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A Room With a View

A Room With a View

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A Room With a View

Bewertungen:
3.5/5 (51 Bewertungen)
Länge:
258 Seiten
3 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781596251052
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

One of E. M. Forster's most celebrated novels, "A Room With a View" is the story of a young English middle-class girl, Lucy Honeychurch. While vacationing in Italy, Lucy meets and is wooed by two gentlemen, George Emerson and Cecil Vyse. After turning down Cecil Vyse's marriage proposals twice Lucy finally accepts. Upon hearing of the engagement George protests and confesses his true love for Lucy. Lucy is torn between the choice of marrying Cecil, who is a more socially acceptable mate, and George who she knows will bring her true happiness. "A Room With a View" is a tale of classic human struggles such as the choice between social acceptance or true love.
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2010
ISBN:
9781596251052
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Edward Morgan Forster (1879–1970) was born in London and attended the Tonbridge School and King’s College, Cambridge. A substantial inheritance from his aunt gave Forster the freedom to pursue a literary career and travel extensively, and he wrote some of the finest novels of the twentieth century, including A Room with a View, A Passage to India, and Howards End. Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the Order of Merit in 1969.


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  • A rebel she was, but not of the kind he understood—a rebel who desired, not a wider dwelling-room, but equality beside the man she loved. For Italy was offering her the most priceless of all possessions—her own soul.

  • That there are shops abroad, even in Athens, never occurred to them, for they regarded travel as a species of warfare, only to be undertaken by those who have been fully armed at the Haymarket Stores.

  • Honest orthodoxy Cecil respected, but he always assumed that honesty is the result of a spiritual cri-sis; he could not imagine it as a natural birthright, that might grow heav-enward like flowers.

  • It was really a ruse of Lucy's to justify her despondencya ruse of which she was not herself conscious, for she was marching in the armies of darkness.

  • Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.

Buchvorschau

A Room With a View - E. M. Forster

A ROOM WITH A VIEW

BY E. M. FORSTER

A Digireads.com Book

Digireads.com Publishing

Print ISBN 13: 978-1-4209-2543-2

Ebook ISBN 13: 978-1-59625-105-2

This edition copyright © 2011

Please visit www.digireads.com

CONTENTS

PART ONE

Chapter I: The Bertolini

Chapter II: In Santa Croce with No Baedeker

Chapter III: Music, Violets, and the Letter S

Chapter IV: Fourth Chapter

Chapter V: Possibilities of a Pleasant Outing

Chapter VI: The Reverend Arthur Beebe, the Reverend Cuthbert Eager, Mr. Emerson, Mr. George Emerson, Miss Eleanor Lavish, Miss Charlotte Bartlett, and Miss Lucy Honeychurch Drive Out in Carriages to See a View; Italians Drive Them.

Chapter VII: They Return

PART TWO

Chapter VIII: Medieval

Chapter IX: Lucy As a Work of Art

Chapter X: Cecil as a Humourist

Chapter XI: In Mrs. Vyse's Well-Appointed Flat

Chapter XII: Twelfth Chapter

Chapter XIII: How Miss Bartlett's Boiler Was So Tiresome

Chapter XIV : How Lucy Faced the External Situation Bravely

Chapter XV: The Disaster Within

Chapter XVI: Lying to George

Chapter XVII: Lying to Cecil

Chapter XVIII: Lying to Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Honeychurch, Freddy, and The Servants

Chapter XIX: Lying to Mr. Emerson

Chapter XX: The End of the Middle Ages

PART ONE

Chapter I: The Bertolini

The Signora had no business to do it, said Miss Bartlett, no business at all. She promised us south rooms with a view close together, instead of which here are north rooms, looking into a courtyard, and a long way apart. Oh, Lucy!"

And a Cockney, besides! said Lucy, who had been further saddened by the Signora's unexpected accent. It might be London. She looked at the two rows of English people who were sitting at the table; at the row of white bottles of water and red bottles of wine that ran between the English people; at the portraits of the late Queen and the late Poet Laureate that hung behind the English people, heavily framed; at the notice of the English church (Rev. Cuthbert Eager, M. A. Oxon.), that was the only other decoration of the wall. Charlotte, don't you feel, too, that we might be in London? I can hardly believe that all kinds of other things are just outside. I suppose it is one's being so tired.

This meat has surely been used for soup, said Miss Bartlett, laying down her fork.

I want so to see the Arno. The rooms the Signora promised us in her letter would have looked over the Arno. The Signora had no business to do it at all. Oh, it is a shame!

Any nook does for me, Miss Bartlett continued; but it does seem hard that you shouldn't have a view.

Lucy felt that she had been selfish. Charlotte, you mustn't spoil me: of course, you must look over the Arno, too. I meant that. The first vacant room in the front—

You must have it, said Miss Bartlett, part of whose travelling expenses were paid by Lucy's mother—a piece of generosity to which she made many a tactful allusion.

No, no. You must have it.

I insist on it. Your mother would never forgive me, Lucy.

She would never forgive me.

The ladies' voices grew animated, and—if the sad truth be owned—a little peevish. They were tired, and under the guise of unselfishness they wrangled. Some of their neighbours interchanged glances, and one of them—one of the ill-bred people whom one does meet abroad—leant forward over the table and actually intruded into their argument. He said:

I have a view, I have a view.

Miss Bartlett was startled. Generally at a pension people looked them over for a day or two before speaking, and often did not find out that they would do till they had gone. She knew that the intruder was ill-bred, even before she glanced at him. He was an old man, of heavy build, with a fair, shaven face and large eyes. There was something childish in those eyes, though it was not the childishness of senility. What exactly it was Miss Bartlett did not stop to consider, for her glance passed on to his clothes. These did not attract her. He was probably trying to become acquainted with them before they got into the swim. So she assumed a dazed expression when he spoke to her, and then said: A view? Oh, a view! How delightful a view is!

This is my son, said the old man; his name's George. He has a view too.

Ah, said Miss Bartlett, repressing Lucy, who was about to speak.

What I mean, he continued, is that you can have our rooms, and we'll have yours. We'll change.

The better class of tourist was shocked at this, and sympathized with the new-comers. Miss Bartlett, in reply, opened her mouth as little as possible, and said:

Thank you very much indeed; that is out of the question.

Why? said the old man, with both fists on the table.

Because it is quite out of the question, thank you.

You see, we don't like to take— began Lucy.

Her cousin again repressed her.

But why? he persisted. Women like looking at a view; men don't. And he thumped with his fists like a naughty child, and turned to his son, saying, George, persuade them!

It's so obvious they should have the rooms, said the son. There's nothing else to say.

He did not look at the ladies as he spoke, but his voice was perplexed and sorrowful. Lucy, too, was perplexed; but she saw that they were in for what is known as quite a scene, and she had an odd feeling that whenever these ill-bred tourists spoke the contest widened and deepened till it dealt, not with rooms and views, but with—well, with something quite different, whose existence she had not realized before. Now the old man attacked Miss Bartlett almost violently: Why should she not change? What possible objection had she? They would clear out in half an hour.

Miss Bartlett, though skilled in the delicacies of conversation, was powerless in the presence of brutality. It was impossible to snub any one so gross. Her face reddened with displeasure. She looked around as much as to say, Are you all like this? And two little old ladies, who were sitting further up the table, with shawls hanging over the backs of the chairs, looked back, clearly indicating We are not; we are genteel.

Eat your dinner, dear, she said to Lucy, and began to toy again with the meat that she had once censured.

Lucy mumbled that those seemed very odd people opposite.

Eat your dinner, dear. This pension is a failure. To-morrow we will make a change.

Hardly had she announced this fell decision when she reversed it. The curtains at the end of the room parted, and revealed a clergyman, stout but attractive, who hurried forward to take his place at the table, cheerfully apologizing for his lateness. Lucy, who had not yet acquired decency, at once rose to her feet, exclaiming: Oh, oh! Why, it's Mr. Beebe! Oh, how perfectly lovely! Oh, Charlotte, we must stop now, however bad the rooms are. Oh!

Miss Bartlett said, with more restraint:

How do you do, Mr. Beebe? I expect that you have forgotten us: Miss Bartlett and Miss Honeychurch, who were at Tunbridge Wells when you helped the Vicar of St. Peter's that very cold Easter.

The clergyman, who had the air of one on a holiday, did not remember the ladies quite as clearly as they remembered him. But he came forward pleasantly enough and accepted the chair into which he was beckoned by Lucy.

"I am so glad to see you, said the girl, who was in a state of spiritual starvation, and would have been glad to see the waiter if her cousin had permitted it. Just fancy how small the world is. Summer Street, too, makes it so specially funny."

Miss Honeychurch lives in the parish of Summer Street, said Miss Bartlett, filling up the gap, and she happened to tell me in the course of conversation that you have just accepted the living—

Yes, I heard from mother so last week. She didn't know that I knew you at Tunbridge Wells; but I wrote back at once, and I said: 'Mr. Beebe is—'

Quite right, said the clergyman. I move into the Rectory at Summer Street next June. I am lucky to be appointed to such a charming neighbourhood.

Oh, how glad I am! The name of our house is Windy Corner.

Mr. Beebe bowed.

There is mother and me generally, and my brother, though it's not often we get him to ch—The church is rather far off, I mean.

Lucy, dearest, let Mr. Beebe eat his dinner.

I am eating it, thank you, and enjoying it.

He preferred to talk to Lucy, whose playing he remembered, rather than to Miss Bartlett, who probably remembered his sermons. He asked the girl whether she knew Florence well, and was informed at some length that she had never been there before. It is delightful to advise a newcomer, and he was first in the field.

Don't neglect the country round, his advice concluded. The first fine afternoon drive up to Fiesole, and round by Settignano, or something of that sort.

No! cried a voice from the top of the table. Mr. Beebe, you are wrong. The first fine afternoon your ladies must go to Prato.

That lady looks so clever, whispered Miss Bartlett to her cousin. We are in luck.

And, indeed, a perfect torrent of information burst on them. People told them what to see, when to see it, how to stop the electric trams, how to get rid of the beggars, how much to give for a vellum blotter, how much the place would grow upon them. The Pension Bertolini had decided, almost enthusiastically, that they would do. Whichever way they looked, kind ladies smiled and shouted at them. And above all rose the voice of the clever lady, crying: Prato! They must go to Prato. That place is too sweetly squalid for words. I love it; I revel in shaking off the trammels of respectability, as you know.

The young man named George glanced at the clever lady, and then returned moodily to his plate. Obviously he and his father did not do. Lucy, in the midst of her success, found time to wish they did. It gave her no extra pleasure that any one should be left in the cold; and when she rose to go, she turned back and gave the two outsiders a nervous little bow.

The father did not see it; the son acknowledged it, not by another bow, but by raising his eyebrows and smiling; he seemed to be smiling across something.

She hastened after her cousin, who had already disappeared through the curtains—curtains which smote one in the face, and seemed heavy with more than cloth. Beyond them stood the unreliable Signora, bowing good-evening to her guests, and supported by 'Enery, her little boy, and Victorier, her daughter. It made a curious little scene, this attempt of the Cockney to convey the grace and geniality of the South. And even more curious was the drawing-room, which attempted to rival the solid comfort of a Bloomsbury boarding-house. Was this really Italy?

Miss Bartlett was already seated on a tightly stuffed arm-chair, which had the colour and the contours of a tomato. She was talking to Mr. Beebe, and as she spoke, her long narrow head drove backwards and forwards, slowly, regularly, as though she were demolishing some invisible obstacle. We are most grateful to you, she was saying. "The first evening means so much. When you arrived we were in for a peculiarly mauvais quart d'heure."

He expressed his regret.

Do you, by any chance, know the name of an old man who sat opposite us at dinner?

Emerson.

Is he a friend of yours?

We are friendly—as one is in pensions.

Then I will say no more.

He pressed her very slightly, and she said more.

I am, as it were, she concluded, the chaperon of my young cousin, Lucy, and it would be a serious thing if I put her under an obligation to people of whom we know nothing. His manner was somewhat unfortunate. I hope I acted for the best.

You acted very naturally, said he. He seemed thoughtful, and after a few moments added: All the same, I don't think much harm would have come of accepting.

No harm, of course. But we could not be under an obligation.

He is rather a peculiar man. Again he hesitated, and then said gently: I think he would not take advantage of your acceptance, nor expect you to show gratitude. He has the merit—if it is one—of saying exactly what he means. He has rooms he does not value, and he thinks you would value them. He no more thought of putting you under an obligation than he thought of being polite. It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth.

Lucy was pleased, and said: I was hoping that he was nice; I do so always hope that people will be nice.

I think he is; nice and tiresome. I differ from him on almost every point of any importance, and so, I expect—I may say I hope—you will differ. But his is a type one disagrees with rather than deplores. When he first came here he not unnaturally put people's backs up. He has no tact and no manners—I don't mean by that that he has bad manners—and he will not keep his opinions to himself. We nearly complained about him to our depressing Signora, but I am glad to say we thought better of it.

Am I to conclude, said Miss Bartlett, that he is a Socialist?

Mr. Beebe accepted the convenient word, not without a slight twitching of the lips.

