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Sons and Lovers

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  50,404 ratings  ·  2,217 reviews
"She was a brazen hussy."

"She wasn't. And she was pretty, wasn't she?"

"I didn't look ... And tell your girls, my son, that when they're running after you, they're not to come and ask your mother for you - tell them that - brazen baggages you meet at dancing classes"

The marriage of Gertrude and Walter Morel has become a battleground. Repelled by her uneducated and sometimes
Paperback, 654 pages
Published August 17th 1999 by Modern Library Classics (first published 1913)
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Helen Khan I would say no, it wasn't sexual. I see this relationship lots in Asian families where the bond between husband and wife is weak or where there is abu…moreI would say no, it wasn't sexual. I see this relationship lots in Asian families where the bond between husband and wife is weak or where there is abuses. The wife/mother turns to her sons for emotional support and maybe in time, even financial support she isn't getting from her husband. It is a very controlling bond and society continues to coddle this mother/son bond to the detriment of all other relationships. This cycle will repeat itself in the next generation when the son marries.(less)
Priyamvada Since, the work is psychological and contains Freudian allegory, I would say "17+"…moreSince, the work is psychological and contains Freudian allegory, I would say "17+"(less)

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Richard Derus
Nov 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Rating: 0.125* of five

BkC51) SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence: The worst, most horrendously offensively overrated piece of crap I've read in my life.

Yeup. Since I'm in a real bitch-slappin' mood, here goes.

The Book Report: Sensitive, aesthetic nebbish gets born to rough miner and his neurasthenic dishcloth of a wife. She falls in love with her progeny and tries to Save Him From Being Like His Father, which clearly is a fate worse than death. So, lady, if you didn't like the guy, why didn't you j
The storyline is in the name, Sons and Lovers, but what you don't expect are the subtleties of the Oedipus complex or Freudian allegory. It was a surprisingly sensational read for me, especially since earlier this year, I gave myself a classics challenge: to read and re-read a few classics just for the sake of it; erase the disdain of forced-readings in high school, college and grad school; read just for how it makes me feel, not because everyone else is doing it. Sons and Lovers ends my pers ...more
I started the year transfixed by the visceral floral and fiery passion of Lawrence's The Rainbow (my review HERE). Its rich earth ripened buds of promise into irresistible blooms of vibrant delicacy. But reading this at the end of the year, I felt more like I'd been dragged through barren mud. Perhaps that’s fitting for the story of a miner’s family.

There is lyrical imagery and “caressive” talk (see quotes, below), but far too much plodding Janet-and-John prose, and characters who infuriated me
Generally considered Lawrence's masterpiece, it is ranked 9th on the Modern Library 100 best books of the 20th century. The story of Paul Morel and his brothers and the influence of the women in their lives, especially of their mother. I think the age old theme of men trying to find a wife or lover in the metaphorical image of their mother is present in all of Lawrence's novels, but more so in Son and Lover's than any other. It is beautifully written and the characters are well developed and ver ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do you leave a mother who associates her life’s meaning and fulfillment to you and your achievements, without breaking her heart? How do you surrender all your passion to a lover while leaving some for the woman who gave birth to you, reared you, and loved you? Should a man give greater love to his mother or his lover? How do you achieve balance between the women in your life? D.H. Lawrence’s semi-autobiographical novel Sons and Lovers displays the pendulum of a young man’s love swinging to- ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libri-classici
Being Smothered by Controlling Mother
Domineering Mommy

Coal Mining Son

"You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can't stand to say goodbye.
Mama I'm comin' home.
Ozzy Osbourne, Mama, I'm Coming Home, 1991.

D.H. Lawrence, one of my personal favorites, seems to have told a tale no truer than his largely autobiographical Sons and Lovers. While all the primary characters have some major defect of character, I felt the most pity for the protagonist Paul Morel (a real mama's boy) and Miriam (his chi
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave-classics
I had no idea what to expect of Sons and Lovers as I went in. I had no idea what the book is about, presumably multiple sons and more than one lovers are involved. With the public domain books just knowing that it is a classic is usually enough. I also had no expectation of D.H. Lawrence, I knew he is the author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, which I have a vague impression of being some kind of Edwardian porn (though it probably isn't). Diving in with no expectation is often fun and rewarding.

Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In some editions, Son and lovers or lovers or sons are the fictionalized autobiography of the origins and youth of D.H.Lawrence.
The main character, like the great writer, was born in the world of the mining country of Nottinghamshire, a sensual father, drinker, choleric, vulgar nature and a mother from a higher background to the puritanical and bourgeois values permanently wounded by the unseemly attitude, the reckless acts and low appetites of her husband. This volume is a fascinating document
May 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Psychological drama about a man who's relationship with women are complicated by his intimacy with his mother. Uneventful but with deepest description of various human emotions, traumas and difficulties of love and passion ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

'Sons and Lovers' is an excellent book on several fronts. It is a story of a young man who is a budding writer. One sees the poet in him. He is sensitive, forlorn and deeply contemplative. He possesses all the mythic features we often assign to artists. We see him discussing books with his girlfriend, his delight at getting published and earning a little money. This aspect of his life, without his other difficulties, might be of supreme interest for those who harbor the same sort of ambition.

Amit Mishra
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
The novel is largely autobiographical and reflects Lawrence's life at Eastwood, Nottinghamshire before he left home. ...more
I read books for pleasure. I enjoy learning something new and thinking about human relationships. Real human relationships, not those of the fantastical sort. I want to have something to ponder. In addition I want writing that describes places, people and situations well.

I learned nothing new from this book.

The human relationships as described herein are not true to life. Maybe members of the Bloomsbury Group, of which D. H. Lawrence was one, did in fact communicated with each other with extre
Connie G
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sons and Lovers is a semi-autobiographical novel about relationships. Gertrude married Walter Morel, a fun-loving coal miner in Nottinghamshire. Their initially passionate relationship produced four children. But the marriage became very unhappy as the miner became abusive. After long hours in the dangerous mines Walter drank away a large portion of his pay. Mrs Morel attached her love to her two oldest sons. After the oldest son, William, died, Mrs Morel had a deep emotional relationship with h ...more
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
This is an excellent and complicated story of a "love triangle" within a coal mining community in Nottinghamshire, England. It is more than that but I am not going to describe the plot or other aspects of the story. I am only going to make a few points about the parts of this story which were ahead of their time in terms of the references to sex and desire. Paul's love for his mother, Gertrude, kept him from truly loving either of the two women he courted. Though Paul was well aware of this dile ...more
Stephen P(who no longer can participate due to illness)
There has been a robbery. A theft on a grand scale. Cleansed of the detritus of a self, a presence, an ability to act on desire, he waits to be alit upon…The fretwork strums a baroque dirge as an accompaniment to realizations of the smallness of any life upon the vastness of the universe and its grand seduction of infinite stars; the largeness of the interiority of ones passions and the labyrinth they must circumvent. Their interactions and the labyrinthine yearnings of others result in collisio ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century.

In stark contrast, Goodreads reviewer Richard Derus has the most popular review here and one that made me laugh aloud, in which he begins: “The worst, most horrendously offensively overrated piece of crap I've read in my life.” He ends his review, ”If you, for some reason, liked this tedious, crapulous drivel, then goody good good, but
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I attempted to read this book twice years ago. I failed to finish each time, finding the novel laborious. Now, married and with children, I have read through this book eagerly. It is perhaps a half-lifetime of experience that has allowed me to see this story in a different light. The examination of Paul Morel's emotionally incestuous relationship with his mother and the way it cripples his love for other women is insightful. My Barnes and Nobles version of this book (I put this review under this ...more
Alok Mishra
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have seen many people hating this novel. I ask myself - why? I studied Sons and Lovers during my MA in English Literature and found the novel amazing - yes, a little different if compared to what the usual novels offer. However, the very difference that we find in this novel makes us read it. Paul is a deep-personality who is often in a fix - which way to choose. His relationships are failures because he cannot push himself into any of those entirely. Clara and Miriam are like two distinct pol ...more
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
“No mother--I really don’t love her. I talk to her, but I want to come home to you.”

I thought I over-analyzed, but D.H. Lawrence is a master! You won’t find over-simplified romance here. The opposite in fact. Lawrence pulls out a multitude of distinct and passionate feelings from his characters, about love and family and dependence, religion and creativity and survival.

In this apparently autobiographical story, Paul Morel is the second son of Walter, an alcoholic miner, and Gertrude, a quite di
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“I have been reading ‘Sons and Lovers’ and feel ready to die. If Lawrence had been killed after writing that book he’d still be England’s greatest novelist.”
- Philip Larkin in a letter to a friend, aged nineteen.

