March Group Read:The Raj Quartet 1 - The Jewel in the Crown

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March Group Read:The Raj Quartet 1 - The Jewel in the Crown

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1majkia
Editado: Fev 22, 2014, 2:00am

The Jewel in the Crown - Paul Scott



According to Wikipedia: The Raj Quartet begins in 1942. World War II is at its zenith, and in South East Asia, the Allied forces have suffered great losses. Burma has fallen, and the Japanese invasion of the Indian subcontinent from the east appears imminent. The year 1942 is also marked by Indian nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi’s call for the Quit India movement to the British rulers of India.

I personally read the series shortly after seeing the Masterpiece Theatre presentation and fell in love with the series. I've been wanting to re-read the series for some time.

We'll be reading the rest of the quartet on this schedule:

Book 2: Day of the Scorpion : MAY
Book 3: The Towers of Silence: JULY
Book 4: A Division of the Spoils: SEPTEMBER

I'm hoping a lot of folks will join us in this group read.


2Helenliz
Fev 23, 2014, 7:49am

I have the first book in the series on order at the library.

3DeltaQueen50
Fev 23, 2014, 8:38pm

I've been really looking forward to reading these books!

4brenzi
Fev 24, 2014, 3:36am

I have been looking forward to this too and have all the books lined up ready to go:-)

5LizzieD
Fev 25, 2014, 8:58pm

I couldn't wait, so I started last night. This will be the second re-reading for me, I think, and I'm relieved that I fell right into the book again. I was thinking that it couldn't be as good as I remembered, but maybe it can be!

6Smiler69
Fev 25, 2014, 9:39pm

I'll happily join in. I got a nice Everyman's Library edition which includes The Jewel in the Crown and Day of the Scorpion. A first for me and I look forward to it, having heard many good things about it.

7majkia
Fev 25, 2014, 1:39am

#5 by LizzieD> oh I'm glad to hear that. It has been a long time since I read it so I am hoping it will hold up and be as good as I remember too.

8majkia
Mar 4, 2014, 12:30pm

I'm about halfway through this, an audio version. At first the reader's voice annoyed me, but I've come to appreciate listening to it, giving me a bit of colour to imagine the tales as they are told and helping me to picture the events and locations described.

I'd forgotten how oddly it is written, and how so very different it is from the Masterpiece Theatre production.

9Smiler69
Mar 4, 2014, 2:14pm

I've almost finished Part Four, An Evening at the Club. My first reading of Paul Scott and I find him quite gripping.

10LizzieD
Mar 5, 2014, 4:09am

>8 majkia: It's a real study in how to make varying points of view the major structural element, isn't it? I don't think there's any way to capture that in a movie. That said, I loved the series too - my first experience with Charles Dance, and isn't it a shame that we all have to age?

11ccookie
Mar 6, 2014, 8:23pm

I started The Jewel in the Crown at the beginning of the month and am trying to read 25 pages a day because I only have it for 21 days from the library. I am a little confused by all the characters and the way it jumps around so much but am catching on. Love the writing!

12DeltaQueen50
Mar 12, 2014, 8:29pm

I have just started The Jewel in the Crown and this is my first reading. Only 25 pages in but it is drawing me in already.

13ccookie
Mar 16, 2014, 1:24am

My reading slowed down from my needed 25 pages a day but I was just able to renew the book for another 21 days. I can take it a little easier now. I am liking it very much. The writing is beautiful.

14brenzi
Mar 18, 2014, 12:37am

I just started and am only a few pages in but I am completely engaged by the narrative. That said, my reading lately has slowed to an absolute crawl so I can see myself taking the rest of the month to finish.

15majkia
Mar 18, 2014, 1:11am

Take your time and savor it. :)

16LizzieD
Mar 19, 2014, 11:53pm

I just finished it, and I loved it all over again. As I have said somewhere, this is actually my least favorite of the quartet, so I'm looking forward to *Scorpion* soon. There's a lot to discuss too, but somehow, I don't have any need to say anything. I'll check back soon though.

17majkia
Mar 20, 2014, 12:36pm

I personally love how we see the same events from the differing viewpoints, and we see how clearly expectation and prejudice colors our perceptions of events and how we interpret the 'facts' as a result.

18DeltaQueen50
Mar 20, 2014, 5:12pm

I enjoyed how the author was able to draw such an detailed picture of India and impart so much information within the framework of the story.

19ccookie
Abr 27, 2014, 2:04pm

Almost done. Renewed the book twice so I have had it out for 6 weeks. Due back today. Will post a review once I am done. Really like it but I have had to take it in smaller 'chunks'.

20majkia
Abr 27, 2014, 3:13pm

good for you for staying with it!

21PiyushC
Abr 28, 2014, 11:30am

My review for the book can be found here.

22majkia
Abr 29, 2014, 1:22pm

It's great to see your view of things. Will you join us in May on the next book? Or are you in need of a rest from it?

23PiyushC
Abr 30, 2014, 11:56am

>22 majkia: Thanks, I have some other books lined up for March, will continue with the next in the series, The Day of the Scorpion, in June.

24Smiler69
Abr 30, 2014, 1:41am

I enjoyed your review Piyush, you get a thumb from me. Interesting to get a perspective on it from someone who is from there.

25PiyushC
Maio 1, 2014, 12:35am

Thanks Ilana :)

26ccookie
Maio 2, 2014, 11:44am

I finished it.

I loved it.

The writing itself is beautiful. The history of India fascinating.

I really liked the way the story builds with multiple points of view.

And, I appreciated that the author was not 'preachy'.

Although fiction, from what I understand, it was pretty historically accurate.

The story of the same event from each person's personal experience allowed the understanding of the times from multiple British perspectives and multiple Indian perspectives.

I won't be reading Day of the Scorpion until June because I am off to Spain in 10 days for 2 weeks. I don't have the kindle or audio version so the book from the library is too heavy to carry with me.

>21 PiyushC: I appreciated your very articulate review. Thanks!

What did the rest of you think?

27Marissa_Doyle
Maio 20, 2014, 8:42pm

Finally finished re-reading this (after about thirty years) and it was just as powerfully and beautifully written this time around. In a way it is structured like a labyrinth, with the narratives circling around in ever-tightening arcs until the center--Daphne's narrative--is reached. I've jumped right into The Day of the Scorpion and will be reading the last two as well.

28DeltaQueen50
Maio 21, 2014, 5:30pm

When you are ready the thread for The Day of the Scorpion is HERE

29gennyt
Jun 2, 2014, 8:12am

I'm a bit behind - still only about 120 pages into it (I find it is not a quick read, with those long sentences) but am finding it very interesting to begin to see how it is structured (I like the description in >27 Marissa_Doyle:), having seen the TV adaptation which was told in a linear fashion.