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Arctic Summer (Hesperus Classics) Paperback – 29 Aug 2003
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'...a delicious tangle for the peeping tom in us to delve into and untangle... Forster was incapable of writing a dull or lifeless line' --Anita Desai
'These opening pages are masterly' --The Spectator
'Forster's relish in depicting the comfortable English abroad,... is here as keen as it was in 'A Room with a View'.' --The Guardian
From the Author
a delicious tangle for the peeping tom in us to delve into and untangle Forster was incapable of writing a dull or lifeless line From the foreword by Anita Desai, author of Fasting, FeastingSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The main protagonists in the novel, Martin Whitby and the Lieutenant Clesant March, embody opposite ideas and temperaments: Martin is a calm, modern, liberal; Clesant and his adored brother Lance are young men who have grown up under the influence of their uncle Arthur Vullamy (the best delineated character in the novel, albeit verging on caricature) with a military-romantic code of chivalry, heroism, and sense of honour and probably sharing Vullamy's view that Martin's way of living is not only decadent but dangerous for England: what the middle classes need was "the discipline of war". But while a clash of such attitudes is credible, I found the personalities embodying them hard to take seriously, Clesant in particular, and some of the writing (including the title of the novel) rather mannered.
The fragment ends abruptly and dramatically after 84 pages. I thought the plot became interesting only ten pages before that.
Something for Forsterians I think, as what exists would make little sense to the general reader. As it is, I'm pushed to recall exactly what transpired in the few chapters Forster did complete, although I read them only a few days ago.
One cannot help but wonder - would it be a good novel? My impression is that it would not. Certain elements and scenes have been used before (close reading reveals especially similarities to A Room with a View), and there is little new and striking. The central conflict between action and ideas would probably be too little to sustain another novel after Howards End.
In short - a necessary reading for any true Forsterian and it is very good that it is finally available in a mass-market paperback (the Abinger edition is very difficult to find) but not necessarily for the general reading public. General reading public, however, should immediately aim for the next novel Forster managed to complete: A Passage to India.
My copy was in mint condition