I love the idea of this book. I wanted to love reading it so badly, but alas, it ended up being such a slog. It has been a couple of days since I finished it, and I have been unable to pinpoint a specific reason why I found it a difficult read. One element is the language Forster uses, it was unfamiliar and required my highest levels of concentration. Granted that is not something I can blame him for, I would be so happy if I got through a single page without having to re-read bits. When you combine the old english with the fact that Forster favours writing in metaphors, the plot points proved to be frustratingly difficult to discern.

If I table my own ineptitude, however, I found myself enjoying the bits I could make sense of. I was surprised to find myself laughing in places. If Forster were alive today, I think he would be great as a contributor or an editor to The Onion. Read with that in mind, I imagine there are swathes of the population that would really appreciate him as a writer and satirist.

It isn’t possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.

Given how liberal the world is today, it is an eye-opener to read about how strict and regimented the world was back in Forster’s time. Even for the most innocuous of social interactions, there are rules and etiquette to follow so as to not upset the status quo.

Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.

Verdict

Recommended. I found this a difficult read and I imagine a fair few others will share in this experience. Having said that, it can be rewarding if you have the will to stick with it.


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