East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

Bhowani Junction, the novel

fred_pfeiffer_BhowaniI mentioned a few days back that I was going to read John Masters‘ 1954 novel, Bhowani Junction.

The book kept me up late for three nights, basically compromising my already messed-up sleep patterns.
Because yes, it is that good.

Comparison with the 1956 movie featuring Ava Gardner and Stewart Granger was unavoidable, but I’ll concentrate on the novel in this post.

The novel is set in 1946, as the British are facing increasing independentist pressure in India. In the(fictional) railway town of Bhowani Junction, historical events catch up with a number of characters, and in particular with Anglo-Indian Victoria Jones, fresh out of WAC service and in search of her cultural identity in a rapidly changing nation. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Bhowani Junction

As a long time Ava Gardner fan I was familiar with Bhowani Junction, the 1956 movie.

A big melodrama featuring Stewart Granger as a gallant British officer in India in the last days of the Raj, the movie is a thick mix of politics, derring-do, racial issues and steamy romance. Good stuff.


What I did not know was that the movie 1 was based on a very popular novel by John Masters, published in 1954 and part of a very loose cycle of stories set in India between 19th and 20th century. Continue reading