- Title: The Day of the Scorpion
- Author: Paul Scott
- ISBN: 9780226743417
- Page: 376
- Format: Paperback
In The Day of the Scorpion, Scott draws us deeper in to his epic of India at the close of World War II With force and subtlety, he recreates both private ambition and perversity, and the politics of an entire subcontinent at a turning point in history As the scorpion, encircled by a ring of fire, will sting itself to death, so does the British raj hasten its own destruIn The Day of the Scorpion, Scott draws us deeper in to his epic of India at the close of World War II With force and subtlety, he recreates both private ambition and perversity, and the politics of an entire subcontinent at a turning point in history As the scorpion, encircled by a ring of fire, will sting itself to death, so does the British raj hasten its own destruction when threatened by the flames of Indian independence Brutal repression and imprisonment of India s leaders cannot still the cry for home rule And in the midst of chaos, the English Laytons withdraw from a world they no longer know to seek solace in denial, drink, and madness.
Recent Comments "The Day of the Scorpion"
The proud scorpion, surrounded by a wall of fire from kerosene, will sting itself to death in the face of its inescapable fate - such is the myth. Here we see an age-old empire do the same: and it is reflected in the life of two sisters, who face death and the loss of innocence in different ways.Another masterly creation from Paul Scott.
The second book in the quartet and am finding the novels to be quite compelling reading. Many of the characters from Jewel in the Crown again make an appearance. Particularly enjoyed reading Hari Humar's side of the story regarding his relationship with Daphne Manners and the aftermath. This novel is evocative of time and place and has a bit of everything politics, culture, romance and prejudice. Lengthy novel which I enjoyed a touch more than The Jewel in the Crown.
After I finished The Jewel in the Crown, my mother, who adores the Raj Quartet, was amazed that I didn’t immediately ask to borrow the next in the series. “Aren’t you curious about the characters?” she asked. She doesn’t understand the allure of a group read. I was perfectly content to postpone the pleasure of the next book until I’d get the even greater pleasure of dozens if not hundreds of Goodreaders to read and discuss the book with me. But aside from that, The Jewel in the Crown [...]
I rather enjoyed the second volume of the Raj Quartet. I like how it is turning into one big family saga. I saw the series a few years ago and it playing back in my head as I read the words. The book is not all glamour about the British diaspora in India. Scott writes of India's struggle to seperate its self from England. And, I am further looking forward to the rest of the series when The Partition of the country comes into further play. Also in the book there is a certain romanticism of the co [...]
Just as history can’t be undone, innocence, once lost, can’t be retrieved. If history would allow, I would dearly love to read Paul Scott’s The Day Of The Scorpion without having first read The Jewel In The Crown. Scorpion is very much a continuation of the Crown and I am not convinced that a reader coming cold to the book as a stand-alone work would cope with the multiple references to what came before. Like the characters in Paul Scott’s novels, I can’t undo history and can only thus [...]
In some ways, an easier book to read than the Jewel in the Crown, as the narrative is more straightforward, with one principal protagonist, Sarah Layton. Still very dense with backstories and political insight, and a whole cast of fabulous new characters - Bronowski, Barbie, the poisonous Mildred, the tragic Susan - the slightly less-well-drawn Ahmedere are dialogues that bear very close reading - for instance Jimmy Clark's seduction of Sarah - and there are plots almost too dense to decipher - [...]
More conventional than its predecessor, but so brilliantNothing becomes this second volume of Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet so much as its opening and closing. As he had done several times in The Jewel in the Crown, Scott leaps ahead in his prologue to post-Partition India. His image of a woman in a burqa in a Hindu town, trailing a distinct scent of Chanel No. 5, symbolizes the disorder that the British left behind them after Independence in 1947, and the demise of their own imperial dreams. The [...]
