Thursday, September 25, 2008

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #79

Title: A Room with a View
Author: E. M. Forster
Judgin' the Book By Its Cover: I think you know how I feel about mustaches... I'm titling this portraiting "Pensive 'Stache".

Thoughts: A Room with a View is the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young girl who takes a fateful trip to Florence under the supervision of her spinster cousin, Charlotte. While in Florence, Lucy meets the Emersons, a father and son who revel in bucking societal conventions and preach the gospel of nonconformity to her. Predictably, an "unexpected" romance blossoms, and, although Lucy cannot bring herself to admit it, she finds herself head over heels in love and rethinking her entire worldview.

This frothy story was an incredibly quick read-- I blasted through the majority of it on a round trip bus ride to Baltimore and back. Don't get me wrong-- there are some complex metaphors at work here, and some interesting ideas are presented, but it was still a pretty light read. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would-- it could only be described as "witty" and was occasionally even laugh-out-loud funny. However, the romance was thoroughly unbelievable and the prose was somewhat tainted, in my opinion, by the sexism of Forster's perspective-- he frequently referred to women as "illogical" and even inferred that they are incapable of complex thinking. Icky!! But, it was likable enough, especially given the length (or lack thereof).

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