The Classics Club: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

I finished this book last night.  And, mostly, I say “meh” for how I feel about it all.

Here are my quick observations from GoodReads (which I wrote last night while tired):

This book is utterly depressing.

Not only is the POV out of a woman who has been shut away from companionship and love, but every person in the novel is suffering from lack of love. When Lady Chatterley finds it–in the most unlikely place–everyone operates to keep her from it to protect themselves.

I am still not quite sure about the caretaker Mrs. Bolton. She seems like a strange character and is described as taking amusement from the suffering of the upper class. So, what I can’t figure out is if she is the one who foments the hullabaloo by putting a flea in the ear of Mellors’ estranged wife. Also, the creep factor between her and Clifford Chatterley…

It felt quite repetetive in parts–what with Connie’s neediness and Mellors’ moodiness. This made it drag on in the middle half of the book…

Nothing is real in the external…this is an internal kind of examination told with the illusion of external realities.

But am I quite satisfied with that?

There is no point in the novel where I feel true, giddy happiness.  Even when Connie is running around naked in the rain, the whole thing still carries such a depressing weight.

I see no redeeming quality in any character.  Connie lets herself be dominated by everyone.  Clifford is caught between delusion and greed.  Mellors is moody and a loner.  Mrs. Bolton is a busybody and very spiderlike…weaving in and out of everyone’s personal life.  They are all just tragic and warped.

Perhaps I am annoyed because I like happy endings.  Perhaps I am annoyed because the whole book feels like one long, grey, gloom-filled rainy day.  Perhaps I am just crabby.

But, no.  This book is just “meh.”

Do I feel edified for having read this?  No.

Do I feel appropriately shocked by the sex and language?  Hardly.  A lot of it felt very contrived or written for the intent to shock readers at the time.  It read like a voice-over on a wildlife documentary–the kind that where you might see a lion taking down an antelope and listen to the voice describe what is happening in neutral language that doesn’t really account for the experience.  None of it felt terribly crucial to the story.

Would I let a high school kid read this book?  I’m not sure I’d assign it to a high school class, but if an individual expressed an interest in the book I can’t say I’d forbid it.  If it was my kid, I’d make sure we talked about the book a bit beforehand and also after.

Will I ever read this book again?  No.

Would I recommend it to friends?  Probably not because I found no meaning in the book for myself.

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2 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Lady Chatterley’s Lover

  1. Pingback: Weekly Round-up for August 6, 2012. « The Classics Club

  2. I had the same experience with this book. I feel this book doesn’t really feel “classic” to me. It didn’t evoke any strong emotion or thoughts or empathy. The sex is pretty terrible too. Overall, it started off very promising, but once the affair starts, it was all pretty much downhill for me.

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