Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Don't Bother Bin - Lady Chatterley's Lover

1 star (read May 2009)

Some time ago, I read Twilight (don't judge me). All the chastity gave me a severe case of literary blue balls, and so I went off in search of consummation. Having read this as a teenager and with no real memory of it other than the odd lewd bit that stuck out, I thought I'd give it another go and see if it resonated any more deeply now that I'm a little older and, ahem, wiser...

I really wish that I hadn't bothered, as this felt like a real chore. Maybe it was Connie's initial apathy that rubbed off on me, but the writing left me cold. It was incredibly repetitive and the descriptions all seemed a bit off. I lost count of the times I read sentences such as 'they were slack and thin, with a slack thinness to them', 'watching with a cold watchfulness', or 'he was impetuous and went about impetuously'...and this is supposed to be good writing?

Much of the book was spent lamenting over pre-industrial England that had ceased to exist by the time of writing, eulogising the death of 'real men', or sneering at the characters for some aspect of their class (whether upper or working class, Lawrence seems to feel contempt for pretty much all of them). The infamous sex scenes were all strangely detached and impersonal, with no real intimacy or sensuality, and even by the end of the book I failed to see any real love between Connie and Mellors.

The only thing I was left with was an abiding sense of Lawrence really disliking women - they're fishwives, gossips or blanks, (even Connie, despite Lawrence somehow seeing her as intelligent and spirited, seems mostly vacant a lot of the time - and Mellors seems to love her mainly for her arse and fanny) and some of the statements that are put into the mouths of various characters on women were more shocking to me than the fucking. Women who don't enjoy sex are hated, women who do enjoy it are despised. 

But then, it seems overall that this book wasn't even really about sex between a couple anyway, but in large an ode to the cock. 

I just thought it was bollocks.

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