Doris Lessing's contemporary gothic horror story - centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human - probes society's unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.
Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside - until the birth of their fifth baby. Gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant-like about him. As he grows older and more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him. Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.
©1988 Doris Lessing (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with A.A. Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
This book really kept me on the edge of my seat Both author and narrator were excellent. You didn't know what to make of this child...the anti Christ , sociopath, psychopath, soulless being.etc. I was hoping to know who or what is this or it. The narrator voice did not take away from the story. Well worth my time. It is thought provoking that there are "people" out there like this.
Hard to believe it's Lessing - let alone a Nobel Prize winner! Doesn't begin to approach her previous books. The story build to a slow sub-boil and then it's like someone suddenly turns off the heat! Plus it was more like half of a book - the ending fizzled unexpectedly. Like a balloon that instead of popping - the air slowly leaked out of it. Plus again the narrator left a lot to be desired.!
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