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The Celestial Omnibus and other Stories

E. M. Forster

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Italians, however little they may deserve it; but this habit of promiscuous intimacy was perfectly intolerable and could only lead to familiarity and mortification for all. Taking Miss Robinson aside, I asked her permission to speak seriously to Eustace on the subject of intercourse with social inferiors. She granted it; but I determined to wait till the absurd boy had calmed down a little from the excitement of the day. Meanwhile, Gennaro, instead of attending to the wants of the two new ladies, carried Eustace into the house, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

"Ho capito," I heard him say as he passed me. 'Ho capito' is the Italian for 'I have understood'; but, as Eustace had not spoken to him, I could not see the force of the remark. It served to increase our bewilderment, and, by the time we sat down at the dinner-table, our imaginations and our tongues were alike exhausted.

I omit from this account the various comments that were made. . . Read More

Community Reviews

THE CELESTIAL OMNIBUS and other stories. (1911). E. M. Forster. ***.
This early collection of stories by Forster represented his forays into the world of the imagination. He called them fantasies, but you should not confuse them with the genre we call ‘fantasy’ today. Each story, with a slightly d...more

2.5 stars. It’s hard to believe this collection of stories was written by the same man who wrote A Room with a View , A Passage to India , and Howards End -- all of which I love, and the first of which I consider to be one of my favorite novels of all time. I have heard the stories described...more

A fantasy full of literary allusions (most which I probably missed), The Celestial Omnibus is a rant against snobs, I think. Its villain is named Bots—snob spelled backwards

More like 3.5

Wonderful compilation of 6 short stories.

A nice collection of stories with fantasy/supernatural element; the main theme seems to be the forces of nature and imagination versus rules of society and reason. Some of the stories were slightly too sublime for my taste, but I liked "The Story of a Panic" and "The Road from Colonus".

Much more about this book later, but I finished this book about 3 a.m. this morning and I literally have not stopped thinking about it since. I just ordered Forster's Selected Stories, hoping that the other stories in that book are as good as these are.

Seriously -- super book. My favorite quotat...more

I have to admit that I am still getting used to Forster's style. He's not especially descriptive, which can be a good thing. I've read books that take pages upon pages to describe something as inconsequential as the front porch of a random building, down to the individual hues and intricate patte...more

I received an ARC of this title from Dover Publications through NetGalley.

This brief collection of stories show the true depth of Forster’s literary talent and his ability to infuse fantasy and imagination into his stories. My favorite stories were two in the collection into which Forster incorpo...more

This is a different side of Forster that we see here. This is a collection of allegorical short stories that he considered fantasy. Very much on the lines of C.S. Lewis with a little Tolkien thrown in. The Celestial Omnibus gets top billing, but they were all quite good.

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