Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster

The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster (1907, 360 pages)

The Longest Journey is E. M. Forster's (1879 to 1970-UK)  second novel.   I have now read all of his novels but for his posthumously published Maurice (written in 1913 but not published until 1971).  My advise on Forster is to first read his incredibly powerful A Passage to India  then if you want to read more of his work read Howard's End which many consider a better written book.   The two books are very different.   Then if you like Howard's End enough to want to read more Forster, read his novels in publication order.  If you like short stories, he has written some good ones.  (There is some additional background information on Forster in my prior posts on his work.)

Working at the BBC
I have expressed as well as I could my enthusiasm for the work of Forster in my prior posts.   I will just make a few simple observations on The Longest Journey.     I think most people who decide to read The Longest Journey are probably dedicated readers of Forster.   It does not seem a likely book just to pick at random to read.

The novel center on a young man who has just entered Cambridge.   If you want to get as feel for what it was like to go to Cambridge in 1907 this would be the book to read.   It is a bildungsroman.     To me the biggest pleasure of this book is in all of the clever things that are said and  picture of college life it presents.   There are also romances and some sexual ambiguity.   Some have said Forster's heart is not in the male-female relationships but that may just be reading his life into his novels.   There are a number of interesting people in the novel.

I am keeping my post short here as this is a book for the Forster believer who probably has already read it anyway.   

You can download The Longest Journey in Kindle and other formats HERE for free.   If you prefer you could also download it for $11.99 from Amazon.   There really is little need to buy an e-book of an older work.   

Please share your experience with Forster with us.  

Mel u


@parridhlantern said...

Never got Forster & I'm doubting this going to change my mind.

Buried In Print said...

I read this one last year; I sat at the 100-page-mark for ages, and finally had to re-read and push onwards, but in the end I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. My last of his to read will be Howard's End; I'm really looking forward to that and am pleased to hear you recommend it so highly.