The Sweetest Dream

ISBN: 0060937556
ISBN 13: 9780060937553
By: Doris Lessing

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About this book

Set against the backdrop of the decade that changed the world forever, The Sweetest Dream is a riveting look at a group of people who dared to dream-and faced the inevitable cleanup afterward -- from one of the greatest writers of our time.

Reader's Thoughts

Andrés

Los personajes son bastante entrañables, normalmente tengo grandes dificultades para recordar los nombres de los personajes y distinguirlos, sin embargo en este caso no fue así a pesar de que son relativamente numerosos.La historia transcurre a lo largo de una treintena de años, a grandes rasgos le vi dos partes, la primera transcurre a principios de los sesentas y muestra un retrato de la sociedad de la época, la segunda transcurre a comienzos de los noventas y tiene algo mas de critica a gobiernos e instituciones. La primera parte me gusto un poco mas y allí fui donde me encariñe con algunos personajes.I grew fond of most of the characters, to the point that even tough I usually have a hard time remebering their names and telling them appart with this book that was not the case.The story spans several decades, and is divided in two clear parts, the 60s where we are presented with a portrait of that time's society, and the late 80s where a bigger picture of the world of that time is exposed.

Elham

In The Sweetest Dream devotees of communism are some overexcited, smelly youths with greasy unwashed hairs who have sweetest dreams about the future of their ideology. This is England in 1970.The historical-fiction aspect in this novel is so strong that I sometimes felt I was reading a real historical book. All the meetings, family gatherings and discussions are revolving around politics. A big family, consisting of Frances and her two sons: Colin and Andrew, Julia -grandmother, Johnny-Julia's son and Frances' ex-husband and many friends of Colin and Andrew- Rose, Sophie, Danial… They are all living in Julia's big house. Johnny is a famous communist leader. He always comes to this house for dinner with his new fellows. He stands by the window- not sits at the table and speaks about politics. He is a bad father. He never understands his sons – doesn't know anything about affection or love. He gets married three times- and each time he says I finally find my real fellow my real wife!Strong characters are female – as I expected. Frances, Julia and then Silvia. Three women with different ages and from different generations. And aren't they a representation of the writer, herself, for different parts of her life?! Considering that Doris Lessing wrote this book in 2001, when she was 82, I can imagine Silvia as young, Francis as middle aged and Julia as 82- Doris Lessing.A big part of this novel is devoted to Zimlia a fictional country in Africa, which some say it is Zimbabwe, in which Lessing lived there some years. Silvia went to work in an African mission hospital voluntarily as a doctor. This is the time of new revolutions, new miseries and new diseases like AIDS. Feminists and defenders of women's rights in this novel are some radical, self-centered women, like Rose Trimble, a journalist who divorced her nice husband because of his smiles after having been bombard by his wife's nonstop speeches about women.I think this is a novel which could be written only by an 82 female writer who witnessed a big part of history, who was herself a communist, feminist and conservative in special periods of her life.

Ahmad

The Sweetest Dream,Doris Lessingعنوان: شیرینترین رویاها، اثر: دوریس لسینگ؛ برگردان: اسماعیل قهرمانی پور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، روزگار، 1389، در 758 ص، شابک: 9789643741655؛ فروست: شاهکارهای ادبیات جهان از مجموعه رمان روزگار 424، موضوع داستانهای انگلیسیفرانسیس زنی که از شوهرش جدا شده، و همراه با مادرشوهر و دو پسرش در خانه بزرگی زندگی میکند. دوستان فرزندانش و افراد دیگری نیز ساکن این خانه میشوند. بنابر همین دوریس لسینگ از ماجراهای خانوادگی سخن می‌گوید و روابط جدا نشدنی این افراد را در کنار هم روایت می‌کند. رمانی که بسیاری از منتقدان آن را آینه‌ای تمام نما از تاریخ زندگی انسان‌های امروزی می‌دانند، و معتقدند شخصیت‌های آن به سختی از ذهن مخاطب خارج می‌شوند. شخصیت‌هایی خوب یا بد، که زندگی‌شان به شدت تحت تاثیر جنگ و فضای آن قرار گرفته است. دوریس لسینگ در رمان «شیرین‌ترین رویاها»، به تجربیات گذشته خود باز می‌گردد و زندگی مردم را در شهر لندن و یک کشور فرضی آفریقایی مرور می‌کند؛ کشوری به نام «زیملیا» که برخی از منتقدان بر این باورند لسینگ با انتخاب چنین مکانی در داستانش، به کشور زیمبابوه و وقایع داخلی آن اشاره می‌کند. «شیرین‌ترین رویاها» داستانی طولانی است که بی وقفه روایت می‌شود و نویسنده، کتاب را به فصل‌های گوناگون تقسیم نکرده، رمانی که شاید بتوان آن را فاقد موضوعی خاص دانست، اما لسینگ در این اثر با تمرکز بر نیازهای اعضای خانواده و با بهره‌گیری از دیالوگ‌های زیاد در طول داستان، و تکیه به نثر خود، کاری کرده که «شیرین‌ترین رویاها» جذاب و خواندنی باشد

