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Sea and Sardinia

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  223 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
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Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published (first published 1921)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 898)
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Hal Brodsky
Nov 18, 2013 Hal Brodsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle
After reading this well written, quotable, but uneventful travelogue by D.H. Lawrence, I find myself wondering why British people travel. Here is Lawrence, 60 years before Paul Theroux (who I thought held the tittle of "Crankiest Travel Writer"), setting out on a whirlwind tour of Sardinia, and complaining about it every step of the way.

With no explanation or preamble, D.H. Lawrence and his wife (The "Queen Bee", who he criticizes relentlessly)set off for this remote island IN WINTER apparently
Felice Picano
Mar 23, 2012 Felice Picano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's in his travel books that the real D.H. Lawrence reveals himself, and while his three books about traveling in Italy are almost a century old now, they hold up very well.
Naturally the writing is lovely, the descriptions wonderful. Has anyone have ever wielded a more sensitive or poetic pen or one more far ranging in its coloristic effects than Lawrence at the top of his game? And, at the same time, he is quite good about exactly where he went and how he went and how much time it took and ex
Nick Sweeney
D H Lawrence and his wife Frieda (called the queen bee, or q-b in this book) up sticks from their home in Sicily to make a winter journey up and down Sardinia. They stay in lots of draughty inns that have no milk, or cheese (a recurring motif, for some odd reason, which seemed to take on a comic intensity the more it was mentioned) and are staffed by uncooperative people with dirty shirts and fingernails. They also travel on draughty trains and buses, which are also staffed by uncooperative peop ...more
Kirsty Keddie
Mar 08, 2016 Kirsty Keddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oppressed by the winter in Sicily DHL and his wife (referred to throughout as the q-b) impulsively lock up their house and start out on a journey to somewhere they have never been before - Sardinia. This slim book is largely taken up with descriptions of their almost perpetual motion. Travelling hundreds of gruelling miles by train, sea and bus they never stay in any place for long. Their brief stops in a series of filthy roadside inns always dissatisfy and send them flying on to the next place. ...more
Feb 27, 2016 Betty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is billed as a travelogue of a trip Lawrence and his wife took to the Italian island of Sardinia. It is not, however, the typical travel book. It's difficult to get into at first because Lawrence has a heavily sardonic tone and mixes languages that he doesn't always explain with many classical allusions that the reader may not be familiar with. Lawrence's wry sense of humor helps the reader along, as in his constant referral to his wife as "q.b." or queen bee. The trip appears to be a ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Jenni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the most compelling narrative as far as travel writing goes. Lawrence's writing is fantastic, and he makes some very interesting observations about the people and politics of Sardinia. But he has a tendency to ramble and repeat himself quite a bit, which made it a very slow read.
T.P. Williams
Mar 15, 2011 T.P. Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book very much. Lawrence paints an extremely vivid picture of rural Italy on the eve of industrialization. You can almost see him with his backpack at the train stations, in a pensione, etc. A very natural manner of expression; conversational almost.
Jul 20, 2016 Mat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thank You For Brexiting!

Piece of crap.

Dripping with contempt. Very British.

Don't fancy olive oil? Stick to you bloody island and cover your arteries with lard & butter!

It's not travel narrative, it's nostalgia (ah! see that Italian word right there that doesn't exist in English?? Ahah!) for a long gone Empire, where a bunch of Brits had their way through ships & guns & repression & disdain for different cultures. Which is the purest antithesis (like this Greek word better perhaps
Feb 26, 2014 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence's prose is beautiful, absolutely stunning in this travel book. Far from being Baedeker, as he points out, his grumpy, yet fascinated description of his travels is somewhat reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway's account of hunting in Africa, at least in my opinion. His outraged descriptions of things, such as the shepherds' calls to their sheep ("the wildest and weirdest inhuman shepherd noise I have ever heard") made me laugh frequently. Despite his freethinking reputation, and denying being ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was going to be my train book. Just something to have around in case of delay, or for those last few minutes rolling into my stop. I brought it with me because the first few pages contained delightful and poetic prose. Then, about 20 more pages, the caustic elitism came out. I'd read the other reviews, I knew people didn't respond well to this. So I thought, ok, it'll still be my train book, good thing it's not so interesting it calls to me from my backpack while I'm working...

And then abo
Stuart Aken
Jan 12, 2013 Stuart Aken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of detail, contrasts, contradictions and signature Lawrencian repetitions, this travel memoir is a fascinating read. As regular readers of my book reviews will know, an important factor in my enjoyment of any work is how well written is the piece. This one does not disappoint. Lawrence uses language with a mix of expert observation and casual scholarship rooted in instinct. His descriptions of people and place are vital, complex, opinionated and full of character.
First published in 1923, w
Jun 10, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Sea and Sardinia is a record of a trip D. H. Lawrence took with his wife Frieda in 1921. The central character is Lawrence himself—a cranky but deeply intelligent observer of people and place. The book puts you right there—in an ancient bus lumbering through the bleak Sardinian countryside; at a fair in a small city where normal life has been cast aside for an ancient bacchanal; on a creaky boat with bad food, seasick as it makes a primeval crossing.

