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The Machine Stops Paperback – September 21, 2010
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About the Author
Edward Morgan Forster, OM (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970), was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society. Forster's humanistic impulse toward understanding and sympathy may be aptly summed up in the epigraph to his 1910 novel Howards End: "Only connect." Forster was gay, but this fact was not made public during his lifetime. His posthumously released novel Maurice tells of the coming of age of an explicitly gay male character. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
In my last year we had an exchange student from America. He ACTUALLY stayed in the classroom and ACTUALLY taught us strange things such as metaphors and metonymy's. He had us read two books: The Machine Stops and Level 7.
Both these books have stayed with me and only now 55 years on I decided to read The Machine Stops (and currently reading Level 7) and it is amazing that I remembered almost everything. I do know that it had a major impact on me for the rest of my life but I just had to read it again.
This book is more relevant now than it was in the 60'.
Another flaw? I read that this was Forster's only story of this type. Imagine. Had Forster devoted some time to this genre he'd be called one of the greats.
However, the paper copy I received from Dodo Press was riddled with typos to the extent that it interfered with my enjoyment of the story. Every place that should have had an apostrophe (don't) instead had a quotation mark (don"t). Numerous sentences did not start with capitals, and there were several instances where an obviously wrong word was printed, as in "she his it behind a screen" rather than "hid it". These are pretty basic errors; they should have been caught by a proofreader before it went to press. If this is something that bothers you, don't buy this edition.
Also, when ordering, I somehow missed the fact that this story is less than 50 pages long. It was a good read, but if I had realized that before ordering I would not have paid $11 for it because I'm a cheapskate. Coupled with the printing issues I described above, it stings.
The impact of the increased use of this technology is the reduction of human interaction down to screens. Compare this with2017's teenagers and their preferences for texting through their Smartphones versus face to face communication.
In this world (and perhaps in today's world) there appears to be a loss in people's being able to "think for themselves" as opposed to being influenced through Social Media (bullying, unquestioning belief in "news" thru the Web whether "fake or real".
In the novel's world everything is uniform apartments and etc., across the world - all being served by The Machine - with uniformity being a by product of the adoption of these technologies.
The Machine Stops and humanity, dependent upon The Machine bears a terrible cost.
Recommend to people who think about technology's impact on human behavior.
Chose this rating because the story and subject were over 100 years ahead of their time and produce a very insightful, if cautionary tale.