July 27, 2011

A Passage to India

By E.M. Forster

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One of the most complicated, difficult books I've ever had the misfortune opportunity to read. The only redeeming factor of this book was..... I fail to think of any. Well, it's a classic. I guess that's it.

The book was badly, awfully written. Most of the time I couldn't follow the dialogue, and I had to turn back a few pages to reread, because I'd realize I zoned off and didn't get a word that was written. The plot, likewise, wasn't so engaging. It felt like E.M. Forster had a one-time sojourn to India, saw the sights, and decided to write a book about it, creating a fictional plot that, sadly, miserably failed to hold up.

The characters had major problems, too. Dr. Aziz was a weak character for someone who's supposedly the main protagonist; I observed that he did not comport himself in a manner that befits his stature (or at least what one would expect from an educated person). Adela Quested was a presumptuous, crazy hag woman, but I found her the most complicated character of all. I didn't know what to make of her actions: if she had been cunning enough to stage everything, or if she was just plain crazy. Cyril Fielding was a good man, a loyal friend, and was my favorite character in the book, except for the part where he continued to help Adela during a low part in her life. But then again, Fielding would turn out to be the most understanding and forgiving person in the novel, until the very end.

But the good parts of the book couldn't compensate for the bad writing. (It really is.) If I hadn't been buddy-reading this with my TFG friend Angus, I would have been very tempted to discontinue reading. But I really don't like leaving books unfinished, so I suck it up and read until the end. I don't regret the apparent waste of time that I spent reading this book, but I rue the fact that, despite having given it a chance, it still disappointed me.

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