To be sure, there are also the all-too-famili
Feb 13, 2013 Akemi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Some choice quotes...
"One realizes here that man-drapery and man-underwear is quite as important as woman's, if not more.

I, of course, in a rage."

"I confess my heart stood still. But is mere historical fact so strong, that what one learns in bits from books can move one so? Or does the very word call an echo out of the dark blood? It seems so to me. It seems to me from the darkest recesses of my blood comes a terrible echo at the name of Mount Eryx: something quite unaccountable."

"But the hatefu
Susan Eubank
Here are the questions we discussed at the Reading the Western Landscape Book Club at the Arboretum Library of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden on April 27, 2016:
(view spoiler)
Jan 08, 2012 Riccardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really really liked this book! As a Sardinian I enjoyed to read the (accurate) descriptions of the places I know, it's been very interesting to read how Lawrence portrayed the city where I live.
In particular, I liked the way he described those aspects of ordinary life typical of a Sardinia which I never knew (a Sardinia of the first years of XX century), but it's curious how certain things are still the same like generosity, spontaneity and also the snobbish behaviour typical of the people of
Ann Tonks
It's been decades since I read any of Lawrence's work and I find his style so extraordinarily florid and self-obsessed. There's no sense of depth in any of the peole he meets along the way and the descriptions of the country side and seaside are week. I was left with only images of bad food and fabulous Sunday costumes.
Dec 25, 2007 Danica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

a. bitch about poor service and bad food (rocks of bread, wormy cabbage, gruel, etc)
b. everyone who so much as sets foot into the same train as the writer deserves at least three pages of exposition minimum about his or her appearance, dress, and manner of speaking, in addition to any conversations had with said writer which themselves constitute whole chapters on end (..not rly but it sure feels like it.)
c. italians hate britain because of the pound/lira exchange rate. (they also hat
Miranda Hazrati
Aug 18, 2015 Miranda Hazrati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and beautifully-observed account of DH Lawrence's travels from Sicily to Sardinia in the 1920's with his wife Frieda ('Queen Bee'). Lawrence takes the boat across to Sardinia and then travels from Cagliari in the South to Olbia in the North by a series of train and bus journeys. It's a joy to read some of Lawrence's decsriptions of fellow passengers and villagers he encounters on the way. There's a fair amount of humour, as well as passion frustration and at times anger, when the j ...more
Robert Black
Feb 17, 2014 Robert Black rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if you get past his endless obsessional descriptions of the hills and mountains you do sail into some pretty unique writing.

What I found fascinating about this book was that he was traveling in a time without electricity or communications, and very few cars and buses.

He takes the reader into various dark taverns, stressful traveling situations, and so on. And for anyone who has backpacked, you also realize not much has changed.

His observations on Italians, about the French, Germans and Eng
Aug 10, 2016 Val rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lawrence was a very good travel writer and an excellent poet. He visited or lived in several countries, including several places in Italy. This book was first published in 1921 and describes an extended visit David Herbert and Frieda Lawrence made to the island.
Several of the characters in his novels do think about, talk about and indulge in sex, but that is not what he should be remembered for. His descriptive writing is always excellent.
Charlane Brady
Beautifully written although a bit repetitive. I enjoyed his frustrations, all of the details and contrasts, and most of all, his strong opinions.
Jennie Leigh
I stopped reading about 3/4 of the way through. It's absolutely beautiful, a delight to read. But as it's essentially a travel-log with no real plot or character development to speak of, it lost my interest. I guess that says more about me and my ability to focus than the book, itself. If it was 1/4 as long, this would be a clear 5 stars for me! The first few chapters are really stunning.
Aug 17, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DHL's rather adorable relationship with Frieda (here, the "queen bee," or qb) manages to go some way towards silencing the critics convinced that DHL's admittedly bizarre obsession with Promethean violent/virile manhood (as evident here as ever) isn't a secret statement of misogyny...
Sharmila Mukherjee
As novelist Russell Banks has said recently, "it's all Lawrence all the time, no Sardinia."
Paul Bridgwater
Jul 14, 2013 Paul Bridgwater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful description of Lawrence's experiences traveling from Sicily to Sardinia, focusing on the people he meets and the boats, trains and omnibuses he and Frieda use rather than on landscapes and monuments. Sardinia has certainly changed since the 1920s!
Apr 02, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel drugged Lawrence is the English Bunin and conversely Bunin is the Russian Lawrence: both write from nature not of it they are not sappy worshippers but profound detailed shamen; they see what we never will
Hummingbird Farms
This is a beautifully worded, descriptive travel log. It captures, Sicily & Sardinia mostly, the atmosphere of both the places & peoples.
Roger Housden
Mar 22, 2011 Roger Housden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unquestionably one of the very best travel books I have ever read. A look into a world that no longer exists.
Kenneth Aubrey
Oct 12, 2012 Kenneth Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very good traveling book, the next one twilight in italy is rather difficult to get into though
... marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
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David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel ...more
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