➿ The Far Pavilions Free ➶ Author M.M. Kaye – Tactical-player.co.uk
I finished it I m not even going to try to summarize this, enough readers have already done so and to be honest, it s so huge, so SO HUGE that I wouldn t even know where to start Only that it s about a man born without the comfort of national borders, trying to find where he belongs in this world, and a half caste girl, a princess, who would give her life to find it with him.I loved it I lived it I feel like I ve died a thousand deaths over the last two weeks reading it.If you haven t already read this, by all means pick up a copy But don t even think about reading it until you re thoroughly in the mood for a long, hot, Indian epic I had this on my shelf for going on three years, waiting for the right time You can only read something for the first time once, so choose carefully.My favorite part Ash s childhood in India and later SUTTEE My least favorite part The last 150 pages, the Afghanistan war Some parts were intriguing and some parts endless battle scenes were snooze worthy I mainly read those bits to see who else had died.Highly recommended.CONTENT SEX One scene, not explicit but not really for young readers either.VIOLENCE Some battle scenes, poisonings, Suttee, assassinations etc, not gratuitous, but people do die.LANGUAGE Mild profanity sparsely scattered throughout. Another one of my all time favorites I don t know how I stumbled on this book, but its worth the 955 pages yeah really What I liked best about this book is the exploration of the main characters alienation He is neither British nor Indian, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, he s everything and nothing all at once Actually I might recommend this book if you liked Life of Pi Although I would say that this is a much thorough and interesting tale The novel takes place in India in the late 1880s, during a series of battles between Afghanistan and India and other various battles for the East India Company Ashton also called Ashok is born to an English professor and a British mother in India However his parents die of cholera when he is a baby and he is raised Hindu by a woman named Sita Ashok lives a life in poverty as an attendant for a noble family and also becomes very close to the games keeper who is Muslim and learns their traditions as well It s only when he is 13 or 14 that he learns that he is English and not Indian He s sent to British boarding school and finds himself totally alienated When he is 18 he joins the Corps of Guides and returns to India Lots of battles and love affairs follow This is a great book if you like detailed family sagas and historical novels, since I believe the book is couched in actual events. A Magnificent Romantic Historical Adventure Novel Set In India At The Time Of Mutiny The Far Pavilions Is A Story Of Th Century India, When The Thin Patina Of English Rule Held Down Dangerously Turbulent Undercurrents It Is A Story About And English Man Ashton Pelham Martyn Brought Up As A Hindu And His Passionate, But Dangerous Love For An Indian Princess It S A Story Of Divided Loyalties, Of Tender Camaraderie, Of Greedy Imperialism And Of The Clash Between East And West To The Burning Plains And Snow Capped Mountains Of This Great, Humming Continent, MM Kaye Brings Her Quite Exceptional Gift Of Immediacy And Meticulous Historical Accuracy, Plus Her Insight Into The Human Heart I first read The Far Pavilions by M.M Kaye when it was first published in 1978 and have since read it a few times it s become one of my favorite books ever.This is an epic novel of Ashton Pelham Martyn, an English officer, during the British Raj period in India, who falls in love with Anjuli, a half caste Hindu princess The author s knowledge of and childhood experiences in India make this an epic and unforgettable book.A sweeping and gripping high adventure and passionate love story, of heroism and cruelty, bigotry and prejudice, danger and love and the most breathtaking and vivid descriptions of 19th century India, an absolute MASTERPIECE A fantastic reread every time 3.5 When I finish my own review, I m going to find like the review where the reviewer packed it in about 160 pages from the finish I m writing like when I mean applaud This novel was of an epic struggle than an enjoyable experience 960 pages or not, I m a fast, avid reader No book should take me four months to read.My reading progress really does the work of a review READING PROGRESS08 21 page 42 4.0% Instantly enthralled 08 25 page 97 10.0% OK, I m ready for Ash s childhood to be over 09 01 page 183 19.0% 09 06 page 258 26.0% 09 08 page 288 30.0% 09 15 page 316 32.0% 09 18 page 395 41.0% Awesome ending to part 3 09 22 page 401 41.0% 09 25 page 467 48.0% 10 02 page 530 55.0% 10 20 page 570 59.0% This is my Everest 10 30 page 614 63.0% 11 03 page 707 73.0% 11 27 page 720 75.0% 12 01 page 740 77.0% 12 04 page 798 83.0% Part 7 is dragging 12 05 page 823 85.0% My copy completely disintegrated the middle has fallen out Will make it easier to carry around half a book though 12 11 page 857 89.0% 12 15 page 874 91.0% Lost interest 12 18 page 902 93.0% The end is in sight I m thinking this book being both a historical and part of the time a historical romance is what doesn t work for me There were some really enthralling bits usually near the end of each part and a lot that dragged like I wrote above, this book didn t manage to meld the historical and the historical romance parts successfully