Well I can't offer a review better than this one by Zelda, which slam dunks anyone who questions the continued relevance of this book, even 100 yearsWell I can't offer a review better than this one by Zelda, which slam dunks anyone who questions the continued relevance of this book, even 100 years later. Since that review already gave every reason for reading the book, I'll concentrate on how it affected me.
I was the most moved when Helen said:
If we lived forever, what you say would be true. But we have to die, we have to leave life presently. Injustice and greed would be the real thing if we lived for ever. As it is, we must hold to other things, because Death is coming. I love Death--not morbidly, but because He explains. He shows me the emptiness of Money. Death and Money are the eternal foes. Not Death and Life.
This was a mind-opening passage for me, which was a pleasant surprise in a book I associate more with charming Merchant-Ivory period costume dramas than I do with edgy and morally challenging novels (I now need to see that film again! Netflix, why u no stream it!?!). When I think about immortality, I usually think about all that I could accomplish, how I could spend the decades wandering from one pursuit to the next until I had tried everything I want to try ever. Forster points out that without death, we might all be locked into a mutual struggle to acquire all the resources. Without end, and without ever having stopped to find out who we are. Heavy!
And that was just a sub-theme -- this book had with so many ideas, so many problems to think about. I think I'll have to come back to it again. As soon as I'm finished reading all Forster's other novels. ;-)...more