The Rainbow (Brangwen Family, #1)
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The Rainbow (Brangwen Family #1)

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  10,374 ratings  ·  356 reviews
Lush with imagery, this is the story of three generations of Brangwen women living during the decline of English rural life. Banned upon publication, it explores the most taboo subjects of its time: marriage, physical love, and one family's sexual mores.

Paperback, 544 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Signet Classics (first published 1915)
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Community Reviews

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sckenda
Behold, I show you a mystery. Not all shall see the rainbow that I beheld. My reading experience eerily evoked the phantasmagoric mystery of love between a man and a maid. Infatuated, I dissolved into delirium and lingered with my new book in bed-- panting, feverish, lapping the quasi-religious liturgy known to humans since Adam first beheld naked Eve.

Despite my being no stranger to carnality, I did not recognize what was happening to my weak flesh as I read. I had surrendered my heart to Lawre...more
Dolors
Jun 24, 2014 Dolors rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those capable of blooming in constant contradiction
“She turned, and saw a great white moon looking at her over the hill. And her breast opened to it, she was cleaved like a transparent jewel to its light. She stood filled with the moon, offering herself. Her two breasts opened to make way for it, her body opened wide like a quivering anemone, a soft, dilated invitation touched by the moon.” (268)

Re-reading "The Rainbow" after so many years has been like a shattering force of nature. A rampant flood that has washed me anew, a piercing light tha...more
Anna
Wow! What can I say about D.H. Lawrence? I finished this book on the train from Montreal to New York and I think it left a greater impression upon me than my entire trip. The first chapter is tremendous. The next couple of hundred pages was difficult for me to read--a testiment to the impossibility of ever really connecting with someone you love. Lawrence is an amazing writer, despite the reputation. It was an interesting experience reading this after Women in Love and knowing what was in store...more
Paul
Apr 25, 2012 Paul rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
Farty proto-fascist flapdoodle served up with a twist of hippy bollocks and garnished with enough of a patina of feminist sympathy for it to goosestep rapidly under some people's radar. Yes DH Lawrence could write. Somebody should have stopped him though.
Esdaile
I cannot explain it myself but I feel and have always felt, DH Lawrence's novels to be enormously tedious. I have read them out of a sense of duty to Literature with a capital L and have always been pleased when the ride was over. It is not that I am unsympathetic to the man or his ideas. Quite the contrary. I met someone once who said that they intensely disliked what Lawrence was trying to say but admired Larence's novels as great literature. With me it is exactly the opposite. I strongly appr...more
Boz4pm
The fecund fecundity of Lawrence's fecund verbosity is enough to drive anyone to distraction. Paragraphs upon paragraphs describing a sunrise (or was it a sunset? I forget) apparently is the moment two protagonists make love in a field. You need the notes to tell you that. So much for the man who wrote the infamous 'Lady Chatterly'.

Almost as tedious a read as George Eliot.
Jenny (Border Dweller)
I sort of had the idea that I'd read The Rainbow during my culture-vulture phase as a student, so it was rather a pleasant surprise to realise I hadn't. I think D.H.Lawrence still has a status in the general public perception as a bit of a smut-monger; he is considered rather un-English in his liberal approach to sex and will forever be associated with the Lady Chatterley trial. I must say that the book covers and TV/film adaptations don't help!

However there could never be anything more English...more
Heather S. Jones
i love this book -- a seminal favorite! so organic initially in it's portrayal of people, the earth, and relationships and then there is this evolution of these creations as the generations pass -- new ideas, new freedom in their world, leading to stronger selves. i just love the thoughts on having children -- d.h. never had children and he's a man, nevertheless his insights into a woman's experience are so word perfect! here are some of my favorite snippets:

first, a short one:

"There was life o...more
Joshua Frampton
Lawrence is a tough read. One chews through the pages of his books - sometimes with vigour and often with bafflement. While he is hard to read, he is even harder to write about. Yet, despite the thick language and often threadbare plot, there is a sense of exhilaration in The Rainbow. Underneath all of the claustrophobic intensity are strands of genius and genuine food for thought.