patmarli1

I loved this book on so many levels - dysfunctional families, a historical panorama from a period that was truly exciting for the participants and set the scene for so much emancipation, especially for women. There were times this book represented my war & peace as I read it whilst breastfeeding a new baby (and always felt the end was never near...to the book or the breastfeed). Doris has a real knack for picking up the threads of history and showing us their vital patterns, then unleashing their force on the lives of her characters. See what I mean when you read this book.....

meer damad

طالعت هذه الرواية في رفوف المكتبات، إلا أنّ سعرها الغالي كان محفزاً لي لتركها؛ علّـني اتحصل عليها في موقع هنا او مجلدٍ هناك. إلا اني طمعت فيها كثيراً حينما وجدتها في معرض الأيام الثقافي في المنامة، العاصمة البحرينيّة، فاقتنيتها بسعر يختلف بشكل يسير ( 60 ريال! ) في سبتمبر الماضي. والآن، أجدها قد قاربت هذا السعر في رفوف المكتبات.البارحة، كان آخر عهدي في قراءة الرواية. صفحاتها – ذات الحجم الوزيري – كانت مملوءة بالأحداث. أمــا الحوارات، فهنا وهناك تجدها مبعثرة. إلا أن الصعوبة كل الصعوبة، والسوء كله في الترجمة، التي حاكت باسهاب الترجمة الحرفية من دون تدخل من قِبل المترجم لتعديل هذا وتقوية ذاك، وذلك ما يجعلك تعيد قراءة بعض النصوص والصفحات؛ محاولاً فهمها!بداية الرواية كانت مربكة، ورغم ميلي للروايات الطويلة، إلا أنني عانيت فترة حتى استطعت التوفيق بين الأحداث في بداية الرواية، بعد مسيرة تقارب المئة صفحة منها!كانت الرواية تحاول محاكاة المجتمع البريطاني خلال حقبة الستينيات 1960s بكل ما فيها من تفاصيل، حتى ذلك التوجه الكبير للتبشير في الأحراش الأفريقـيّة. رواية نجحت في عكس تناقضات جيلـَي الشباب والكبار في تلك الفترة، لتفسّرَ عمق الشرخ داخل العلاقات الأسرية والعائليّة في تلك المجتمعات.ولعَلّ أجمل ما في الرواية من وجهة نظري، وما استهلكَ كثيراً من أجزائها، هو القسم المتعلق بأفريقيا، وبالتحديد في زيملايا – كما تقول الكاتبة – والعمل التطوعي فيها، عبر بعثات التبشير. ورغم ميل الكاتبة العنيف للرجل الأبيض، وانتقادها لتصرفات السود – رغم قضائها فترة طويلة معهم كما يقول المترجم – إلا أنها احسنت وصف الحالة المعاشة هناك في مجاهل أفريقيا، والتي لا أتصور تغيّرها رغم هذه السنين، وإن لم أ ُوَفق لزيارتها.خـَتمت الكاتبة الرواية، بثلاث نهايات، موت مفاجئ وهو في نظري نهاية رتيـبة. وتحقيق أحلام صبيين انضما حديثاً للعائلة، وذلك أكثر رتابة. إلا أنّ مشهد الطفولة الأخير، في لندن، كان مشهداً جـِد جميل.تبقى الرواية، دعوة مفتوحة لمن يرغب في معرفة بؤس تلك المجتمعات الغربية من الناحية الاجتماعيّة، وتفككِها، باعتراف أهلها وكتـّابها. واحب التأكيد على الفكرة الجيدة التي تعطيها الرواية – رغم سعرها المرتفع جداً – عن الوضع الأفريقي، وكما قلت سابقاً، لا أظن أن الوضعين قد اختفا..إلى يومنا هذا!المير دامـاد

