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Briefing for a Descent Into Hell (Paperback)
  • Briefing for a Descent Into Hell (Paperback)
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Briefing for a Descent Into Hell (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 17/06/2002
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A study of a man beyond the verge of a nervous breakdown, this is a brilliant and disturbing novel by Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Penniless, rambling and incoherent, a man is found wandering at night on London's Embankment. Taken to hospital and heavily sedated, he tells the doctors of his incredible fantastical voyage, adrift on the ocean, landing on unknown shores, flying on the back of a huge white bird.

Identified as Charles Watkins, a Cambridge Classics professor, he is visited by family and friends, each revealing clues to the nature of his breakdown. As the doctors try to cure him, Watkins begins a fierce battle to hold on to his magnificent inner world, as it gradually acquires a greater reality than the everyday...

`Briefing for a Descent into Hell' is one of Doris Lessing's most brilliantly achieved novels, linking her early work, which explored the nature of subjectivity, with her later experiments in science fiction. Its indictment of the tyranny of society is powerful, disturbing and, as always, magnificently rendered.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780006548089
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 200 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

`A brilliant, disturbing book...her most adventurous, imaginative experiment. She allows her didactic, satirical ideas about our civilization memorable expression.' TLS

`Doris Lessing breaks through the semantic barrier into speculative areas of psychic geography like some returned traveller, drawing new, real maps. She is alert to more of the crucial questions than most of us and, by describing their contours so exactly, comes nearer to the slow progress towards solution.' Observer

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Reviews

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“Met and exceeded expectations”

Having heard so much about how good this is and having my expectations raised so high, there was every chance that this could've been a let down. But it was the absolute polar opposite. Lessing has written a... More

Paperback edition
10th November 2016
Helpful? Upvote 7

“Briefing for a Descent into Hell”

A dark and twisting tale of memory versus reality, of sanity and insanity questioned. Masterfuly written by one of our greatest living writers. Doris Lessing never ceases to amaze me. A truly groundbreaking author... More

Paperback edition
14th March 2013
Helpful? Upvote 4

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