Matt's Reviews > A Room with a View

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
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's review
May 31, 2012

liked it

While this is worth reading, I don't recommend going out of your way to do so. The second half is certainly stronger than the first, but skillful writing can only redeem to a limited degree the predictability of the romance and relatively one-dimensional characters. Still, give Edward Morgan some credit for sticking up for a woman's right to speak her own mind.

Here are some memorable quips hidden inside a generally ho-hum story (especially the suburbia rant):

"It is so difficult - at least I find it difficult - to understand people who speak the truth."

"It is so sad when people who have abilities misuse them, and I must say they nearly always do."

"Italian in the mouth of Italians is a deep-voiced stream, with unexpected cataracts and boulders to preserve it from monotony."

"Well educated, well endowed, and not deficient physically, he remained in the grip of a certain devil whom the modern world knows as self-consciousness, and whom the medieval, with dimmer vision, worshipped as asceticism."

"Of course, he despised the world as a whole; every thoughtful man should; it is almost a test of refinement."

"Youth seldom criticizes the accomplished fact."

"Men don't gossip over tea-cups. If they get drunk, there's an end to them - they lie down comfortably and sleep it off. If they're vulgar, they somehow keep it to themselves. It doesn't spread so. Give me a man - of course, provided he's clean."

"A Radical out and out, she learnt to speak with horror of Suburbia. Life, so far as she troubled to conceive it, was a circle of rich, pleasant people, with identical interests and identical foes. In this circle, one thought, married, and died. Outside it were poverty and vulgarity for ever trying to enter, just as the London fog tries to enter the pine-woods pouring through the gaps in the northern hills."

"Choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine."

"She gave up trying to understand herself, and joined the vast armies of the benighted, who follow neither the heart nor the brain, and march to their destiny by catch-words."

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