last year, but let's just say that The Golden Notebook SCARRED me, and made me seriously unwilling to read more Lessing. Unfortunately, I already owned two or three of her books, and since it's the season of RIP and all, I thought I'd give her another chance with The Fifth Child.
Well. It wasn't as bad as The Golden Notebook, I'll give her that. And, to be honest, towards the beginning I was very hopeful for its prospects of getting along with my brain, and when we got to the awful pregnancy where the baby kept trying to rip her apart, I was all like
Ok, so here's an actual story synopsis. Two old-fashioned young people in the 60s meet and decide to have lots of children just like they always used to in the olden days, and they have 4 awesome children and their lives are great, but then the fifth child (see what she did there?) is sort of a monster and it kind of tears their family apart. And I guess that this is supposed to be a parable about nobody-ever-getting-what-they-want, or about having too much of a good thing (sex/babies, I guess?) or something, but mostly it's NOT scary, but also not much of anything else either. But at least it was short. And I did finish it in a day.
So, obviously it was readable. I did read it. But I was not AT ALL scared. I honestly thought I was going to be. I thought, oh, here's another We Need To Talk About Kevin, only this time, everyone else is scared of the child-monster, and the mother is the one protecting him. But it's not like that at all. It's more like... The mother keeps him around even though she doesn't want him around, and in the process breaks up her entire family, and also the kid is maybe an alien, and, like Doris I'll just throw that in there and leave it for you to chew on without backing it up with anything else. I mean, SERIOUSLY, Doris?
"And then she had the kid and Doris barely bothered to develop the story at all and nothing much really happened, the end" - well this sounds like just boat loads of fun.ReplyDelete
I think people just throw around words like "horror" to mean "this is sort of a scary premise even if the author did NOTHING scary with it". Ah well.
Boat loads of fun, and you know what else? A barrel of laughs.Delete
It did say 'contemporary horror' on the blurb, so maybe by that they mean 'not at all scary'. Or the thing that you said. It WAS a kind of scary premise, and I mean, you wouldn't want it to happen to you or anything, but still.... Nothing really happened. Ugh, Stephen King, you have spoiled me!
Thank God my family stopped at four.ReplyDelete
Everything scares me. This probably would too. Somehow.
I'm pretty sure this wouldn't scare. Unless maaaaybe you were pregnant and your baby was doing weird things and you'd be like 'OMG I'M GOING TO HAVE A MONSTER!' But even then, the monster doesn't do anything THAT bad, so... Yeah. Not scary.
I know that mothers have bonds with their kids, but if the kid needs help wouldn't the motherly thing be to make sure that they get it. And by protecting that one child she doesn't seem to be a good mother to her other kids. IT MAKES NO SENSE! (steps off soapbox).ReplyDelete
Instantly thought of We Need To Talk About Kevin. I'm glad you read a similar book and got through it. I will probably be skipping though.
Ugh, that whole book makes no sense. It was just annoying, and there was no logic to it, and yeah. Best forgotten.Delete
Definitely skip this. And Kevin, really. I definitely didn't need either of them in my brain!
I've only read one Doris Lessing and it was not a good experience or one that I intend to repeat! It doesn't sound like you've had any more success with your two experiences either so that hasn't done anything to lessen my aversion.ReplyDelete
Love the picture of Eric though!
We shall avoid Doris forever and ever. Pinky swear. I THOUGHT SHE WOULD BE GOOD BECAUSE SHE WON A NOBEL PRIZE, what a FOOL I am!Delete