Saturday, 3 February 2018

Book Review: The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster

Title: The Machine Stops
Author: E.M. Forster
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 2011 (1909)
Pages: 83
Format: Paperback
Genre: Modern Classics/Short Stories
Source: Bought Copy



E.M. Forster is best known for his exquisite novels, but these two affecting short stories brilliantly combine the fantastical with the allegorical. In 'The Machine Stops', humanity has isolated itself beneath the ground, enmeshed in automated comforts, and in 'The Celestial Omnibus' a young boy takes a trip his parents believe impossible. (Goodreads Synopsis)


When I bought this book, I didn't look at the blurb. I simply saw an E.M. Forster work I hadn't read and grabbed a copy. In my mind, Forster writes Edwardian dramas of manners, with some social commentary thrown in. I therefore wasn't prepared for what are essentially two sci-fi/fantasy tales. Nevertheless, once I got over my surprise, they captivated me. Both are highly allegorical, but they address important issues, and the plots and characters were so engaging, I couldn't put it down and read both in a single sitting. The Machine Stops is a work worth checking out whether you are already a fan of Forster or new to his writing.

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