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Extended Audio Sample Howards End, by E. M. Forster Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (26,874 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: E. M. Forster Narrator: Steven Crossley Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781400189434
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Considered by many to be E. M. Forster’s greatest novel, Howards End is a beautifully subtle tale of two very different families brought together by an unusual event. The Schlegels are intellectuals, devotees of art and literature. The Wilcoxes are practical and materialistic, leading lives of “telegrams and anger.” When the elder Mrs. Wilcox dies and her family discovers she has left their country home—Howards End—to one of the Schlegel sisters, a crisis between the two families is precipitated that takes years to resolve.

Written in 1910, Howards End is a symbolic exploration of the social, economic, and intellectual forces at work in England in the years preceding World War I, a time when vast social changes were occurring. In the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, Forster perfectly embodies the competing idealism and materialism of the upper classes, while the conflict over the ownership of Howards End represents the struggle for possession of the country’s future.

Forster refuses to take sides in this conflict. Instead he poses one of the book’s central questions: In a changing modern society, what should be the relation between the inner and outer life, between the world of the intellect and the world of business? Can they ever, as Forster urges, “only connect”?

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 2/15/2014

    " Wonderful read, intriguing, beautifully written, story of two unconventional upper class sisters in 19th century Britain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie Dewberry | 2/11/2014

    " So, so beautifully and articulately written (just like this review)! I was absolutely blown away by his writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn | 2/3/2014

    " I went on a Forster tear this week since his prose doesn't change mine. I'd forgotten how much I liked Howards End although I'm really choosing this review to represent the bunch because I am super lazy. He does really well at understanding inaction as well as action, sort of like a good artist handles negative space. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 1/28/2014

    " Loved the book and adored the movie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Hale | 1/24/2014

    " One of my favorite books with good characters. Widespread problems and conditions with multiple points of view. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Josh | 1/19/2014

    " Read in 2009. Decent novel. Not a favorite per say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina | 1/17/2014

    " Great writing. I felt like the story sort of fizzled out though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D'face | 1/15/2014

    " This lovely book tells the story of three families in the Edwardian period. The narrative centres on the Schlegels three orphans who have money, education and want to do the right thing. The Wilcox family are more striving, attempting to get ahead through business and less inclined toward philanthropy for its own sake. The poor working class couple the Basts are an odd couple, he is principled with romantic aspirations, she a tramp. How these three families interact forms the story. Howards End itself is a country property much loved by Mrs Wilcox who intended to give it to one of the Schlegel girls as she felt such a strong connection to the property and knew that this connection would not be honoured or appreciated by her own family. I will have to read some more of E.M. Forster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martine Taylor | 1/15/2014

    " Slow start, fabulous book. Full of all kinds of important things to discuss and think about and some absolutely fabulous sentences. Loved this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taryn | 1/14/2014

    " Yes, I know this is referred to often as a brilliant book, but my Lord how very wordy it is! So much unnecessary and ponderous ruminating interrupts every single scene. "A Passage to India" was so different, caustic and sweet in turns, and the story moving right along. Perhaps Forster got better with the years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 1/13/2014

    " Really wonderful. I wasn't "excited" to be picking it up every time, but I really ended up being compelled by the characters. There are a couple ridiculously contrived plot turns that people have slammed Forster for over the years, but other than that, an evocative treatment of a sister bond and a nation in transition. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amir Vaxman | 1/8/2014

    " One would often want to read this book, in light of its zeitgeist, and successful other books about the English class system and country house life in the Edwardian (or near enough) times, such as "Remains of the day" or "A Room with a View". However, this book is but a pale shadow of the rest. Moreover, the entire writing is like a big incessant endless chitchat, pockmarked with endless mannerisms, stale witticism, and who-cares-style innuendo. Plus, the characters are totally slapworthy. See the movie if you would, it's nicer (you get the whole Merchant-Ivory package plus some extra rare Redgrave folk). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taryn | 1/8/2014

    " Yes, I know this is referred to often as a brilliant book, but my Lord how very wordy it is! So much unnecessary and ponderous ruminating interrupts every single scene. "A Passage to India" was so different, caustic and sweet in turns, and the story moving right along. Perhaps Forster got better with the years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DrJenni | 1/6/2014

    " I love stories set in England. Wonderful, fast moving story with characters that are easily relatable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 1/4/2014

    " A very depressing, long read. Forster is great writer, but this book was missing the hope of A Room With A View. It was rather cruel in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tessa | 1/4/2014

    " Only connect! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/3/2014

    " A nice period novel. There were parts of _Passage to India_ I liked better, but taken as a whole, I think I prefer _Howards End_ to either _Passage to India_ or _A Room with a View_. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christen Mamenko | 1/2/2014

    " Tgis must have been quite shicking when it came out! I liked it, but, again, the characterization of the female characters was obnoxious "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele Minor | 1/1/2014

    " This is a good book that brings out the double standard in moral standards of that time and shows out class differences in England at that time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindquistheather | 12/27/2013

    " I didn't really like this one. It took forever for me to get into it and by the end I was left thinking, why is this a classic? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 12/26/2013

    " I adore A Room With a View, but somehow this didn't hit the same place for me. Not sure why. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 12/24/2013

    " Fabulous, one of my all-time favourites "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 12/21/2013

