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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Awakening a Century Ago - Still a Valid Lesson
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...
Published on 23 Nov 2008 by Ford Ka

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Room with a View
Although a short book, it seemed long-winded, with the outcome as expected. Would not recommend it.Hope Passage to India is more enjoyable.
Published 21 months ago by Joan Delamore


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Awakening a Century Ago - Still a Valid Lesson, 23 Nov 2008
By 
Ford Ka (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Reading by Joanna David, 21 Jan 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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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 . . . rather than being a slave to social convention.
Describing the story's plot doesn't do justice to the witty satires and ironic comments about the pompously respectable. It's a delicious romp, and Ms. David makes it all the more so.
If you are like me, you'll find yourself racing to the end to find out what Lucy does with herself.
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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
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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
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Opening windows, 21 Oct 2014
By 
J. R. P. Wigman "Hans Wigman" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Room with a View (Penguin English Library) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite, 28 Nov 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Even if you have never read this story before you are probably aware of the plot as it has been a film and a tv drama. As well as being a favourite of mine this has always been enjoyed and, along with 'Howard's End' both books have similarities with the works of Jane Austen.

Written in the Edwardian Age before the First World War this book starts to show how society was gradually changing at that time, and which was the beginnings of our modern society. Written with a lightness of touch this in a way conceals the issues that arise here, such as independence, freedom of religious thought, politics, class structure, and the stiff upper lip. Both a social comedy, and a comedy of manners there is much to have a chuckle at. Right from the beginning with a father and son offering two women their hotel rooms as they have better views, we can see how the structure of society and etiquette is brought into question. We tend to forget that an hundred years ago society was much more rigid than it is today, which as shown here does lead to all sorts of situations that are funny. With romance thrown in as well this is well worth reading, by men and women and I hope that it gives you as much entertainment as I have got from this story over the years.

I feel that I should point out that for some unknown reason the print in this edition is grey, and not black, although the chapter headings and numbers are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 24 Mar 2012
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This is one of those books I read time and time again. The characters are well written and full of personality. It's a study of social life and snobbery and how these barriers are blown away by love. As a bonus, it is also one of the few books where the film doesn't disappoint. Read it, you'll love it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two cities and a country house, 22 Jan 2001
I'm not sure what prompted me to read this, but whatever it was, I'm very glad it did. Both the opening chapters set in Italy and the latter ones at Windy Corner depict a beautiful scene with a bond between Lucy and George to match, and you can immediately sense that this is one which is not going to be broken by some stuffy pseudo-aristocrat. Lucy's troubles are excellently captured by a surprisingly intuitive Forster, as is George's down-to-earth sensitivity, but the most intriguing part has to be your view of Charlotte after the last page has been read: who is the real Charlotte? Whatever your view of this, the book proves delightful and in many ways provocative: a joy to read.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best drug, 3 April 2007
This review is from: A Room with a View (Paperback)
It's very simple really. I work all day in an office as part of a modern globalised monoculture.

And then on the way home I read A Room with a View and reacquaint myself with everything that's true.

Books like this are treasured friends.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most beautiful love stories of the 20th century, 13 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Room with a View (Paperback)
A Room with a View was by E.M. Forster himself considered 'rather slight'. He did not do himself justice. One cannot agree with him: it is the kind of novel that reverbarates in one's mind - it has the stature of a major classic. As the story unfolds the major character learns to acknowledge her true feelings. A delicate story with beautiful philosophical insight, witty ironical social comedy and a touch of deep warmth and romance.
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A Room with a View (Penguin English Library)
A Room with a View (Penguin English Library) by E. M. Forster (Paperback - 27 Sep 2012)
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