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Maurice: A Novel Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (December 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393310329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393310320
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

E. M. Forster was one of the major novelists of the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in 1879 and educated at Cambridge. His other novels include A Room with a View, Howards End, and A Passage to India. He died in 1970.

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Customer Reviews

I saw the movie before reading the book.
LSB
After reading the "Terminal Note" following the novel, one finds that Forster poured dedication into this novel fully expecting to publish the book before he died.
A. J. Howells
E M Forster's "Maurice" is a classic of the gay novel but regardless of being a classic it still remains an interesting and engaging work of literature.
Ford Ka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By "timbolectable" on December 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I think I'm setting myself up to be abused for an imperfect understanding of Forster's work, but I love Maurice, and I only like everything else he wrote. Forster's plots to me are so controlled that his novels become more like chess games than stories--his characters move entirely according to their classist/symbolic value; their minds are types, their types interact. Sometimes this interaction is delightful, as in Room with a View. Sometimes it is genuinely touching, as in Where Angels Fear to Tread. But it is always highly regimented. This criticism extends for me to his prose, which I find to be too rule-bound--he always leaves the same words out; his style is symbolic of delicate subtlety without necessarily being so.
But in Maurice, Forster lets go some of this reserve. His prose, which I find formulaic in his later stuff, is here undeveloped enough to be idiosyncratic, un-stylized, and gorgeous. Maurice as a character is wonderfully, wonderfully real, and I appreciate the detailed development of the plot because Forster brings home with such ability the hazards of Maurice's struggle, the ever-present possibility of failure, the balance between lesser and more important goals, and the way in which Forster makes clear that these goals, as Maurice knows when he "listens beneath" words, are not the ends that he is really achieving as he achieves them. Maurice himself is drawn with Jane Austen-ian precision: Forster mixes the divine heroism--beauty and brutality--in Maurice's essential, private life with his utterly mundane non-essentials--politics, understanding, relationships with family, opinions, way of talking, appearance, job.
This is a heroic book. It moves me to tears every time I read it.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Robert S. Newman VINE VOICE on November 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
MAURICE is a novel of homosexual love, the first one I have ever read, but more than that it is a very direct description, perhaps as honest as could be---without either sensationalism or trivialization---of the inner feelings of a homosexual man. It begins when the main character, Maurice Hall, is a school boy, traces his emotional life through Cambridge and into the world of work, and ends in an upbeat, if rather abrupt fashion. In the confusion of early years, Maurice does not realize his true nature, but loses himself in sports, hi-jinks and studies. He devotes himself to his mother and two sisters. In short, his is the life of a typical English public school boy at the time (pre-WW I) Only at university does he recognize his real nature, though he'd had intimations mostly ignored, and truly falls in love with Clive Durham, a fellow student. Forster traces the ups and downs of this affair, leading the reader through all the ups and downs of homosexual love affairs. Maurice joins a financial investment firm, leading a totally conventional life in Britain's rigid class society, except for his sexual orientation. Eventually events take an unplanned course, Maurice winds up with another man, of a different class and nature. He experiences hitherto unknown problems. The ending, given Forster's rather pessimistic outlook on life, is unexpected.

This novel may not be for everybody, but if you attempt it, you will admire the skillful writing of E.M. Forster and you will come away appreciating his honesty. The dialogues sound very alien to an American in the early 21st century---a whole different way of using the English language---but no doubt they add a special flavor to the book, a period piece after all.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By JCB VINE VOICE on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have to confess, I watched the movie first (which I watched three times in a span of two days). I enjoyed the movie so much that after the third time, I ran out and bought the book. The book is absolutely beautiful. I remember sitting on the subway reading Maurice and forgetting where I was, ingnoring everyone around me, and letting the book whisk me away to a time and place obviously different, yet unfortunately similar in attitude towards same-sex relationships (I missed my stop). I couldn't believe Maurice was written over 80 years ago. The subject matter seems too contemporary to be written about during that time, and I suppose that's why E.M. Forster's novel is so great. He manages to capture effortlessly the relationship of Maurice and Clive, as well as to paint a picture of what life was like back then for gay folk. Readers can easily transpose many of the events and experiences in the novel to the present day, which makes empathizing with Maurice so much easier. This novel should no doubt be a required read. It shares many of the complexities as Forster's other work, yet perhaps it is glossed over more because of its subject matter--which, if true, is such a shame.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The film of "Maurice" produced by Merchant Ivory a number of years ago is one my favorite films. I was curious, having never read E.M. Forster before, to see how much of the issue of homosexuality was a product of the book and how much was played-up for the film. The book did not dissapoint. An honest, self-aware writer, E.M. Forster tells a beautiful story of a fairly unremarkable young man who is forced to (by virtue of being gay) become remarkable. Problems of English repugnance at homosexuality (a feeling he shares himself at first) and of class make him into a grownup, into a real man. In the book this becomes a wonderful liberation--that does not come through as well in the film. A marvelous read. Not published until after his death in 1970. Only a few read it when he actually wrote it in the teens. Too dangerous. A shame. Far ahead of it's time.
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