Review in ProgressI finished this one in the wee hours of the morning. And sat staring at the last page with my hands over my mouth, stunned. I felt it had all happened to me. Just happened.I will defer my detailed review until I have re-read this extraordinary book along with the HBC, and I'll be posting thoughts from time to time here. If you are thinking of reading this, the group read is only just getting started./topic/group
Liked even more than The Jewel in the Crown.
There are countless novels detailing British rule in India over several hundred years, E. M. Forster's Passage to India standing at or near the top of that list. While not previously all that familiar with Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet, I very much enjoyed The Day of the Scorpion, the 2nd volume of the tetralogy. The concept of the reaction of a scorpion surrounded by a ring of fire can be said to stand for the British in India as it became apparent to many that the days of the Raj (British rule [...]
Finally we hear Hari Kumar's side of the story. Ronald Merrick loses an arm, which perhaps compensates for the torture and jail time inflicted on Kumar. Sarah Layton entertains vague fantasies about her Indian equestrian escort, but loses her virginity to a British douchenozzle. Living in the Raj has pickled Susan Layton's brain and being a new mother, it turns out, is not her thing.An astonishing number of typos litter the text, particularly toward the end. I had fun underlining them.
This second book of the Raj Quartet continues the story of those English men and women who live in India during WWII. Much is happening in India at this time besides the war as the indigenous population is chaffing for independence. Gandhi has been imprisoned as well as member of the Indian Congress and unrest, although somewhat subtle at this point, is stirring In this installment, we follow the lives of Sarah and Susan Layton, two young women whose father is a POW in Germany. These sisters cou [...]
The Day of the Scorpion, by Paul Scott. Book 2 of the Raj Quartet. B-plus. Cassette book borrowed from the Library for the Blind.In my opinion not as good as The Jewel in the Crown. This book is dated immediately after the first one. At the beginning of the book, Harry is still imprisoned allegedly for the rape and assault of Daphne Manners. The best section of this book was the interview he had with a policeman about what happened, why he was arrested, and Merrick’s part in the whole affair a [...]
While the first novel of the Raj Quartet focused on a particular incident -- the rape of a British woman in India -- the second part takes the story into a broader social and political context. The characters must deal with the realization that, while they are no longer welcome in India, they also have become alienated from British society at home. Plotwise, this novel is all about subtle emotional encounters. No one says anything outright and the reader must interpret the book's many long conve [...]
WOW! An intense book. Had to scrape myself off the floor at the ending. Really looking forward to Part III. Fascinating to see how much effort was made by the Brits and some of the Indians to keep the decaying system in place. Also, never realized that there were Indians who fought alongside the Japanese against the Brits and Burmese! Great descriptions of a truly incredible country! All this interwoven against the story of the rape of Miss Manners in the Bibighar Gardens that was the central st [...]
Volume 2 examines how a group of mostly new characters are indirectly affected by the events in Volume 1 while continuing to address the same issues of British identity at the end of the raj in India.
In India, in 1943, a groom and his best man are travelling to the wedding ceremony when a rock is hurled at their limousine. A window is shattered and the groom, Teddie, has a cut on his cheek. He is quickly patched up and the rest of the day goes on, almost without incident. But the mystery remains.What prompted this act of violence? Was it simply the random act of some misfit? Could it be due to the fact that both men are English and the perpetrator was some individual, committed to the cause [...]
The second volume of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet shifts focus more exclusively onto the deteriorating British Raj administration in contrast to the opening volume which invested more attention to the insights, perspectives, and myths of Indians during the birthing of their state.The artistic peaks of The Jewel in the Crown are sacrificed to a tighter focus and more linear narrative in The Day of the Scorpion. But what emerges is a more accessible book and more linear story that doubtlessly has a wi [...]
In The Day of the Scorpion, the second book of Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet, Scott adds more perspectives on the events of the Jewel in the Crown, and adds new layers of characters. Through it, Scott is a master of comparing one perspective with another, one set of characters with another, as he continues the indictment of Britain’s failed enterprise ruling India.
