Staying On

Staying On Tusker And Lily Smalley Stayed On In India Given The Chance To Return Home When Tusker, Once A Colonel In The British Army, Retired, They Chose Instead To Remain In The Small Hill Town Of Pangkot, With Its Eccentric Inhabitants And Archaic Rituals Left Over From The Days Of The Empire Only The Tyranny Of Their Landlady, The Imposing Mrs Bhoolabhoy, Threatens To Upset The Quiet Rhythm Of Their DaysBoth Funny And Deeply Moving, Staying On Is A Unique, Engrossing Portrait Of The End Of An Empire And Of A Forty Year Love Affair

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[PDF / Epub] ★ Staying On Author Paul Scott –
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • Staying On
  • Paul Scott
  • English
  • 23 July 2019
  • 9780099443193

10 thoughts on “Staying On

  1. says:

    Not officially part of the Raj Quartet, this book took place 25 years after the ending of the last book, A Division of the Spoils Now 1972, The Smalleys have stayed on in India after independence, for several different reasons We do learn a little of what happened to some of the characters in the previous books, other things are left to our imagination.This book won the Booker Prize, and is the story of a 42 year old marriage between Tucker and Lucy Smalley Much shorter than any of the Quartet books, and by degrees, much funnier and sadder than those books as well, it was a good farewell to India and the British presence there.

  2. says:

    I presumed, incorrectly, that this book would be about individuals who had come to love India and for this reason didn t want to return to Britain when India was given independence I mistakenly guessed that India and Indians had become dear to them, a place and a people they couldn t bear to part with, and so they simply couldn t leave Once I realized my error, I had to readjust all that I had expected to draw from the book This book is about individuals who are British through and through They look through a lens of superiority that is intermeshed with all their world views This was in no way unusual for the expat community in India before and after independence and even into the 1970s, when this book takes place The book focuses upon an elderly couple she, is approaching 70 and he is soon to be 71 He is ill Both are dotty, which isn t to say they lack intellectual lucidity I very much appreciated how these two figures were drawn As we age don t our personality traits become exaggerated I think so It is this that makes the elderly appear dotty rather than an inability to think clearly I didn t particularly like either the man or his wife, but both felt credible Oh my, he is so grumpy and she, she has found her own solution to dealing with him Their relationship became what drew me to the book, completely different from what I had planned but interesting in its own way Why they stayed I will not reveal The book does also look at the situation of those English who in their souls remained English, but chose not to return to Britain I didn t appreciate how the Indians or Eurasians characters were depicted They are two dimensional and not complimentarily drawn either weaklings or money fixated extremes I can instead recommend Bhowani Junction if you are looking for a book about Eurasians and Indians at the time of independence.There is humor, but it is mean humor, albeit a critique of social s There is quite a bit of sex, and it is crudely drawn Here again I think we were meant to laugh, but I wasn t laughing.The book starts with the information that Tucker dies That is the husband of the couple mentioned above Then we backtrack a week or two to see what has preceded his death There are long tracts where earlier events of their lives are revealed as reminiscences The problem here is that we are told rather than shown in these sections there are no dialogs, we get one point of view and the details become excessive Excessive because too many people are touched upon, people who have no real bearing upon the story and will not become an integral part of the story which lies ahead.I have carefully specified what displeased me, but please do not disregard what I did appreciate I will repeat it again The book captures well the relationship between a husband and wife after many, many years of marriage It shows the predicament of those Brits who remained in a land that never became their home.The audiobook is narrated by Paul Shelley Overall, sure, it was fine I understood what was being said However, portions are read too fast The intonation used for Indians and Eurasians exaggerates their simple mindedness drawn by the author s words.Staying On is a stand alone You do not have to read the entire Raj Quartet first I gave The Jewel in the Crown, the first in the series, 3 stars.

  3. says:

    I m surprised by the relatively low rating of this novel, as it s the best book I ve read in a while It tells the story of Tusker and Lucy Smalley, an impoverished, retired colonel and his wife, who have stayed on in India after the end of the Raj, and now find themselves the only white people in their locale As Tusker s health worsens, Lucy must confront her thoughts about widowhood in independent India There s also a small cast of Indian characters, including their servant Ibrahim, and the couple who own and run the hotel in which the Smalleys live.I grew up in colonial Hong Kong and, on a return trip a few years ago, met a rather ghastly ex forces couple who were clinging to the days of the Empire Thinking of them, I was expecting to find the Smalleys to be unsympathetic characters, but in fact I ended up quite touched by their story They are not always pleasant, but they are always realistic, and their tale moves quickly from comic to heartrending I really enjoyed Staying On, and I m now eager to read Scott s earlier works.

  4. says:

    I really enjoyed this 1970s era Man Booker Prize winner It s a small story, but one that has been written to perfectly capture the time, the place and the circumstances of Tusker and Lucy Smalley here an elderly couple, but previously younger minor characters in Paul Scott s Raj Quartet novels Staying On is like a sequel to the Quartet, but it stands very happily on its own And it s really quite funny, but with some sad, tender moments.We meet the Smalleys when they have already been married and living in India for 40 years, having stayed on after India s independence This in itself is a cause of tension between the couple, so when Lucy demands a statement of her position, were Tusker to die before her, he takes the opportunity to try to explain Suddenly the powers that be say, Right, Smalley, we re not wanted here any , we ve all got to bugger off, too bad you re not ten years younger or ten years older I thought about this a lot at the time and it seemed to me I d invested in India, not money which I ve never had, not talent Ha which I ve only had a limited amount of, nothing India needed or needs or has been one jot the better for, but was all I had to invest in anything. Me So to stay was essentially the least bad of two bad options, and consequently the Smalleys have grown old and irritable in a place where they don t really belong Throughout the story we learn about their relationship, and what their life is like living in The Lodge, an annexe of the now faded Smith s Hotel in Pankot, a fictional hillstation in Gujurat I haven t read the Raj Quartet, but if this is any indication of what the other novels are like, I shall enjoy reading them at some point.

