Tuesday, 2 May 2000

The longest journey

Listening to:

Bach, Christmas Oratorio BWV 248. More of that beautiful religious music.

Just read:

The longest journey by E. M. Forster.

I didn’t end up liking this as much as Where angels fear to tread. It held my attention throughout its length, not least because there was some great plot development. However, the final section (some 80 pages), a denouement of sorts after the plot’s greatest climax, was a disappointment. It was too long, there was too much authorial comment, and to make it worse, the comment was tedious Romantic rhapsodising about the importance of being close to the earth, and not bowing down to society’s awful conventions. These are fine sentiments for a character to express by word or deed, because you can then take them or leave them with the character. If the author starts getting all ideological himself, I begin to object. In WAFT (great acronym :-), the novel expresses some similar ideas but more successfully.

To read next:

Darwin among the machines by George Dyson. It gets quite a good review on the New Scientist web-site.