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

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  490 Ratings  ·  39 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Two very different reasons caused the other twelve to remain unpublished in Forster's lifetime.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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 1st 1972 by W W Norton & Co Inc (first published 1972)
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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 of ...more
When English novelist E. M. Forster died in 1970 at the age of 91 he left behind a large amount of unpublished materials.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this are simple: either they were not deemed of sufficient quality or they contained sexual content that he felt could not be published during his lifetime.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
Dec 28, 2007 Jae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 17, 2010 Katie M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, 2010
(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 This is a weirdly compelling collection of mostly-formerly-unpublished stories, though, in large part because it's such an incredibly mixed bag.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
Dec 09, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 13, 2011 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 21, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Olga Klimenko
Jul 07, 2015 Olga Klimenko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since "Maurice" - the most precious and beloved above all novels I've ever read, I literally became obsessed with Forster and his writing. And after "Maurice" nothing could satisfy that craving of mine for something exactly like "Maurice" yet something different.
At last! I have it. The essence of the "darkest corners" of E.M.Forster's soul (certainly I mean his homosexual short stories).
And at last - I am able to appreciate and admire his genius when it is revealed without reserve or restraint.
Jun 04, 2014 J.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carlos Burga
I decided to read this book because I simply fell in love with “Maurice” by E.M. Forster and this is a compilation of many of his short stories that were only published after his death, many of them dealing with love between men. Once again Forster shares with the reader the complicated world inhabited by gay men in the early 20th century and although several stories get to the core of the tenuous nature of those relationships it is evident that Forster finds better voice in fully fledged novels ...more
George Ilsley
Mar 02, 2015 George Ilsley rated it really liked it
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
Carolyn Roberts
Few of these short stories were published during Forster's lifetime, mostly because they contain scenes about gay men so he didn't think they were acceptable at the time. And sadly he was probably right. It was interesting to read what Forster was writing following A Passage to India, which I studied at school and loved, and also to consider what kind of future career he might have had if he'd been living today. The stories did get a bit same-y after a while but his writing style is always elega ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2016 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-fiction
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
Onion Budgie
Jan 19, 2015 Onion Budgie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 24, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bloomsbury
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.
Roger Buck
Jan 10, 2015 Roger Buck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 …
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.
A collection of Forster's stories, not published in his lifetime, because they dealt with love between men. Many weren't written for publication and are fantasies, sometimes weird/mythological/symbolic. Others are amusing (intentionally). A mixed bag, but an interesting peek into a life and times.
Sep 17, 2010 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
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.
Mar 19, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 31, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Delilah Des
Apr 18, 2012 Delilah Des rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
G. Marie
Aug 24, 2014 G. Marie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 11, 2008 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 25, 2016 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of the Forster short stories that I have read over the years have made me love his writing all the more.
Feb 16, 2014 Kaylani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 21, 2012 Meghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forster in small doses is much better; interesting to understand what he really was thinking about while writing the novels he actually published
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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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