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Publisher's Summary

One of the most important books of the growing feminist movement of the 1950s, The Golden Notebook was brought to the attention of a wider public by the Nobel Prize award to Doris Lessing in 2007.
Author Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive "golden notebook" that draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook: sources of her creative inspiration in a black book, communism in a red book, the breakdown of her marriage in a yellow book, and day-to-day emotions and dreams in a blue book. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political, and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s.
In this authentic, taboo-breaking novel, Lessing brings the plight of women’s lives from obscurity behind closed doors into broad daylight. The Golden Notebook resonates with the concerns and experiences of a great many women and is a true modern classic, thoroughly deserving of its reputation as a feminist bible. A notoriously long and complex work, it is given a new life by this – its first unabridged recording.
©1962 Doris Lessing (P)2010 Naxos Audiobook
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Critic Reviews

"The Golden Notebook is Doris Lessing’s most important work and has left its mark upon the ideas and feelings of a whole generation of women." (Elizabeth Hardwick, New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Victoria on 07-03-12

Transcendent narration of a masterpiece.

Juliet Stevenson's narration of this classic (which I'd not read since college) is so extraordinary, I have found myself listening to this recording repeatedly, replaying favorite passages, etc. In narrating various characters' dialogue, she maintains consistency of voice and pitch, so the listener (even if somewhat distracted by chores or what have you) is generally able to keep all these lines of narrative straight - no small feat, considering the book's complexity.

I will not only return to this recording again, but I will also seek out additional recordings by the same narrator.

Finally, I will add that the recording is quite well-produced; glitches are nearly non-existent, which seems fantastic given the length of this work.

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful

By Thomas More on 08-16-16

Even Months Later, I Keep Thinking About It...

It took some time for me to make my way through this incredible book. It's the sort of work, deeply intelligent in its design and execution, that deserves a lot of thought and percolation. It was months ago that I finished it, yet even now when I think of the story told here, flawlessly delivered by Juliet Stevenson, I remember the excitement of knowing I was wrapped up in truly great storytelling. I had to acquire more Stevenson after falling in love with her voice and the skill of her execution, and went on to her readings of Woolf (also great). I will definitely come back to this again in the future when I once again have the time to savor it.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By ROBERT on 12-24-12

Beautifully Perceptive

A wonderfully perceptive writer, Lessing captures the nuances of dialogue and emotion brilliantly. I at several points had to stop and think about the writer's ability to create such brilliant authenticity in fiction. The central character, Anna, is presented with such subtlety and complexity that her thoughts on sexual politics, relationships and frustrated desires become immediately gripping. The narration by Juliet Stevenson enlivens the prose of this book and gives the perfect voice to Anna.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

By Samera Owusu Tutu on 04-07-13


This is a great book that captures a moment in time perfectly. Definitely worth the listen.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Milla Dickens on 11-21-17

Worth pushing through to the end!!

Juliet Stevenson should win an award for this narration, quite a tour de force with so many characters and voices done consistently. This book is very long and I almost didn't finish, but I felt I was rewarded in the final chapters as I realised it had been working towards it all along and wasn't as aimless as I had formerly judged it. A highly self conscious novel, it explores consciousness, dreams and subjectivity itself. Glad I kept listening on my walks and rather sad to part company with it today after 4 weeks.

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By Anna Spencer on 09-21-16

A complex but satisfying novel.

The. Golden Notebook is a novel ahead of its time. Complex and innovative, it is a novel or several novels within another. Although written in the '60s, it is, in fact, set in the 1950s. I feel it improbable that women were so promiscuous in this era!

I enjoyed the stories contained in most of the notebooks, but found the political discussions and stories in the red notebook less interesting.

Being such a complex novel, it merits further study.

Juliet Stevenson's narration is brilliant! She engaged my attention throughout.

I am not surprised that Doris Lessing, in 2007, received the Nobel prize for literature. There is a delightful short video of her being told that she has won the award with The Golden Notebook. Her reaction is quite amusing!

This book would appeal to 'the thinking reader.'

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