Review: D.H. Lawrence’s “The Plumed Serpent”

by writereaderly

I decided last week to abandon this book in absentia; I’m sure the bookmark holding my place could really be better used in any other book, possibly including the phone book. A very fat item, well in excess of 500pp if memory serves, with tiny print and no margins, it was going to be a tough read at the best of times. Given how much I lurve (not) D.H. Lawrence, an even tougher one. The plot is improbable (American woman falls for a Mexican general propagating a neo-Aztec religion in 1920s Mexico), the writing desperately average and sadly unedited (Lawrence must have been sufficiently famous to publish whatever shite he might conceive of). BUT, and this is the only reason I kept this one ticking over, it does include beautiful vignettes of Mexicans’ lives in the 1920s, detailed social portraits which were quite the delight to read – Mexico just ain’t like that no more. They were, however, few and far between, and I couldn’t recommend this novel unless you were an unfortunate Lawrence/Mexico scholar.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time & manner of reading: Sporadically and painfully over 6-9 months (perhaps)
Where it went to: Abandoned to Farm Bookshelf
Reminds me of:
Who I’d recommend it to: Oh, no no no
Also reading: The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene; The Reivers by William Faulkner; Moby Dick by Herman Melville; The Times Deceas’d by Timothy d’Arch Smith; Working Hot by Mary Fallon