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A Room with a View Reissue Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 243 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0679724766
ISBN-10: 0679724761
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Editorial Reviews

Review

* Juliet Stevenson's narration is perfect...Forster couldn't be better served. The Oldie * Lucy's world comes to life through Juliet Stevenson's narration. Audiofile Magazine * Juliet Stevenson's reading is as perfect as expected from such a renowned actress. --New Books Magazine --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

6 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (October 23, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679724761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679724766
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book itself gets 5 stars from me.

This Kindle edition is atrocious - it is missing entire passages. I think it is only sections involving quotes from another work; I stopped reading because I didn't want to spoil the pleasure in re-reading this wonderful book.

Same problem with the Kindle edition of Howards' End, btw. In that case, actual narrative seemed to be missing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A ROOM WITH A VIEW depicts a young Englishwoman's adventure trying to come to grips with the conflict between her desires and society's expectations. Lucy Honeychurch is a well-bred young middle class girl on holiday in radiant Florence. She comes from a family overconcerned with respectability and is therefore overprotected by a dessicated spinster named Charlotte Bartlett. One wonders if Forster had in mind a more famous Charlotte B. when he drew Lucy's protector, a woman "much discomfited by [any] unpleasant scene[s]." Forster playfully tosses barbs at this don't-let-the-servants-hear-you world the English try to maintain on foreign soil. Less playful with sanctimonious Puritans or hypocritical clergymen, Forster lets them foil themselves.
Under no circumstances will Miss Bartlett allow Lucy to pursue (or even examine) her affection for the handsome young George Emerson--his father is far too unconventional with his modern notions about honesty and freethinking. Duty must reign . . . mustn't it? Ah, that wild transitional phase between the late-Victorians and the early-Moderns!
Forster writes gently and calmly, but with a passion for life and love welling up beneath the surface. A ROOM WITH A VIEW is a lovely book, vital with the force of a sensitive and empathetic mind. There's even more to this book than it seems--highly recommended!
1 Comment 109 of 116 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Concerning Lucy's passionate playing of Beethoven upon the piano, the Rev. Mr. Beebe once said, "If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting--both for us and for her." At the time of the remark, Lucy is a very conventional young woman, with perhaps occasional rebellious thoughts. The Emersons, father and son, are somehow not quite acceptable in her social circle, and though George is so bold as to kiss her impulsively, she is determined to forget him. Instead she finally gives in to the repeated proposals of Cecil Vyse, a thoroughly fashionable young gentleman, if not very exciting. So the stage is set for this splendid satire on the English social strata of the early part of the 20th century, a time when the formal structure of the Victorian era was beginning to fray at the edges. Vyse is a delightfully drawn male chauvinist prig; nobody likes him, but everyone is willing to accept him, and Lucy convinces herself that she is in love with him. However, Vyse's own penchant for getting his way by playing rather cruel practical jokes brings the Emersons back into the picture. Confronted by the contrast between the not quite classy but intelligent, thoughtful (and bold) George Emerson and the arrogant, boorish, but elite Cecil Vyse, Lucy finally decides to live as she plays Beethoven, with exciting results. This early work of Forster's is a pure delight, with a light and well-controlled tone throughout. Although there would be a danger of stereotyping to illustrate the different social classes, Forster skillfully makes the characters well rounded and unpredictable, as in the scene when Lucy breaks her engagement to Vyse, expecting his feelings of masculine superiority to precipitate an argument, but instead being somewhat dismayed when he behaves as a perfect gentleman. Although HOWARDS END is usually rated above A ROOM WITH A VIEW, I prefer this slighter, but consummately well-done, novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This charming little novel which has recently celebrated its centennary can be easily put down as a period piece. E M Forster foresaw it already in his note which he added to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first edition. Yet a prospective reader would be most wrong to disregard it. There is a lesson here which still needs to be learned by many.
The title gives away some of the content - the main heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, needs to get away from the stuffy atmosphere of late Victorian England in which she was brought up - the symbol of which is for EMF the room. Her escape takes place in stages - the first of them is her trip to Italy where she finds landscapes and people most different from those she was accustomed to. It is also there that she meets the man she falls in love with, George Emerson. Yet these changes come too quickly for her. Lucy yields to the demands of her chaperone and escapes back to England, finding on the way a more appropriate suitor, Cecil Vyse.
When the three young people meet again in England, a fight for Lucy's soul begins anew. Lucy has to decide whether she prefers Cecil who will keep her under his protection in his house as a work of art for others to admire, or George with whom she will have to face the challenges of the world but be free.
What is the lesson for us today in a world where there are neither chaperones nor stage-coaches? We also must make similar decisions - choose freedom which always comes at a cost or safety for which we must pay with our soul. We choose between being true to ourselves or satisfying the demands of others. Lucy's adventures may serve as a perfect food for thought for those facing seemingly dissimilar but actually very similar decisions. It is the more valuable as Forster does not show easy decisions or easy solutions. The happy ending never comes free and yet still it is worth striving for.
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