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The Good Terrorist

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,620 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
This is the story of a band of bourgeois young revolutionaries living in a London squat and united by a loathing of the waste and cruelty they see in the city around them.
Paperback, 397 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 1985)
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Glenn Sumi
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel-winners
My admiration for Nobel laureate Doris Lessing continues to grow with this novel about a naïve group of revolutionaries living in a squat in mid-1980s London.

Lessing’s triumph is getting deep inside the complex mind of Alice Mellings, a spoilt, entitled and very clever upper-middle-class woman in her 30s who acts like the squat’s den mother and is filled with contradictions.

Alice detests the striving, materialistic middle classes, and yet she enjoys – really thrives on – fixing up her squat and
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thinking the other day about C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle, a book which I utterly loathe. As I said in my review, you can pardon the uninspired writing or the preachiness. What gets me angry is the subplot with Puzzle the donkey, who fronts the religious coup and, somehow, is whitewashed and receives eternal salvation. Apparently, because his unspeakably evil acts were performed in good faith, everything is fine. The surprising thing is that Lewis lived though WW II, and was writing not t ...more
Issa Deerbany
عنوان الرواية يعبر عن شخصية بطلة الرواية أليس .
والتي هي اقرب الى دور الام للمجموعة المشاغبة والذين يتخذون من الفكر الشيوعي منهجا لهم وذلك بنبذ المجتمع الذي يعيشون فيه والسكن في بيت مهجور.
أليس تقوم بدور الراعية لهذا البيت وتقوم بتوفير النقود من اجل صيانة المنزل ليصبح صالحا للعيش فهي من طبقة برجوازية ولا نرضى الا بالأفضل فتقوم بسرقة هذه الأموال من ابيها والذي تحقد عليه بسبب هجره لامها والذي حقدت عليها أيضا بسبب رفضها بصديقها الذي تحبه رغم انه يقوم باستغلالها وأخذ النقود منها.
الشباب والشابات من بر
Deborah Markus
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the Boston Marathon bombing, I had to reread this book. Everything I could say about it within that context -- that it shows the danger of "the cause" trumping morality; that terrorists are frightening not because they're monsters but because they aren't -- sounds trite and obvious. So I won't focus on those points, other than to say that yes, Doris Lessing does them full justice without being the least bit hamhanded.

Many of the Goodreads reviews of this book have mentioned how difficult i
There are a lot of defenders of the notion that satire doesn't actually have to obviously criticize whatever odious mechanisms are incorporated into its workings in order to call itself such. Those people can stay in their paradisaical lah-dee-dah-I-Live-In-A-Vacuum-Land and far far away from me. If I wanted to engage with normalizing of Everything Fucked Up In The World instead of deconstructing the lot entirely, I'd go nearly everywhere else other than the world of satire. True, not all is wri ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: archair lefties who take themselves a little too seriously
Recommended to Jennifer (aka EM) by: Manny
It's been about 2 weeks now since I've finished The Good Terrorist, and so I'm in that place where I feel most compelled but least capable of writing a review. Since that's never stopped me before, here goes.

I must applaud Lessing for her skill at creating characters, Alice in particular, who are utterly annoying, petulant, stupid, dangerously immature, and appallingly destructive. These characters wrap their fundamental laziness and selfishness in a cloak of ignorant, misguided, sociopathologic
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

أنا بحب النوعية دي من الكتابات , النوعية النسوية المبهرة , اللي بتكتب عن النساء كقضية حق لابد من الانحياز لها , بلا أي تطرف أو عنصرية أو حتى نظرة دونية , الكتابات النسوية الهادفة التي تتعمق في فهم هذا الكائن المعقد الجميل , وتجعلنا نرى ذلك الكائن بكل وضوح بجماله وبريقه الأخاّذ , ودوريس لينج من أجمل الأقلام التي قرأت لها في هذا الخصوص (وعلى العموم من أجمل أقلام الإنجليز بالنسبة لي على الإطلاق )

