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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,838 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: D. H. Lawrence Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781400186112
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Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence’s first major novel, was also the first in the English language to explore ordinary working-class life from the inside. No writer before or since has written so well about the intimacies enforced by a tightly knit mining community and by a family where feelings are never hidden for long.

When the marriage between Walter Morel and his sensitive, high-minded wife begins to break down, the bitterness of their frustration seeps into their children’s lives. Their second son, Paul, knows that he must struggle for independence if he is not to repeat his parents’ failure. Lawrence’s powerful description of Paul’s single-minded efforts to define himself sexually and emotionally through relationships with two women—the innocent, old-fashioned Miriam Leivers and the experienced, provocatively modern Clara Dawes—makes this a novel as much for the beginning of the twenty-first century as it was for the beginning of the twentieth.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda G. | 2/20/2014

    " I really don't enjoy classics that much; I'm more of a vampire/science fiction/fantasy/Stephen King type of gal, but I LOVED this book by D.H. Lawrence. It was one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, although it left me feeling slightly depressed. I thought of it almost as a trashy romance novel disguised as classical literature. It was a book that I just wanted to sit down and read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 2/18/2014

    " Another amazing book that changed the way I view literature. D. H. Lawrence is a flawless writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberto Montaño | 2/18/2014

    " Great story and a great point of view at someone with a dependent personality disorder towards his mother and the repercusions it has on his decisions and his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise Lowe | 2/5/2014

    " The life of a young man who grows up in a coal mining district who strives to break free of the life before him. A stark visual of the conditions of coal mining communities in the early to mid 1900's, as well as a study in class, family, sexuality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliana | 2/5/2014

    " Unexpectedly fantastic. I may be more careful in my mother/son relationship though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce Wright | 2/4/2014

    " My favourite DH Lawrence book taught me that women were different "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jocelyn | 2/1/2014

    " Read this in school and decided Lawrence was a moron. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lavinia | 2/1/2014

    " Both of my parents worked and sometimes I would have to hang out at ZCMI and wait for my mom to get off work. She would give me $5 and I would go to the book section upstairs and they had a bunch of "Penguin Classic Books" and I would pick one out and read it in the ladies dressing room. This was one of those books. I thought I would like it when I read the synopsis, but I remember it being a pretty embarrassing read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shanwich55 | 2/1/2014

    " One of the most amazing books I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/30/2014

    " Wow ! Not a quick read for me - oddly deep and troubling at times , but well worth trudging through . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Destiny | 1/30/2014

    " A little slow to start. Probably to be expected for the time period. But, once I got into it I got really involved with the characters and their relationships. Although, I'm not sure if they were supposed to be sympathetic in anyway, or if it was just a more realistic approach to people's personalities. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marcos | 1/30/2014

    " finally finished DH Lawrence's "Sons & Lovers" after two months struggling to finish it. Verdict?- Sanctimonious, boring, self-serving and rambling, it definitely shows you that a "masterpiece" can be as trashy as a Harlequin romance. I know this posting will probably offend some literary aficionados out there, but I absolutely HATED this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ted | 1/29/2014

    " Just a story. Not hard to read, but not very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Newengland | 1/23/2014

    " When I read this, I thought it was racy stuff. Vroom-vroom. And I think this is the one (or is it Women in Love?) where the manly-men get nakedly-naked and wrestle on the parlor room floor. This is where the women and children head for the exits. ("Paging Dr. Freud... Dr. Freud to Mr. Lawrence's room...") "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 1/18/2014

    " See the flowers. Smell the flowers. Take them! Mother! Mother! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Gould | 1/16/2014

    " Fantastic writing - but requires lots of analysis. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anna | 1/14/2014

    " Read it as wider reading for my A level course as i liked DH Lawrence's poetry and hated it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Huebner | 1/10/2014

    " This book made me read it voraciously. Very insightful and interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kester | 1/9/2014

    " Alternate title: "Life Was Miserable in the 19th Century" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/6/2014

    " Incredibly insightful and beautifully written but I am discouraged with Lawrence's lack of answers. His characters react to their circumstances and emotions, lacking principles to guide their behavior. I'm afraid that Jane Eyre has spoiled me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 1/6/2014

    " Complex and intricate. The end was unexpected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emilie Frechie | 12/21/2013

    " The book is a slow crescendo. Truly rhapsodic prose. Fraught with familial and sexual tension. A timeless study of human relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/14/2013

    " Some really exquisite pastoral descriptions, and some cutting insight into relationships and why we love and hate those we love. Too long, though! Too much wading through sticky, unchanging feeling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 12/10/2013

    " "Sons and Lovers" is perhaps the only novel by D H Lawrence really worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 12/5/2013