Wendy Brown-Baez

The extended family made up of friends and young people alienated from their own parents, the idealism and the disillusionment, were very familiar to me as a teen of the 60's. I understood Frances although I did want to shake her out of being used by others. But I often had trouble sympathizing with the other characters; they didn't resonate with me. I was watching from a little bit of a distance a fascinating portrayal of a living situation that had the potential to be inspiring and instead, everyone seem self-centered and self-conscious. I was captivated and drawn into the family saga but it seemed like the last part about Africa was really another book. I had to force myself to read it even though it had in fact interesting details about Africa and the AIDS epidemic. It was just that I felt disconnected from the previous story. It felt like the author's need to witness the situationin Africa more than a real flow to the original story.

Kim

This is a book which tells the story of one family pretty much through the 20th century. Julia, the matriach, is a German woman who is young in the First World War. Between wars she marries a British soldier and moves to London. The book has as a central character the house she and her extended family live in.The strong characters are almost entirely female, as too are some of the weaker ones.Her rather useless son, Johnny, is a communist in the 60s and his ex-wift Francis lives inthe house with their sons. There is the daughter of the second wife, Sylvia who enters the book as a disturbed annorexic teen and leaves it a doctor workign in rural Zimlia, a ficitious African country post independence which is essentially a mix of Zimbabwe and South African now.The book, for me, seemed to be about how we all travel through life, doing what we do and thus affecting the people behind us and how they expereince the world. It also includes the way women see the world, and how they interact with it, and how that has changed in the decades since Julia was a young women.The book is full of characters you will remember, even, or maybe especially, the ones you do not like. They are all very real as are their lives and their decisions.At times I was frustrated by the characters and at others I felt their helplessness as they simply tried to make the best of what life offered them.Definately a book filled with women doing what women do - raising families and trying to give the individuals they are 'responsible' for a little more than what they had.a very enjoyable audio book althoguh I am not sure how I would have felt about its length had I been reading it.I will certainly take another Lessing out of the library - I am new to her but have been meaning to read some of her stuff for ages.

Nikki Klein

I couldn't get into this book. Too many words to make it's points. I found myself skimming the pages. Gave up and shelved it.

Fernanda

Luego de haberme enterado de que esta fabulosa autora a quién le he tomado cariño en los últimos meses falleció, sentí un gran deseo de hacer una reseña de este libro. Ya no lo tengo fresco, pero causó una gran impresión en mí.Este libro, como lo menciona la autora, fue una manera de reflejar los 60's sin tener que hacer la segunda parte de su biografía, esto con el fin de evitar lastimar susceptibilidades. Es por esto, que Lessing en lugar de hablar de ella, habla de una gran cantidad de personajes.Es uno de los primeros libros que leo con tantos , sin mencionar que todos tienen su protagonismo y un desarrollo impecable.La historia se centra en Frances, una ex revolucionaria que es abandonada por su comunista ex esposo (Johnny). Ella tiene que mantener a sus dos hijos y hacerse cargo de ellos por su cuenta, hasta que su suegra, Julia, logra convencerla de que viva con ella en su enorme casa. Frances tuvo que abandonar su sueño de seguir haciendo Teatro debido a la inestabilidad del trabajo, por lo tanto, tiene que apegarse a un aburrido puesto en un periódico dando consejos a mujeres desesperadas. Esta es la base de la historia, podemos determinar que Frances es la protagonista, pero no, en realidad la protagonista es la casa de Julia, una casa que alberga no sólo a la familia de Frances, si no a un grupo de jóvenes con pensamientos "revolucionarios" que han salido de sus casas en busca de alejarse de aquellos padres que no entienden sus deseos de rebelión contra el sistema. Durante todo el libro vemos el desarrollo de todos los personajes, desde Frances, Julia, Johnny, hasta el último de los jóvenes rebeldes. Todos van creciendo, todos desarrollan su personalidad y los vemos convertirse en adultos llenos de responsabilidades y muchos problemas emocionales. Vemos un perfecto reflejo de la juventud en los años 60, y en qué logran convertirse.El libro me fascinó, envuelve muy bien en la historia y logras conocer los motivos detrás de la acción de cada uno. Te conviertes en testigo de una reflexión y un seguimiento de ideas muy particular para cada personaje, así que a pesar de que son muchos, no perderás el hilo. Es una historia para disfrutar.

