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on 2 April 2017
This is the love story of two twenty-something sisters Ursula (26) and Gudrun (25) as they fall for school inspector Rupert Birkin and miner owner Gerald Crich respectively. This is the sequel to ‘The Rainbow’; and where the Rainbow was scintillated with underlying ‘sex’, WiL is imbued with underlying ‘hate’ in my view. I was reminded of the Prince love song ‘I hate You’ when reading the angst of passion and love in the stylish literary prose.

The book takes place in 1917 and has all the mores of that upper-middle class era in midlands England; the sisters are however representations of the slightly avant-garde ‘female’ as the families come to terms with death and repressed passion and love. There is some suggestion that the book had problems in publication for its style and possibly underlying sexuality between Gerald and Rupert but I’m not certain the book was banned or censored like the Rainbow.

The book is really rather long and unlike the better Rainbow I actually felt it had far less story to tell; and seemed to need the last 20% of the story when everyone moves to Europe to getting things to germinate.

The following quote summaries the whole book and my view of it: ”I wouldn’t not have had it! It’s a complete experience. And she’s a wonderful woman. But – how I hate her somewhere! It’s curious”.
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on 11 October 2013
It is impossible to imagine a more unsuitable reader for this classic. I suffered the first CD in the hope that it might improve but it did not and the gabble went on and on. To be told that it had finished was an unnecessary intrusion in the narrative.

It would have been better red by a man who had some understanding of DHL's observation, insight and understanding of human emotions and relationships. Because of the reader's accent, there was no feeling for the people and landscape of the part of the country in which it is set.

Sadly, I have impaired vision and am dependent on listening and it was so sad to hear a favourite book and writer so unappreciated and lacking in the depth which makes DHL so great a writer.
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on 14 March 2017
good book quickly delivered
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on 19 March 2017
Excellent products, prompt service.
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on 11 April 2015
Ok for a freebie!
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on 29 December 2014
Good packaging, great purchase
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on 3 May 2017
Too long, too wordy and devoid of that feature I look for in a book, suspense. Read it through to the end, but kept thinking that DH Lawrence chooses twenty words where five would do. It just wasn't for me and while I can appreciate the time, effort and love that went into this novel it never aroused the sort of interest that I normally garner from a good novel. I did learn a lot about the era, hence my two stars. Not for me.
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on 3 February 2014
Having read this in my youth, when Lawrence was more appreciated than he is now, and not really getting what the fuss was about, I thought I'd give it another go. I remember finding it very difficult to understand Birkin's position, so did some reading up before hand to try and get me over the intellectual hurdles, including F.R. Leavis' book on Lawrence. Now I realise that I didn't get over the intellectual hurdles because Lawrence (and Leavis!) didn't either. The Lawrence figure in the novel, Birkin, always seems on the verge of saying something important, but he continually lapses into incoherent, extreme, or unattractive attitudes. For instance, he continually pours scorn on working class people, but at least they don't end up as a parasite like him.

Birkin is a school inspector and, in one of the better chapters, he shows that he's a good one, by explaining to Ursula, a school mistress, how to make her Botany lesson better by improving the kid's drawings in a way that increases the artistic and scientific impact. But he throws up this job to live on his private income, and drags Ursula away for some tedious ramblings on the continent. Note that Birkin doesn't actually do anything creative, he isn't an artist or a writer. As the other characters repeatedly point out, his views on large-scale intellectual & social issues are ridiculous and incoherent, so how could he be a writer? Only if he put his incoherent and useless ramblings in a novel and called it art. Birkin is a reserved character, so he sensibly avoids doing that, unfortunately Lawrence did not!

Birkin's friend, Gerald Crouch, is a mining magnate, and Lawrence tries to show that Gerald's life is meaningless because he makes his main cause in life to improve the mines by mastering technological and management procedures. Actually I think Lawrence creates such a positive picture of Gerald that he undermines his thesis! I could only think, "Good on you Gerald!", and was rooting for him throughout the book at the expense of Birkin and the sisters. Lawrence has to undermine Gerald by giving him a nasty streak - he makes the miners work too hard, he thumps Gudrun.... But some combination of Gerald's approach with that of his father, who is a Christian and forever trying to ease the lot of the miners, would make for a very attractive character who would really show Birkin up for the incoherent parasite he is, and provide a better, and quite believable, hero for the novel.

Besides the many, lengthy, obscure ramblings about such things as "dark gods" and "the evils of industry", there are too many tedious love scenes, which are even more obscure than the intellectual ramblings - I guess to avoid the censor. The censor would be likely to fall asleep, or skip, before working out what is going on, or if he did would certainly not be sexually excited, just bored to tears, and would think "the wife" or "the servant" wouldn't have the intellectual capacity or interest to follow the book.
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on 29 January 2001
Women in Love is the intensely successful sequel to The Rainbow. Originally the two novels were fused in one volume known as, 'The Sisters', but later Lawrence decided to split them, and revise them to create the two separate novels. Lawrence treats his characters with an emotional, linguistic and psychological intensity and delicacy that transmits the ideas, problems and feelings which Lawrence struggles continually to explain. It follows the progress of Ursula, the character pushed into view in The Rainbow, as she searches for a man who can embody and fulfil all her emotions, needs and wants. She finds this in Birkin as they struggle towards the Lawrentian goal of the true spiritual relationship. Also in the novel, appears Gudrun, similarly fighting for emotional, physical and mental success in Gerald. Throughout the novel, Lawrence holds the reader under his influence with his descriptive, repetitive language which seeks to persuade the reader towards his ideas. This novel which is highly enjoyable whether read alone or after The Rainbow, will lull the reader into the psychological depths of Lawrence's mind and leave him/her with a lasting impression of human relationships between man and woman.
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on 12 April 2013
"Its blasts your soul's eyes", he said, "and leaves you sightless. Yet you want to be sightless, you want to be blasted, you don't want it any different." Many people have written about love, but few people have written so authentically as D H Lawrence. The plot of Women in Love is very simple - two men and two sisters befriend each other and ultimately fall in love - but the depth and sophistication of the tale is extraordinary. It is a beautifully written book. Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen want freedom and fulfilment, but not at any price. Before they can love, artistic Rupert Birkin and wealthy Gerard Crich must struggle against their arrogance and pride, and the price of love is high. It is difficult to believe that Women in Love was banned under obscenity laws - the brief 'intimate moments' are only alluded to without any direct descriptions, and Lawrence leaves the reader to decide whether the sentiment between Rupert and Gerard is platonic or sexual. As pornography, the book is a dismal failure, but it succeeds as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

Many people consider Ulysses to be the greatest novel of the last one hundred years. Personally, I think Women in Love is a better book, and Lawrence as good a writer as any of his contemporaries.
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