Monday, January 26, 2015

Lady Chatterley's Lover - D.H. Lawrence

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It was bound to happen eventually, friends. I mean, sixty classics on my list. Sixty is a lot of books. Hating one was only a matter of time. That's right. I hated this book. I mean, I didn't hate it enough to rate it one star. I could see the merit in elements of the story. But I was on the struggle bus from start to finish, and there were times when I honestly thought I wasn't going to be able to finish it and would have to throw it across the room instead.

So. Lady Chatterley's Lover is the story of Constance Chatterley, who gets married in 1917 and whose husband comes back from the war paralysed from the waist down. He loses all interest in sex and basically in being around her at all, but decides that he'd quite like to have a child. He suggests that she go off and get knocked up to a nice, respectable man, and that they raise the child as the heir to the estate. Except that Constance falls for the rough-as-guts gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, who introduces her to real passion, and Constance feels herself coming to life for the first time.

This book is/was hella contentious. It was banned for the better part of forty years due to the fact that it contains numerous sex scenes and a ton of swearing and A WOMAN ENJOYING SEX OH MY GOD NO HOW SCANDALOUS. And really, I feel like if it weren't for the fact that the book had been banned, this book wouldn't be anywhere near as popular or infamous as it became.

While there were some passages that contained interesting discussion of the state of English society in a post-war environment, for the most part I found this book incredibly boring. Seriously. Literally none of the characters are likeable. I didn't care about any of them. I found Mellors to be particularly abhorrent, which made it difficult to get through the supposedly salacious sex scenes (frankly, I've read better sex scenes in fan fiction that's written by 15 year olds...).

Either it was incredibly boring scenes of Constance and her husband doing boring upper class things, boring scenes of Constance gushing to her sister about Mellors, or moderately boring scenes of Constance and Mellors boinking. And even that wasn't enough to keep me interested, especially not after I realised that D.H. Lawrence had something of an obsession with bowels and referred to them constantly.

Not even kidding. You want quotes? Because I've got 'em.

"...compassion flamed in his bowels for her."

"Yet the passion of it licked round her, consuming, and when the sensual flame of it passed through her bowels and breast, she really thought she was dying: yet a poignant, marvellous death."

"...the passion for him moved in her bowels."

"...in her womb and bowels she was flowing and alive now..."

"And he went into her softly, feeling the stream of tenderness flowing in release from his bowels to hers".

"And he himself loathed the mention of bowels of compassion."

You and me both, Mellors. You and me both.

In short, I tried to like this book, I really did. I know a lot of people adore it. But when it wasn't boring me senseless, D.H. Lawrence was making me angry by saying that gay people are only gay because they haven't had REALLY GOOD straight sex.


I know it was written in a different time, blah blah blah. But it lost me time and time again. Especially when Mellors made a passionate speech about the state of society and Constance didn't hear any of it because she was weaving forget-me-nots into his pubes.


Yeah. No.

Have you read it? What did you think??

K xx

3 comments:

  1. (frankly, I've read better sex scenes in fan fiction that's written by 15 year olds...) -> THIS! Not that I have read the book but that sentence, so much yes!

    Wow, this book does not sound like a winner to me and I'm glad you read it so I don't have to. Cause that's totally how this works, right?!

    The whole bowel thing made me laugh but I can understand your pain reading through them.

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  2. I have a work colleague who loves this book and she keeps recommending it to me but I've never been keen. Now I'm very glad I didn't take her up on the suggestion. Bowels? Ew.

    P.S. My favourite part was the Castiel frowny face gif. Though I did NOT like that episode.

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  3. I haven't read this particular DH Lawrence, but I read Women in Love which I didn't particularly love either. I personally enjoy less talk of bowels in my sex scenes. Actually just less talk of bowels, period.

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