It’s late, and I haven’t written any reviews for this site up until now, but here goes nothing. Considering the relatively abysmal ratings that Lawrence’s novels seem to have here, I figured I should at least add my two cents and say a couple things about what I feel is one of the better
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There has never been a book that made me want to inflict physical pain upon a character -- until Sons & Lovers that is...

The really devious thing about this dreadful book is that the Sons half, the first half, isn't all that bad. Lawrence spends an immense amount of time on what one supposes to be the backstory for the Lovers section. One learns of Paul's youth and temperment, Paul's mother, Paul's parents relationship and his brothers' exploits. It is time consuming and not always entertaining,
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Love & Pain: self love & self-inflicted pain; familial love & the pain of resentment; romantic love & the pain of rejection; physical love & the pain of loss.

I did not love this book during most of the reading, I actually found it to be quite a pain for much of the time. This is not to say that there is not some beautiful writing and superb character development, because there absolutely is. I think I was just frustrated with all the pain - the pain inflicted on themselves and each other. The re
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Warning: the book deals with sex. If you're sensitive to that, don't read the book or my review.

I loved this book. It reminded me again of my love for classic English literature. I love the realism in it. "Sons and Lovers" is essentially about relationships. I thought it was going to focus on the relationships of the mother in the book because the first part deals with her marriage and the stages it goes through. It describes the disintegration of love and what it's like to be a woman and have
Rakhi Dalal
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Son - I want to review this book Mater.

Mother – Do you really now?

Son – Yes mother.

Mother – I would not advise you to do so.

Son – Why mother?

Mother – Because it will ask too much from you (READ - What about me then? There won’t be anything left for me of you.)

Son – You are being ridiculous mother. I wish to do it because I feel this is right.

Mother – Then do as you deem appropriate. I shall say no more.

Son - I will mother. You can’t hold me now.

So I finally decided to review this book. A midst v
Roy Lotz
My reactions to this book veered from extremely positive to quite negative, so it is difficult to know how to begin. If you have an ear for prose, then Lawrence will seldom completely disappoint. At his best, Lawrence’s prose is lush, caressing, and aching. He evokes a kind of aesthetic tenderness that I have seldom experienced elsewhere—an intimacy between the reader and himself, a vulnerability that is disarming. In his strongest passages Lawrence is as meditative as Proust and as lyrical as K ...more
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lawrence gives us a brilliant and highly perceptive depiction of a miner's family. Famously, there's a lot of autobiography in this novel and it rings with authenticity throughout. Although he barely says a bad thing about the mother she comes across as something of a bloodsucker and while he's constantly criticising the father he comes across as a decent and rather likeable man (except when he drinks). Later when the focus shifts to Paul's blossoming love life the novel does get a bit repetitiv ...more
MJ Nicholls
Senryu Review:

Oedipus complex
plagues passionate painter man
in exquisite romp

D.H. Lawrence RANKED
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Of all the major writers in the canon, DH Lawrence is the horniest. Lots of people write about sex, but Lawrence writes exclusively about it, entirely about it. He's consumed by sex. Sex motivates everything that happens in his world. It can draw people together like in Lady Chatterley's Lover, or drive people apart. (Its energy in Sons and Lovers is not super positive.)

He thinks there's real communication to be had about what sex is like and why. He wants to talk about how sometimes it's not a
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 100-pages
3/4th part of this book, I read word by word and could understand each person in the story and why they are as they are. At each point, they created sympathy in my mind for them, specially Mrs. Morel.

It took me 1 month to finally finish reading it. And I should admit that this one month didn't go all amazing. I thought each and every time about finishing it. And yet, it was, I feel, daring of me to did so.

It's kind of a frustrating book. It sends you off into abyss of depression sometimes, and t
Ruxandra (4fără15)
oh GOD this dragged on... and on... and on...

"Why can't a man have a young mother? What is she old for?"
"Well", his mother laughed, "she can scarcely help it."
"And why wasn't I the oldest son? Look – they say the young ones have the advantage – but look, they had the young mother. You should have had me for the eldest son."
"I didn't arrange it", she remonstrated. "Come to consider, you're as much to blame as me."
He turned on her, white, his eyes furious.
"What're you old for!" he said, mad with
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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 re ...more

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