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The Life to Come and Other Short Stories
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The Life to Come and Other Short Stories

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  412 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The fourteen stories in this book span six decades—from 1903 to 1957 or even later—and represent every phase of Forster's career as a writer. Only two have ever been published, and those only in magazines to which few people have easy access.

Two very different reasons caused the other twelve to remain unpublished in Forster's lifetime. One was his diffidence, which in hi
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 1st 1972 by W W Norton & Co Inc (first published 1972)
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Jean
E. M. Forster is largely remembered as an Edwardian novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His ironic and well-plotted novels examine class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. They are novels of manners depicting British morality and Edwardian society. Five major novels remain popular, but another, "Maurice", was never published during his lifetime because of its homosexual content. It was eventually posthumously published in 1971. This review concerns a number o ...more
Chris
When English novelist E. M. Forster died in 1970 at the age of 91 he left behind a large amount of unpublished materials. The reasons for this are simple: either they were not deemed of sufficient quality or they contained sexual content that he felt could not be published during his lifetime. The most important of these works was his fully completed novel Maurice, which many, myself included, believe is his best novel—it's his most honest, least contrived, not as overwritten.

Shortly after Mauri
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Jae
this is a great book if you love the craft of forster. the stories in this are short enough to read on the bus, but written in the same style and with as much care as his novels. each one is a perfect little package.
Katie M.
(Warning: this book seems to have evoked my inner analytical writing nerd. Sorry.)

Forster's subtle social commentaries tend to blow right over my head, and since subtle social commentary is basically the point of his writing, I tend to have a mixed relationship with it. This is a weirdly compelling collection of mostly-formerly-unpublished stories, though, in large part because it's such an incredibly mixed bag. The first section is made up of very early works, which consistently fall somewhere
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Paul
All unpublished in his lifetime most of the stories in this volume were withheld from publication by E M Forster due to their homosexual subject matter - some are quite slight and most definitely 'entertainments' in the manner of Saki, etc though deftly written. A few don't work - probably as the editor suggested that Forster never worked them up sufficiently to a fully-formed version.

However, there are three stories - 'The Life To Come', 'Arthur Snatchfold' and 'The Other Boat' - that are aston
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Rachael
I have a love/hate relationship with E.M. Forster. I have suffered through some works, only to fall head over heels for the next one I read! His voice ranges widely, from depressing and nihilistic to uplifting and romantic. Like every writer, E.M. Forster is at his best when focusing on subjects personal to him, such as the love and affection between men. These are an absolute pleasure to read, examples being "The Life to Come," "Dr Woolacott", "Arthur Snatchfold", and "The Other Boat." This col ...more
George Ilsley
Most of these pieces were not published in Forster's lifetime; most of these stories, along with the novel "Maurice" were considered unpublishable because of the homosexual content. The gay content is very understated by today's standards and therefore achieves the appearance of great restraint. Many of the stories contain interracial pairings, which would have been considered even more shocking than partnering outside your class (such as having it off with the undergamekeeper, as in Maurice). T ...more
Rachel
Like many great writers, E.M. Forster is not well-remembered for his short stories, but he was a master of the format. Two stories in this collection were published during his lifetime; the others were suppressed per his own request, although he showed some of them to fellow writers. His great novel Maurice was also suppressed for the same reason as this collection: the homosexual content. If I recall, Forster indicated that they should be published 50 years after his death.

But enough backstory
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Gee
From this reading challenge, a book of short stories.