the cover of my copy had me expecting romance Yeah I know not fair to the author, but this was my expectation.Sometimes Juli didn t appear for 100s of pages The ending was wonderful, inspiring, awesome But I don t think I will be trying Kaye s other chunksters I have one of Kaye s children s books one of her mysteries which I think will suit me better.Time to recognise that I don t usually like fiction that is longer than 450 pages Some books get into your senses They fill your nose with the scent of a people, the lick of the sun on bare skin, the brazen gossip of silk sheets, or engulfs you with a composition of shadows that hints at something beyond line of sight M.M Kaye is a storyteller that makes you taste India She takes her own life experience and, like Rudyard Kipling and Frances Hodgson Burnett, draws fairy tales in the sands of Southern India while tucked in at the bed of the Himalayans This is not just a book for women, with its romance and its splendour, but Ernest Hemmingway would be proud of the imagery used to explain the Sepoy Mutiny, the uprising of the colonised soldiers against the colonist generals A contrast in textures, hard and soft, rough and smooth, creamy and quenching, sweet and savoury, all wrapped up in black and white. Reading this book for the first time as a teenager was a magical experience for me It was the first time I had ever been so deeply submerged in a book that I literally felt dazed and disoriented when it ended and I had to return to reality They were so real for me Ash and Juli, Wally and Zarin, Biju Ram and Hira Lal Leaving their world leaving India at the end of the book was painful The story is about Ashton Pelham Martyn, English by birth but born in India He spends his childhood believing he is Indian, and only finds out the truth when he s eleven This is when the person that he thought he was is separated into two distinct people One is his traditional English persona which is forced on him in his later childhood, and the other is Ashok, the person he was in his earliest memories of himself Ash s journey to self realization is a torturous one, and encompasses the full spectrum of human experience love, friendship, loyalty, responsibility, despicable acts of cowardice and treachery, and acts of incredible heroism Toward the end of the book is a battle scene based on a real historic event Usually I find protracted battle scenes tedious, but this time this time, I was completely caught up in it I was THERE with Wally, and every desperate sortie, every stratagem, and every loss tore my heart out I have never read another battle scene since which captivated me as this one did This book is storytelling at its grandest It doesn t hurt that Kaye constructs sentences designed to thrill an English teacher s heart, so smoothly and effortlessly do they flow If you have not yet experienced this epic tale, what are you waiting for A novel about India in the late 1800s I ve been putting off reading this book despite it being hugely famous and people constantly asking me if I ve read it because I m pretty sure it s going to be obnoxiously pro colonialism The dedication, for instance, is to the author s husband and father in law, British soldiers who served in India But I m not far enough into it yet to judge, so perhaps I ll be pleasantly surprised.I was quite amused by this passage, describing a woman who died after giving birth in a tent It was not her fault that Isobel died It was the wind that killed Isobel that cold wind off the far, high snows beyond the passes It stirred up the dust and the dead pine needles and sent them swirling through the tent where the lamp guttered to the draught, and there was dirt in that dust germs and infection and uncleanness from the camp outside, and from other camps Dirt that would not have been found in a bedroom in Peshawar cantonment, with an English doctor to care for the young mother.I m pretty sure the author a does not understand how germs work, and b is way overestimating the value of a doctor in 1850 So, I was afraid this book would be colonialist, and it turns out I was right D As well as being terrible in all sorts of ways Rather than detail them all, I think I ll just excerpt this bit for your enjoyment the context is that Anjuli, an Indian princess because of course she is, has snuck out alone to meet privately with Ash, a British dudeIf it is for yourself that you are afraid, said Anjuli sweetly, you have no cause to be, for I sleep alone and therefore no one will miss me And if I feared for myself, I would not be here Her voice was still barely than a whisper, but there was so much scorn in it that the blood came up into Ash s face and for a fraction of a second his fingers tightened cruelly about her wrist Why, you little bitch, said Ash softly and in English.OUR HERO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN And no, why her not being afraid should make her a bitch makes no sense in context If anything, it s shocking because the rest of the book treats swearing much as 19th century literature would that is, avoids it nearly entirely.There s also plenty of narrative discourse expounding upon the foreign ways of the East crafty, prone to lying, intricate and how they differ from the ways of the West straightforward, honest, fair and how impossible it is that ever the twain should meet However, Our Hero Ash was raised as an Indian for most of his childhood and thus can cross the lines The example