ببساطة مطلقة , العمل مبني على شخصية حقيقة صادفتها الكاتبة مرة , فتأثرت بها وأخرجتها في ثوب روائي جميل ,
Jayyan Al-Bailasan
"آليس" فتاة تجاوزت منتصف الثلاثينات ، ذات هشاشةٍ تدفعها لإرضاء الجميع و إطعامهم و إراحتِهم ، تقوم بإحياء بيتٍ مهجور مع عامل هشٍّ أيضًا ، تدفعه هشاشته - في نهاية الأمر - إلى إلقاء نفسه أمام سيارة ، و تدفعتها هشاشتها لتوافق - دون اقتناع حقيقي - على أعمال المجموعة التفجيرية في وضح النهار ، قام بها رفقاؤها في الحزب الناشئ ، و الذي عانى أفراده من ماضٍ أليم ؛ و كان لافتقارهم إلى الثقافة و لانعدام الإرشاد السياسي أكبر أثرٍ في جعلهم هواةً ساذجين أكثر مِن كونهم ناشطين أو ثوريّين ، أدّى ذلك إلى قيامهم بال ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Unemployed British "revolutionaries"
The story moves very slowly, and things really only start to happen in the final act, yet I was never bored by this book. Doris Lessing's writing is like one of the finer social satirists of the 19th or early 20th century, writing about contemporary events, or at least contemporary for the 1980s, when this book was written. The Good Terrorist is about Alice Mellings, who is, with great and lasting irony, exactly the sort of comfy-making, boo-boo kissing motherly type as her own mother was, even ...more
بثينة الإبراهيم
تقول دوريس ليسنج إنها استلهمت القصة من جارة لها كانت تسكن بيتًا مهجورًا وحين وقعت تفجيرات في بعض المحلات في لندن، بدا لها أن هذه الجارة قد تكون متورطة فيها. تصور ليسنج بكثير من الرتابة لندن في الثمانينيات من القرن العشرين، عبر وصفها لمجموعة من الشباب يسمون أنفسهم "شيوعيين" ويحاولون محاربة سياسات الدولة بالمشاركة في الاحتجاجات دومًا على كل شيء! ولكن يبدو للقارئ أنهم ليسوا ثوارًا حقيقيين وأنهم ليسوا أكثر من هواة، لا يبدو أنه مؤمنون حقًا بالمبادئ التي يدعون إليها. ففي الوقت الذي يدّعون فيه استغلال ...more
Neal Adolph
It was around March 5th that I discovered it was Women's History Month. I was reading a book back then - a leftover of Black History Month - that I wasn't much enjoying. I quickly set it aside. There is a lot of literature I want to read that is written by women. But I could tell that no fiction was going to lift me out of whatever reading malaise it was that I acquired after finishing James Baldwin's lovely "Go Tell It On The Mountain". I picked up Naomi Klein's latest book and read two hundred ...more
Abeer Saleh
تنضم "آليس" لمجموعة من الشباب "الثائر" الغير ناضج, والذي لا هم له سوى الرفض والتمرد على أي شيء ولأي شيء, تجاهد "أليس" لجعل المنزل رقم 43 مكانًا لائقًا تعيش فيه تلك المجموعة المخربة, وتدرك متأخرة أن العديد ممن شاركها ذلك المنزل لم يمارس سوى الاستغلال لمن حوله, ولها هي بشكل خاص.

ما قرأته عن ليسنج أنها ترسم شخصياتها - النسائية خاصة - بقدر كبير من الذاتية و الصدق, وكما قالت عنها الأكاديمية السويدية بأنها "صورّت على نحو ملحمي مشاعر المرأة وأعماقها المضطربة", لذا قد تكون طيبة "أليس", اندفاعها, محبتها,
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a lefty and former squatter this book contains dozens of painful home truths familiar to all of us involved in radical politics. The tiny left group removed from reality. The bragging about violence on protests. The lazy 'vanguard thinkers' who let everyone else do the work. All are present and correct in Lessing's unforgiving assault on a hapless bunch of middle class revolutionaries drifting from squat to squat in an attempt to escape from the real world. Alice, intelligent but consumed by ...more
Lubna Ah
الإرهابية الطيبة / دوريس ليسنغ
نشرت عام 1985 تدور أحداثها في ضواحي لندن ، تتضمن أحداث ثمانينات القرن العشرين من تفجيرات و أعمال تخريبية في بعض المحلات و الشوارع في لندن .. و نُسبت هذه الأحداث إلى مجموعة من الهواة و المشاغبين ، هذه الرواية تعالج بيئة هؤلاء الهواة ، و ما ترمي إليه حياتهم التي دفعتهم للقيام بهذه الحماقات ..

