Book Review? “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster

The Machine Stops by E.M. ForsterThis story came to my attention thanks to my friend Noah’s review of it on Goodreads. The story is in the public domain, so I quickly looked it up.

“The Machine Stops” is about

Ah, you know what? No. I’m not going to say anything. Sorry, this isn’t a review. I can’t talk about any aspect of it without giving it away. Just go read it. Now. 

Still here, eh? You didn’t listen to me. Well, that’s okay. I have a rebellious streak too. Fine, I’ll give you two pieces of information about this story: One, it was written in 1909. Two, it can be read in about half an hour. 

The rest is for you to discover. And believe me, it’s worth discovering. Go read it. Here, it’s online at Wikisource, by a stroke of convenience the irony of which you can’t fully appreciate until you finish it.

If you want, feel free to come back here and talk about it once you’re done, if you like. Or maybe you’ll prefer to go for a nice long walk outside instead. 🙂


  1. 1909, eh? It’s easy to see similarities with our own situation — internet addiction, big data, climate change, etc., taken to the limit. Definitely makes me think. And ‘vomitories’ is quite the word! Thanks for posting this, Berthold!

        1. Speaking of haunting, I read “The Willows” the other day. I remembered you recommended it, and was it ever good! The horror starts so gradually but it just builds and builds… thanks for telling me about it.

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