Book Reviews: The Longest Journey

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Longest Journey
by E.M. Forster

Rickie Elliott is a Cambridge student and a struggling writer. After becoming infatuated with an engaged young woman, Agnes Pembroke, his quiet life is changed forever. The two end up married and Rickie takes a position as a schoolmaster. Soon Rickie learns Agnes' true nature, which is drastically different from his own.

The Longest Journey feels like an author's early work, full of idealistic young men and good concepts, but characters that sometimes fall flat. It was the second book Forster published and though his talent is still plainly obvious, it certainly improved with time. The characters feel more like ideas of people than individuals with complex interests and flaws. Forster also has a tendency to kill characters with little fanfare. If someone is going to die in one of his books there is never much warning or fuss about it.

I love the writing style, but I wouldn't recommend it for those new to Forster. If you're already a fan, pick it up, but Howard's End and A Room With a View are both better introductions to the author.


Ana S. said...

I actually hadn't even heard of this before! After completely falling in love with Forster through Howards End and A Room With a View, I vowed to read everything of his over time. This probably won't be my next choice, but I'll get to it some day.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

If you're already a Forster fan you should definitely read it, but maybe A Passage to India or Where Angels Fear to Tread first.