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A Room with a View (Bantam Classic) [Mass Market Paperback]

E. M. Forster
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Dec 1993 0553213237 978-0553213232 Reissue
This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England.

A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Attracted to this man, George Emerson—who is entirely unsuitable and whose father just may be a Socialist—Lucy is soon at war with the snobbery of her class and her own conflicting desires. Back in England, she is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion.

The enduring delight of this tale of romantic intrigue is rooted in Forster’s colorful characters, including outrageous spinsters, pompous clergymen, and outspoken patriots. Written in 1908, A Room with a View is one of E. M. Forster’s earliest and most celebrated works.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Reissue edition (31 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213232
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.6 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,402,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I loved it. My first intimation of the possibilities of fiction (Zadie Smith)

He says, and even more implies, things that no other novelist does, and we can go on reading Forster indefinitely (The Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

E. M. Forster is one of the great twentieth century authors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This charming little novel which has recently celebrated its centennary can be easily put down as a period piece. E M Forster foresaw it already in his note which he added to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first edition. Yet a prospective reader would be most wrong to do so. There is a lesson here which still needs to be learned by many.
The title gives away some of the content - the main heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, needs to get away from the stuffy atmosphere of late Victorian England in which she was brought up - the symbol of which is for EMF the room. Her escape takes place in stages - the first of them is her trip to Italy where she finds landscapes and people most different from those she was accustomed to. It is also there that she meets the man she falls in love with, George Emerson. Yet these changes come too quickly for her. Lucy yields to the demands of her chaperone and escapes back to England, finding on the way a more appropriate suitor, Cecil Vyse.
When the three young people meet again in England, a fight for Lucy's soul begins anew. Lucy has to decide whether she prefers Cecil who will keep her under his protection in his house as a work of art for others to admire, or George with whom she will have to face the challenges of the world but be free.
What is the lesson for us today in a world where there are no chaperones or stage-coaches? We also must make similar decisions - choose freedom which always comes at a cost or safety for which we must pay with our freedom. We choose between being true to ourselves or satisfying the demands of others. Lucy's adventures may serve as a perfect food for thought for those facing seemingly dissimilar but actually very similar decisions. It is the more valuable as Forster does not show easy decisions or easy solutions. The happy ending is never free and yet still worth striving for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who published this edition? 27 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Room With a View is lovely, a fantastic story of oppression, made more enjoyable looking back on how EM Forster's ideas of freedom of expression and passion are strangely similar to our more modern one.



apart from this actual copy, the novel is brilliant, and I would definitely recommend it, just choose one that isn't quite so home-made.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Reading by Joanna David 21 Jan 2005
Format:Audio Cassette
It's hard to know which to praise more, E. M. Forester's witty comedy of manners, or Joanna David's nuanced and entertaining reading of the book. Clearly, the combination of the two is that rare marriage of great writing brought to life by a talented actress. If you only listen to one audio book this year, you would do well to make it this one.
Forester writes about an England that is long gone . . . but not forgotten. The middle class has its wits and its respectability to defend itself from the vagaries of a challenging world. Naturally, the middle class prefers its own company and so-called manners are merely an excuse to keep everyone else at bay. The absurdity of this way of living is highlighted when Forester takes a young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch (don't you love that name?), off for a trip to Florence in the company of her maiden cousin, Charlotte, who also serves as chaperone.
A variety of English tourists are gathered in a small Italian pensione in Florence when Lucy and Charlotte arrive. Both women had asked for and been promised rooms with a view. Upon arrival, they got just the opposite. Complaining over dinner about this, two men, a father and his son, immediately offer to exchange rooms. This offer breaks most rules of good manners at the time, and the women turn down the kind, well-intentioned offer. Thus far can manners cause one to go against one's best interests. During their time in Florence, the women find themselves confounded and redirected by the honest helpfulness of the Emerson men. But the familiarity raises dangerous challenges for Lucy, and she flees their company.
The rest of the story looks at the consequences of the flight and focuses on Lucy's attempts to find a way of life that makes sense for her . . .
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Room with a View 23 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book about a girl who is torn between love and duty - between truth and hypocrisy. Set in florence and england at the turn of the century it is less a love story than a psychological study and a comedy-of-manners. Endlessly engaging and with Forsters characteristicaly beautiful prose, this is a must-read for fans of classic literature. To my thinking, this is a better book by far than all of its nineteenth and eighteenth century contemporaries (including Austen, whom i think overated)
One is given to think, as the novel closes, that the book marks the border between the old world of English manners and social rules and the new free-thinking twentieth century.
Read it! Read it now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Room with a View by E.M.Forster 4 May 2009
By Delma
I bought the novel because I lost or lent out my existing copy. I read it years ago and wouldn't be without it; it's a classic and there is a wonderful film of it. If you are a starting reader you might find it a tad weird; chic lit it ain't; the characters live but there's no overt sex. So if you're interested in middle-class life of the early 20th century and a young woman on holiday in Florence, who witnesses a street-stabbing and a pair of young Italians madly in love, comes back home to England and falls in love out of her middle class, then you should enjoy it. Yes,do see the film, but read the book first.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story about love and class and what really matters
Beautiful story about love and class and what really matters. Only down side was the cover, which was ruined by a cheap typeface.
Published 21 days ago by AGK
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull - utterly no plot, but good escapism
It was like being lulled gently to sleep by a quiet bedtime story. Not unpleasant in any way, but not exciting,
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. CE Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I must admit to having watched the film first, so I've obviously seen it through the prism of that. However, I loved this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Reynolds
2.0 out of 5 stars Room with a view-
Finding it quite hard to read - probably because it is so old-fashioned and the characters do not seem real
Published 9 months ago by strachan
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Edition
This book reminds me of Brideshead Revisited - the sun, humour, characters. It's a really nice little edition with a lovely pattern. The pages are thin and the book is light. Read more
Published 11 months ago by E. Hepburn
5.0 out of 5 stars "It is so difficult - at least, I find it difficult - to understand...
"This desire to govern a woman -- it lies very deep, and men and women must fight it together.... But I do love you surely in a better way then he does." He thought. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Goddess of Blah Book Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Interesting to read the novel for book group when I had seen the film a few times. The film was very true to the book and created just the right atmosphere.
Published 16 months ago by F Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it and loved it!
E M Forsters novles don't get a lot of credit but I loved this one, if you have seen the film as I have they have adapted the film very well from the book. Read more
Published 17 months ago by MISS KEWISH
4.0 out of 5 stars A Room With A View
I bought his book for one of my daughters friends for her birthday. She said she really enjoyed this book.
Published 17 months ago by A. Herman
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Difficult to get into and not as good as Passage to India, that is all I wish to say, thank you
Published 17 months ago by Hilary Jones
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