given for this is whenever he s asked a general polite question What s your opinion or How are you he answers honestly, even when one is expected to tell a white lie And this shows how foreign he is from those straightforward British I don t know why it bothers me that the author can t keep her racism straight, BUT IT DOES.I m going to read the next 800 pages anyway, because I have a Thing about finishing books I ve started, but it s totally going to be a hate read.Another distressing passage for you all The context here is that Ash and Anjuli are in love, but Anjuli refuses to run away with him because she promised to take care of her younger sister, Shushila Ash caught her wrist and wrenched her hand away But I love you too And I need you Does that mean nothing to you Do you care so much for her than you do for me Do you And my happiness demanded Ash, his voice harsh with pain Does mine not matter But it had been no good Nothing that he could say had made any difference He had used every argument and every plea he could think of, and at last he had taken her again, ravaging her with an animal violence that had bruised and hurt, yet was still sexually skilful enough to force a response from her that was half pain and half piercing rapture But when it was over and they lay spent and breathless, she could still say I cannot betray her And he knew that Shushila had won, and that he was beaten His arms fell away and he drew aside and lay on his back staring up into the darkness, and for a long time neither of them spoke.GOOD JOB ASH This is totally the way to convince someone to spend their life with you act like a whiny brat and then abuse them That s what I like in a romantic hero I didn t even include the part where Anjuli tells him not to worry, she knows how to make her future husband think she s a virgin, and Ash is disgusted and angry that she knows harlot s tricks.Ash continues to be a dick, news at eleven.Still terrible In recent developments of the terribleness, Anjuli Ash s One True Love and her sister Shushila have been condemned to be burned alive I also have a lot of Doylist criticisms of the climatic event of the novel being a European dude rescuing an Indian woman from sati, but let s stick to Watsonian terribleness for the moment But obviously Ash only really cares about saving one woman from this fate, because, yo, he s not in love with Shushila so who cares what happens to her Or, as he says to Anjuli when she feels obligated to watch Shushila WHO, AGAIN, IS HER SISTER till the endShushila Ash spat out the name as though it were an obscenity Always Shushila and selfish to the end I suppose she made you promise to do this She would Oh, I know she saved you from burning with her, but if she d really wanted to repay you for all you have done for her, she could have saved you from reprisals at the hands of the Diwan by having you smuggled out of the state, instead of begging you to come here and watch her die You don t understand, whispered Anjuli numbly Oh, yes I do That s where you are wrong I understand only too well You are still hypnotized by that selfish, hysterical little egotist Or later, after Shushila has died and Anjuli is still mourning her it s been, like, less than a month, by the wayYou will not , said Ash, speaking between clenched teeth, say that name to me again Now or ever Do you understand I m sick and tired of it While she was alive I had to stand aside and see you sacrifice yourself and our whole future for her sake, and now that she s dead it seems that you are just as determined to wreck the rest of our lives by brooding and moping and moaning over her memory She s dead, but you still refuse to face that You won t let her go, will you He pushed Anjuli away with a savage thrust that sent her reeling against the wall for support, and said gratingly Well, from now on you re going to let the poor girl rest in peace, instead of encouraging her to haunt you You re my wife now, and I m damned if I m going to share you with Shu shu I m not having two women in my bed, even if one of them is a ghost, so you can make up your mind here and now myself or Shushila OH ASH SO ROMANTIC But hey, it turns out to be okay, because then Anjuli relates a long story about how Ash was right all along, and Shushila was totally an evil bitch just like her mother, because I guess evil and sexiness is genetic I can t wait until I m done with this book.God, this book is endless But I m so close to being done For the dramatic climax, Ash has gone off to disguise himself as an Afghani to be a spy and live in Kabul during the Second Anglo Afghan War Because this is obviously a very exciting plot development that would be fun to read about, it s all happening off screen while the last hundred of so pages have been a nearly non fictional account of politics and battles Without Ash around to be a sexist dick, the author has instead gone with bizarre European stereotypes, because I suppose something has to be terrible And as he watched, the prescience that is so often a part of the Irish heritage stirred in him, bringing a premonition of disaster that was so strong that instinctively he flung up a hand as though to ward it off man, I have Irish heritage WHEN DO I GET TO TELL THE FUTURE and He had not expected the older man to understand how he had felt, but Louis Cavagnari was only English by adoption The blood in his veins was French and Irish, and he too was a romantic I d like to note that this