The language of The Rainbow is at once alien and alluring. To fully appreciate Lawrence I really think a reader must...more
Jonathan
This is a novel, and a reading experience, unlike any other. While the novel may be a bit sprawling and unclear in its arc, in its lyrical prose and its gripping emotionality, it is unparalleled. Lawrence tells the tale of one family, across three generations. Lawrence's usual backdrop of the power and soul-rending ugliness of industrialized England is present, as is a natural sense of class culture and English identity. Yet all of this fades to the background as the smooth rhythm of Lawrence's...more
matt

Surprisingly evocative, sensistive and rich. I know more about D.H. Lawrence as a person and a thinker than I do his prose, but I've had this book kicking around forever and I decided to knock it down for good.

I come to the text with all kinds of feminist apprehension. I've heard for years the critique that Lawrence is chauvinistic, sex-obsessed, mysoginistic and misanthropic and makes too much of a precious mysticism out of male-female relations, if not strictly abased in aw-shucks reverence...more
Jeremy

And the rainbow stood on the earth.




Once, Lawrence was a king. He was important. Even in the 1970s, he remained a regular on Literature curriculums. Then, gradually, his grip loosened. His fingers tired from hanging on to the ledge, or they were plucked, one by one, by some grinning creature. Apart from the odd film adaption of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, he was let go. He fell. And, judging by many of the reviews here, ’twas a good thing to... Maybe now that beards are back, perhaps ... ? Alas, no,...more
Christopher Jones
Finally managed to finish the book after maybe four months of slow-as-hell-reading!

It's kind of hard to describe this book. The most immediate genre that comes to mind is a coming-of-age novel, or as I like to call it, a "life novel," with the characters being presented to us first as children and later on as adults as the book progresses. The novel doesn't do this once, but three times, showing three generations of the Brangwen family, the subject of the book.

We see Tom Brangwen Senior stumble...more
Saide
Breaking down unconscious, sex is a religion ritual, passion to the others and self, anti ego-centric, subterranean self, mixing unconscious with the daily life, Excavation of psyche by contrasting men and women’s relationship, widening the circle of life, family chronicle, progress and decay, finding believe in secular society, sex in the head, language of sex in describing earth and sky-farming, dialectical force of industrial revolution on men and women,
1- record of physical passion( pure pr...more
Liz
Only half-way through so only superficial observations so far:

Women are unexpectedly 3-dimensional. Since I've read feminists have problems with Lawrence, I'm surprised that the women are so fleshed-out and imperfect (human). Male characters may objectify women but Lawrence presents females as emotional/intellectual equals and even superior/more complicated in many instances.

As another review mentioned, he def tells more than shows which is fine, but not my preference.

The psychology of some of...more
Lizzy
It took me forever to finish because there is hardly a plot. It's like everything has already happened in some netherworld by the time Lawrence gets around to explaining it happening in the fictional world, and then by the time the reader's eyes connect the words and bring the fictional world into this world--considerable delay. It is written as if we are catching up on rather stale news.
But besides this, I think Lawrence is brilliant. And I think I might be Ursula Brangwen. Either that, or the...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The setting of this novel was the rural midlands of England sometime in the early 1900's (this was first published in 1915). It startles as D.H. Lawrence, through its characters, presented some bold, provocative ideas here about religion, lesbianism, pre-/extra-marital sex, the social classes and women's independence. He was far ahead of his time and this book, upon its publication, was suppressed.

The story spanned three generations of the Brangwen family but the author opted to speak mostly thr...more
carl  theaker



Rainbow is divided into three, each portion covering the course of a relationship
where DH reveals the intimate thoughts of the characters on love and religion.
The relationships are constantly scrutinized by the characters.

The first couple, Tom & Lydia are probably based on DH himself and
Frieda Richthofen (related to the WWI German flying Ace), who as
in the book was also 5 years older than her mate and a foreigner.

