Women in Love is widely regarded as D.H. Lawrence’s greatest novel. It continues where 'The Rainbow' left off with the third generation of Brangwens: Ursula Brangwen, now a teacher at Beldover, a mining town in the Midlands, and her sister Gudrun, who has returned from art school in London. The focus of the novel is primarily on their relationships: Ursula’s with Rupert Birkin, a school inspector, and Gudrun’s with Gerald Crich, an industrialist, and later with a sculptor called Loerke.
An unabridged reading by Maureen O'Brien.
©1920 D.H Lawrence (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
This is a great choice if you already know you're a fan of D.H. Lawrence; Maureen O'Brien is exceptional. I, however, am not a fan of D. H. Lawrence. Vehemently. This is an awful novel that's been too highly praised for too long simply because elitist turn of the century white dudes thought it was super deep. He uses the word 'inchoate' about ten times on one page and the whole thing is a catastrophe. Don't waste your money.
"Perfect narration of a masterpiece"
Lawrence's ability to express the subtle, normally unacknowledged forces that guide our thoughts, combined with his unique sense of spirituality and meaning, compellingly bereft of any doctrine or explicit metaphysics, make for a novel that is like nothing else. What's particularly amazing is that in Women in Love and its prequel, The Rainbow, the main characters don't actually get up to all that much, and yet Lawrence's articulation of their experiences, conscious and unconscious, makes their stories stranger and more epic than any tale of 'great events'.
As for the narration, Maureen O'Brien does a flawless job of narrating such a challengingly idiosyncratic novel. I feel very grateful to her!
"Long but rewarding journey through four lives"
This is part of my quest to read or re-read the classics I should have read (or read more thoroughly) at university. It is always great to read Lawrence: he is the only author who can create eroticism in settings as mundane as cattle in a pasture, as unexpected as water lilies and as shocking as someone drowning. His recurring themes of love (with or without marriage), brotherly love, the primacy of creativity, and the obligation to live a life of purpose pervade the story of two sisters who meet two young men in their village. Through various episodes (all beautifully painted) love is found and lost, marriages are made or avoided, lives are changed, shattered or destroyed. All of this encased in richly evocative language saturated with metaphor. He is above all a passionate writer and his characters demonstrate their passions about issues, each other, societal development and commerce. Not an easy read but utterly rewarding. Maureen O'Brien is a superb narrator.
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