Thursday, March 26, 2020

Book Report: "A Passage to India"

A Passage to IndiaA Passage to India by E.M. Forster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

No single book did more to spark the tide that would turn into Indian independence than "A Passage to India." Its importance as an incisive critique of British imperialism and systematic racism can't be dismissed.

That still doesn't make E.M. Forster's book an easy read.

Choppy and dull while spiced up by occasional dollops of intrigue, the story is a largely shapeless and aimless meandering that stumbles along its stilted path of a morality play that serves as an excuse for a plot.

The best way to appreciate the book is anecdotally, cherishing E.M. Swift's poetic ways of painting scenes of a far off time and land, as well as the characters' distinct tones and cultural backgrounds. If only the book succeeded as much as a captivating tale as it did an anthropological case study.

In the Audible version, Sam Dastor gives a heroic effort to inject some life into the book's many slow moments, but there's only so much a narrator can do to make something so dry palatable.

I'm glad I plowed through "A Passage to India." It made me feel more worldly and expanded my appreciation of the way things were on the other side of the world a century ago. But this is a case in which the destination is more valuable than the journey.

Publisher provided review copy.

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