A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
ALA Stonewall Honor Book
Finalist for James Tait Black Memorial Prize
E. M. Forster’s homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde’s imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life - a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time. Seeing Forster’s life through the lens of his sexuality, Wendy Moffat’s biography offers us a dramatic new view - revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. E.M. Forster: A New Life casts fresh light on one of the most beloved writers of the 20th century.
What would have made E.M. Forster better?
I found it very difficult to get a feel for the book as it was so badly narrated.
What was one of the most memorable moments of E.M. Forster?
I am sure there were many but I found it too difficult to wade through the appalling pronunciation and lack of tone/vocal inflection of the narrator.
What didn’t you like about Paul Boehmer’s performance?
The book would have been more absorbing if there had been more interest in the voice of the narrator. He did not pronounce some of the words properly and quite often I had to listen to the sentence again to work out what he was saying.
Any additional comments?
I would love to hear the book again but being narrated by someone who enjoys reading and conveying to others his/her interest in the text.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Loved this book which added to the pleasure of Forster's books, have already started to read again, such a beautiful and authentic being.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A sympathetic account of Forster's life, generally well-written, but in US English, which sometimes causes momentary confusion; "idyll" is a homonym of "idol", "preparatory school" isn't 5-13, but a secondary school, "write V Woolf" means send her a letter, ie, "write to her".
Pronunciation (except for Italian) isn't European, and the narrator could have done us the politeness of finding out "Tonbridge" is pronounced "Tunbridge"; the spelling, not the sound, was changed to avoid confusion at railway stations with its younger, more prosperous neighbour, Tunbridge Wells, where I live at present, subject of literary scorn from Jane Austen to Mary Beard, but redeemed lately in being the only constituency in SE, outsideLondon, to vote "Remain" in EU Referendum.
Entertained by description of Cavafy, a poet I appreciate, as "57, but described himself as middle-aged"! OF COURSE, 57 is young....(at least in Europe, maybe old in US)
Morgan, born a century too early, might not have written his considerable novels if he'd been able to live authentically. Merchant-Ivory wouldn't have had material for costume dramas of beauty and gentle social comment, but perhaps he'd have produced even better literature; who knows?
Morgan seems to have been rather a nice bloke; he wanted love, not endless casual sex, considered other people's feelings, was pacifist, a loyal friend