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The Sweetest Dream

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  933 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Set against the backdrop of the decade that changed the world forever, The Sweetest Dream is a riveting look at a group of people who dared to dream-and faced the inevitable cleanup afterward -- from one of the greatest writers of our time.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 24th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published 2001)
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Apr 21, 2015 Ahmed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
دوريس ليسينج من أجمل الأقلام الإنجليزيه التى قرأت لها فى حياتى,
أنثى جميله بقلم أنثوى أكثر من رائع,
أول ما قرأت لها كانت روايه بعنوان (الطفل الخامس) وأيقنت أننى وقعت فى غرام قلمها وأسلوبها السحر,
وفى هذا العمل (الضخم) الساحر تقدم لنا واقع المجتمع فى فترة منتصف القرن العشرين, بأحداث اجتماعيه قمة الإبداع عبر عين شخصيتها الرئيسيه الجميله (فرانسيس)تلك المرأة المكافحه الى تضغطها ظروف الحياة لدرجة الأنفجار,
كم يخذلها الرجال وكم تكافح هى لتربيه ولديها وكم تهتم بحماتها العجوز
ورغم أن العمل مترجم إلا أن اللغ
Dec 19, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
Hadn't read Doris Lessing in years and here she was again, along with all her familiar kinds of people, scenes, concerns, prose. I still don't know how she does it, exactly. I did notice the narrator constantly pulling back from the scene to examine the bigger picture, to reflect in a puzzled way on how "we all" were acting one way or another, how a fashion for shoplifting took hold before anyone knew what hit them, for example - trying to discern the larger movements of social change in which i ...more
meer damad
طالعت هذه الرواية في رفوف المكتبات، إلا أنّ سعرها الغالي كان محفزاً لي لتركها؛ علّـني اتحصل عليها في موقع هنا او مجلدٍ هناك. إلا اني طمعت فيها كثيراً حينما وجدتها في معرض الأيام الثقافي في المنامة، العاصمة البحرينيّة، فاقتنيتها بسعر يختلف بشكل يسير ( 60 ريال! ) في سبتمبر الماضي. والآن، أجدها قد قاربت هذا السعر في رفوف المكتبات.

البارحة، كان آخر عهدي في قراءة الرواية. صفحاتها – ذات الحجم الوزيري – كانت مملوءة بالأحداث. أمــا الحوارات، فهنا وهناك تجدها مبعثرة. إلا أن الصعوبة كل الصعوبة، والسوء كله
Jul 22, 2010 Rachelfm rated it it was ok
Granted, two stars to Doris Lessing is like four stars to anyone else. I just keep on picking up Doris Lessing books and hoping to get something as mind blowing as The Grass is Singing . While The Sweetest Dream was engaging and ambitious, I found the abrupt shift from the ensemble of characters to the focus on a single (supporting) character in the last part of the book hard to justify. I also have kind of a problem with staying focused when reading about hippie whiners, but I thought that the ...more
Dec 21, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a child of the 60s in the US. This book reminds me of how old I have become and how idealistic I was. The 60s in Britian were different than in the US, but there were still many similarities. There were children, who left their families to live with other families, because they could not tolerate their parents. There were demonstrations, drugs, sexual promiscuity and a general rebellion against authority and the Establishment, but the Communist Party seemed to play a big role in Britian wh ...more
Pedro Varanda
Mar 16, 2016 Pedro Varanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gostei deste livro pelo olhar cínico e critico que lança pela geração dos anos 60 com os seus doces sonhos de mudar o Mundo, e que se acabaram por ser uma copia repetida daquilo que o Mundo sempre foi. As personagens são poderosas e a história está muito bem conseguida. Um dos poucos casos em que o prémio Nobel foi bem atribuído, a uma escritora talentosa e competente. Recomendo.
Aug 23, 2014 Margarida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinário, absolutamente notável este romance que me apaixonou do princípio ao fim e que se desenrola dos anos 60 aos anos 80 do século passado (passa muito brevemente pela Primeira e Segunda Guerras Mundiais).
Três gerações de mulheres, três histórias: Julia, a mais velha, é uma alemã que se casou com um diplomata britânico após a 1.ª Guerra Mundial; Frances, a ex-nora, e, por fim, a sofredora Sylvia.
Anos 60: o único filho de Julia, Johnny, é comunista, negligenciando os filhos e desprezan
Aug 15, 2010 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book, 2010
This is a book which tells the story of one family pretty much through the 20th century. Julia, the matriach, is a German woman who is young in the First World War. Between wars she marries a British soldier and moves to London. The book has as a central character the house she and her extended family live in.

