Laura Fudge's Reviews > The Machine Stops

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster
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's review
Jul 30, 2011

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Read from July 30 to August 02, 2011

There are actually two stories in this little book, “The Machine Stops” and “The Celestial Omnibus” and I read each in one sitting.

I have never read any E.M. Forster books, and these little modern classics are brilliant at introducing you to a new (but old) author. “The Machine Stops” is a great little story about a dystopia where we all live in little cells linked by a machine, with no human contact, and every physical and mental need met by “The Machine”. Most humans are happy with this isolated life underground and start to see the machine as a sort of religion. We follow two characters, a mother and son, the mother happy with her life and her worship of the machine, her son, a rebel who wishes to go above the surface and out into the real world. As the story progresses the machine breaks down and, well, you’ll have to read it for yourself!

The Celestail Omnibus is about a young boy who goes on a journey to “heaven” or the “afterlife”, and returns home. He then embarks again on the journey with a well-read and learned man, who dismisses his story, and throughout the journey, tries to explain what he sees with his head, whilst the boy uses his heart.

Both stories were good, the first made me think of the internet, and how this book really was ahead of it’s time, predicting television, video conferencing and the internet in the early 1900′s. It showed man’s dependence on machines, a well trodden path for many sc-fi stories, but was still very interesting. It also made me want to unplug and go outside. Which I did.

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