And presumably he has brought up his son to be a Socialist, too?

I hardly know George, for he hasn't learnt to talk yet. He seems a nice creature, and I think he has brains. Of course, he has all his father's mannerisms, and it is quite possible that he, too, may be a Socialist.

Oh, you relieve me, said Miss Bartlett. So you think I ought to have accepted their offer? You feel I have been narrow-minded and suspicious?

Not at all, he answered; I never suggested that.

But ought I not to apologize, at all events, for my apparent rudeness?

He replied, with some irritation, that it would be quite unnecessary, and got up from his seat to go to the smoking-room.

Was I a bore? said Miss Bartlett, as soon as he had disappeared. Why didn't you talk, Lucy? He prefers young people, I'm sure. I do hope I haven't monopolized him. I hoped you would have him all the evening, as well as all dinner-time.

He is nice, exclaimed Lucy. Just what I remember. He seems to see good in every one. No one would take him for a clergyman.

My dear Lucia—

Well, you know what I mean. And you know how clergymen generally laugh; Mr. Beebe laughs just like an ordinary man.

Funny girl! How you do remind me of your mother. I wonder if she will approve of Mr. Beebe.

I'm sure she will; and so will Freddy.

I think every one at Windy Corner will approve; it is the fashionable world. I am used to Tunbridge Wells, where we are all hopelessly behind the times.

Yes, said Lucy despondently.

There was a haze of disapproval in the air, but whether the disapproval was of herself, or of Mr. Beebe, or of the fashionable world at Windy Corner, or of the narrow world at Tunbridge Wells, she could not determine. She tried to locate it, but as usual she blundered. Miss Bartlett sedulously denied disapproving of any one, and added I am afraid you are finding me a very depressing companion.

And the girl again thought: I must have been selfish or unkind; I must be more careful. It is so dreadful for Charlotte, being poor.

Fortunately one of the little old ladies, who for some time had been smiling very benignly, now approached and asked if she might be allowed to sit where Mr. Beebe had sat. Permission granted, she began to chatter gently about Italy, the plunge it had been to come there, the gratifying success of the plunge, the improvement in her sister's health, the necessity of closing the bed-room windows at night, and of thoroughly emptying the water-bottles in the morning. She handled her subjects agreeably, and they were, perhaps, more worthy of attention than the high discourse upon Guelfs and Ghibellines which was proceeding tempestuously at the other end of the room. It was a real catastrophe, not a mere episode, that evening of hers at Venice, when she had found in her bedroom something that is one worse than a flea, though one better than something else.

But here you are as safe as in England. Signora Bertolini is so English.

Yet our rooms smell, said poor Lucy. We dread going to bed.

Ah, then you look into the court. She sighed. If only Mr. Emerson was more tactful! We were so sorry for you at dinner.

I think he was meaning to be kind.

Undoubtedly he was, said Miss Bartlett.  Mr. Beebe has just been scolding me for my suspicious nature. Of course, I was holding back on my cousin's account.

Of course, said the little old lady; and they murmured that one could not be too careful with a young girl.

Lucy tried to look demure, but could not help feeling a great fool. No one was careful with her at home; or, at all events, she had not noticed it.

About old Mr. Emerson—I hardly know. No, he is not tactful; yet, have you ever noticed that there are people who do things which are most indelicate, and yet at the same time—beautiful?

Beautiful? said Miss Bartlett, puzzled at the word. Are not beauty and delicacy the same?

So one would have thought, said the other helplessly. But things are so difficult, I sometimes think.

She proceeded no further into things, for Mr. Beebe reappeared, looking extremely pleasant.

Miss Bartlett, he cried, it's all right about the rooms. I'm so glad. Mr. Emerson was talking about it in the smoking-room, and knowing what I did, I encouraged him to make the offer again. He has let me come and ask you. He would be so pleased.

Oh, Charlotte, cried Lucy to her cousin, we must have the rooms now. The old man is just as nice and kind as he can be.

Miss Bartlett was silent.

I fear, said Mr. Beebe, after a pause, that I have been officious. I must apologize for my interference.

Gravely displeased, he turned to go. Not till then did Miss Bartlett reply: My own wishes, dearest Lucy, are unimportant in comparison with yours. It would be hard indeed if I stopped you doing as you liked at Florence, when I am only here through your kindness. If you wish me to turn these gentlemen out of their rooms, I will do it. Would you then, Mr. Beebe, kindly tell Mr. Emerson that I accept his kind offer, and then conduct him to me, in order that I may thank him personally?

