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Publisher's Summary

Sons and Lovers was the first of Lawrence's major works, and is still considered to be one of his best. The 1913 novel was partly autobiographical and was set in the coalmining village of Bestwood. The parents of the central character, Paul, are Mr. and Mrs. Morel who are a vigorous and heavy-drinking miner and a well-educated, pretty intellectual respectively. We learn of Paul's successful brother and sister, William and Annie, but are soon drawn into Paul's world. Still in his teens, Paul works in a factory producing surgical appliances but becomes sick and spends his time with Miriam Leivers whom he falls in love with. Their love is made difficult by Miriam's intense and religious nature and the fondness Paul's mother has for him that is protective to the point of dependence. As Paul reaches his early twenties he becomes passionate and makes love to Miriam but this ecstasy spells the end for their relationship.
The latter stages of the novel concern Paul's next passion - Mrs. Clara Dawes - and her vengeful husband. In the end, with Mrs. Morel's slow death, we find that the closest and most meaningful bond is held between mother and son. The novel is notable for being the first English novel to be genuinely working-class in origin and focus.
©1988 D.H. Lawrence; cover design ©2003 Brian J. Killavey
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Critic Reviews

"[A] book of rare excellence." (The New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jimcin on 09-17-03

Great book and good reading

It always amazes me that people can have such incredibly diverse opinions of the same book. You'd think good was good and bad was bad but... a guess a lot is in the eye ( or ear in this case ) of the beholder. Anyway, I totally agree with the last reviewer ("I believe the narrator's style and pacing works well") - the narrator was very laid back, but that's exactly what was needed. Overdramatizing would have ruined it. This is a reading not an overdone performance and, as such, it is done very well.

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34 of 34 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Susan L. Rubendall on 08-22-03

Buried in coal and relationships

Somehow, I did not read this book as a young person and was happy to find it available at I believe the narrator's style and pacing works well to depict the slow pace of life and almost suffocating relationships in a small English coal town. It reminds me of the narration of War and Peace, 60 wonderful hours immersed in a different time and place.

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29 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Gail on 03-06-06

Wonderful story, spoilt by narration

The choice of narrator has ruined this version for me. It's not that he's an American; he has completely mishandled the Nottingham accent and dialect. The dialogue is so stilted and mispronounced that it distracts and is almost incomprehensible. I'm very disappointed that this is the only full-length version available and would strongly recommend that you compare Robert Powell's masterful interpretation - sadly much abridged - with this voice that sounds like it belongs to a close relative of Prof. Steven Hawkings.

The story itself is wonderful - the relationships are so closely observed and described. Lawrence writes beautifully about pain and euphoria. I read this at school years ago; it made a huge impression on me then. Coming back to it I find new descriptions, episodes to marvel at. This novel speaks to me. Sad that I find myself reacting so strongly to the narration.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

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