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The Celestial Omnibus and other Stories by E. M. Forster Hardcover – September 10, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Snowbooks have understood Forster's plan' - emforster.de --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Edward Morgan Forster (E. M. Forster) was an English novelist, short-story writer and essayist. Born in 1879, Forster is known for his examination of how class difference and hypocrisy in British society during the beginning of the twentieth century influenced personal connections. These themes are best represented in his novels A Room with a View, A Passage to India, and Howard s End. Forster died of a stroke in 1970 at the age of 91.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1163200069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1163200063
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,595,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The other reviewer of this book completely missed the point of the story. THE CELESTIAL OMNIBUS is about the liberation of the Soul through Art, and is not meant to be a religious text at all. A young boy in a prosaic middle class suburb catches a glimpse of something otherworldly in an alley--an omnibus that travels 'To Heaven'. This is not the religious Heaven but the infinite world of the imagination. Great literature literally provides an escape for the boy, who has a poet's soul and is ridiculed for it by his family and their friends. In their view, Literature and Poetry exist only on library shelves, bound in red leather. It is the neighbor, who only concentrates on the physical manifestation of the writings, who 'dies on the earth' since he confuses the end with the means. It is more important to feel the spirit of a great writer than to worry about the binding on their books, while never understanding their meaning. The other stories in this collection are also memorable and deal with living the quiet life and leaving the rat race--in one case, literally. This is one of the most inspirational collections of short stories ever written and it is a shame that it is out of print.
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Format: Paperback
The Celestial Omnibus and Other Stories was written in 1911 by Edward Morgan Forster (1879 - 1970), an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist.

The best way to enjoy these stories is like that of an experienced traveler to foreign lands. The mature wanderer knows that you cannot demand the country change itself for you, but that one must adapt to the country to discover its riches and wonders. True enjoyment takes work.

There truly are riches and wonders in this collection of six short stories, but to appreciate their essence, one is going to have to give up the hard boiled cynicism of the 21st century and embrace the romance, mystery, and pure wonder of fin de siècle Great Britain. The mature reader who will let Forster speak for himself is surely in for a treat. In these tales you will meet a spoiled young man whose life is changed by a visit from an ancient god (The Story of a Panic), question whether life is a rat race or maybe something more (The Other Side of the Hedge). If you are willing to pay for the ticket, you'll visit a land where the works of great authors (if not the authors themselves) have a Heaven all their own (The Celestial Omnibus) and that classic myths can be repeated again and again (Other Kingdom) to great tragic effect. You'll also meet an irreverent faun who becomes the best friend of a reverent clergyman (The Curate's Friend) and discover that the call to wonder can be found in the strangest places (The Road from Colonus) as well as the price that must be paid to ignore it.

So pack your bags and get ready for a trip. The ticket is free, but if you truly have a soul that is sensitive to what C. S. Lewis called the numinous, like all good travelers, you may bring back more from the trip than what you left with.
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Format: Library Binding
Quite possibly the best collection of short stories published in the Twentieth Century, so minimalist that they're metaphysical. Each demonstrates that the meaning of meaning is the creation of meaning, that people exist to create meaning, whether they know it or not, and what it means to create meaning, or fail. Images become symbols, symbols become allegories. High bourgeois culture, at its best, accessible at many levels to anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book repeats the themes of several other Forster titles (Room with a View, Passage to India, and Howard’s End) about how social conventions can stifle true living. In these short stories, he mocks those who are educated and dignified and glorifies those who give themselves over to the pleasures of the natural world. Each tale is beautifully written and yet somehow they leave the reader with an uneasy feeling. Yes, something is definitely lacking in a life of “just following the rules,” but is oneness with nature and the arts really a sufficient answer?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked it, disappointed that The Machine Stops wasn't part of this anthology. Still, I found it entertaining, even though it leaned more towards fantasy than my usual tastes. Interesting insight into the time and place of turn of the century Britain. Glad I bought it.
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By Sam D. Maloney on February 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A selection of Forster's finest short fiction, a good introduction to his work if you don't know it, a great way to enjoy his work in smaller portions if you do.

The kindle version has a few typos, but not a great many more than you might find in a hard copy.
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