Howard’s End ★★★☆½

howardsend (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Howard’s End
Series: ———-
Author: E.M. Forster
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 334
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Helen falls in love with a young man but he has overcommitted and secretly breaks it off. Helen’s Aunt goes to straighten things up and ends up making an enemy of the oldest son Henry. Helen’s older sister Margaret smooths things over and becomes friends with Mrs Wilcox, the mother of the young fool. This all happens at a country house of the Wilcox’s called Howard’s End.

Mrs Wilcox dies from cancer and Margaret ends up marring Mr Wilcox. Mr Wilcox and Helen can’t stand each other, as one is a businessman and the other an impractical dreamer with an independent fortune to succor her. Helen has an affair, gets pregnant and when Henry Wilcox finds out, he hunts down the man and ends up accidentally killing him. He goes to jail and Mr Wilcox suffers several business setbacks.

Margaret smooths things over and Helen and baby live with her and Mr Wilcox at Howard’s End. Mr Wilcox leaves Howard’s End to Margaret in his will and everything else goes to his 3 children.

The End.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a finely written soap opera of absolutely zero import. It didn’t help that the introduction by whoever Barnes & Noble (this was a Barnes & Noble classic from their Classics Line) hired pissed me off. Talking about literary devices and creating motives wholesale out of 2 word choices is idiotic and useless. Huh, kind of like Helen in the story. If all one does is write papers swanning on about other papers and books, then you might be feeding the soul of the world but in my books you are useless lump and do more harm to this world than any 1950’s Cadillac Eldorado ever will. Go dig some ditches you useless waste of resources.

Ok, with that out of the way…..

I did enjoy this. Reading about ordinary life of small people is a nice break from Epic Fantasy or galaxy spanning plots with aliens waiting to suck our brains out. Forster, whatever you may think of the filthy pervert, could write and deserves his place in literary canon. I am sure a useless waste of resources could spend their useless life mining his stuff for “meaning” but for people who actually “do” something with their life, Forster writes in such a way as to draw you in to the story and make the people real and sympathetic. I mean, who doesn’t know that relative that is well meaning but bungles things up, or that friend who is trying to be something more without even knowing what they want to be “more of” or that in-law that you just shut your mouth around to keep the peace? Forster knew people and wrote people and he did a fantastic job.

Between this and A Room with a View, I am quite impressed with Forster as an author. Knowing about him as a person however, I’ll probably leave my reading of him with these 2 books and call it good. Better to leave with a good impression than to keep on and end up face down in the mud.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

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23 thoughts on “Howard’s End ★★★☆½

  1. Wow, I’m surprised you picked Forster to read AND I’m surprised that you’ve liked his books. I was going to suggest staying away from Thomas Hardy but then again, you might like his books as well. Which just goes to show …. what do I know? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I’ve read several of Hardy too and him I have hated. Far from the Madding Crowd was my last one and I enjoyed it but figured I’d stop there as I also had serious issues with Hardy 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you read any Elizabeth Gaskell novels yet? I don’t know why but her name popped into my head as someone you might like.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bookstooge says:

          I have. I read Wives and Daughters. I gave it 3 stars. I know I also started North and South but have no record of it, which means I probably got 20 pages in and just abandoned it. In another review of a book I read in ’13 (Ruin by O.S. Card) I wrote something like “the estrogen floating in that book made my brain boil.” (in regards to W&D as opposed to the calm rationalism displayed in the reviewed book)

          I place Gaskell firmly in the womanly romance sub-genre and will let others enjoy her. Thanks for thinking of me 😀

          Like

  2. I must confess I never read any of these “classics” (with the exception of Jane Austen when I was a teenager), and I wonder if I would like the prose and the slow pacing that seem to be the hallmark for these works. I will have to give it a try one of these days…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookstooge says:

      I like reading these even when I don’t particularly enjoy the book itself or the worldview behind it. I look at it as deepening the foundations of my literary house and you have to get down in the muck sometimes 🙂

      Honestly, if you’re going to try, find a classic author you like and read ALL their stuff first. That’ll ease you into the pacing and and prose style. I know I have to almost wrench myself into a different gear when reading Dickens.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My memory of Dickens is buried under the… sands of time, since I must have read some of his works some 40-45 years ago, together with other “classics” like Hugo and Tolstoi, but even back then, when I had more time and patience for that kind of tome, the slow pacing tended to bother me, even though I was more inclined to go with the flow. That’s why I’d like to test myself on them now, and see how I react…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ola G says:

    Looks like I need to rev up my classics list… I know the movie, never read the book. Though this one looks like a time-consuming one.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I had no idea there was even a movie. I read this during my lunch breaks at work so it took a while but at just over 300 pages, it shouldn’t take that long if read as a one-off. Not that I’m encouraging you to read THIS classic mind you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bkfrgr says:

    Ack! Howard’s End! Man I hated this book! And I loved A Room with a View – so, go figure, eh? 🙂 Then again, I didn’t enjoy A Passage to India or Where Angels Fear To Tread either, so … I guess that makes ARwaV a lucky accident, doesn’t it?
    I salute you for reading this! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. savageddt says:

    Funny how my review tomorrow has cadillac in the name lol. Yeah these introductions to books somtimes sucks more than the bookblurps that give the whole story away. Ass hats…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      If I’m not familiar with a story, I’ll skip the intro and read it last. The introducer definitely always spoils the book and assumes everyone has already read it (that is some seriously bad assuming there, isn’t it?)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Norrie says:

    Oh damn… it’s not something i would think of picking up. Sounds like those books i think of as “women’s fiction”. Mind you i don’t really know what “women’s fiction” really is, but i often think it’s those “soap opera with zero import” as you put it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Curiously, what did you find out about the author himself that made you have that opinion of him? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hehe yes this is very much a soap opera, but that’s kinda why I enjoyed it. And it is well written. That’s fair about calling it quits at two. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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