The strong characters are almost entirely female, as too are some of the weaker ones.

Her rather useless son, Johnny, is a communist in the 60s and his ex-wift Francis lives inthe house with
Apr 22, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it
In this testament to a time long ago, "The Sweetest Dream: A Novel" reminds us of a colorful era when the boundaries were blurred, the issues were paramount, and many young people (and some older ones) were celebrating the revolution.

Frances Lennox is trying to make it on her own, raise her two sons, and manage to maintain a household for the seemingly ever-growing group of hangers-on that shows up regularly at the house owned by her former mother-in-law Julia, whose generosity she depends upon.
Apr 28, 2008 Liz rated it liked it
I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that I enoyed this book. I recently also read "The Grass Is Singing," which really disappointed me in that, while it was clear that the ideas Lessing was putting forth and the themes she was exploring were probably rather revolutionary at the time they felt rather dated for a post postcolonial theory world. I had similar issues with the last third of "The Sweetest Dream," which sort of spirals off into another diatribe about the problematic relationshi ...more
Feb 11, 2009 Christine rated it it was ok
I really have no idea what I ended up reading here. It was way more interesting to discuss with book group than it was to actually read it, though at one point I felt the story became very compelling. For a good bit through, I just felt extremely disoriented by the the characters and setting. The discussion pulled some themes from the book mostly about women, work, gender equality, the role of women in the family (60's vs. today) and distinguishing what was "English" about this novel. Ultimately ...more
Jun 26, 2013 Janene rated it it was ok
Just Meh. I will read another Lessing so I know what all the fuss is about. Maybe its just my mood, but this was boring, lacked humor and was not all that insightful. Feels like she scolding everyone. Yes, communism sucks. Hero worship is a weird thing among the mucky much of everyday life. Selfish men cause chaos and care giving women pick up their messes. The 60's was about an idealism that ended up disappointing. Young people's morals and motivations are bizarre and ever changing, yet they al ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Virginia rated it liked it
Can I give 3 stars to a book that I didn't finish? Well I say didn't finish but with 100 pages to go (as Gloria the dictator seducer is introduced) I started to skim forward to see if anything interesting was going to happen to wrap things up. So I got the gist of the ending.

This was a book that started out enthralling me. I was completely engaged by the depiction of Francis and the world of the Hampstead household. There was a multitude of characters to sort out, but the drama and conflict with
Jul 08, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it
I am stealing this review from "Diane" because it says everything I wanted to say perfectly.

Hadn't read Doris Lessing in years and here she was again, along with all her familiar kinds of people, scenes, concerns, prose. I still don't know how she does it, exactly. I did notice the narrator constantly pulling back from the scene to examine the bigger picture, to reflect in a puzzled way on how "we all" were acting one way or another, how a fashion for shoplifting took hold before anyone knew wha
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it did not like it
I gave up; I couldn't finish this long, badly written book. I can hardly believe that this blatant propaganda novel is by Doris Lessing. It didn't surprise me, after reading her autobiography, that her politics have moved far to the right; but what did surprise me was the total lack of subtlety, of nuance, and to be frank, the poor writing.

Of course, there were touches of the old Lessing, passages where she shows a real understanding of psychology; but as soon as I began getting interested in th
Louise Wilson
Tedious and boring. Maybe just 'dated'.