    " Quit about 2/3 of the way in. I might come back to it, but this one just couldn't keep my interest. D. H. Lawrence had been on my list for a long time, but I'm having a hard time seeing him as one of the greats. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 12/4/2013

    " Read it for a British Literature class. It was a rewarding read, but not something I would read on my spare time for pleasure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Mark King | 11/25/2013

    " A wonderful novel of a boy who loves his mother a little too much. At first, when Lawrence is laying down the background, the story is a bit shaky and seems to move rather quickly. But once he settles down and slows a bit, the novel really shines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Wolfteich | 11/12/2013

    " I love HK Lawrence. This is a great novel, beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt Mclimans | 11/1/2013

    " The only characters I really liked were Mr. and Mrs. Morel. The rest seemed really weak. Not a one of them held to the courage of their convictions. I especially did not like Paul Morel. I realize that he is a composite self-portrait of Lawrence, but his character wavered so much. Honestly, this novel could have been trimmed by about 200 pages. The movement toward the death of the mother dragged on longer than the end of the last Lord of the Rings movie. That said, I was touched by the ending. Mrs. Morel's death affected the entire community, even those who one would not have expected to care. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seeta Iyer | 10/25/2013

    " This book is worth reading for its beautiful language and emotions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 10/18/2013

    " I need to re-read this book. Every once in a while I think about it but can only remember a patch or an image, so I should re-read it to see why I keep thinking about it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pennie | 10/2/2013

    " I had never read this classic and had a hard time finising. Strange relationship between the mother and son. Also I had no empathy for the women in Paul's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 9/26/2013

    " Paul is not a very likable guy so it made the whole novel hard to read. Interesting characterizations by Lawrence though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Wright | 9/17/2013

    " This was a good read. I became invested in the characters even if I wasn't always happy with them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Du Val | 8/17/2013

    " great book, can be tough to get through, but DH Lawrence never fails in this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny | 7/24/2013

    " I enjoyed this quite a bit in the beginning. Then it seemed to get bogged down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise Woods | 7/17/2013

    " Lawrence knows human nature so well, which makes for a truly engaging read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ridhi | 5/28/2013

    " read it if you have a LOT of patience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stefania | 5/28/2013

    " Non all'altezza del L'amante di lady Chatterley ma bello. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie Roberts | 5/25/2013

    " If you are on the academic calendar and have a true Christmas break, grab your old copy and re-read in the weeks between semesters. Read it already? No, try again. The older you get, the more you see where Lawrence was calling from... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 4/16/2013

    " Assigned in my least favorite college English class; perhaps that's why I dislike it? #9 on the 100 Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennyreadsexcessively | 3/9/2013

    " british classic, sons are unhappy in love due to mother's stifling influence, 1st half sparkled with beautiful prose and pastoral setting but then it grew rather tiresome "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kailin | 12/30/2012

    " it is much like a soap opera or an early english Jersey Shore... sons are babied by mother and unable to develop meaningful relationships with women. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Penny Rambayon | 12/5/2012

    " My all time favorite book, reading it again.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Fraser | 11/7/2012

    " Well written evocative portraits of several uninteresting semi-psychotic aesthetes. Also, Oedipus complex. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorna | 11/1/2012

    " I learned not to take critics words for what is good. I did not like the book, I thought it confusing and gloomy. It jumped all over the place and half the time it was hard to tell who he was talking about. I kept hoping it would get better but it didn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliana | 10/16/2012

    " Unexpectedly fantastic. I may be more careful in my mother/son relationship though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsey | 9/27/2012

    " I had to read it for my Defining Family class, but it was definitely worth it. It's about the Oedipus Complex. Kind of disturbing, but not graphic or anything. I recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Kennedy | 8/17/2012

    " Really,really good read. I'd read a couple of Lawrence books before, and liked them quite a bit - but this one was the best - very fascinating characters, and the mores of the time period and how the characters behave kept me going the whole way. Paul Morel - what a creation!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Whitney | 7/3/2012

    " I'm so glad I read Cold Comfort Farm before this book - good to realize that even if it is a "classic" the dialect can be unintelligible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marius van Blerck | 3/16/2012

    " A short novel of growing up, and the conflicts that face us all, at once dated and enduring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ted | 2/8/2012

    " Just a story. Not hard to read, but not very interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristian | 12/14/2011

    " He can write well, but not well enough to make me keep reading a fundamentally dull story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chip | 12/12/2011

    " Every boy should read this book. Helps explain our inextricable attachment to our mothers.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miik | 10/8/2011

    " What a long, slow, beautiful, and sad book. The language and emotional impact was second to none, but I found myself in need of a good flogging to even pick it up for a few pages. But the end has come, and was well worth the effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 8/24/2011

