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Author: Paul Scott
ISBN: 0586045856
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Pages 256 pages
Publisher Hunter Publishing+inc (December 14, 1978)
Language English
Category: Fiction
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 227
ePUB size: 1507 kb
FB2 size: 1866 kb
DJVU size: 1801 kb
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eBook Staying On download

by Paul Scott

STAYING ON. Paul Scott. The university of chicago press. Praise for STAYING ON. Staying On far transcends the events of its central action

STAYING ON. Staying On far transcends the events of its central action. Digging deeply within narrow boundaries, Scott gives us nothing less than a history of the 40-year marriage of an ill-assorted pair, often at odds yet deeply attached. The Smalleys are beautifully realized. should help win for Scott. the reputation he deserves-as one of the best novelists to emerge from Britain’s silver age. -Robert Towers, Newsweek.

view Kindle eBook view Audible audiobook. Scott creates real three dimensional characters who we have all known and creates moral dilemmas that show them for what they are. This series should be required reading for American State Department and the Military as Imperial America presumes the Americanization of the world.

Staying On is a novel by Paul Scott, which was published in 1977 and won the Booker Prize. Staying On focuses on Tusker and Lucy Smalley, who are briefly mentioned in the latter two books of the Raj Quartet, The Towers of Silence and A Division of the Spoils, and are the last British couple living in the small hill town of Pankot after Indian independence

Staying On is Paul Scott’s follow-up to the Raj Quartet. As I mentioned, the characters are quite eccentric and Scott portrays them as unique and odd without making them caricatures of his own pretension (Lila possibly excepted).

Staying On is Paul Scott’s follow-up to the Raj Quartet. Tusker and Lucy Smalley have elected to stay behind after the British Raj is disassembled and Scott picks up their story in 1972, when they are living in the lodge of the Smith hotel, without any other British citizens around them. They have a loyal servant, Ibrahim, who treats them much as they were treated when they were members of the Raj, and is probably the main reason they can still navigate life in India.

Book: Staying On. Author: Paul Scott. Colonel Tusker Smalley and Lucy put up at Smith’s hotel in a small hill – Pankot. Smith’s is owned by a notoriously self occupied, cold hearted and boisterous lady Mrs Bhoolabhoy.

Staying On far transcends the events of its central action. Scott's vision is both precise and painterly. the reputation he deserves-as one of the best novelists to emerge from Britain's silver ag. Like an engraver cross-hatching in the illusion of fullness, he selects nuances that will make his characters take on depth and poignancy. A graceful comic coda to the earlier song of India.

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In this sequel to The Raj Quartet, Colonel Tusker and Lucy Smalley stay on in the hills of Pankot after Indian independence deprives them of their colonial status. Finally fed up with accommodating her husband, Lucy claims a degree of independence herself. Eloquent and hilarious, she and Tusker act out class tensions among the British of the Raj and give voice to the loneliness, rage, and stubborn affection in their marriage.

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A Quartet and a sequel (this volume), and I wish it went on for another five volumes. The writing is outstanding, and this time around they are mostly hilarious. I mean "laugh out loud funny." The Raj Quartet itself is generally much more sober, though it does have playful elements that never strike a wrong note. As for Staying On:

British rule in India is long over, but Lucy and "Tusker" Smalley remember when things were different. Not better, because of course India had to be handed over to the Indians, it's just that one was born at the wrong time, too young to retire, too old to go "home" to England and start something new, especially since the trip home would cost most of one's savings and the old pension wouldn't be enough to live on. So, one stayed on and made do, and remembered the proper way to do things while enjoying, or pretending to enjoy, the new ways things were done. In fact, one remembered that the "proper ways" usually left one out in the cold, snubbed, at the bottom of the social hierarchy that was so strict in British India. Now, one was thrust in among the new Indian middle classes while keeping, on form alone, some connection to the Indian higher classes that came from new money, black market money.

Without really thinking about it, one's true friends had become a most peculiar assortment of people from varying classes, divided by community stature, wealth, poverty, religion, employment, history, and interests, and often united only by a common friendship with one's self. Extraordinary, really. Better not to think about it, just to press on and have another drink and walk the blasted dog and rage about whatever seems to be most annoying this particular day. At least, Tusker would rage, but never Lucy, though she was built of stern stuff, just on a tiny frame and hidden by a graciousness that was not apparent 30 years ago, in the company of women who constantly snubbed her because she had once had to work for a living. No, in those days she seemed timid, compliant and always to be saying the wrong thing.