    " Supposed to be the novel that showed the "end of the Empire" - the British Empire, that is. I found some scenes well rendered, but there was too much dialogue at times and one was supposed to detect character changes in the dialogue - clever, but it did not always work for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Missy | 12/19/2013

    " I loved it until the middle, then it waned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessamyn | 12/18/2013

    " I can't believe I just discovered Forster. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 12/3/2013

    " How can a fantastic book and a fantastic movie based on that book have completely different endings? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky Elkins | 10/26/2013

    " The story is good and I enjoyed the social commentary. However, I did not find myself being drawn toward any particular character, leaving me feeling indifferent toward what happened to any of them or how the story ended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nina Sankovitch | 10/23/2013

    " Rereading this marvelous books, one of my all-time favorites. Really a great book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 10/21/2013

    " Because the book is so beautifully written and particularly for its compassion, intelligence and insight. It feels enlightened; written by a mind who would be progressive in any era. And particularly for the memorable sibling protagonists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trina | 10/10/2013

    " I find so much wisdom in Howards End about how to think about life, and especially how to think about home and a house. It seems just as pertinent to me now as it did when Forster wrote it. "Only connect." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 10/6/2013

    " I was ready to give this book only 1 or 2 stars, but the ending changed my mind. For the majority of the narrative I disliked all of the characters and couldn't see the point of the novel, but the ending redeemed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 9/12/2013

    " I see something new and understand something more every time I read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 9/2/2013

    " i saw this movie when it was first released by merchant/ivory the team that seemed to bring most of forster's novels to the big screen. i truly love the language and the settings in the novel. some of the dialogue can become a bit dense, but there are helpful endnotes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mιss •kαthєяίиє• Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss® | 8/27/2013

    " I don't remember it very well- I've read it a long time ago... maybe some serious re-reading is in order... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 7/26/2013

    " Through much of the first half of this book, I thought the story was disjointed. I couldn't understand why certain characters were even part of the story. But, as the story progressed, I found myself drawn to the story. Wonderful characters and a strong narration by Nadia May. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Darlene | 7/12/2013

    " I felt I should read a classic so I picked this up. It started out OK, but I lost interest by page 100 and put it down at that point (shame on me!). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 5/11/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book and found it interested how strong of a connection we can have with place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryann | 4/5/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, but it does take very careful reading to see all of the wit and plot. If you miss even a sentence, some of the important details or events can be missed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Freder | 4/3/2013

    " I really got caught up on the classics when I worked at Thorndike Press. Had never read ANY Forster before I set this edition for them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Autumn | 3/29/2013

    " I completely loved this book because it was totally my style of writing. I love the classics! I thought the plot was intriguing. I enjoyed the characters and the struggles they went through as well as the reflections on society. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Missy | 2/22/2013

    " I loved it until the middle, then it waned. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 11/26/2012

    " i cant believe i've never read this before...i read more than half in one sitting. i just love it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martina | 11/21/2012

    " For the Reston Regional Weds. Morning Book Group, October/November 2010 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mike | 9/22/2012

    " this is a book about real estate. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Winson | 9/9/2012

    " It starts off a little slow but I ended up really liking it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 kat | 5/28/2012

    " 3 1/2 stars actually, because I really liked it just until the last few chapters, when I only liked it. But I still love Forster for all the things he does well, especially for when he did them. I feel we may be kindred spirits on the astral plane. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Don | 5/23/2012

    " Great book and the movie is just as good! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlie Flannelly | 4/9/2012

    " The main problem with this is that EM Forster thinks he understands women. He doesn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophie | 2/21/2012

    " A transitional Modernist novel, with flickers of change and new styles of writing held back by the author's own intervening and anxiety about modernity "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 12/21/2011

    " really grew on me...seemed a stuffy novel of manners for awhile, until I recognized the undercurrent of satire. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scroutch | 12/8/2011

    " What I learned from this book: the Victorian period was way cooler than the Edwardian period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alan | 10/6/2011

    " Is there a better English writer in the last 100 years- I don't think so. An amazingly rich explortion of the English class sytem - much like Passage to India. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nana-Ama | 5/30/2011

    " One of absolute favorite books ever! love the language, the message, the prose...love it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taylor | 5/21/2011

    " Perfect. My favorite novel ever. Well okay, one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 5/14/2011

    " How can a fantastic book and a fantastic movie based on that book have completely different endings? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ctb | 5/7/2011

    " Near 5 star, but too tidy a denouement. Suddenly everyone lives in harmony "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 4/26/2011

    " I'm glad I read it. It was a fun book. Then I watched the movie with Anthony opkins, Emma Thompson, Vanessa Redgrave and Helena Bonham-Carter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrystie | 4/20/2011

    " Meh. Didn't like it nearly as much as "A Room With a View." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 4/17/2011

    " I really struggled with this. I was interested in the story but easily lost my way. Not sure I will read him again. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Magda | 4/17/2011

    " Sicuramente una scrittura più matura rispetto a "Camera con Vista", belle descrizioni paesaggistiche. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 4/4/2011

    " I absolutely loved this book and was sad when I finished it as I wanted it to go on longer.
    The writing was superb and flowed almost poetically at times.
    The story was endearing and I found the characters enchanting, except for Mrs Bast! "

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