Back when I lived in another world, I listened to The Rainbow, the first of this two volume story of the Brangwens of Nottinghamshire. Rainbow scored 59%. This one has scored 58%. Neither of them were enjoyable and, when I’ve spoken to people who can’t stand Lawrence, I wonder whether they tried one or both of these and then gave up. That’s a shame.
As I said 237 books ago, the writing is “tedious” and I don’t think anyone is going to put Ursula and Gudrun on their list of great fictional heroines. I mean, for a start, why on earth would you choose those names for them?
Throughout, these two display the same tormented states of mind as in Rainbow. One minute their all passionate about something, the next minute they detest it, or themselves, or both, or everything. They go on and on and on about the state of the world in conversations I can’t imagine anyone who deserves to be taken seriously actually having. In parts it reminded me of the worst of the Golden Notebook or the absurd lecturings of any character from Rand’s excrescent ravings.
Meanwhile they explore relationships which are as intense as their political leanings and as doomed to fall short of their utopian ideals. Thus, the reader is condemned to endure the dissatisfaction and emotional chaos right to the very end. I came away relieved to have done with it.
Lawrence can write. Of that there is no doubt. I just think he took himself a little too seriously with this.