The Fifth Child

Doris Lessing s contemporary gothic horror story centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human probes society s unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts areDoris Lessing s contemporary gothic horror story centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human probes society s unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside until the birth of their fifth baby Gruesomely goblin like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant like about him As he grows older and terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Fifth Child Doris Lessing s contemporary gothic horror story centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human probes society s unwillingness to recognize its own brutality Harriet and David Lovatt paren

  • Title: The Fifth Child
  • Author: Doris Lessing
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 123
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Fifth Child”

    1. It was the summer of 2013 when a friend of mine, who’s an English teacher, asked me how I would teach “The Fifth Child”. Since I didn’t know about the book or have it, she sent me a PDF copy and here I am, after an unsettling but fascinating reading, asking myself the same question: what key of lecture could I offer? Because it is, undoubtedly, worth reading. A little masterpiece about the fragility of happiness and the illusion of the security provided by family, as the author herself s [...]

    2. الشعور القوي الذي غمرني هوالتعجب من نيل دوريس ليسينج نوبلفالرواية أقل من عاديةولم أشعر معها بأي ابداع تقريباليست سيئة نعموربما للمؤلفة كتب أهم ولكنني لست متحفزة للقراءة مججدا لها على الإطلاقسيطر علي شعور ربما يبدو فكاهياشعرتُ بأنني طوال القراءة أجلس أمام شاشة تلفازوأشاهد [...]

    3. This is a story about a woman who gives birth to a troll.It is neither charming nor delightful.It reminded me of Peter the Great, although he didn't give birth to a troll.You know he founded the City of St.Petersburg and designed it to have lots of canals because the Dutch were the most modern nation and they had lots of canals - though naturally it wouldn't have been expressed like that, perhaps he would have said that his new city required an appropriate transport infrastructure to meet the ne [...]

    4. Hey, ya know that ugly devil baby-in-arms in that one impressionable scene in "Passion of the Christ"? Yeah, well, he's here in the middle of this taut, mesmerizing novella, growing up and ripping his innocent family to shreds.Well he says HI.

    5. This novel was disturbing on so many levels. It was supposed to have started out with this great couple who had all these wonderful family ideals, until the fifth child came along who was really tough to take (and basically a commentary on society's reaction to such a different child). However, I never saw the couple as having a great marriage. The only testament to any sort of greatness I guess would be their coupled desire to have a lot of children. Simply because their house was constantly fi [...]

    6. She felt rejected by him. They had always loved to lie here feeling a new life, greeting it. She had waited four times for the first little flutters, easily mistaken but then certain; the sensation that was as if a fish mouthed out a bubble; the small responses to her movements, her touch, and even- she was convinced- her thoughts. But what about me? I've been shot. Go on without me, save yourselves. Ooh aah it hurts, like a spoon or a papercut that irritates your mind into the beyond. Listen, t [...]

    7. به نظرم هریت و دیوید افرد کاملا بی مسئولیت و خوشگذرانی هستند که بار زندگیشونو به دوش دیگران میزارن و توقع کمک از دیگران رو دارند. مشکل اونها اینه که وقتی همه چیز کامله احساس خوشبختی میکنن.سعی نویسنده این بود که وجهه ترسناک به کتاب بده ولی موفق نبود.البته شاید اگر فیلم کتاب ساخت [...]

    8. "It's crazy," said Dorothy. She was flushed with the hot tea and with all the things she was forcing herself not to say. p. 34This is fascinating.Yes this is about a bad seed, the last child in an otherwise happy family. But it also has a lot to do with perception and judgement, how the parents, Harriet and David, see themselves and how others see them and how they think others see them. And how they see others, particularly their fifth child. Who is criticized and how and why? What expectations [...]

    9. هذا هو أول عمل أقرأه لدوريس ليسنج:عمل اجتماعى رفيع يحكى ببساطه عن طفل (طفرة) فى وسط أسرته .يصور لنا العمل مدى المعاناة التى تعانيها جميع الأطراف من (الأب والأم ) وباقى أفراد الأسرة.رغم أن العمل عن المجتمع الإنجليزى إلا أنه يجوز عليه قياس باقى مجتمعات العالم.عمق نفسى واضح ودراية [...]

