So a little more today about The Jewel in the Crown and Paul Scott. It’s the first part of Scott’s tetralogy (look it up) The Raj Quartet, set in India just before the Independence. What draws me to it is that the story is told from a number of points of view, each one adding something to the narrative, filling in the story and opening it up. There’s a single event that keep ricocheting throughout the four novels, coloring the lives everyone who comes in contact with it. It’s an incredible narrative achievement and from what I understand Scott quite struggled with it.
I should disclose that I’m only half-way through the first novel, but I’ve seen the excellent mini-series based on the novels. If you have a chance, take a look. It takes a few episodes to draw you in, but it really does its job. I will warn you that the DVD transfer is pretty awful, particularly the sound, but it’s still worth it. The acting is terrific and there’s none of that picture postcard scenery that clutters up the film version of A Passage to India.
More about the novel and Scott as we go along.