She raised her voice as she spoke; it was heard all over the drawing-room, and silenced the Guelfs and the Ghibellines. The clergyman, inwardly cursing the female sex, bowed, and departed with her message.

Remember, Lucy, I alone am implicated in this. I do not wish the acceptance to come from you. Grant me that, at all events.

Mr. Beebe was back, saying rather nervously:

Mr. Emerson is engaged, but here is his son instead.

The young man gazed down on

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  • (3/5)
    Well, I think I'm going to be teaching this book this year. I see the themes that make it a good one to teach to adolescents. I have a little trouble reading it, though, unless I'm not tired and have no distractions...I tend to get a little lost in the words!
  • (4/5)
    The inhabitants of Windy Corner (as well as Pensione Betolini) are left pale and perforated after Forster's serial needling. Forster can only stop heckling his characters long enough to appreciate the song of the season's and the subtle currents of music.
  • (2/5)
    It's fun and builds up stronger, but I never really connected with it. Maybe the weak start threw me.
  • (3/5)
    Listened to the Classic Tales podcast version. Not bad.
  • (4/5)
    Lucy Honeychurch and her cousin Charlotte are visiting Florence when they meet Mr Emerson and his son. Later in England, when they encounter the Emersons again, they both have private reasons for wanting to avoid them.I was delighted by much of this; it is astutely observant and gently humorous. Much ado is made over a kiss, which is baffling from a modern perspective, but I suspect this not only reflects attitudes common at the time but that Forster is intentionally showing that his characters are being a bit ridiculous.I would be even more enthusiastic if the final chapters had unfolded as they did. There’s an irritating scene where a man lectures Lucy, telling her what she should do. His motives aren’t unsympathetic, and his advice isn’t unreasonable -- but it is uninvited and he persists even when she becomes obviously upset. Moreover, the story then jumps in time, skipping over Lucy deciding what to do next and how she goes about it. I’m pleased with the final result, but why must you diminish her agency like that?It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, “She loves young Emerson.” A reader in Lucy’s place would not find it obvious. Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome “nerves” or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed?
  • (4/5)
    A very good, understated story about an extended holiday that blooms into romance. A young woman traveling with her older, overbearing cousin in Italy is consumed more with the squabbles of British manners than with enjoying the sights of Florence, and more concerned about properly obtaining a Room with a View than with the view itself.The contrast between characters is strong and important to the development of the message of the novel, and seems characteristic of Forster's work.Much like "Pride and Prejudice," this novel is about people taking the long way around their strict society to get where they always needed to end up, and Forster has an excellent turn of phrase on how difficult it is to direct one's own life:"Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome “nerves” or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. "
  • (4/5)
    "A Room with a View" was recommended to me by a very good friend, though I think, given enough time, I would have gotten round to reading it anyway. It's a delightful little book, a tale of love and life, of one girl's discovery that there is more to life than a stolid middle-class English existence. It's also a tale of English customs around the turn of the twentieth century, and of the English tourist abroad. At times the wit is scathing, and rightly so; the reader cheers when what was obviously going to come about finally does, but along the way there is such humour that the story can never be considered boring.
  • (5/5)
    The answer to the question, "Which book should I pack in my carry-on to Italy?"
  • (3/5)
    Lucy Highchurch is a well-bred young woman of some means. While in Florence with her spinster cousin Miss Charlotte Bartlett, she meets George Emerson, a fellow guest at their pension. He is handsome but only a bank clerk, rather forward and totally unsuitable for a girl of Lucy’s station. To avoid further contact, the two women continue on to Rome, where Lucy encounters Cecil Vyse, a rather superior gentleman. She accepts Cecil’s proposal but continues to pine for the lowly clerk who has truly captured her heart. When she realizes she has made a terrible mistake, her confusion leads to even more “muddle.”

    Forster’s novel takes aim at the British ideas of respectability and social class. Lucy wants to rebel against the many rules that govern her conduct, but she is torn. She loves her mother and brother, and wants the admiration of her social set, but she finds so many of these people tiresome and hypocritical. I was struck by how frequently the title phrase is mentioned. There are the obvious references to her room at the pension in Florence and to the view from the salon at her home in England. But Forster also explores the “view” of one’s acquaintances vs the reality of their inner core. It’s when this second way of looking at things (pun intended) comes into play that the novel really got interesting for me.

