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A Room with a View (Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 29 Mar 1990


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140180788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140180787
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,196,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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 an alternate 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ford Ka VINE VOICE on 23 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
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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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By Dan Crawford on 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 By Delma on 4 May 2009
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
'A room with a view' is one of the best-known works by E.M. Forster, made into a film in 1985 - a novella rather than a novel and it has play-like qualities.
The story centers around Lucy who travels to Italy with her overbearing cousin Charlotte, checking in in Florence, to find that their rooms don't have a view, much to the disappointment of Lucy. They then get the generous offer from much-derided father and son Emerson (being of a lower class and with Socialist ideas) to swap rooms. Lucy falls in love with Italy and in a more transcendent way with the freedom and love of life it represents, in contrast with the stifling British customs and decorum. On a trip outside the city 'something' happens for which young George Emerson is to blame, leading to outrage - a plot twister not unlike that in 'A Passage to India'.
At some point in time we find practically everybody involved in these 'scandalous' events back in England, including the Emersons. Lucy is engaged to cool Cecil, but shouldn't she marry for love? In the end, of course, love finds its rightful way.

Forster's style of writing greatly appeals to me, as in 'Passage': very witty, ironic and wise, and I enjoyed this book thoroughly. On the other hand, this is not a great book - the plot is quite simple and straightforward and the end is hardly surprising - serious and intelligent young George is never going to go away, is he? Furthermore, like in a play where the characters you start with keep coming back, Forster takes the same bunch present in Italy to England to play on, which doesn't add to the credibility of the story. Change the background and presto! we continue.
'A room with a view', though not a masterpiece, is a very likeable, lighthearted novella about breaking away from convention and rule to be able to really love and love life
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