Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

Review by Lauren

Official Summary: Anna is a writer, author of one very successful novel, who now keeps four notebooks. In one, with a black cover, she reviews the African experience of her earlier years. In a red one she records her political life, her disillusionment with communism. In a yellow one she writes a novel in which the heroine relives part of her own experience. And in a blue one she keeps a personal diary. Finally, in love with an American writer and threatened with insanity, Anna resolves to bring the threads of all four books together in a golden notebook.

Review: This is one of the  books I read for school and while I never would have picked it up on my own, I am glad to have read it. I had mentioned last week that I wanted to review the books that I read for school because I'm spending a lot of time this semester on school books, so instead of having a lack of book reviews, I'm doing this! I hope you don't mind.

Back to The Golden Notebook...this is kind of a difficult book to review because it's certainly not for everyone. It's frank and matter-of-fact about certain things, but not overly graphic throughout. Things are separated by notebooks for awhile but then they start to mix faster. It's still pointed out when a notebook switches, you just don't spend a lot of time in each notebook near the end. As for everything coming together in The Golden Notebook...I wouldn't really say that happens. You're still left with some questions at the end, and I'm not sure I understand Anna fully now than when I started.

This is a good book for class discussion, so if you have a book club, then you might want to look into it. It wasn't a favorite in my class, but I didn't mind it. I wouldn't say it's the best book ever but I enjoyed what I read almost throughout. It was a slow read, though, and I'm not really sure why...I'm not the fastest reader, but this one just didn't seem to go anywhere for awhile.

If you want a fast read...don't read this.

If you get frustrated with indecisive characters...don't read this.

I told you this was a difficult one to review! I don't want to scare people away, but I do want to warn you that it's not the easiest book to get through at times.

Has anyone read this before? What did you think?


Brandi Kosiner said...

I haven't read this, and prb not for me because me and frustrating characters don't get a long, and I need quicker reads.
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Shane said...

Great review.

Liviania said...

I haven't read Doris Lessing, but I've meant to read more Nobel winners.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

The indecisive characters thing kills it for me.

Medeia Sharif said...

I started this once or twice and couldn't finish it. This was in college when I read many of the classics.

Erika said...

Frustrating characters are a turn-off for me. :/

Bookworm1858 said...

I wanted to check out Lessing because she won the Nobel and this was the book I was going to try but now I will be better prepared for what does or doesn't happen.

....Petty Witter said...

Alas not a read for me as I really don't like the letter/notebook format.

Candace said...

So I'm pretty sure this is a book that isn't for me just because I haven't had a ton of patience with books lately, but I love that you're reviewing the books you're reading for class. It makes us look a bit outside our 'genres' and see other books that are out there. And I love books that really bring about some conversation.