The book's themes should have resonated with me - I was a teenager in the 60s; I lived in Third World Papua New Guinea in the 70s; and I've certainly lived long enough to see how the world treats women. My mother was very like Frances, going out to work to help support the family and coming home at night, exhausted, to turn on family meals for all and sundry. Her own talents never had a chance to be expressed while my sisters and I were given every opportu
Errol Hess
Apr 11, 2014 Errol Hess rated it it was amazing
I fear I've neglected Lessing the last couple of decades--inexcusable as she was one of the greatest writers in English in the 20th century and well into the 21st. This book dates from 2001. Set in the 80s and 90s,it describes a group of people who live in a London House, starting with the grandmother, from Germany, courted by a Brit in the 1930s who married her after the war and brought her to England. Then there's her sons. One, a Communist and thoroughly selfish person, marries and leaves his ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Sweetest Dream,Doris Lessing
عنوان: شیرینترین رویاها، اثر: دوریس لسینگ؛ برگردان: اسماعیل قهرمانی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، روزگار، 1389، در 758 ص، شابک: 9789643741655؛ فروست: شاهکارهای ادبیات جهان از مجموعه رمان روزگار 424، موضوع داستانهای انگلیسی

فرانسیس زنی که از شوهرش جدا شده، و همراه با مادرشوهر و دو پسرش در خانه بزرگی زندگی میکند. دوستان فرزندانش و افراد دیگری نیز ساکن این خانه میشوند. بنابر همین دوریس لسینگ از ماجراهای خانوادگی سخن میگوید و روابط جدا نشدنی این افراد را در کنار هم روایت میک
J.C. Greenway
Nov 25, 2014 J.C. Greenway rated it it was amazing
Loved this with the power of a thousand suns. There are some parts I read over and over, both from enjoying them so much and so as not to finish the book too quickly.
The tale of three generations spanning the 20th century, bound by a house in Hampstead where an extra spare bed can always be found, must surely be one of Lessing's finest. From Germany before World War I, via London as the Sixties begin to swing, to the fictional African country of Zimlia (a stand in for Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia as i
Feb 28, 2012 Ruchita rated it did not like it
Shelves: waste-of-paper
Awful book. Narrative all over the place, characters are a haze of blurry, one-dimensional, half-hearted caricatures, who seldom ever feel like real characters. The story is also outrageously lacking in terms of real plot development. I can understand that, especially when it comes to 'literary fiction'; however, as much as it pains me to say this, I found nothing literary about this book. Horribly over-rated.
Sarah Newton
Aug 07, 2014 Sarah Newton rated it it was amazing
Absolutely superb. This is a classic "great novel" - it reminded me very much of Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks". It's a tale of a family spanning generations, tracing British society's relationship with communism, and in particular the "Leninist / Stalinist communism" of the Soviet Union and China, from the 1960s to 1990s. It's very much more than that, though - a study of hypocrisy, lip-service, real active humanity vs cynicism, exploitation, and ingratitude.