    I did find the middle section – from the time Lucy and Charlotte left for Rome to Lucy’s epiphany regarding George and Cecil – somewhat slow going. In fact, I just about gave up on the book. But I’m glad I persevered; the last five chapters redeemed the work for me.
  • (4/5)
    Avoid the 1992 "pre-echo"/"bleed-through" Books on Tape edition (and its later repackaged versions)[4] for "A Room with a View."[1] for the 1992 audiobook by Frederick Davidson. I'm not going to distort the rating for the Edwardian meet-cute romantic-comedy classic "A Room with a View" due to a bad audio experience, so the official vote here is a [4].Otherwise, this is a warning to steer clear of the 1992 Books on Tape audiobook by Frederick Davidson which is badly dated in style but is still being sold as recently as 2017 at Audible Audio. It also betrays its audiotape analog pedigree due to its constant pre-echo / audio bleed-through. This is a quirk from the vinyl/tape era where the audio signal from about 2-3 seconds in the future would "bleed-through" as a artifact in the current signal. The effect is like hearing a phantom distorted conversation constantly in the background of the actual audio that you are listening to. It is enormously annoying and distracting.Frederick Davidson (real name:David Case) was an early legend of the audiobook era and recorded many hundreds of classics. His reading style will seem very old-fashioned now but is still suitable for some characters e.g. Cecil Vyse in the case of "A Room with a View."
  • (5/5)
    This is a book that I could pick up at anytime, turn to any page and start reading and enjoying. I enjoy the story, the character development and the language.
  • (4/5)
    I don’t often feel like a novel is too short, but in this case, there were a few places where I wanted additional narrative instead of the authorial equivalent of an ellipsis. Some lovely scenes and characters.
  • (4/5)
    If you liked Pride and Prejudice you'll probably like this story of a young woman who almost marries the wrong guy. She's a little immature but it's a fun read and it all turns out in the end.
  • (4/5)
    ...about finding our way through life.
  • (5/5)
    Very funny observational humour in Florence, a comedy of interior dialogue and exterior manners. Turns a bit gloomy in Windy Corner, with quite a lot of coincidence needed to set up the action, a situation which the author manages to deal with fairly well. A truly inspiring conclusion where things fall into place, with a very profound view of what it means to live a meaningful life.Abridged audiobook (5 hours 14 minutes) read by Juliet Stevenson:A fairly light abridgement (5 and a quarter hours abridged versus approximately 7 hours and 20 minutes unabridged).Excellent narration.Musical interludes tolerable due to the reference to Lucy's playing.Stop the audio when she says "The End" unless you want the Audible.com voice shouting "THIS IS AUDIBLE DOT COM" at you immediately afterwards.
  • (4/5)
    I read this book as part of a class studying the novels of E. M. Forster. Popularized by the film from 1985, the novel is about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian era England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century.A Room with a View is Forster's most romantic and optimistic book. He develops the story through contrasts between "dynamic" and "static" characters. "Dynamic" characters are those whose ideas and inner-self develop or change in the plot, whereas "static" characters remain constant. The novel touches upon many issues surrounding society and politics in early 20th century Edwardian culture. Forster differentiates between conservative and radical thinking, illustrated in part by his contrasts between Medieval (Mr. Beebe, Miss Bartlett, Cecil Vyse) and Renaissance characters (Lucy, the Emersons).Lucy personifies the young and impressionable generation emerging during that era, during which women's suffrage would gain strong ground. The novel could even be called a Bildungsroman, as it follows the development of the protagonist. Binary opposites are played throughout the novel, and often there are mentions of "rooms" and "views". Characters and places associated with "rooms" are, more often than not, conservative and uncreative — Mrs Honeychurch is often pictured in a room, as is Cecil. Characters like Freddy and the Emersons, on the other hand, are often described as being "outside" — representing their open, forward-thinking and modern character types. There is also a constant theme of Light and Dark, where on many occasions, Cecil himself states how Lucy represents light, but Forster responds by stating how Cecil is the Dark as they bathe naked in the Honeychurches' pond, alluding to the fact that they can never be together, and that she really belongs with George. Forster also contrasts the symbolic differences between Italy and England. He idealized Italy as a place of freedom and sexual expression. Italy promised raw, natural passion that inspired many Britons at the time who wished to escape the constrictions of English society. All of these themes are brought together through the beauty of Forster's prose in his novel that portends greater things to come.