    10. This was my introduction to the writing of Doris Lessing; I had high hopes for the book but was sorely disappointed. The writing was pretty unengaging for me, though not poor. The plot was ridiculous in content, though perhaps acceptable as a sort of "unmagical realism"; completely unrealistic and unbelievable, along with two dimensional characters suitable for allegory only. Perhaps the book stands as an indictment of conservative 1950's family values, white picket fences, women staying home to [...]

    11. اصلا نتونستم باهاش ارتباط برقرار کنم و دوستش داشته باشم.

    12. Wow!This is the first Doris Lessing book I've read and she's a great writer. This is a true "horror" storyt in the classic sense, but in the real sense of a horrible situation that people must confront. It leaves the reader with the thought "what would you do if you found yourself in this situation?". Therefore it is a highly discussable book. Interesting characters, interesting plot, great writing. What more can a reader ask?Reread in April 2010 for Maze book discussion. Still thought it was qu [...]

    13. مش قادرة أفهم إحساسي بعد الرواية دي!!! :) حاولت أقرا مراجعات وقعدت أدور على حد ممكن يكون فكر في إن إيه يا ست الجنان ده قرفتينا جتك هبل مثلا بس ملقيتش!!! >_< لقيت ناس كتير واخدين الموضوع جد وكاتبين مراجعات "عميقة" خاصة الأجانب -_-المصيبة إني حاولت أعرف تيتة دوريس أخدت النوبل عن أي [...]

    14. I read "The Fifth Child" last night. That was so, sooooo disturbing. I'm exhausted today because I got my hands on it at 7:30pm and then I was up til 2 finishing it, but I knew I'd never be able to sleep unless I just finished it. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it, and dreamed about it! If you haven't read it but have any inclination at all to read it, stop here and don't read the rest of my review. Then read it, and then come back here so we can discuss!!! I'm dying to talk to someone abou [...]

    15. Lo mal que lo he pasado leyendo este libro, por favor, y eso que es tan cortito que en un par de viajes en bus te lo ventilas. Pero se pasa realmente mal y es que no hace falta que un libro de terror tenga monstruos, aliens, etc, para dar miedo, es mucho mejor cuando cuentas una historia convencional y le das un toque siniestro. En El quinto hijo, Harriet y David son una pareja que cumplen su sueño en común, que es comprar una casa enorme y tener familia numerosa. Todo va bien con Luke, Helen, [...]

    16. داستان کتاب مدام فیلم "باید راجع به کوین صحبت کنیم" رو به خاطرم می اورد. مادری که در نتیجه ی بارداری ناخواسته صاحب کودکی میشه که از همون نوزادی شروره تم مشترک این فیلم با این کتابه.هر دو هم به نوعی تو ژانر وحشت طبقه بندی میشن. این که این شر به ذات بچه بر می گرده یا نتیجه ی مهر و عاط [...]

    17. You cannot shape your child into what you want, says Doris Lessing: you must help him become what he is. He may not be exactly in your image - but he will be a special snowflake in his own way. Glad to be getting more parenting tips from literature.

    18. I reread this the day Doris Lessing died. It's very short, and every sentence packs a heady concentration of power. This is the novel that introduced me to Lessing. I was lucky enough to be working in a bookstore when it was released; I read a review and immediately used my employee's discount to buy a copy. I think I read it all in one sitting that day, too.The premise is simple: A man and a woman fall in love because each sees in the other a rejection of the shallow, worldly, sex-is-entertainm [...]

    19. فرزند پنجم درباره‌ی خانواده است، درباره‌ی فروپاشی خانواده. چطور ممکن است تمام خوشی‌ها ناگهان از بین بروند؟ چطور ممکن است زن و مردی مثل هریت و دیوید که تمام آرزوی‌شان داشتن تعداد زیادی بچه است به وضعی برسند که دیگر رابطه‌شان به وضعی تصنعی و خالی از معنا بکشد؟ بِن فرزند پنجم [...]