" آليس " هي بطلة الرواية .. فتاة بعمر السادسة و الثلاثين ، لا تجد ما تفعله سوى ترميم المنازل المهجورة و التسكع مع فتيان أعمارهم لا تتجاوز الثلاثين ، من الجدير بالذكر ، أن كل شخص
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
هذا الكتاب بائس فعلًا .
يتحدث عن مجموعة احداث يومية لمجموعة ثوّار (هواة بالطبع) من وجهة نظر أليس ولا بأس في ذلك لكن الترجمة قتلت اسلوب دوريس ليسنج جدًا ! اسلوب باهت .
الشيء الوحيد الجيد فيه كان قدرة أليس على توقع الشخصيات بدقة والباقي مضجر .

اعتذر لكن سحر توفيق لم تكن موفقة في الترجمة .
Naomi Foyle
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the staccato, pile-up syntax grating at first, but by the end of the book I was engrossed. That restless, angular, off-putting voice, I soon realised, not only conveys the world, ‘raw and dismal’, through Alice’s eyes, but also Alice and her world through Lessing’s. A Communist who hasn’t read Marx, a hostile daughter who steals from her own family, yet also a driven homemaker and fearless opponent of bureaucratic injustice, Alice’s triumphant judgements of others are simultaneously Less ...more
Mar 20, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
I hated this damn book. I was forced to read it for class, and now I have to write a fucking 10-page paper on it by Wednesday. Every page was torturous to read. Nothing happened until the very end, and even that sucked. I recommend that you never read this book. There was not one character or plot line worth investing a second of your life on. Thanks for listening.
16/5 - I'm a bit scared to start this because it looks deep and complicated and I'm worried I won't understand it. The plot sounds interesting, but the language could be difficult. A bit like what happened with Blood Meridian. Okay, here I go... To be continued...

18/5 - I'm not a fan of well and truly adult women (she's 36!) behaving like innocent 17-year-olds. For the last 39 pages Alice has behaved like a fool; begging for handouts from her parents (50 pounds), verbally and nearly physically a
Mohsen Rajabi
اوایل کار، سخت بود خواندن این کتاب برای من. یعنی خیلی کند بود و شخصیتها همه روی اعصاب بودند. سردرگمی عجیبی هست و شخصیت آلیس هم که درست از آن آدمهایی هستند که با طرز تفکر و اعمالشان حرص من را درمیآورند. البته ماجرا رفتهرفته جالبتر شد و به نظرم پایانبندی خوبی داشت.
فکر میکنم نویسنده به عمد از این شیوهی روایت استفاده کرد تا با زبان بیزبانی نظر خود را در مورد این شخصیتها و این طور اعمال بگوید. اسم کتاب هم که فکر میکنم تا حدودی گویاست.

این کتاب البته یک جورایی هم در تأیید نظر شخصی خودم است که صرف داشتن
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
قرأتها وأنا انتظر حدوث شيء يُغَيِّر وجهة نظري بها
ولكن هذا مالم يحدث
الرواية مُملة
النجمتين هنا للبيت " بطل الرواية الفعلي " فقط .

#إنستقرام .

Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Observer wrote about this book that: 'Doris Lessing writes about the parts that other novelists cannot reach', and I would have to agree. Her characterisation is so in-depth and subtle, and written in such plain language that you almost have a deep therapist-like knowledge of the main character. I found myself constantly analysing the characters in order to determine what would happen (or rather what they would allow to happen) next.
Unfortunately for me a group of spoiled, middle class commu
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Terrorist is Alice Mellings, a mid-thirties London radical who puts her heart and soul into restoring a derelict home as the base for her group, part of the Communist Centre Union, a small political party of activists in the middle of Thatcherism in Britain, who aspire to join the IRA (or even the Soviets).

