Sarah's Reviews > Howards End

Howards End by E.M. Forster
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Feb 25, 2009

bookshelves: to-read, owned, a-z-title-challenge, classics, brit-lit, page-to-stage, tbr


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Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

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Meghan I loved the movie better than the book. But the book is good.

message 2: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah I just watched the movie the other day. Brent was in a British Manor Drama kind of mood. I liked it but I think the ending was kind of rushed.

Meghan I prefer The Remains of the Day to this one, both book and movie. But I think it's funny how both Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson do both movies. There's only so many elite period British actors apparently. heh

message 4: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah I know, right? I haven't read The Remains of the Day yet but it's on my A-Z list for this year. I did read Forster's other novel A Room With A View recently.

message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 28, 2009 06:30PM) (new)

I loved Howards End (the film) but haven't yet read any Forster. I especially love the ending (which I would imagine belongs to Forster) when Mr. Wilcox confesses offhandedly that he ignored his wife's deathbed note and asks, quite guilelessly, if he has done anything wrong... There's something wonderful (and wonderfully sad) in that moment.

message 6: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah And it's also funny how Helena Bonham Carter was in A Room With A View AND Howards End.

David, you should read Forster. I'd be interested to know what you think of it. I don't quite know what you'll say, given that you hate Austen but like Wharton.

message 7: by Jessica (last edited Mar 01, 2009 04:18AM) (new)

Jessica I understand David's aversion to Austen I think... Wharton takes on a larger social canvas, larger social issues that Austen does. I like Wharton...and Forster. David: try Forster, as Sarah suggests.
(curious minds wants to know--)

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 01, 2009 06:01PM) (new)

I will indeed read it. But 2009 has been proclaimed (by me) the Year of the American Classic... I'm reading all of those American classics I missed along the way. Maybe next year will be the year of the British classics -- but I am dreading returning to Charles Dickens. I still have nightmares from high school. And I refuse to read Chaucer... I just refuse.

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica yeah, Dickens is such a windbag!
but everyone loves him...for his social critique & characters I guess...I've really only read one novel. 'Great Expectations.' That was enough for me.

message 10: by Sarah (last edited Mar 01, 2009 06:12PM) (new) - added it

Sarah That's a great idea, David. Perhaps next year I will steal that idea, but this is the year I've proclaimed to be The Year To Read All The Books I Own And Have Been Putting Off Due To Length Or Otherwise, Cleverly Disguised As An A-Z Challenge.

I'm with you on Chaucer. Loathe him. I must admit, however, that I love Dickens. I love his prose. I suggest starting with A Christmas Carol which I think has some of the most brilliant prose ever put on paper.

Which books are in the queue for you this year, David? How old must a book be for you to consider it a classic? Maybe instead it should be your Year of the Great American Novel, since the Great American Novel has yet to be defined. Are you going to read any Steinbeck and Hemingway? East Of Eden is in my top 5 favorites of all time.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I read Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities my sophomore year in high school, but who knows? Maybe I would like them better today. (Let's hope I've matured -- at least a little -- since then.)

Sarah, I have no hard and fast rules about what makes a classic. I guess it just has to "feel" like one to me. On the agenda for this year are, YES, both Hemingway and Steinbeck. I've read some Hemingway, but can you believe I've never read ANY Steinbeck? Also coming up: more Twain, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Willa Cather, Theodore Dreiser, and Henry Miller... Others yet to be determined.

message 12: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy I'd like to punch Dickens right in his windbag, I would.

I guess I can agree that his depiction of Victorian society is... relevant. But is that enough to tolerate a bloviating melodramatist? Not for this goodreader.

Regarding Ms. Austen, I would say her very novelty is in her psychologization of characters. Sure, Wharton's canvas was a reflection of the society in which her characters found themselves; but for that very reason, they tend to be little more than mirrors. Austen's characters are full of depth, affect, and intention; it is for that reason that they are perennially relevant, and always interesting. (And, incidentally, Austen was one of the first novelists to give us this sort of complex, thinking character that helped to legitimize the novel as an art form.)

message 13: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah David wrote: "can you believe I've never read ANY Steinbeck?..."