~3.5~

I liked just about all of them, but especially "The Life to Come" (which had a nice twisty ending), "Dr Woolacot" (which I'm not quite sure of, but it has a fanfic drabble written about it and that's always cool), "The Obelisk" (which made me laugh), "The Torque" (which I REALLY was not expecting), and "The Other Boat" (which I really wanted to go another way, but I still liked the general concept).
J.C.
This is the first work of Forster's that I've laid eyes on and It certainly wont be the last. I had to read two of the stories, the tragic "Arthur Snatchfold" and the funny "the classical Annex" for my Gay/lesbian literature class, but I ended up reading the rest of the collection once the semester was over. The two previously mentioned are certainly an example of the best and my personal favorites, in the batch of favorites I would also include "The Obelisk", another humorous story well worth t ...more
Richard
A lovely collection of Morgan's short stories spanning almost the whole of his writing career. The stories whilst showing his development as writer also cover a wide range of his interests (nature, class, race relations, sexuality, being true to ones self). The stories span a number of stories, from ghost stories, to social commentaries to thrillers. For fans of his writing definitely worth a read.
Onion Budgie
Beautifully written, the stories begin coyly, the gay subtext well hidden. Written at different points throughout Forster's life, the writing gradually becomes bolder. There are recurring themes of longing, of confusion and betrayal. 'The Classical Annex' is completely bobbins; I'm not quite sure what Forster was aiming for there. A thoroughly enjoyable set of stories, if you enjoy your angst on the sweet and/or mystified side.
G. Marie
I couldn't "get into" this book, as they say. None of the stories I read either resonated with or interested me, and I got to page 97. Perhaps I'll pick it up again later and keep going. For now, I'm setting it aside.
Michelle
A collection of short stories published posthumously, most of which were quite enjoyable. I loved Arthur Snatchfold, The Other Boat and Doctor Woolacott.
They were written over a long stretch of years, some some of the writing is uneven, but worth reading through for the gems.
Mitch
As with all collections of short stories, there will be favorites. I particularly enjoyed "The Helping Hand" and found "The Rock" gave me something to think about.

Neither of these two fit with E.M.'s recurrent theme that homosexual acts should be regarded as fun and consequence-free. (He meant socially, not disease-wise. He didn't address the latter.) It is interesting to read the stories he constructed to convey this message.

But E. wasn't just about that. His final story, written in collaborati
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Steven
I love E.M. Forster and this was an exciting find in a dark corner of a used book store. I'm not typically a fan of short stories, but once I got into the groove with this collection, I really enjoyed myself. I found myself quite surprised and amused by how explicit the later chapters are. I loved Maurice, and I'm delighted to walk even further down that path with Forster. My far and away favorite is The Other Boat. What a sublimely sad and potent story. A fantastic read and highly recommended t ...more
Chas Bayfield
Easy to read with some unusual twists. Gay is definitely the name of the game here which made some stories harder to relate to. A couple (Obelisk in particular) ended a bit laughably. Still, I enjoyed it.
Roger Buck
Poignant, compelling stories which I deeply appreciated in my misspent youth in an English, Protestant galaxy far, far away. But changing galaxies changes everything and these days these great English Protestant writers seem to have nothing like the poignancy and pathos I find in say …

http://corjesusacratissimum.org/2009/...
Tyas
Forster did not just write A Room with a View or A Passage to India, you know - and the body of his homoerotic work does not just consist of Maurice (and, oh, A Passage to India)... This collection of stories, some of them were written in the fantastic mode, simply shines.
Daniel
This is a fantastic collection of stories from a brilliant writer. The queer themes are definitely present but the collection should not be viewed solely on that criteria, as there is a lot here to appreciate. Well worth the effort to find and explore something beyond the genius novels.
Andy
I don't know when I've enjoyed a book of short stories more. Forster's stories are witty, surprising, sharply drawn and dealing with some unexpected themes. Some modern short stories strike me as labored; these stories, on the other hand, read like the wind. Highly recommended.
Delilah Des
A mixed bag, and I disagreed with Oliver Tallybrass about which were the stand-out examples, but overall Forster's unpublished stories were often a more agreeable read than his published ones, and I learnt a lot too about what a pain in the posterior posthumous editing can be.
Molly
actually, this rating only extends to one story, "albergo empedocle" -- i confess that i generally don't like short stories, and didn't finish these. but the one is haunting, i must have read it fifteen years ago and still think of it.
Christopher
A few of the stories in this book are staggeringly beautiful; several are merely interesting. I'll be remembering the emotionsl richness and grace of the good ones, like Albergo Empedocle, for the rest of my life.
Denise
As usual with short story collections, some of these were more, some less interesting. My favourite out of the fourteen stories it contains was "Arthur Snatchfold".
Kaylani
My first read by E.M. Forester. I will definitely read more. I wish some of the stories were longer as they seemed to end as I became entwined in them.
Meghan
Forster in small doses is much better; interesting to understand what he really was thinking about while writing the novels he actually published
Jakey
"The Obelisk" is one of my favourite short stories. Brits on holiday: your husbands are gay.
Sheila Heuvel-Collins
I think Forster was better at writing short fiction than novels.
Lewis
Excellent collection of EM Forster short stories.
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Edward Morgan Forster, generally published as E.M. Forster, was an novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. His humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect".

He had five
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More about E.M. Forster...
A Room with a View Howards End A Passage to India Maurice Where Angels Fear to Tread

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