    20. زن و مردی رو تصور کنید که از زندگی خانواده های خودشون راضی نیستن؛ پس تصمیم می گیرن که با هم یه خانواده ی جدید بسازن: خانواده ای بزرگ، پرجمعیت و شاد که پناه تمام عموزاده های غم زده و خواهر و برادرهای نیمه خوشبختشون باشه. البته، البته، البته که همچین نقشه ای محکوم به شکسته. ذات دنی [...]

    21. I am still trying to figure out what I think about this book. Okay.The concise version: Waste of time, Don’t bother. The longer and hopefully not too convoluted version:Initially, upon finishing this book, I hastily gave it 3 stars. Then, abruptly, I came to my senses and stripped it of all pointy symbols until I could think about it further. Now, after a few days of complaining to my boyfriend, as well as giving him a play by play of the plot (so he could better understand my disappointment), [...]

    22. Read: April 2017The plot: Harriet and David are two ordinary middle-class professionals who pride themselves on having an ordinary - if boring - life. Their joint aim in life is to get married and start a large family together, of at least eight children. Their plan proceeds smoothly up until the fifth pregnancy when their happy normal lives start to slowly go off the rails.I found The Fifth Child to be nothing like I'd been expecting. I enjoyed the depictions of the couple, their four children [...]

    23. (review in english below)Não recomendo este livro a ninguém.As duas estrelas são benevolentes, na verdade é 1,5.Até se lê bem, à conta da escrita simples, e rapidamente, também por não ter capítulos, sucedendo-se as cenas quase sem darmos conta. Ao princípio até parece uma história "normal", mas depois surge Ben, a criança que aparenta ter vindo dum mundo ancestral e que arruína a felicidade de toda a família.Talvez a autora tenha querido escrever uma alegoria quanto à impossibi [...]

    24. This book freaked me out. I've never read a Doris Lessing book before and I'm almost sure that this one is out of the ordinary compared to what she usually writes. It's short but packed with lots of ideas concerning family, mother-children relationships, husband -wife relationships, societal expectations, etc. All done with a touch of gothic horror to slide it right down. Well worth the read. Now I'm intrigued to read other titles from Lessing. Although I'm afraid tackling would be a better choi [...]

    25. doris lessing mutlu mesut bir ailenin cehenneme dönen hikâyesini anlatmış. okurun "ben ne yapardım?" diye kendine sormadığı bir an yok. karakterlerin her biriyle hatta ben'le kurduğunuz empatiden yoruluyorsunuz neredeyse allahım ne zor, ne zor, diye diye bitirdim romanı. bu küçücük romanda bu atmosferi kurabilmek müthiş bir şey.

    26. Certainly this is an odd book and a story that I wasn't expecting. Rather than being a horror story as it is reviewed by some media I found it very sad, though Lessing's telling of it lacks sympathy. It seems also to be told in a rush. Few will embark on the novella without knowing that the fifth child of Harriet and David, is a special one, but a third of the novel is spent relating the parents' story up until then. I wasn't expecting another version of the Omen, but the case of Ben's childhood [...]

    27. A middle-class English couple buck the disapproval of both their families and plan to have “at least six” children, buying a huge house and becoming the focus of all holiday gatherings. The fifth child, however, Ben, after a difficult pregnancy, turns out to be some sort of evil throwback, horrifying and sending away the extended family.This slim novel appears to be making a comment on social selfishness, as well as being a parable for our violent modern times – “the barbarous eighties, [...]

    28. انا حاولت .والله حاولت .حاولت اربع مرات اكمل قرائتها لكن مقدرتش !!!!! الواحد له قدرة ع التحمل ياجماعة الترجمة مأساوية أو يمكن يكون اسلوب الكاتبة هو اللى كدة والراجل اللى بيترجم مش فى ايده حاجة يعملها كمية جمل اعتراضية ف وسط الكلام غير طبيعية يعنى ممكن تلاقى فى بداية الصفحة الجم [...]

    29. داستان در مورد خانواده باسعادتی هست که بعد از تولد فرزند پنجم،که به قول مادر "بیگانه" هست،کم کم از هم میپاشند و آخر داستان دیگه خبری از اون خانواده که توی هر مناسبتی همه دور هم جمع میشدند و شادی میکردند،نیست.هر کدوم از اعضای خانواده شیوه ای خاص و جدا از دیگران برای زندگی خودشون [...]

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