Alice blazes with energy and bursts with conflicts. She passionately declares she HATES the middle-class that serves the “shitty fucking filthy lying cruel hypocritical system”, bu
شريف ثابت
رغم الفارق الواسع بين تجربة شهلا أو وردة المناضلة الاشتراكية اليمنية فى الجهاد الثورى ضد الامبريالية الانجليزية وعملاءها المحليين فى صحراء ظفار خلال الستينات الماضية فى رواية وردة لـ صنع الله إبراهيم، وتجربة الانجليزيّة أليس ميلينجز ومجموعتها من الثوريين الاشتراكيين الهواة فى شوارع لندن خلال الثمانينيات الماضية فى "الإرهابية الطيبة" لـ دوريس ليسنج.. رغم الفارق الواسع بين التجربتين إلا أن نقطتين جوهريتين تجمع بينهما..

الأولى أنّ كلتاهما مستند لتجارب نضالية ثورية ذات جذور اشتراكية خاضها الكاتبان ف
Ahmed Diaa
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
لأول مرة منذ فترة طويلة حقاً أستمتع بعمل أدبي لكاتبة امرأة. يكتب قليل جداً من الكاتبات النساء في الوطن العربي أدباً قيماً، على كثرتهن. في الإرهابية الطيبة أجادت دوريس ليسنج التعبير عن شخصيات العمل نفسياً، وخاصة أليس ميلينجز التي تقدم الدعم الوجداني واللوجيستي لهذه المجموعة من أعضاء تنظيم شيوعي في بريطانيا. هذه المجموعة من الشخصيات المتباينة تتنقل بين مساكن عشوائية عبارة عن بيوت مهجورة أو خالية. هنا تتميز الكتابة النسائية عن غيرها في استحضار روح شخصيات العمل الرئيسية الإحساس الرائع بشخصيات العمل. ...more
I read this whole thing on a plane from Helsinki to New York.

THE STYLE. I don't think I've ever read a book that does quite what this one does with style. Alice Mellings is appreciably manic in a way that's absolutely intentional, and yet that is and isn't what the book is about. As she flits through life and the events of her days, making them both more and less significant than they should be, but never at the right times, you become exhausted when she's tired and energized when she's energize
Steven Gonzales
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mother and I have resolved to read prize-winners. Note all of the ambiguities and catch-savers in that sentence. We did not resolve to only read prize-winners, nor did we specify what prizes fell into our category, nor did we specify whether we meant any book from the oeuvre of prize-winning authors or particularly a single prize-winning book. (See, e.g., my very first review on this site, in which I granted only one star to a Golden Dagger Award winner (detective novels get prizes too!)). In ...more
Lauren Martin
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing is a very unique book. Personally I do not know much about the IRA or the other groups Lessing mentioned. I did not know what to expect when I picked up this book for the first time. After I began reading it I could not put it down. It was a quick, easy read that was very interesting. I actually enjoyed reading this novel despite the emotional exhaustion. The entire novel was a rollercoaster of emotions.
The cause of the emotional part of this novel was Alice a
Chris Whybrow
Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book does not need to be enjoyable to have a valid message, and to explore deep and significant themes. It does not have to be enjoyable to be a literary masterpiece. It does not have to be enjoyable to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

It does, however, have to be enjoyable for it to be enjoyed. That should be quite self-explanatory.

And, for me at least, 'The Good Terrorist' was not enjoyable. The blurb (I really should learn not to trust blurbs) described a group of Communist radicals get
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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...
“This world is run by people who know how to do things. They know how things work. They are *equipped.* Up there, there's a layer of people who run everything. But we -- we're just peasants. We don't understand what's going on, and we can't do anything. ...You, running about playing at revolutions, playing little games, thinking you're important. You're just peasants, you'll never *do* anything.” 8 likes
“Oh, no, I'm not saying she isn't a nut -- she is -- but I've noticed before that sometimes someone like that behaves quite ordinarily with everybody, manages everything, you'd never think she was a nut, but there's just one person, with that person, she's out of control. It makes you wonder,' said Alice.” 4 likes
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