  5. says:

    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.I would say this is a study of a marriage as much as anything else As they look back on their lives and the choices they have made, we are allowed to glimpse not only what life has become, but what it once was for Tusker and Lucy, and to see how the order of things has flipped on its head and yet remained the same in so many ways because when I look back on it, when I sit back and concentrate on it, I feel that India brought out all my worst qualities I don t mean this India, though Heaven help me I sometimes don t see a great deal of difference between theirs and the one in which I was memsahib, but our India, British India, which kept me in my place, bottled up and bottled in, and brainwashed me into believing that nothing was important than to do everything my place required me to do to be a perfectly complementary image of Tusker and his position.Married for 40 years, and having spent most of that in India, their decision to remain and not return to England was made mainly for financial reasons Now they find themselves older, nearing the end, and the situation for them is all too real and desolate She would be alone She would be alone in Pankot She would be alone in a foreign country There would be no one of her own kind, her own colour, no close friend by whom to be comforted or on whom she could rely for help and guidance The question whether she would be virtually destitute was one that frightened her so much that even her subconscious mind had been keeping that fear buried deep.After reading the Raj Quartet and seeing how the Raj ruled and crumbled, it is sad to see the aftermath for those who remained Both the English and the Indian population had to make serious adjustments, and as is often the case, the older generation on both sides met those changes with trepidation.

  6. says:

    I haven t read anything else by this author I decided to start with this book because it s a lot shorter than the Raj Quartet and I wanted to know whether I liked the author s writing style before I tackled his other books Also, this one won the Booker Prize Booker Prize winners usually aren t this much fun The English couple Tusker and Lily Smalley have been married for a long time They decided to stay on in India after Tusker retired They rent a home from Mr and Mrs Bhoolabhoy a very odd couple and their living situation is becoming increasingly precarious There is also a mix of eccentric servants, doctors and other inhabitants of this small town The book handles the serious themes of growing old, physical infirmities, financial insecurities and the fear of loss of a loved one, but it still manages to be absolutely hilarious There are some brilliant rants by Lily that would get a standing ovation on any stage Touching and witty I liked this book very much.

  7. says:

    Memo to Kingsley Amis This is how you write a book about aging that is comic, eccentric, and touching without looking like you re trying too hard Plus, the cover of my copy has an awesome reference to Now a Major Grenada TV Drama sadly, the publication company is Grenada so it refers to that, not to the country of Grenada, but still I was surprised by how much I liked this book It takes place in post independence India and centers largely on the twilight of two expatriots, Tusker and Lucy, who had long stayed on past their welcome and past their financial ability to leave, in a world that changed enormously around them, and which they could no longer leave They sort of fell back into Pankot, like a building that collapses but which no one tears down or repairs, and which squatters still visit, and which remains part of the town, however unimportant or unattractive The book starts with Tusker s death and then jumps backwards to play out the last months of Tusker s life and of Tusker and Lucy s marriage which was as middling as Tusker s unillustrious career in the British Army and then as a civilian contractor Also staying on, in a different way, is Tusker s friend and the manager of the hotel in which they live, Bhoolabhoy, whose wife owns the hotel and has ambitions of business growth in the burgeoning Indian economy Lila, his wife, is a comic villain like character the foil against which the other characters bounce off into their stories she moves the story along There is a great deal of color in the book where I thought Amis failed in his pretentions about Wales, Scott succeeded, subtly weaving together the hotel, the town, its people, behind the story of a marriage It is a lovely book 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 But the comic aspects are subtle, and help smooth the ruffles of a sometimes uncomfortable book about a failed marriage that finds its footing in its waning days, the failed expectations of that marriage, and a woman who fears being alone and may, indeed, have nowhere to go, even as we the readers know that she will, in fact, soon be alone and indeed, in our minds is already alone This book is a fitting successor to the Farrell books, I think the fully waned moon of an always ill fitting empire, rightfully gone but having left bits of leftovers in its wake, like hermit crabs left behind by a tide Scott has told a story about expectations, almosts, and lives with too much regret It seems a recipe for sentimental disaster, but Scott is subtle, deft, and funny, and willing to write a great deal about the quest for blue hair tint and because of this the book succeeds.

  8. says:

    I m still working my way through the list of Booker winners, and this one is the best I have read for some time It is a poignant, tragicomic portrait of an ageing couple of British colonial functionaries effectively stranded in an old Indian hill station after staying on at independence It mixes vibrant descriptions and comic set pieces with reflections on the legacy of the Raj and the nature of independent India.

  9. says:

    This was a good ending to the Raj Quartet But be warned The ending is very sad.

  10. says:

    Funny, touching, sad Very nice additional story in the setting of the

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