  • (3/5)
    Well, let me begin by saying I love the 1985 Merchant Ivory film adaptation of this book, and have seen it more times than I can count. And because of that, it was next to impossible to read this book without humming Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro, and imagining the characters exactly as portrayed by the excellent cast. Lucy Honeychurch is a young Victorian woman who travels to Florence, Italy with her cousin Charlotte as chaperon. There they meet a host of English people also on holiday, including the Reverend Beebe who has just taken up a position in Lucy's home village, a flamboyant woman novelist named Eleanor Lavish, and the Emersons, a father and son. On arrival at their pension, Lucy and Charlotte find their rooms are not what had been promised. Most importantly, there is no view. The Emersons offer to exchange rooms, creating a comedy of manners as Charlotte abhors feeling obligated to anyone, not the least people like George and his father, whom she judges to be "common." However, there is an attraction between Lucy and George, which Lucy tries to deny. On returning home she is courted by the arrogant and class-conscious Cecil Vyse, and agrees to marry him as a way of putting her attraction for George out of her mind. But of course that's not the end of the story, and when George and his father appear on the scene in England, Lucy has to come to terms with her own feelings and the importance of making choices guided by one's own sense of right and wrong.I tried to consider this book on its own merits: does Forster's novel stand on its own? I simply couldn't do it. The film is so true to the book; much of the dialogue went directly into the script. I can't quite say why, but I am fairly certain that if I hadn't seen the film I would not have enjoyed this book as much as I did. So I am left giving this book a respectable rating, while urging anyone who has not seen the film to do so ... you will not be disappointed.
  • (4/5)
    My favourite of Forster's novels, centred around the gradual (and perhaps rather belated) coming of age of the beautiful and determined Lucy Hornchurch as she travels with her over-powering and intransigent aunt, Charlotte Bartlett to visit Florence. While staying at their pension (run by a "Cockney signora") they encounter the Emersons, a father and son of socialist and humanist bent, who have also been taking in the cultural fare of the Grand Tour. The Emersons are clearly well meaning but seem to have no sense of how to behave in "decent" company. Having resolved that she will try to avoid further acquaintance with them it is almost inevitable that Lucy will be thrown upon their good offices, especially those of the enigmatic George, the younger Emerson who "works on the railway".Forster handles all the interactions very adroitly, always aware of the prickly social frictions, and while the eventual denouement leaves no surprises the route by which he takes us there is pleasantly convoluted but never implausible.I must admit that I now can't consider this book other than through the filter of the lovely Merchant Ivory film in which Helena Bonham Carter played Lucy, Simon Callow was charmings as the Reverend Beebe and Denholm Elliott excelled as Mr Emerson..
  • (1/5)
    I could not find anything interesting about this book at all, particularly after reading the pre-review. I also could not get through the movie, "A Passage to India" although I tried twice. This author does have his fans and may only reflect a difference of tastes in reading material. Readers can judge for themselves.
  • (5/5)
    Truth! Beauty! Love!
  • (3/5)
    In common with much of his other writing, this work by the eminent English novelist and essayist E. M. Forster (1879–1970) displays an unusually perceptive view of British society in the early 20th century. Written in 1908, A Room with a View is a social comedy set in Florence, Italy, and Surrey, England. Its heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, struggling against straitlaced Victorian attitudes of arrogance, narrow-mindedness and snobbery, falls in love-while on holiday in Italy-with the socially unsuitable George Emerson.Caught up in a claustrophobic world of pretentiousness and rigidity, Lucy ultimately rejects her fiancé, Cecil Vyse, and chooses, instead, to wed her true love, the young man whose sense of freedom and lack of artificiality became apparent to her in the Italian pensione where they first met. This classic exploration of passion, human nature and social convention is reprinted here complete and unabridged.
  • (4/5)
    Sehr schöner Erzählstil, leiser Humor.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable read! Love this classic
  • (4/5)
    A very good book, although maybe a little heavy-handed near the end.