This book plays no favorites. People are shown to be who they are, and they are individuals who may be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. They are imperfect, some more so than others. The humor arises from their interactions with each other, their private thoughts, the poor versions of each others' languages they speak and the miscommunications that result, the great miscommunications between husband and wife that cannot be blamed on language barriers, as well as the almost telepathic communication between people who have known each other for 30 or more years, even if they don't speak each others' languages at all well. Sometimes it is enough to marvel at the sound of a new English word added to one's vocabulary, and to attempt to tease out its meaning from the context. Sometimes it is enough to delight in the hard and skillful work of a young orphan who tends a garden and has taken it upon himself also to tend the old graveyard next to St. John's, the graveyard where old Mabel Layton was the last person to be buried according to Mr. Maybrick's history of the town. Well, he's got that wrong, too. Maybrick was the last person buried there. And so it goes...
I read this after reading the Raj Quartet. I loved them all but this novel was just so funny -- also very poignant. Of course it tells you a lot about the British who remained in India after India gained independence, but it is also the story of a marriage. Though the times and circumstances were different, many would recognize the issues that come up in a marriage, and how couples adjust to them. It is also very funny because much of it is told through the eyes of Indian servants observing the confounding behavior of the British. Though I loved the Raj Quartet, I think I will remember this novel longer due to the combination of humor and the realistic view of how couples adjust to each other.
I know this novel won the Booker Prize. But the writing in the Raj Quartet made for more engrossing reading. In this book, the characters show little depth and the plot was repetitive. I think it is stretching it to call it a sequel. It was written about the period many years after Indian Independence. The Smalleys were boring characters in the Raj quartet and they remain boring in this book, even if they are the only remaining couple from the Raj era.
If you are buying this book to find out what happened to Sarah Layton and Guy Peron, then you will be deeply disappointed. The two pages devoted them are merely a bridge to introduce another character, who never materializes in the book.
I have read the Raj Quartet three times in the past year, this book will go into the library sale box because it is not worth the space on my book shelves.
In calling STAYING ON a sequel, I am not referring primarily to Paul Scott's celebrated RAJ QUARTET; this little postlude is softer in tone, and although sharing some characters, it stands entirely on its own. But it is a sequel to several centuries of British life in India, and to two of those lives in particular: Col. Tusker Smalley and his wife Lucy. The novel opens with Tusker's death in 1972, 25 years after India gained independence. Remaining after others have left, he and Lucy have settled in the small hill town of Pankot. They live now in the annexe to the old-style Smith's Hotel, which is itself overshadowed by the snazzier Shiraz next door; the old British ways are not the only ones dying out. [Scott's post-colonial world is not so different from that of a more recent Booker Prize winner, THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai.]

Scott's unlikely representative of the new order is the odiously comic Mrs. Bhoolabhoy, a vastly overweight and capricious empress who has purchased Smith's and married its former manager, enslaving him as her factotum and occasional sexual partner. Her driving ambition is to play with the big boys, and nothing or nobody will stand in her way. Poor Mr. Bhoolabhoy is one of a number of Indians whose lives were shaped by an almost-feudal relationship with the British Raj; in a sense, they have also been left stranded. He is also churchwarden for the Anglican church, whose services have been reduced to one per month. When a new priest arrives, a dark-skinned High Anglican from Southern India, Bhoolabhoy feels that everything has fallen apart. But the newcomer has great charisma and quickly revitalizes the little community; it is a small but welcome assurance that a successful grafting of the old and the new may still be possible.

The core of the book, however, is Lucy's story. The action jumps back three months before Tusker's death to the time of his first attack. During this short period, whether through Lucy's petty skirmishes with her husband, or her explanations to correspondents both real and imaginary, we are taken back to a vanished age, the colonial India of books from EM Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA through Scott's own RAJ QUARTET. Lucy's memories, though long, are not always happy; this is a world of strict hierarchy and petty snobbery, dominated by bored memsahibs who patronize Lucy as only a poor clergyman's daughter. Tusker's career has suffered as a result, exacerbated by the combination of limited talent and stubborn pride. Fueled by regrets, their relationship has become a continual squabble that teeters on the far side of comedy. But at the very end, Tusker writes Lucy a letter apologizing for his inadequacies; it is the loveliest thing she has ever had from him, and a moving end to this wry tragicomedy of a book.