I find E.M. Forster too dry for my tastes. Room With a View was just okay for me. I distinctly recall a few yawns and several glazing-of-the-eyes moments. Amanda suggested that I try The Machine Stops, and I'm glad she did.
In this instance, Forster's dryness works. Dystopian fiction functions well sitting on the foundations of detachment.
In our current world where social connections are made through computers, where art, novels, and culture sit comfortably in the digital sphere, where service jobs are replaced by computerised machines (I visited my first human-free petrol/gas station recently), the story is a fantastic and disturbing visionary parallel.
Not a spoiler below but skip if you want a completely fresh reading.
What I particularly admired in this depiction of a mechanised existence, was that rather than machines obtaining intelligence and destroying the humans, it was a insidious and more possible outcome. Total trust and subsequent human submission to science and technology. A blind faith in our ideas and a dismissal of our sensual beings. A machine that comes alive in our own minds seems more disgustingly despairing. Brilliant.
Recommended for lovers of dystopian fiction and those who would rather pass on any more Forster.
Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee.