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The Life to Come: And Other Stories Paperback – January 23, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (January 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393304426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393304428
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Have we been as ready for Forster's honesty as we thought we were? His greatness surely had root in his capacity to treat all human relationships seriously and truthfully. . . . And of course, the best realized of the homosexual stories dovetail perfectly into the best of all his work. Even the earliest and most ephemeral of them will be recognized as the frailer embodiments of the same passionate convictions that made for the moral iron of his novels.” (Eudora Welty - New York Times Book Review)

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "ivan1138" on March 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
There is a real dichotomy between Forster's novel "Maurice" and the homosexual stories collected in "The Life to Come." The novel, while it does focus on the trials and tribulations of a gay man coming to terms with his sexuality, ends on an optimistic note. By contrast the stories collected in "The Life to Come," especially "The Other Boat," "Arthur Snatchfold" and the title piece, reflect the author's own obsession with the negative consequences of exposure and perfectly illustrate his reticence to coming out either personally or professionally. This is a man who witnessed the grossly indecent prosecution of both Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing, is it any wonder he was reticent? Don't miss these early gifts from the master.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Music Is Everything on May 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fine set of short stories by Forster at a very reasonable price. "The Life to Come" was one of many short stories dealing with homosexuality that Forster didn't publish in his lifetime, sharing them only with a small circle of friends. Like many gay authors, he developed a lack of sympathy for straight characters which dramatically cut his production of novels. At the end of his life, Forster sorted through some of these stories, noting that they were now, "publishable, but worth it?" He realized that times were changing quickly and homosexuality was no longer the scandal it once was. Nonetheless, these are stories by a great literary figure, writing about things that actually mattered to him. If you love Forster, you'll love this collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Julie Vognar on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are 4 or 5 of these. I think "Ansell," (1903)--the first story in the book--is one of the best, short as it is. "The Helping Hand" is also very entertaining...though it doesn't leave ripples and waves, like the first one. One would suppose that these stories, (apparently)submitted to publishers and (apparently) rejected)--would be genuinely poor pickins'--but some are really good. Since Forster wasn't interested in heterosexual romance, he intelligently wrote about other things, quirky things, odd happenings, and so on.

And while it's true that most of the homosexual stories are dark, and some very affecting ("Dr. Woolacott," "Arthur Snatchfold," "The Other Boat" "The Life to Come"--why didn't he stop this one after the first part? It would have been so funny!), the hilarious "The Obelisk" is one of my favorite stories ever.

But first, of course, you must read Maurice, A Passage to India, Howards End, and A Room with a View. None of the short stories are as good as his novels.

"I want to love a strong young man of the lower classes and be loved by him and even hurt by him. That is my ticket, and then I have wanted to write respectable novels"....(personal memorandum, 1935)

"I should have been a more famous writer if I had written or rather published more, but sex has prevented the latter." (Diary, 31 December 1964)
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By Michael Byrd on February 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
E.M. Forster was to the Edwardian Era what Jane Austen was to the Regency--a defining voice of what the British wanted to believe was true about themselves. But few are familiar with his short stories. These tales are less about prim English young ladies encountering the bigger world, and more about the untold story of those Edwardians who crossed boundaries and misbehaved, including, of course, gay men. Forster's risque language is superbly funny and shocking.
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