Anna & Will undergo the dissection in the middle of the book, and their
daug...more
Richard Lodge
Worth a read, even if it cannot find the loving resolution it so desperately aches for. A grand survey of a family's development that inexorably points towards Ursula: the apotheosis of Lawrence's ideas. He struggles throughout with opposing forces: misanthropy and messianic zeal; misogyny and transgendering awe; love of life, despair at its failings. Always there is that vivid, forceful, intense style. Always there is the honesty, or aim at honesty, in the depiction of motivations, needs, desir...more
Chrystal
A powerfully complex exposition of the human being's struggle for individuality and meaning in a dark, impersonal world which is constantly working to obliterate the self. This work pulsates with energy, bursting with sensory expression. Lawrence is very interested in describing all facets of life: human emotion, artistic and natural beauty, the eternal soul, and the overarching presence of religion, or the power of the infinite, in our lives. One can sense his steady purpose of using words, voc...more
Angela
I took a full semester on D.H. Lawrence and read ALL of his works. The stack of books was taller than me. Luckily, this was the only class I took! The Rainbow is my favorite out of all his works, although I'm at a point in my life where I think I will revisiting the last tales he wrote while living in the Southwest and painting.
Kalee
i actually didn't really like this book but i COULD NOT put it down - someone explain that.
Bonnie
starts to get good-ish around page 300... ending is stupid.
Tony
THE RAINBOW. (1915). D(David) H(Herbert) Lawrence. **.
I remember that this was one of the assigned novels for my class in English Lit. back during my college days. I also remember skimming the last four-hundred pages or so. Now that I am much older and, supposedly, more mature and knowledgeable, I thought I’d give this book another go. So much for added maturity and knowledge. The urge to skim again was hard upon me, but I had a purpose! This is not a novel in the modern sense of the word. Toda...more
Justin Evans
David Lodge's blurb for this is: "Lawrence is the most Dostoevskian of English novelists." He means that both sides of an ideological dispute get their say; here, individual vs community, religion vs materialism, idealism vs realism all get played out in the consciousness of individual characters. They occasionally talk to each other, but mainly they feel or think in a rather disconnected and puzzling manner. Lodge might also have said D.H. was Dostoevskian in the sense that he desperately needs...more
krsna
this book was worth reading for the lesbian scene alone!

actually the philosophy in it was pretty good too,

as:
"I shall be glad to leave England. Everything is so meagre and paltry, it is so unspiritual—I hate democracy."

He became angry to hear her talk like this, he did not know why. Somehow, he could not bear it, when she attacked things. It was as if she were attacking him.

"What do you mean?" he asked her, hostile. "Why do you hate democracy?"

"Only the greedy and ugly people come to the top in...more
Abby
And here we have D.H. Lawrence's thorough account of three generations of a family who is doomed (blessed?) to have lots and lots of passionate, bad sex. This big novel was more palatable than I expected it to be, honestly. I've never been a huge fan of Lawrence's, but I found this more readable than some of his other works. (I was also delighted to rediscover Ursula and Gudrun, as I had read the apparent sequel to this book, Women in Love, when I was in high school. For fun.) This family is fil...more
R. Burns
Lady Chatterley's Lover was assigned reading in one of my college English classes more than 30 years ago and I guess it's safe to admit that I only read scant parts of the book, becoming bored and reading instead, Tropic of Cancer. I found D.H. Lawrence – well too chatty – if you'll pardon the pun. I still aced the paper, which made me wonder if the professor had read the book through too.

I picked up this book for two reasons. A friend of mine, Suzanne was reading it, and held in high regard. Al...more
Jay
While this book didn't compel me to keep reading it constantly and the language was a little flowery at times, I did enjoy this book. I liked that the story moved from generation to generation, focusing on one couple, then their children, and then the next generation. It was interesting to see how each generation differed from the previous, and to get to see a number of different relationships. To me, the relationships between the people were the most interesting part of the book. I say that the...more
Bob
The only book I've ever read that was harder to get through than Paradise Lost.

But totally amazing. It did not come alive for me until the last third; then I could not put it down. The first two thirds of the book were really background, mostly. The last part concerned Ursula Brangwen, how she grew up, and how she found her way into the world as a young adult.

Ursula first got a job (at age 17) as a teacher. She had 50 or more kids, who were probably about 10 years old, and she was expected to do...more
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17623
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
More about D.H. Lawrence...
Lady Chatterley's Lover Sons and Lovers Women in Love (Brangwen Family, #2) The Rocking Horse Winner (Travelman Classics) Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

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“If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down.” 56 likes
“Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one’s own life.” 22 likes
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