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Landlocked (Children of Violence #4)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  435 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In the aftermath of World War II, Martha Quest finds herself completely disillusioned. She is losing faith with the communist movement in Africa, and her marriage to one of the movement's leaders is disintegrating. Determined to resist the erosion of her personality, she engages in the first satisfactory love affair and breaks free, if only momentarily, from her suffocatin ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Harper Perennial (first published 1965)
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(showing 1-30)
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Zanna
In this fourth installment of Martha Quest's biography, the intense political energy of A Ripple from the Storm has dissipated, muddled and quenched by the end of WWII. Lessing points out that occupied Southern Africa has, it can almost be said, escaped the horrors of the war which Martha and others raised in the region can only begin to know through the experiences of those who are more deeply involved: Athen, the compassionate and committed Greek communist, Anton, Martha's German (and partly J ...more
El
Oh, Doris, why you gotta be so inconsistent?

I cannot say that I liked this book as much as the second in the Children of Violence series, but did find it stronger than the third. This book finds Martha twenty-four, becoming disillusioned with the Communist group that was of such importance to her in the third book, and her second marriage is ending. As if all of that isn't complicating enough for a young woman trying to find herself, she is still at odds with her aging parents. I feel for Martha
...more
Kevin McAllister
Aug 21, 2016 Kevin McAllister rated it really liked it
Despite dropping out of school at the age of 13 Doris Lessing educated herself is Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) soon after World War One and became a Noble Prize winning author creating a celebrated series of books known as The Children of Violence sequence. And while this one is an extremely dark read, we are in many ways, a deeply flawed species when someone even has to write a Children of Violence series. I mean children should be raised with love and kindness, not violence. But Lessing ma ...more
Shane
Sep 27, 2016 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant story, told with Lessing's attention to detail and political savvy, showing the futility of history repeating itself generation upon generation. Read out of context with the rest of the series, but a great standalone book nonetheless. And a brilliant lesson in the futility of history repeating itself generation upon generation.
Rachel
Jul 01, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it
I think this is the first book I've read from Doris Lessing. It won the Nobel Prize, so I thought I should give it a chance. I'm not saying I won't read anything else of hers, but the style of writing doesn't suit me. However, the subject matter is interesting and the characters are well-drawn, if confusing at times. It is set in southern Africa during the end of World War II, and the action takes place among a group of ex-pats from various European countries, many of whom are Communist sympathi ...more
A
Apr 16, 2012 A rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I've neglected to write a review because I've been focused on chugging through the series as a whole. Sadly, I'm still kinda mired in the last quarter of so of "The Four-Gated City," so it might be a good time to type up some quick thoughts on this one.

As with the previous books, I really liked it, though there is nothing I would pinpoint as particularly earth-shattering. It is rather amazing how well she can maintain such a high level of quality over such a long expanse, maintaining the kind of
...more
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it it was amazing
The fourth and shortest book of the Children of Violence series. This book continues the story of Martha Quest from the end of World War II to her leaving "Zambesia", i.e. Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), for England. The political situation changes abruptly with the end of the war; the reaction is in full force. The Communist group dissolves, and the focus of this novel changes from politics to personal life (though not of course entirely.) This novel is perhaps my favorite of the series, beca ...more
Michael
Sep 01, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
God I love Rhodesian Communism and those disillusioned by it! I've read her book explicitly on Zimbabwe, African laughter, and that is good too, although much more current (though still not current). In this book you don't get very much about Africa, more about those stationed there in the war and their changing political commitments and how that is shaped by their personal lives. I just wrote a review of Harvey Swados' Standing Fast, which has the same theme but is set in Buffalo. I love that b ...more
Helmisade
May 15, 2010 Helmisade rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nobel-winners
I found the atmosphere in this book to be very different from the previous books in the series. This is a thoughtfull, even philosophical book. After the years of close connections to the communist group, Martha is in many ways isolated and alone. The story is very much about her attempt to make sense about things that have happened: the war, the things and people that she has lost, communism, love... at the same time she is constantly haunted by the desire to leave and find her way some place e ...more
Monica
Oct 08, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it


Martha develops into a more self-aware and reflective character in this novel. Lessing also spends more time on larger themes: violence and development; personal choices formed by political influences; and, the continual turn of life and death. Initially, I wasn't sure about Landlocked, the fourth novel in Lessing's "Children of Violence" series, but as I continued reading I became more and more drawn to the novel. Martha has grown up, and she realizes life is much more complicated than how she
...more
Jennifer Rolfe
In the aftermath of World War II, Martha Quest finds herself completely disillusioned. She is losing faith with the communist movement in Africa, and her marriage to one of the movement's leaders is disintegrating. Determined to resist the erosion of her personality, she engages in the first satisfactory love affair and breaks free, if only momentarily, from her suffocating unhappiness. The descriptions of the behaviour of Martha's mother in this novel and her first husband in previous novel wer ...more
Camille
I didnt realize this book landed me smack dab in the middle of the Children of Violence series, but it held its on pretty well as a stand-alone book. What was most interesting was the astute critique of white leftist activists in black spaces. I also appreciate her humility in not tryying to take on the black characters, recognizing that clear divide in understanding and experience. Her critique of left activism , in general, made me giggle to find that the same problems have been plaguing us fo ...more
Beverly
A picture of the time

I was not certain what this book was about. I decided it was a character study and a picture of the time. I read it as something of an anthropogenic treatise, giving the reader an insight to a terrible time in our world's history. It took some patience to keep at it. But the writing was good, very descriptive. I don't know who I would recommend this book to. I suppose if one likes Doris Lessing, and enjoys history, one might find this a worthy read.
Nathanial
May 20, 2013 Nathanial added it
Shelves: fiction
Just devastating. The fifth (and final) novel in Lessing's "Children of Violence" saga, "Landlocked" concludes the story of Martha Quest nee Hesse. The last chapter is especially brilliant, brutal and beautiful in putting the protagonist and another main character in scene with new characters, with whom they immediately identify from the time depicted in the first novels (set a decade earlier) but who cannot of course imagine themselves have anything in common with these two..."reactionaries."
Greta
Nov 02, 2013 Greta rated it really liked it
Doris Lessing always captures my interest with her ex-pat gatherings, exploration of communism & socialism in the early 20th century, tales of Africa & Africans, the colonial mentality of the British living in a southern Africa country. Love, lust, lingering among the various nationalities represented tell more of her story.
Yorkshiresoul
Dec 29, 2013 Yorkshiresoul rated it liked it
I'm finding this series increasingly hard going. Lessing's descriptive powers are wonderful and she sets the scene, both physically, emotionally and politically exceedingly well. And yet, I'd really enjoy something more in the way of plot.
Miep
Jul 24, 2016 Miep rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holds up extremely well

Younger activists would do well to read this series, as it illustrates the earlier history of socialist movements usefully, and Lessing is a superlative writer.
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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
More about Doris Lessing...

Other Books in the Series

Children of Violence (5 books)
  • Martha Quest
  • A Proper Marriage
  • A Ripple from the Storm
  • The Four-Gated City (Children of Violence, #5)

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