    " Good read so far...I'm 80 pages in and not bored in the slightest! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beau Barnes | 7/22/2011

    " I don't like this book enough to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 7/10/2011

    " Goddamn this stupid fucking book. Fuck all books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clare | 7/7/2011

    " My favorite Lawrence novel,I find the story of Paul fascinating and the detail of Edwardian Nottinghamshire is wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Milkman3367 | 6/30/2011

    " A decent, though surprisingly soulless, tragedy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Mark | 6/18/2011

    " A wonderful novel of a boy who loves his mother a little too much. At first, when Lawrence is laying down the background, the story is a bit shaky and seems to move rather quickly. But once he settles down and slows a bit, the novel really shines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward Wakefield | 6/16/2011

    " Read this after a horrible break up and I have to say it coloured my perception of love permanently. It's not an easy read, but then that's what you have to expect from him. Language, as ever is cosmic, super vivid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 5/31/2011

    " Not a huge fan. It's basically the story of an egoist character partially based upon on the young life of the egoist author. He had to of used the term "he hated her" about 100+ times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette Hornby | 5/15/2011

    " Not as scandalous as they claimed it to be. Pretty tame actually. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 5/11/2011

    " I can see why it was controversial at the time but overall I wasn't impressed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaworu | 5/2/2011

    " Fairly interesting, although I admit a tad dry at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 4/11/2011

    " This book is fantastic. It takes Lawrence awhile to say what he wants to say but I found it to be worth the wait. Clara was a bore but I adored Miriam. Lawrence's obsession on love and hate existing as one is quite interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 4/8/2011

    " BRILLIANT. Captures relationships between men and women and mothers and sons so well. Influence of the countryside and nature on the characters is beautiful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Du Val | 2/26/2011

    " great book, can be tough to get through, but DH Lawrence never fails in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Salma | 12/24/2010

    " I remember this was my favorite book in junior year of high school. And that I developed a huge crush on Paul Morrell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin | 10/9/2010

    " This book is slow - really slow. None of the characters are very likable or redeeming in any way. However, the last 100 pages make it a worthwhile read. It drags too much for me to ever teach it at the high school level. Perhaps some day... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Fletcher | 7/24/2010

    " Infuriating at times, due mainly to the suffocating influence a mother has on her sons life. A freudian study if ever I saw one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin Smolin | 6/30/2010

    " first 2/3rds a great, vast book about relationships-fathers, mothers, children. last 1/3rd reads more like an existentialist novel-plus his line on sex, the life force, etc. great stuff, all round "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ramona Wray | 5/4/2010

    " I think it's his best work. Loved re-reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lila | 9/13/2009

    " Beautiful D.H.Lawrence, close your eyes to his language & perception of e-m-o-t-i-o-n. Can't help but to think though that he's using his characters as tools for his polemic. And why do his characters have so much goddamn trembling feeling? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 8/11/2009

    " modern update on Oedipus play. prose is quintessential Lawrence, but character and plot development was unnecessarily long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheri Horn | 5/19/2009

    " The book cover on the version I read was much tamer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke Huang | 5/19/2009

    " I guess I should have read enough D.H. Lawrence to know that the relationships in his novels wouldn't be conventional. While I liked most of the work, I found the character Paul to be too autobiographical and overall unlikable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judie | 11/25/2008

    " I love DH Lawrence! So scandalous for his time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dane | 5/6/2008

    " So painful; so essentially true in feeling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Fletcher | 3/30/2008

    " Infuriating at times, due mainly to the suffocating influence a mother has on her sons life. A freudian study if ever I saw one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jayne Charles | 11/5/2007

    " Quite an oddity among 'classics' of this age - it started off fairly prim and proper, and then once it got beyond half way if I'm not much mistaken there was sex on every other page. More or less. If DH Lawrence wrote this from personal experience I can only conclude his mother was one scary lady. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 6/1/2004

    " So. Many. Mommy issues. 4 stars for the first half, 2 for the 2nd. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jason | 11/26/2003

    " Quit about 2/3 of the way in. I might come back to it, but this one just couldn't keep my interest. D. H. Lawrence had been on my list for a long time, but I'm having a hard time seeing him as one of the greats. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emilie Frechie | 9/18/2003

    " The book is a slow crescendo. Truly rhapsodic prose. Fraught with familial and sexual tension. A timeless study of human relationships. "

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About the Author

David Herbert Lawrence (1885–1930), novelist, short-story writer, poet, critic, playwright, and essayist, was one of the most important and controversial figures of twentieth-century English literature. His works confront the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialization and are notable for their passionate intensity and for a sensuality that centers on the erotic. Though his opinions earned him enemies, persecution, and censorship during his lifetime, he is now recognized as an artistic visionary.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.