I found myself arguing with Lessing's
Alex Lemus
The Sweetest Dream, a novel by Doris Lessing is a great book that talks a lot of what a family goes through in the 1960's. This book talks about Julia a German woman who marries a solider then move to England. This book talks about how her and her family live together in her house. This novel to me talked about leaving family behind to experience the world we live in.For example at Julia's house many many people live there including teenagers that are rebellious with all the communism that's goi ...more
May 07, 2015 Gloria rated it really liked it
We meet a family in London in the 1960's and follow them through to the end of the century. This was a time of great change and as I read I wondered how can Francis Lennox be like she is? so accepting and calm when all these children, some hers and some not, come and go in her home, and expect the system that they are railing against to just support them without giving anything back. We see them loll around, shoplift, party and then show up at the dinner table ready to be fed and watered. Life g ...more
J Chritsian
Jan 04, 2016 J Chritsian rated it really liked it
Lovely and sprawling. First Lessing read, prepared self for disappointment but was not disappointed. I feel like I need to read a shitload more of her books to fully dig some of what's going on here, esp. with activist stuff & Africa stuff. Yes I am saying I need to read more of author's work to understand primary matters with which they engage, huge parts of their life, etc. Anyway this book kicks ass. I was delighted by concept of INNER LIFE?? OF DIFFERENT KINDS O WOMEN? INCLUDING WOMEN CO ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Guillermo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cuatro estrellas y media estrella. Doris Lessing una vez más lo ha hecho. Ha puesto en escena a padres e hijos (las madres aparecen más) y en el escenario a los partidarios de la revolución, los enemigos del orden establecido, los resentidos, los que odian. Y en medio de esa escuela de odio tratan de salir adelante unos pobres chicos, una abuela, una madre, una hija.
Hay muchos personajes y son todos interesantes. Es una novela de personas que crecen, de destinos que no están escritos, que pueden
Susana Pereira
Esta é a história de uma família ao longo da maior parte do século XX, com um ênfase particular na Londres dos anos 60 e na situação actual pós-colonial de um país africano. É de certa forma um relato autobiográfico na medida em que esses são dois cenários vivenciados pela autora. Mas é decididamente ficção, e algo alegórica até, com personagens que acabam por ser caricaturas de figuras reais e um país africano fictício que pode representar qualquer um à nossa escolha...
O livro é grande, complex
Jul 03, 2012 Kathy rated it it was ok
Well then. When I was a girl I read Doris Lessing as a guidebook for the creative and activist woman. You have to understand that that was in the 60's, and Lessing was a curious guide. I remember even seriously wondering if I ought, like the heroine in the Golden Notebook, to have different colored journals for various aspects of my life.

So she holds in my life the position of a sort of mentor. The Girl Scout Guide to rad feminine life. Though she was never quite so simpatico as many others of m
May 22, 2011 Andrés rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrés by: Irina
Shelves: own
Los personajes son bastante entrañables, normalmente tengo grandes dificultades para recordar los nombres de los personajes y distinguirlos, sin embargo en este caso no fue así a pesar de que son relativamente numerosos.

La historia transcurre a lo largo de una treintena de años, a grandes rasgos le vi dos partes, la primera transcurre a principios de los sesentas y muestra un retrato de la sociedad de la época, la segunda transcurre a comienzos de los noventas y tiene algo mas de critica a gobie
Luego de haberme enterado de que esta fabulosa autora a quién le he tomado cariño en los últimos meses falleció, sentí un gran deseo de hacer una reseña de este libro. Ya no lo tengo fresco, pero causó una gran impresión en mí.

Este libro, como lo menciona la autora, fue una manera de reflejar los 60's sin tener que hacer la segunda parte de su biografía, esto con el fin de evitar lastimar susceptibilidades. Es por esto, que Lessing en lugar de hablar de ella, habla de una gran cantidad de person

"Em O Sonho Mais Doce, o leitor é conduzido por uma saga familiar que atravessa três gerações, centrando-se o enredo, sobretudo, na década de 60, altura em que a casa de Júlia Lennox alberga uma grande quantidade de jovens, personificando o espírito de liberdade prevalecente na Inglaterra de então."

Um livro marcante, inesquecível... é o meu terceiro livro da escritora e começa a tornar-se óbvio que o meu apreço pela escritora, mesmo antes de ler qualquer obra sua, é verdadeiro.

Este livro fala-no
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Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Oliv ...more
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“بعض الناس يميل إلى التفكير أن أعظم حاجاتنا، نحن الجنس البشري، تتمثل في العثور على وجود شيء ما، أو شيء ما نكرهه.” 17 likes
“The waves of refugees who washed into London, escaping from Hitler, and then from Stalin, were bone-poor, often threadbare, and lived as they could on a translation here, a book review, language lessons. They worked as hospital porters, on building sites, did housework. There were a few cafés and restaurants as poor as they were, catering for their nostalgic need to sit and drink coffee and talk politics and literature. They were from universities all over Europe, and were intellectuals, a word guaranteed to incite waves of suspicion in the breasts of the xenophobic philistine British, who did not necessarily think it a commendation when they admitted that these newcomers were so much better educated than they were.” 1 likes
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