El quinto hijo has ratings and reviews. Doris Lessing’s contemporary gothic horror story—centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than. El quinto hijo – Doris Lessing. Done. Comment. 0 views. 0 faves. 0 comments. Uploaded on May 2, All rights reserved. Show EXIF; JFIFVersion – El Quinto Hijo (Spanish, Paperback) / Author: Doris Lessing ; ; Modern fiction, General & literary fiction, Fiction, Books.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — El quinto hijo by Doris Lessing. 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 s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are 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. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment e 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 more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older lessign 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.
El quinto hijo by Doris Lessing (2 star ratings)
Kindle Editionpages. LLO first published The Fifth Child 1.
Harriet LovattDavid Lovatt. Premio Grinzane Cavour for Narrativa Straniera To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about El quinto hijoplease sign up. What did everyone else think of this slim volume? Ekaterina In the beginning, I was shocked how they planned their life buying a house they could not afford and getting a lot of children without being able to …more In the beginning, I was shocked how they planned their life buying a house they could not afford and getting a lot of children without being able to pay for it by themselves.
They took if for granted other people paid for their happiness. At the end, however, it was very sad and heartbreaking: See all 3 questions about El quinto hijo…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. View all 4 comments. 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 Certainly this is an odd book and a story that I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting another version of the Omen, but the case of Ben’s childhood, in the s, seems one that these days would have been dealt with very differently.
Lessing may be provoking controversy writing as she does about the behaviour of the family, and if that is the case, she has certainly succeeded.
Any effort to shock fails as those of us involved in education or social services for any length of time will have encountered boys like Ben. I don’t see this as a gothic horror story at all, not horror and certainly not gothic. It has none of those elements. Rather, it is a disturbing commentary on parenting, and if it was Lessing’s aim to relate that, it was done accurately.
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. I would have liked the story to come to some sort of solid ending; instead, the book ends as the mother considers selling the giant, empty house, and as Ben and his gang of Clockwork Orange droogs venture gradually from riots and petty theft to more vicious crimes.
The mother assumes he will probably move forever to some even more depraved urban pit. This device is no doubt meant to emphasize the universality of the problem, as if Ben were an Everythug.
A rather chilling tale, but not exceedingly deep, and in the end unsatisfying. A chilling horror tale of motherhood gone wrong, that my current reading of We Need to Talk About Kevin for my book group prompted me to revisit, as it has many overlapping themes, and I could not stop thinking about the similarities between the two books.
In this very brief novella of less than pages, a couple of irresponsible, idealistic people with skewed and unrealistic family values for example they aspire to have children in the s, in opposition of family and peers, while sel A chilling horror tale of motherhood gone wrong, that my current reading of We Need to Talk About Kevin for my book group prompted me to revisit, as it has many overlapping themes, and I could not stop thinking about the similarities between the two books.
In this very brief novella of less than pages, a couple of irresponsible, idealistic people with skewed and unrealistic family values for example they aspire to have children in the s, in opposition of family and peers, while selfishly expecting their “happy family” to be financed by his father and looked after by her motherget to regret their folly when the 5th child arrives.
This fifth child, like the aforementioned Kevin, is unlovable, difficult, even malignant, and antagonises his mother even from the womb, and she can never bring herself to love him. This couple of people I did not like, only get to reflect about their parasitic behaviour when it is already way too late to do anything about it. I found them both deeply objectionable.
Since this is England, rather than middle America, there is obviously and thankfully no school massacre, but the same reflections about the impossibility and absurdity of the concept of “unconditional positive regard” among mere mortal beings as opposed to Saintsstayed in my mind for the duration of the book. It has been mentioned in some reviews, and even Doris Lessing herself discussed this on an article, that the 5th child could be understood as an allegory for war, as this child comes to mar this couple’s deluded expectations of entitled happiness.
I actually appreciated its message and wider themes a lot more than the first time I read this book, but in my opinion, We Need to Talk About Kevin is a much stronger book. However, I kept wondering if Shriver might have read this little number from Lessing written more than decade and a half earlier. Popsugar Reading Challenge Why on earth do we have to do that?
I do that sometimes myself i. Back to the book. Now, the reason any couple would like to buy a Victorian house as big as a hotel and plan a certain number of children beats me.
I do agree with traditional values, it’s just their careful planning that scares me. So we get the point.
They live, procreate and party with a huge amount of relatives and friends in this idyllic place. This really gets annoying at some point, everything is so repetitive, especially since Mrs.
Lessing has no taste for dividing her book in chapters or anything of that sort that something has to happen. Thank goodness the 5th child is born, because you either go crazy or throw the book away. Animals die, doors are locked and eventually the whole family disintegrates.
Older children choose to spend time with grandparents or friends instead of their parents. Is it their fault? I wish Lessing went deeper with the book.
OK, I really love modern books as in them being shorter compared to biblical-length classicsbut some things are so left out in the middle of nowhere, you just need to know what happens next. Catchy, not as haunting as I expected and easy to read. View all 6 comments. A young couple decides not to join the progress of the Sixties and have a large, happy family instead. Their fifth child screws up their plans.
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This book failed on several levels. Most importantly, it collapsed as a novel. The horror of the situation peaked about halfway through, and the faded into insignificant blandness, with no real surprises in the second half of the story. The ending was just poisonous, practically an argument for eugenics, or at least for treating some people A young couple decides not to join the progress of the Sixties and have a large, happy family instead.
The ending was just poisonous, practically an argument for eugenics, or at least for treating some people as more equal then others. Ben was so repugnant he left a really bad taste and I didn’t enjoy reading about him. Anytime I do that, and think that maybe I’m finding some lost literary gem that I can then pass off to my friends and enemies alike, I am inevitably disappointed, or at least underwhelmed.
This was a short read about pgsand I read hujo all in one travel day. Lsesing that was good. It has no chapter or even page breaks, so it all lends itself to that.
Reviews on the book jacket call it a horror bo I picked up this book completely randomly at the epicly awesome Green Apple Books in San Francisco. Reviews on the book jacket call it a horror book, and it is not that. It had some really fascinating concepts, and a couple of really, REALLY weird moments that I wish were flushed out, but ultimately, it’s more social commentary than dodis else.
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Dorris Lessing was about 70 when she wrote qjinto, and I found some of the themes to be pretty conservative for my tastes, but I will say that this could be a pretty awesome and creepy movie, if there were some serious overhauls to it. I kept thinking about “Susperia” while I was reading it, but without trying to spoil anything, there was nothing about this book that was horrific.
My family was picking on me last week for writing long reviews on here, so I’m going to just stop here: Read this book if you like “the Omen” and “the Orphanage,” but are sick and tired of all of that horror. What a disturbing novel about how a family falls apart – about how society hates and fears quiinto and about how a monster can be created without any intention to produce a monster. I sat in my room last night and read through this short novella.
It wasn’t my intention – I thought I would get into about 20 pages and then fall asleep and leave the rest for later doriss week. But Doris Lessing is a masterful writer what a wonderful discovery to have madeso I was hooked. The characters were fascinating What a disturbing novel about how a family falls apart – about how society hates and fears – and about how a monster can be created without any intention to produce a monster.
The characters were fascinating.