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The Far Pavilions Kindle Edition
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"A high-adventure love story told without ever a dull moment in the old tratition of the great storytellers of the too distant past." --Book Review
"One of the true big ones."-- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A great romantic adventure novel. She is a born storyteller." --Paul Scott, author of The Raj Quartet
About the Author
- ASIN : B01827VLLO
- Publisher : St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (December 1, 2015)
- Publication date : December 1, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2746 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 964 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #81,804 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Mrs. Kaye was born in India and lived there a good deal of her life. Her love of the people and culture comes through loud and clear. I learned more about India from this book and Shadow of the Moon than any history course I've taken.
This book starts out on the slower side, and is written in an older style. Those are not negatives. Folks used to having the action start in the first paragraph might give up too soon. This book has complex characters who are fully developed against a rich and complicated cultural tapestry.
In essence, this is a love story, an impossible love story, but one that will not be denied. The story encompasses duty, love, honor, the bond of brothers in arms, beauty, cruelty, betrayal, wisdom, loyalty, and insular stupidity (not on the part of the main characters). Despite being English Mrs. Kaye called spades against her own countrymen, much to her credit.
I've read this book perhaps six or seven times and am about to read it again. I recently discovered that this and Shadow of the Moon were now available on Kindle and promptly bought them in that format. I recommend them both highly... they're on my top 10 books all time. For those who may have seen the mini-series with Ben Kingsley major events in the story are out of order in the screen version which for me ruined an otherwise good series.
For a fictionalized saga of a colorful anti-hero's love letter to India's criminal underworld circa the 1970s and 1980s, try Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Beautiful armchair travel and adventure. Dont mis out on M.M. Kaye's Shadow of the Moon either, although hero Ash Pelham-Martyn in TFP is better realized than Shadow's Alex Randall.
I wish I had someone to give me the kind of recs I'm giving right now. All are great, poignant adventures.
I will leave a detailed recounting of the plot to other reviewers. At the heart of the story is the struggle of Ashton Pelham Martin, born British but raised Indian, to reconcile the two halves of himself. His beloved, Anjuli, gives the book its soul. A neglected Indian princess, she too is "half caste," valued solely for the emotional support she gives her spoiled, volatile younger sister, Shushila. The same intolerance and prejudice that makes both Ash and Juli outcasts in their own country, places seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the path of their love.
The story managed to have both a breathtaking scope - sweeping from the Himalayas to the parched deserts of India and back again to the Hindu Kush - and a remarkable intimacy, revealing the private inner lives of a huge cast of characters. The novel highlighted how people find both comfort and frustration in cultural customs and traditions. They give human beings a place to belong while simultaneously limiting and stifling them.
Despite all of the other compelling characters, Ash and Juli's saga was so central to the book's emotional core that the story lost its way when its focus shifted to the Second Afghan War and the ill-fated British mission to Kabul. Try as I might, I was not as engrossed in the fate of Lt. Walter Hamilton, Ash's best friend, especially as both Ash and Juli were relegated to the role of bystanders. The final quarter of the book dragged, taking me a few weeks to finish. I wish M.M. Kaye had used that section as the basis for a second book, rather than trying to shoehorn it into Ash and Juli's story.
The key figures in the siege against the British mission were based on real people. Therefore, the story seemed unnecessarily padded in this final section, as if Kaye were just marking time to arrive at the major historical events. Throughout the book, she also showed a weakness for heavy-handed foreshadowing, to the point I could predict major plot twists long before they happened. In the final quarter, she beat the reader over the head with it, until I was almost relieved to finally reach the end (where I felt Ash and Juli's story was wrapped up too hastily).
However, the book's many strengths made it compelling and worthwhile, and I'll probably listen to or read the story again someday. Vikas Adam was an extraordinary narrator, giving consistent, distinctive voices to all of the characters. I especially loved how he used different accents for Ash, depending on whether he was thinking or speaking in English or in an Indian dialect.
Top reviews from other countries
One cannot underestimate the thrilling, as well the shocking, revelations revealed in this book. However the romantic amongst you will be sated too.
This book is one to hold your attention and is hard to put down. Fabulous.
I did feel that the last section about the fighting in Afghanistan dragged on a bit but throughout the rest of the book all the details and asides really added to the richness and sometimes became important to the plot. At times I felt the section when negotiating the bride contract dragged on too but in the end I think the repetition just served to build an understanding of the frustration.
A key theme in the book was Askok’s/Ashton’s lack of belonging and confusion over his identity although he was a fictional character it all seemed very credible and really made me think of the impact of colonisation.
I switched between kindle and audible and although the narrator seemed very authentic when speaking the Indian parts I found the foreign accents, pronunciation and emphasis cringeworthy. I also found the female voices really irritating which was a shame as on the whole he did a good job of switching between a cast of characters and making a very long book engaging.
I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the camps and life in the palace where the ruling families lived in fear.
Definitely recommend to anyone who likes to read about other cultures