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The Rainbow (Penguin popular classics) Paperback – 30 Nov 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (30 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140623019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140623017
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.1 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,873,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Lawrence is not fashionable at present, perhaps because he is just too good, and too gifted. Hardly any other English writer, perhaps only Thomas Hardy, comes near him in his ability to show the reality of people's whole lives, to present their emotions, and to depict the experience of living and working in 20th-century Britain. This is a unique and marvellous book, but we should also read his 'Sons and lovers' and 'Women in love'.- William Podamore --http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2RFHP029WZHET/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R2RFHP029WZHET --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

D. H. Lawrence started 'The Sisters' in 1913, wrote four different versions and claimed to have discarded 'quite a thousand pages' before completing The Rainbow in 1915. Mark Kinkead-Weekes gives the composition history and collates the surviving states of the text to assess the damage done to Lawrence's great novel. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miss Scarlett on 2 Feb 2014
Format: Paperback
THE NOVEL:

Though Lawrence is best known for writing Lady Chatterley's Lover, for me, The Rainbow is a far more illuminating and interesting look at sexuality. It also avoids Lawrence's key pitfalls: tendency to be florid when describing sex, long passages of Lawrence philosophising and my pet hate- the Mellors type. Lawrence has a particular type of male character he loves writing about- a rough, hearty man-of-the-soil, a man's man who can barely string a sentence together but is seething with bestial passions. Mellors is of course the epitome of this character. I don't know whether Lawrence thinks women like things like that or whether he has a penchant himself. Anyway, we only get a very minor character of the Mellors type in The Rainbow.

Originally Women in Love, the sequel to The Rainbow, was going to make up the fourth and final section of the book. Though The Rainbow is not rigidly divided into sections, there are three key eras in the history of the Brangwen family. The first generation is Tom Brangwen, who marries a Polish widow Lydia Lensky. She's six years his senior with a tragic sort of soul that Tom can never quite understand. As an antidote to the alienation he feels from his wife, Tom focuses his affections on her little stepdaughter Anna. Though Tom and Lydia have children together, it is Anna Lensky that heralds the second era of the novel.

As a teenager, Anna falls for Will Brangwen, her 'cousin'. Will is different from the typical blonde-haired Brangwens; he is skinny and dark-haired. This will become a theme of the novel, as each new era involves a change that moves the family away from their agricultural history and towards the modern era. Like Tom and Lydia, Anna and Will have a deep passion with trouble at its heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lady of Letters on 9 Oct 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All D H Lawrence fans should have a copy of 'the rainbow'. He writes prose in such a poetic way, it is beautiful to read. This is a free book on kindle so I shouldn't complain, but I think the censoring for kindle was a bit unnecessary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Supportyourlocallibrary on 29 April 2012
Format: Paperback
The Rainbow is an intergenerational saga set in late Victorian England. It deals with the inner emotional lives of a Nottinghamshire farming family-the Brangwens-who have lived on the land for generations and yet have to face to upheaval of a fast changing world. It is a novel about human relationships and all their complexity. This is evident from the outset when the young Tom Brangwen marries an older Polish lady and he forms a close bond with her daughter Anna, who he adopts.

It is not hard to see why the book was banned in 1915. The book is exceptionally frank and it is honest about the problems that can occur between men and women. Tom is insanely jealous when his adopted daughter marries her cousin Will Brangwen and the subsequent Will-Anna match is fraught with difficulty. They clash over matters religious: the religious buildings that Will loves leave Anna cold.

Eventually Will and Anna have a daughter Ursula, who grows up to be something of a free spirit. Ursula wants to make her own way in the world and this brings her into conflict with her father. She becomes a school teacher in Nottingham (a terribly draining but ultimately rewarding experience for her). Lawrence describes the fear and drudgery of teaching exceptionally well and he seems to be remarkably sympathetic to Ursula and her desire for freedom.

This is definitely one of those 'great books' that I felt more than lived up to its critical reputation. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic fiction and especially to people who have only read Lady Chatterley's Lover. This-I felt- was a much more rewarding and challenging book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 July 1998
Format: Paperback
Lawrence's fame (or notoriety) rests on his sexual frankness, but what a lot of readers overlook is how well he wrote about parent-child relationships and family dynamics. The beginning of this novel is absolutely brilliant: Tom Brangwen and the Polish widow marry in haste, then find that they still haven't worked out their relationship. Her young daughter is an uneasy third party, and the child's sensitivity to the unease in their household is beautifully described, as well as her stepfather's gentle efforts to befriend her. As Lawrence continues the family history, his usual obsessions surface. But in general, it's a good story: sex is an organic part of his characters' lives rather than the mainspring of the whole plot (as in some of his other novels). And the characters come across as multi-dimensional human beings rather than talking heads (or other organs) for Lawrence's comments on life. A good novel for people who "don't like D.H. Lawrence."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guv on 16 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
The Rainbow is a hugely rewarding novel, which despite its relative brevity has the air of the epic about it. I had previously read Lady Chatterley's Lover and I've since read Women in Love, but while I enjoyed both neither had the impact of The Rainbow. That this book was censured and unavailable to buy legally in Britain for over a decade is testimony that many aspects of British life in the earlier decades of the last century are not worth mourning. The Brangwens are a family to be savoured, and Lawrence expertly evokes a long lost semi-mythical past without resorting to sentiment. This is a magnificent novel, and in over thirty years of devouring books of many kinds, this is one that has few peers.
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