Stephanie

I was a child of the 60s in the US. This book reminds me of how old I have become and how idealistic I was. The 60s in Britian were different than in the US, but there were still many similarities. There were children, who left their families to live with other families, because they could not tolerate their parents. There were demonstrations, drugs, sexual promiscuity and a general rebellion against authority and the Establishment, but the Communist Party seemed to play a big role in Britian while the Communists were locked up in the US. I think their history of having survived two world wars helped to shape their behavior. This novel traces the lives of a group of British children who were entering adolesence in the 60s until they entered middle age at the end of the century. Definitely worth reading. If you grew up in the 60s, you may find yourself in one or more of the characters as did I, and you will learn more about yourself and where your life began.

Laurel-Rain

In this testament to a time long ago, "The Sweetest Dream: A Novel" reminds us of a colorful era when the boundaries were blurred, the issues were paramount, and many young people (and some older ones) were celebrating the revolution.Frances Lennox is trying to make it on her own, raise her two sons, and manage to maintain a household for the seemingly ever-growing group of hangers-on that shows up regularly at the house owned by her former mother-in-law Julia, whose generosity she depends upon. Neither of them are very happy when ex-husband Johnny (and black sheep son) shows up frequently, expecting the king's treatment.During one of these moments, Frances gives in to the feelings she often hides. Her ex has just savagely put down his son Colin, whose first novel is being published; in his rant, Johnny reams his son out for his bourgeois beliefs and attitudes. Frances calls him to task for his behavior, which goes against the grain for her and wrings her out emotionally.Following this dramatic scene, Frances gives in to her feelings, showing them freely, for the first time ever: "And then, a surprise to herself, Frances laid her head down on her arms, on the table, among all the dishes. She sobbed. Andrew waited, noting the freshets of tears that renewed themselves every time he thought she had recovered. He was white too now, shaken. He had never seen his mother cry, never heard her criticize his father in this way."But despite the emotional moments Frances suffers, from time to time, she continues the task of cleaning up other people's messes.Throughout this tale, I wanted to shake this woman; but I also knew that she was, in a way, a victim of her times.The book was long, with relentless moments such as these, which I found tedious, despite being able to relate to the story. Nevertheless, the most I can offer is four stars at this time.

Lithium

Awful book. Narrative all over the place, characters are a haze of blurry, one-dimensional, half-hearted caricatures, who seldom ever feel like real characters. The story is also outrageously lacking in terms of real plot development. I can understand that, especially when it comes to 'literary fiction'; however, as much as it pains me to say this, I found nothing literary about this book. Horribly over-rated.

Janene Tamborello

Just Meh. I will read another Lessing so I know what all the fuss is about. Maybe its just my mood, but this was boring, lacked humor and was not all that insightful. Feels like she scolding everyone. Yes, communism sucks. Hero worship is a weird thing among the mucky much of everyday life. Selfish men cause chaos and care giving women pick up their messes. The 60's was about an idealism that ended up disappointing. Young people's morals and motivations are bizarre and ever changing, yet they all mellow into less opinionated regular folk. The writing is nice but I don't care where anybody's going. It is too long.

Thomas Ullman

It's well written and has some nice touches....but I confess that I've given up with 'The Sweetest Dream.' It is 250 pages too long and the characters are not engaging enough for me to plough on with another 200 pages.Sorry Doris. Sure your nobel prize will be compensation!

Lizie

A family epic and commentary on society covering the mid twentieth century years. Doris Lessing manages to interweave events, such as Kennedy's assassination, the Vietnam war, African states pursuit of independent rule, AIDs, free love and recreational drug use, around the lives of the Lennox family and their friends. A critique of communism threads its way through the story, exposing its failure to bring about change, simply replacing one form of power and oppression with another. Her women are portrayed as strong and while embracing care for others, aspire to change the world, whilst the menfolk are generally more passive or even parasitic. She suggests in the end that we could all aspire to greater things, but circumstances may over-rule. Education is perhaps the solution. Just as she educated herself through reading widely, we find the Africans doing the same in the final pages of this book.A great read which provokes thought.

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