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The Golden Notebook (1962)

by Doris Lessing

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,494711,751 (3.63)1 / 357
Anna Wulf is a young novelist with writer's block. Divorced, with a young child, and disillusioned by unsatisfactory relationships, she feels her life is falling apart. In fear of madness, she records her experiences in four coloured notebooks.
  1. 31
    The Two of Them by Joanna Russ (lquilter)
    lquilter: While reading The Two of Them by Joanna Russ, I was persistently reminded of Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook. The female protagonist's articulated rage, the psychoanalytic approach, the insurmountability of the patriarchy. For readers across genres who liked either of these novels, I would suggest trying the other.… (more)
  2. 21
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (readerbabe1984)
  3. 00
    Orwell and Politics (Penguin Modern Classics) by George Orwell (DLSmithies)
    DLSmithies: Alright, this one's tenuous, but bear with me! Orwell has lots of interesting things to say about the socialist movement of the 30s and 40s in Britain and elsewhere, especially in Stalin's Russia. Similarly, the Communist Party in 1950s Britain looms large in the background of The Golden Notebook, and the main character is deeply troubled by the situation in Russia under Stalin (along with everything else that's happening on the world stage at the time). So, you see, there's a link!... ...or maybe it's just me.… (more)
  4. 12
    geneven: This five-book series is great, though depressing in spots. (I haven't read The Golden Notebook.)

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English (61)  Spanish (4)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Bulgarian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
I think this was very well written, insightful and complexly plotted. I think I might have loved it if I had read it at a different time, but mostly I just wasn't in the mood for it. It would be helpful to a lot of men and women who are discovering feminism (and interrogating possible sexism in themselves), or who want some history on communism and racism of the early 1900s. The pschologizing aspect of this book was historically accurate, but we've moved past dream interpretation and Freudian analysis so that was a little hard to read. Overall an extremely intelligent book that I might try to read again someday if I'm at a point in my life when it could help me more. ( )
  CarolineanneE | Mar 28, 2020 |
Abandoned after 50 pages. Beautifully crafted absolutely pointless twaddle. Think of a well spoken old aunty - that's this book.

Why was I even reading it? I hate this shit, can stand Proust. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Anna tries to live the freedom of a man, and has a strong character but must come to terms with her son and former husband. She keeps her life segregated into 4 different notebooks, life in Africa, Communist political life, a personal diary, and a novel in progress. Classic women's literature of the early 1960's post WWII generation, but no Beat Generation exactly. Has vague allusion in style to stream of conscious literature of Virginia Woolf ( )
  atufft | Jul 4, 2019 |
I switched to the English audiobook version for this book. And I must say, that I didn't like the book a bit.
It was something else than I expected, it was difficult to grasp with all the different characters who alternated with the Anna who was the writer of the notes in the notebooks.

It's another one off the 1001-list, but not one I'll remember long (apart from that I disliked it). ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Feb 13, 2019 |
I gave this book a three, but that was because I couldn't decide whether to give it 1 or 5. I loved the whole premise of a British communist "free woman" with South African past. I absolutely loved the Mashopi Hotel story line. I loved the idea of different note books to reflect different personalities. However, it was soooo long! I couldn't put it down in the beginning but in the end I couldn't wait for it to finish. I found in the end of the book a lot of passages were repetitive and didn't carry too much extra information. In the end, I'm glad I've read it but I don't think I will re-read it or recommend it to anyone ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lessing, Dorisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valentí, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The two women were alone in the London flat.
Ella decides to write again, searches herself for the book which is already written inside her, and waiting to be written down. She spends a great deal of time alone, waiting to discern the outlines of this book inside her.
Having a child means being conscious of the clock, never being free of something that has to be done at a certain moment ahead. I was sitting on the floor this afternoon, watching the sky darken, an inhabitant of a world where one can say, the quality of light means it must be evening, instead of: in exactly an hour I must put on the vegetables.
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Average: (3.63)
0.5 9
1 30
1.5 6
2 56
2.5 20
3 108
3.5 45
4 180
4.5 23
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