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The Raj Quartet, Volume 3: The Towers of Silence (Phoenix Fiction) Paperback – May 22, 1998


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Frequently Bought Together

The Raj Quartet, Volume 3: The Towers of Silence (Phoenix Fiction) + The Raj Quartet, Volume 2: The Day of the Scorpion (Phoenix Fiction) (Vol 2) + A Division of Spoils (Repr of 1975 Ed) (Raj Quartet/Paul Scott, 4) (Phoenix Fiction)
Price for all three: $55.47

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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Fiction (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 22, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226743438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226743431
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Paul Scott’s vision is both precise and painterly. Like an engraver crosshatching I the illusion of fullness, he selects nuances that will make his characters take on depth and poignancy.”
(Jean G. Zorn New York Times Book Review)

“One has to admire Mr. Scott’s gifts as a buttonholing storyteller, and his rich, close-textured prose; his descriptions of action and of certain kinds of relationships are superb.”
(Guardian)

“What has always astonished me about The Raj Quartet is its sense of sophisticated and total control of its gigantic scenario and highly varied characters. The four volumes constitute perfectly interlocking movement of a grand overall design. The politics are handled with an expertise that intrigues and never bores, and are always seen in terms of individuals.”
(Peter Green New Republic)

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Customer Reviews

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I am a fan of fiction about India and of course, saw the series on PBS several times.
Amazon Customer
To say what happens to her would give away the story... suffice to say that Scott's powers of characterization are as brilliant as ever.
Debbie Terrill
Very interesting the way the various characters told the same story but in different ways.
anne grove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best and most important book in Scott's Raj Quartet (though you need to have read the first two to appreciate it). The character of Barbie Batchelor makes this the masterpiece that it is. Scott's ability to create a sweeping historical, political, and philosophical panorama through the mind of such a seemingly marginal figure -- a retired missionary teacher of no great brilliance, who may be slowly losing her mind -- is a real achievement.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on May 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
TOWERS OF SILENCE by Paul Scott is the third book in the Raj Quartet and continues the story of the last days of British rule in India as told mostly from the perspective of English people living in India during this period. The "towers" of the title are many things including quite literally the place where the dead of a particular Indian relgious sect are laid out and their bodies exposed to carrion who devour them. Metaphorically, the towers may represent the place to which the mentally ill retreat after they witness what they believe to be the death of God.
In TOWERS at least two people appear visably "mad" -- Susan Layton and Barbie Bachelor. Others may be equally insane but these two defy established conventions and disrupt the equilibrium of those around them to the point they must be incarcerated.
Susan has been made a widow by the death of her new husband. She is pregnant at the beginning of the book and gives birth to Edward shortly after a terrible experience with another death. Afterward she suffers from postpartum depression.
Barbie is an ex-missionary--now retired--who has lived with Old Mrs. Mabel Layton for the past five years. Suddenly, Barbie finds herself without a home and with no relatives or close friends. She exhibits behavior deemed odd by the establishment. Barbie also has an uncanny way of pointing to the truth others refuse to acknowledge -- except Sarah Layton.
Once again, Sarah reacts very negatively to the obviously bizarre Ronald Merrick whom she visits in a Calcutta hospital in place of her sister who is too ill to travel. Sarah first met Ronald when he served as best man at Susan's wedding. He has since been wounded in a failed attempt to save Susan's husband who died in combat in Maylasia.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Penner on June 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The four volumes of the Raj Quartet overlap and complement one another, while at the same time forwarding the main storyline of the slow twilight of the British ascendancy in India, always with the rape of a white girl by Indian men as the central lodestone everpresent in the background, the nightmare which is seldom mentioned but which none can drive from their minds. Events occur, are discussed, witnessed as newspaper reports, court documents, interviews, vague recollections from years later, or perceived directly by the main characters. Then the next volume will take two or three steps back into previous events, and these same events will be perceived from another angle, perhaps only as a vague report heard far away across the Indian plain, or witnessed directly by another character, or discussed in detail long after their occurrence over drinks on a verandah. This may at times seem like rehashing, indeed as one reads the four volumes one will be subjected to the account of the rape in the Bibighar Gardens many times over; but what will also become apparent is that additional details, sometimes minor variations in interpretation and sometimes crucial facts, are being added slowly to the events discussed, as though the window to the past were being progressively wiped cleaner and cleaner with successive strokes of Scott's pen. In this way he draws the picture of the last days of the Raj not in a conventional linear fashion, but recursively, and from multiple angles. One gets the clear impression of life in India during the first half of the 20th century as similar in nature: Fragmented, multifaceted, largely dependent upon perspective and experience and never perceived whole or all at once.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Terrill on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Each volume of Scott's The Raj Quartet has its own beauty and power. This volume could perhaps be said to view of India from the English point of view... although that viewpoint is, like India itself, always shifting, sometimes hallucinatory. The character I love most in this volume is the missionary, who comes to live in Rose Cottage... she is a link between the first volume, and the symbolic picture "The Jewel in the Crown", and the post-war India to come. To say what happens to her would give away the story... suffice to say that Scott's powers of characterization are as brilliant as ever. If you have read the first 2 volumes, you are already hooked, and will hardly need this review to read on!
The Raj Quartet is one of the finest works of literature I have read. Don't miss it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Sweeping, powerful saga..Not so much a story of India..More of a story of The British Raj, and the lives of those who lived under it in the last fading days... in four equally gripping instalments...The story of The Leytons continues ,but the emphasis swings slightly...
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