book was written in 1978, not 1878.OH GOD FINALLY For the final hundred or so pages, the book morphs into an incredibly detailed account of the attack on the British embassy in Kabul by unpaid, discontented Afghani soldiers Ash plays no part in this, as he spends the entire time locked in a closet by someone trying to protect him from himself The book even includes a map of the embassy, so you can follow along with who is where, like some sort of military textbook Because that goes so well with the previous eleven hundred pages Also there is lots of weird nearly religious praising of soldiery ideals The Guides laughed again and their laughter made Wally s heart lift with pride and brought a lump to his throat as he grinned back at them with an admiration and affection that was too deep for words Yes, life would have been worth living if only to have served and fought with men like these It had been a privilege to command them an enormous privilege and it would be an even greater one to die with them They were the salt of the earth They were the Guides His throat tightened as he looked at them, and he was aware again of a hard lump in it, but his eyes were very bright as he reached for his sabre, and swallowing painfully to clear that constriction, he said almost gaily Are we ready Good Then open the doorsAnd then he dies though not without quoting the Aeneid, because I guess all 19th century Irish dudes are into that sort of thing Sorry to spoil it for you, but uh, I m just trying to spare you all from reading it.Anyway, this event convinces Ash and Anjuli that they re too good for the rest of humanity and so they should just go live by themselves in some valley in the Himalayas the fact that the Himalayas are, you know, already populated does not appear to present a problemWhere do you go We go to find our Kingdom, Sirdar Sahib Our own Dur Khaima our far pavilions Your The Sirdar looked so bewildered that Ash s mouth twitched in the shadow of a smile as he said Let me say, rather, that we hope to find it We go in search of some place where we may live and work in peace, and where men do not kill or persecute each other for sport or at the bidding of Governments or because others do not think or speak or pray as they do, or have skins of a different colour do not know if there is such a place, or, if we find it, whether it will prove too hard to live there, building our own house and growing our own food and raising and teaching our children Yet others without number have done so in the past Countless others, since the day that out First Parents were expelled from Eden And what others have done, we can do And then the book ends abruptly, without revealing if they found their kingdom On the other hand, then the books ends I don t have to read it any I AM DONE THANK GOD. I can t believe I waited 25 years to read this again Oh well, the first copy I had I loaned out and never got back I would give this 10 stars if I could, I had forgotten how good this book was Thank you , for recommending books and Listmania so many wonderful books I would never have found or rediscovered without you A truly wonderful story of star crossed lovers, treachery, intrigue, heroism, honor and bigotry The author has a great feel and understanding of India under the British Raj The story of Ash and Juli Anjuli was incredible I could literally feel Ash s pain while he had to sit through watching Juli be married to the evil Maharajah The first 2 3 of the book deal with Ash and Julie s early lives together, culminating in the rescue of Juli from being Suttee with her sister Those pages have to be some of the most heart stopping, page turning, sit on the edge of your seat excitement that I have ever come across in a book and I have read a few The last portion of the book gets away from Ash and Juli although they are together and slows down to tell the story of the British incursions into Afghanistan sp and the resultant disaster of setting up a British mission in Kabul Ash is still prominent as a spy for the guides, in the disguise of a native of the country, but while still a good read, the story takes on a different character from the first portions of the book I resolve never to loan this book out again so that I won t lose it, and to keep it on my to be read again and again shelf throughout the years Highly recommended As a side note, if you are searching for a book for a younger teen to read, this is a good choice The few scenes between Ash and Juli that were sexual in nature were left mostly to one s imagination This author is capable of building her scenes without graphic play by play bodice ripping Update I recently discovered another of this author s books,Shadow of the Moon It s out of print but readily available used or at your library Another lovely tale of India, set during the 1857 Sepoy rebellion If you enjoyed TFP, you will probably enjoy this as well Update I have just finished another story on the Sepoy rebellion, Zemindar Out of print, but readily available used A wonderful tale, with some of the most gorgeous prose I ve seen in a long time. Another book that came across my feed, reminding me that I read and enjoyed this book back in early 1980 after it was released the year before One of the many reasons I love the GR feed so much is because it helps me to add books read long ago and add them to the list I also enjoyed the miniseries that was made of the book in the early mid eighties featuring Amy Irving.