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"One Italian Spring"
This is one splendid book. The writing is beautiful. The author created word paintings or a kind of musical composition but that is like going to see "The Girl With a Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer and saying it is a pretty painting but this is the best I can do. One feels as if you are seeing and feeling with the eyes and emotions of Lucy Honeychurch, Cecil Wyse and George Emerson. This is a triangle of love muddles. The girl says yes to the handsome, rich and cultured Cecil As she grew into a self aware and confident woman, she found that he would never be able to meet her needs. To get a better idea of his character, I refer you to Charlotte Bronte's St. John Rivers in "Jane Eyre" or Mary Ann Evans (George Elliot)'s Tito in "Romula". For these men, there was only themselves with no room for the needs of another. A lighter treatment can be found in Sophie Kinsella's "Remember Me?" It must be confessed that our heroine unknowingly lies, to herself, her family, her fianc?, the man she loves. She must take back her yes and find a way to say yes to the right man while the whole world knows and approves of her engagement. It is at times, quite funny and always engrossing.
The narrator, Rosalyn Landor enjoyed herself and made the book a joy. There is a kind of poetry in the story which she expressed as her own. It was my first time with her. She is tops.
"Female Narrator is a Must"
I saw the 1985 film version of A Room with a View in graduate school. I was taking a fin de siecle class and one of my classmates decided to have A Room with a View party. The movie is pretty fabulous. The friend who organized the party said that this was a rare case where she liked the movie better than the book. For some reason, in my mind, that translated as, "the book is not very good." Well, fast forward fifteen years and another friend picked this book for book club so I had to read it. Now I can definitively say that the book is also very, very good.
I think my fondness for the film definitely contributed to my enjoyment of the book. At the very least, it helped with comprehension. I was surprised to find that the movie followed the book so closely. Really, it's a fabulous adaptation.
A Room with a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch and the people she meets while touring Italy. E.M. Forster's book has such a splendid cast of characters. And his book is so funny in a fusty, early 20th-century British kind of way. I found it quite amusing. The bathing scene was even funnier in the book than it is in the movie.
For such a slim little book, Forster really packs in a lot. We had such a great discussion, and I was so happy that I read the book with a book group.
Finding a good narrator for this book was a must. Overdrive has a copy, but, from experience, I know that recordings of classics are often not up to snuff, and, after listening to the preview, I could tell it wasn't going to be the greatest experience. (I listened to library copies of Howard's End and Great Expectations. I have paid my dues.) So I pulled out my Audible subscription and listened to the previews of every copy they had. I settled on Joanna David's reading. (Really why are so many of the others rest narrated by men? It just seems wrong.) I'm certain that my experience was much improved thanks to this careful selection.
"Critique of, and Bit of Romance in, Edwardian Eng."
A splendid novel centered on young Lucy Honeychurch, which both criticizes the restrained Edwardian era culture of England in which she lived and provides a little romance with the passion of Italy infused in juxtaposition.
Forster perceptively reviews the structure of society, and the imperfections and merits of each of its spheres, masterfully contrasting the reasoning of characters who are static (Medieval, dark, rooms) and those he sees as dynamic (Renaissance, light, views). To Forster, Italy represented the force of true passion, freedom and sexuality, as opposed to the societal constrictions of England at the time. Her trip to Florence opened Lucy to a new world of sensuality, and in a way this novel is a Bildungsroman.
Forster's novel, I think, should be applauded for the forward thinking views, in 1908, on feminism.
This is the type of fiction I especially admire, literature that through cunning comparisons "reveals truth" about society "that reality obscures." (Jessamyn West).
"When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love, it is one of the moments for which the world was made." E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
"a nonromance romance"
an old school romance. lots of prose and thought provoking speech and ideals. not a cheesy romance of the modern area.
"never tired of this sweet love story."
the narration was perfect. only thing missing was the opera music from the movie. I will listen to it over and over. xoxo
"Apt social commentary, disliked most characters"
Another classic I've been meaning to read for years -check. The style of this seemed a little strange to me at first. I got that Forster meant it somewhat as a social commentary of sorts. Highlighting the ways of society, the hypocrisy and snobbishness...
Some characters I just could not stand, and some I could not understand. I think out of everyone, Mr. Emerson was the only one I actually liked. Sometimes his philosophizing threw me a bit, but he says some profound things. Some folks, like Eager and Lavish were just too much, caricatures, and I did not like them. Many of them struck me as just plain rude to anyone who wasn't just like them (i.e. the Emersons, and the Italians). Ms. Bartlett I particularly disliked. She was absolutely ridiculous... Fretting over everything, then her cousin witnesses a murder and she doesn't bat an eye, hardly remarks it a day later. But said cousin gets kissed and suddenly her whole future is in jeopardy and they must hasten away immediately... Granted, the social standards are different as to proper behavior, but that silly woman has no sense or perspective if you ask me. Very trying on my nerves, I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to travel with her. Or the others for that matter. I don't think I could have stood in a room for a full conversation with Cecil before insulting him or leaving rather than hear him. Lucy's mother was nice enough, though her behavior was too bad in the last few chapters. I would have hoped her to be more forgiving, or to at least try to understand how her daughter felt, rather than turning nearly petulant and basically insulting her.
Frankly, I can understand poor Lucy's confusion. It's easy to deceive yourself, and mold your thoughts and desires based on the expectations of others, even to the point of being blind to things and people who are counter to our happiness. But all was resolved as I had hoped - thank goodness for Mr. Emerson. I will beware of muddles and shall like to keep in mind his thoughts and advice on many things, like views, and standing in the sun.
Narration was fine, but not great. She did varied accents fairly well, but hardly had any gender distinction, and if any it wasn't consistent. I often got a bit lost in dialogue when voices were indistinct, Lucy's turning into Emerson's and vice versa, or Cecil's or the clergyman's suddenly turning more feminine. It was fine, but not a distinguished performance.
"A nice reading of A Room"
I enjoyed this very British reading. I have always loved the story and Ms David continued that with her excellent narration.
"Love d it"
Had seen a movie years ago so I thought I knew what it was about, as always the book is so much better!
This reminded me of a Jane Austen novel with its slyly humorous portrait of Edwardian society . The narrator was easy on my ears & there was a happy ending...all good. I have not seen the movie but can now definitely picture Maggie Smith as Charlotte.
"top tits. really liked the film, loved the book.
it's a shame there's no visual romping around a pubs in the the woods. Oh, Mr. Beeb, you loveable scallywag
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