October Books 3) Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
It was not many pages into this book before I realised it was the basis of a Monty Python sketch, and after that I began to have problems taking it seriously. Yes, it's intensely and often beautifully written; but I kept feeling that Paul Morel, the viewpoint character who represents Lawrence himself, just needed a good slap. His relationship with his mother is too close to be healthy; he has two girlfriends and treats them both badly; and he ends up facing a lonely future (though of course it's still rather early days as he is only in his mid-20s). I didn't like Morel, and I didn't much like any of the other characters (I had most sympathy for Miriam, the younger girlfriend, who dumps Morel by going away to college and a teaching career.) I guess that analysing why I didn't like the book's take on depression, poverty and relationships has made me think a little more about these things myself, but it was not an enjoyable read.