as appealing. I'm past the section in the caves, and agree that there is a shift in tenor of the book around that period but...

Further thoughts to follow on completion. So far at least just an average read.

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