I think... I've just had... a heart attack.

Please swear a blood oath to me that you will right this wrong immediately. Start with Of Mice and Men.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes. Sign me up for the blood oath, Sarah. This wrong shall be righted this year. This is the year for righting many a wrong. (Including that I had never read Huckleberry Finn until this month.)

Isaiah, yes, Dickens needed punches and editors. It seems as though, by and large, in the nineteenth century writers were allowed to go on and on and on without anyone to rein them in. (Cross reference: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.)

message 15: by Sarah (last edited Mar 01, 2009 06:28PM) (new) - added it

Sarah "This year" is far too vague for me. Please read it, like, next. You'll love it. It has sex and violence and dead puppies.

message 16: by Jessica (last edited Mar 01, 2009 06:31PM) (new)

Jessica well yes, they (19c novelists) didn't have to compete with film & television & the internet & the like...and don't forget, most of Dickens' novels were written chapter by chapter, serialized in magazines before being published as books.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, okay... next. But "dead puppies" really doesn't sweeten the pot for me, Sarah.

message 18: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy Well, part of the reason that Dickens seems to drag on and on in the novel form is that he was generally published serially. This was very common for popular Victorian authors, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Not excusing him, mind you, but it is true that the sheer excess of his prose wouldn't be quite so excruciating if you were reading it month-by-month.

Also... huge fan of Chaucer. You guys have to hear it read aloud in the original Middle English! Listen to this guy:

I do this recitation with great frequency when I am intoxicated.

message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Isaiah, see my comment #16...
and I like Chaucer as well.
thanks for the link--

message 20: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy ... Isaiah XPost FAIL.

message 21: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah David wrote: "Well, okay... next. But "dead puppies" really doesn't sweeten the pot for me, Sarah. "

I'm glad to know you're not that much of a cynic.

Actually, I'm not sure why I love such a depressing book so much, but I just do! And that's all I'm going to say because I don't want to spoil you.

Meghan Okay, how can you NOT like Chaucer? He's bawdy and basically low-brow humor. It's funny.

Isaiah I applaud your taste in books and youtube links. Please influence Sarah more.

And really? Of Mice and Men? That's the Steinbeck you would start with? Other than its shortness, it's depressing and sad and not in an Anne of Green Gables-need-a-box-of-tissues kind of way.

I also recommend reading Forester, but I like Wharton better. Don't get me started on Austen though. UGH.

message 23: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah I recommended Of Mice and Men because I know David. And he won't be bothered by the sadness because the book is well-written.

I am so surprised that you like Chaucer. You, who hate to read anything that seems like it was written in "old" English! THAT is the main reason you don't like Austen! But Chaucer's language is way harder to understand than Austen's or Dickens's.

(Was "Dickens's" right, David? Because he's not plural?)

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Dickens's is correct and standard, but the rule seems to be gradually changing. Some sources now consider Dickens' acceptable because, in pronunciation, Dickens's is considered too cumbersome (pronounced "dihkenziz").

When in doubt, add appostrophe-s to all singular nouns regardless of what letter with which they end.

message 25: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Just one of the reasons I love you, David.

message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica whereas I followed my email notification, saw message # 24 from David Amadeus, and said: WTF? I came all the way here to read that?!
Just another reason I love to hate you, my fellow Grammarian!

Meghan Well, I'm not especially fond of the whole old English wording, but Chaucer is FUNNY. I can deal when it's funny. Austen is not funny.

And yeah, David, you got Sarah all hot and bothered with #24.

message 29: by Sarah (last edited Mar 05, 2009 05:08PM) (new) - added it

Sarah Austen not funny?!? Meghan, I love you but I must respectfully disagree. The ridiculous characters she writes are hilarious! The Palmers and Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility are a riot!

My goddaughter will read nineteenth century British novels if she knows what's good for her! Heh.

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