Loved this series
I quite liked The Day of the Scorpion, although I preferred The Jewel in the Crown, the first book in the Raj Quartet. The Jewel in the Crown concentrates on the events surrounding a single incident, a rape, as they are perceived by various characters with different viewpoints and levels of involvement. This gives it a sense of continuity which The Day of the Scorpion lacks: although the original rape has consequences in The Day of the Scorpion as well, and several characters from The Jewel in t [...]
Paul Scott's no Tolstoy! Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet has been stated by several reviewers to be Tolstoyan in style. I dispute their assertions vigorously. For one, Tolstoy's novels always give a deep insight into the feelings, motives and thoughts of the characters involved. Paul Scott's character studies are not that deep. The only exception to this was in the first part of the Quartet, The Jewel in the Crown, in which the feelings and emotions of Ms. Daphne Manners, the big-boned, awkward, Br [...]
Almost as enjoyable as The Jewel in the Crown, 'The Day of the Scorpion' moves the reader to a new set of characters - the Laytons and their circle - in new locations - Mirat, Ranpur and Pankot - but is still closely linked to the preceding book with Merrick and Kumar both returning and the events of August 1942 still reverberating. What I think I am enjoying most about Scott's writing is the psychological depth he brings to each of his characters: even when they are representing a 'type' they a [...]
The second book of the Raj Quartet, which I am getting round to reading much more slowly than I had expected. But then these are not books to read quickly. The Day Of The Scorpion is not a direct sequel to The Jewel In The Crown, although it story does follow on from the first book of the quartet – but with a different cast. This book is set in the garrison town of Pankot and the independent satrapy of Mirat. It opens with a link to The Jewel In The Crown when Sarah Layton meets Lady Manners, [...]
Harry C central figure in the first of the Raj Quartet books (which are set in India during the British Occupation) is an Indian-born man, raised in England, returning to his father’s county only to have his life promptly unravel (as he knew it would). In this book, the second of the quartet, among several new characters, are introduced two white sisters, born and raised in India to British parents, both of whom feel more comfortable on India’s troubled soil. Through shifts like this, the an [...]
The Jewel in the Crown (number 1 in the series) was a good book but a frustrating one. With sentences that could ramble on for half a page, Paul Scott seemed to take several hundred pages more than he strictly needed to say some interesting and thought provoking things about the nature of colonialism generally, its impacts on colonisers and colonised and the British experience of India (and vice versa) specifically. I'm glad I read that book but found it a bit of a slog, so felt compelled but no [...]
The second book in this series has proven to be just as layered as the first book,The Jewel in the Crown. The characters are so well developed and involving and I found myself "living" the novel in my head throughout reading it, a sure sign (to me) of a great book. About a quarter of this book is told through the interrogation of Hari Kumar, a character from the first book, and I thought it was a masterful example of using the perspectives of at least 3 different characters to play out the unkno [...]
As with the first novel, the style of narration is looping and elliptical, jumping back and forth in time and between the different perspectives of the major characters. We get further insight into Hari Kumar's fate and, even though he still refuses to reveal to the authorities all he knows about the Manners rape case, the authorities now know the truth about Ronald Merrick's treatment of him and have enough information to believe in Hari's innocence. As for Merrick, the wheel of Karma comes dow [...]
This wonderful historical fiction is the second book in Scott's Raj Quartet. It is set in India during WWII. Again Scott presents interesting characters including Britons who are in the third generation in India who are beginning to see the end of British domination and don't understand where they belong, and Indians involved in various factions of the liberation movement, radicals and conservatives, Hindu and Moslem. Scott skillfully weaves in information from the first book so that you do not [...]
I have finished this second volume of the Raj Quartet, and I'm now really hooked; this is an astounding series of books. At first this second volume seemed to be about a completely different group of characters and incidents than the first, but then the various elements of the first novel began to creep back. I'm sorry I used the word verbose in talking about the first volume; I think I'd now use the word expansive, in the sense that it might be used for many great writers. Scott gets into an im [...]
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