    Is Forster a romantic or a realist? I think the answer is probably, "Yes."

    A century later, I do find Forster's style somewhat elliptical and have trouble getting my bearings straight when it comes to what his characters mean or want, partly because I just haven't read that many books from this period (at least not for adults). Also because this book is very short and so elliptical is part of the game. But the narrator's charming tendency to directly address the reader helps a lot.
  • (4/5)
    Liked it. Lucy is a peach, her way to view the world sometimes dreadfully simplistic, sometimes full of wonder and naivety and sometimes, especially in moments of sudden flashes of insights, simply hilarious. Foster likes his characters, even the shady ones, each of them has wit and character in their own unique way, and the whole story is has an optimistic, sometimes even funny air about it.
  • (3/5)
    A Room with a View is a wonderful classic - not that deep, but a fun book to read. I would have a hard time recommending Frederick Davidson as a narrator. I have seen lots of mixed reviews about him. Many people say he takes some time to get used to. If that's the case, at 7 cds, A Room with a View is not long enough. His women's voices have an irritating quality that made them all sound so simpering and shallow. This might have been intentional given the characters in the book, but it definitely detracted from what was a delightful story.
  • (3/5)
    In my head, I'd constructed my own version of A Room With a View, which never works out well for a reader. In this case, I'd imagined Lucy's trip to Florence as being a great deal more subversive than it turned out to be. Only the first third of the novel even takes place in Italy as the second and third act are set back in England as (heavens!) a marriage to a bore looms. Still, I liked it just the same. Forster has a nice way of using language and I also enjoyed his narrative style: popping in and out of characters' thoughts--often in the same scene--or, sometimes, editorializing or even addressing the reader directly.

    It's of course important to understand the book in its historical context and the pressures and taboos inherent in that society. A modern reader can be tempted to say, "If you don't like him, don't marry him," but of course it wasn't such an easy thing to do. But some things are constant. Music--in this case, Schumann--serves as both outlet and input for thoughts that can't quite be put into words. So it shall ever be.
  • (5/5)
    Young Lucy Honeychurch, accompanied by her elderly cousin Charlotte Bartlett, is visiting Italy for the first time. All the drama of life is derived from the confined rules of class and manners where the significance of every event is magnified. The writing had a surprisingly modern flavour, considering that it was written at the beginning of the 20th century. From the sweet Lucy, to the snobbish Cecil Vyse, to the compassionate Rev. Beebe, the characters all stand out clearly, with Lucy being at the centre. There are many humorous passages, one of which involved Miss Bartlett who was required to change a sovereign for smaller coins in order to pay a cab fare. The younger characters completely bewildered her by making complex calculations for the transaction. It appeared she would lose the lot while the others would profit. Forster may have been the first to use this now classic comedy act. This is a delightful novel that will not fail to entertain the reader. Highly recommended.A favourite quote: "She was a novelist," said Lucy craftily. The remark was a happy one, for nothing roused Mrs. Honeychurch so much as literature in the hands of females. She would abandon every topic to inveigh against those women who (instead of minding their houses and their children) seek notoriety by print. Her attitude was: "If books must be written, let them be written by men"
  • (5/5)
    A Room With a View is a charming love story and a wonderful introduction to Forster's work. But it's also a treatise in how to live. The protagonist, Lucy Honeychurch, is a young woman with potential who hasn't yet begun to live her life. In the first part of the book, she has traveled to Florence with her cousin and chaperon, Charlotte Bartlett, where she first witnesses a murder and then is kissed by George Emerson before an amazing view. The question is, will she allow these experiences to transform her?In Part 2, Lucy has returned home to Windy Corner and Summer Street, where she becomes engaged to the insufferable Cecil Vyse. Lying to herself and everyone around her about her true feelings, as well as her unconscious desire to be an independent woman who is permitted to fully own those feelings, Lucy is in danger of becoming a member of the "vast armies of the benighted," as Forster describes it. She is not true to either her head or her heart, and so marches along in a fugue state. Some people live their whole lives that way (hello, Charlotte!), which would be the greatest of tragedies, Forster implies.Forster's characters make this story come alive. Each one is a complex, real human being. The reader senses that, even while Forster gently pokes fun at all of his characters, he feels genuine affection toward them. And he allows them to surprise us. Even the ones we've dismissed as snobbish and insufferable are allowed to say something insightful or perform a compassionate act. And so they come to seem like real people to us, people we are glad to have known.A Room With a View is worthy of a reading and a rereading. It is a book to make you both think and feel.
  • (5/5)
    I love love love this book.The first part in Florence is quite dull and boring but it is meant to be so and the second part is simply divine! I would finish a chapter with a smile and an uncontrollable delight. The characters are so perfectly themselves and they interact wonderfully and the plot winds with an uncontrolled perfection I didn't think possible. And it's not simply escapist fiction - Lucy must decide between two suiters - which is really a metaphor for her choice to embrace sensuality and passion and truth or to embrace dusty death. This is relevant because Cecil is so retrograde - medieval is the word used - and he is basically and old fashined style relationship which would chain Lucy as a possesion to Cecil, like in Medieval times. The other fellow offers an egaletarian marriage of equals where Lucy can flourish as a woman and not as simply a possesion. I give it my highest recommendations!