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The Raj Quartet, Volume 2: The Day of the Scorpion (Phoenix Fiction) Paperback – May 22, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Indians coil at English oppression as demonstrated by Hari Kumar's silence over the rape of the white woman he loves; Hindus coil at Muslim antagonism, and Susan, an English woman coils up again and again, in fear of life itself. Scott uses this theme to capture the essence of the strife between England and India, and between the Muslims and the Hindu's.
While part one of the Jewel in the crown puts the focus on Hindu culture, Scott leads the reader to understand the Muslim perspective in "The Day of the Scorpion." Perhaps Paul Scott, in the Raj Quartet, can bring the reader to more fully understand the dynamics of human nature, morality and culture better than any writer of this century. The thoughts and ideas that prevail throughout the series are applicable to many international situations. This truely makes "The Day of the Scorpion" a cross cultural work of art.
In book 1, JEWEL IN THE CROWN, Hari Kumar was wrongfully jailed by the wicked Ronald Merrick for the rape of Daphne Manners Hari's secret love. When Daphne refused to press charges Hari was detained as a political prisoner. In JEWEL, the story of Hari's life was told from the court proceedings and other second hand accounts. JEWEL covers a period of about fifty years.
In SCORPION, Hari tells the story of his life up to 1942. A large section of this 500 page volume reads like a court proceeding since Hari shares his story with Captain Rowan, who has been ordered by the Governor to interview Kumar in prison.
Lady Manners, Daphne aunt, is a secret witness to the interview. It is Lady Manners who has persuaded the British authorities to revisit the reasons for Hari's imprisonment. During the proceedings, Hari is told Daphne is dead. "Twin rivulets gleamed on his prison cheeks, and then the image became blurred and she felt a corresponding wetness on her own..."
I think it would be extremely hard to follow this book without having first read JEWEL IN THE CROWN. A large part of SCORPION is used to elaborate and further the plot introduced in JEWEL.Read more ›
The incidents that formed the backbone of The Jewel In The Crown are still to the fore. There are implications and consequences. But time and people have moved on. Not all have survived. There is a child called Parvati who figures large in the tale but hardly ever appears. Ronald Merrick, however, the policeman from Mayapore who was only seen from afar and through others' eyes in The Jewel In The Crown is now very much at the centre of things. His character, that of a self-made man, grammar school educated, middle, not upper class, provides the perfect contrast to the stiff upper lip fossilized Britishness of the military types. Merrick is no less British, no less confident in his prejudices. In fact he is arguably more aggressive in his need to assert a removed superiority, but his need is personal and antagonistic, containing neither the patronising nor the paternalistic tendencies of those born to rule. Racially he assumes superiority, whereas professionally he must earn it, because, unlike the upper classes, he was not born to it.
The Laytons are such an upper class colonial family. Daddy is a prisoner of war in Europe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent description of the lives of several of the British Raj, especially of one family, and some of both Brits and Indians.Published 2 months ago by normxxx
The Raj saga continues its evocative manner of telling the story of love, politics, subterfuge, heroics and death in the time of British rule of India. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Celeste Whitlow
A bit more action in Volume 2. More fleshing out of characters. This Kindle edition was not proof read well. Many typo errors especially beginning around the second half.Published 4 months ago by Morae
I like the entire series. I recently watched "The Jewel In the Crown on WPSU.. There were 4 episodes and I liked it so well that I purchased the RAJ Quartet, all 4 volumes.. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Patricia Coldiron
This is a very famous book. I have seen the TV series and wanted to read the book to hopefully clarify some details. It's a difficult read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jon Black
Second book in the Raj Quartet and even slower and duller than the first .Published 6 months ago by Richard Turnley
Very complicated plot. After seeing it on tv where the cents made it even harder to follow, I decided I would have to era the books to know what happened.Published 7 months ago by amnacarol
I found the continual errors very annoying. They interfered with the flow of the story. Almost all words starting with cl read as d. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Leslie R Harris