The Rainbow (Version 2)

Read by Tony Foster

(4.3 stars; 69 reviews)

Briefly appearing in 1915, then banned and taken out of circulation for its adult treatment of sexuality, Lawrence's visionary novel The Rainbow attempts to situate the lives of three generations of the Brangwen family within the continuous social change marking the Victorian transformation of Britain. Farmer Tom and his Polish wife Lydia, whose peaceful rural existence re-enacts the potent myths of Genesis; artisan Will and the matriarch Anna, who go to live among the industrial and mining communities so rapidly sprung up around Nottingham; finally the restless Ursula who, moving to the city, seeks sexual and emotional fulfilment with the Polish-descended Skrebensky - the three couples are not merely illustrative of the changing times, but allow the author to study in depth the conflict between the outer 'social' selves of those individuals and what he curiously calls the 'inhuman' essential being, the 'is-ness' at the core of their psychical life.

Lawrence evokes this dark, unconscious 'vital core' through a language of breathtaking poetic beauty; a rhythmic incantatory prose which listeners to this recording will find perfectly rendered by Tony Foster, in all its nuances. Like Paul Morel, the hero of the earlier Sons and Lovers, Ursula survives her losses to face a future of uncertain but radiant hope: "She saw in the rainbow the earth's new architecture, the old, brittle corruption of houses and factories swept away, the world built up in a living fabric of Truth, fitting to the over-arching heaven." (Summary by Martin Geeson) (19 hr 27 min)


CHAPTER II Part 1 - THEY LIVE AT THE MARSH 38:01 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER II Part 2 - THEY LIVE AT THE MARSH 39:02 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER IV Part 1 - GIRLHOOD OF ANNE BRANGWEN 43:23 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER IV Part 2 - GIRLHOOD OF ANNE BRANGWEN 42:13 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER V - WEDDING AT THE MARSH 23:45 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VI Part 1 ANNA VICTRIX 44:01 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VI Part 2 - ANNA VICTRIX 41:33 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VI Part 3 - ANNA VICTRIX 42:21 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VII - THE CATHEDRAL 35:16 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VIII Part 1 - THE CHILD 34:47 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER VIII Part 2 - THE CHILD 34:49 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER IX - THE MARSH AND THE FLOOD 50:12 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER X - THE WIDENING CIRCLE 51:38 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XI Part 1 - FIRST LOVE 39:19 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XI Part 2 - FIRST LOVE 39:45 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XI Part 3 - FIRST LOVE 38:40 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XII - SHAME 45:22 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIII Part 1 - THE MAN'S WORLD 45:50 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIII Part 2 - THE MAN'S WORLD 47:04 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIII Part 3 - THE MAN'S WORLD 46:22 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XIV - THE WIDENING CIRCLE - 35:15 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XV Part 1 - THE BITTERNESS OF ECSTASY 47:00 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XV Part 2 - THE BITTERNESS OF ECSTASY 46:25 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XV Part 3 - THE BITTERNESS OF ECSTASY 46:11 Read by Tony Foster
CHAPTER XVI - THE RAINBOW 33:12 Read by Tony Foster


(4 stars)

The finest reading I have found on all Librivox. I don't know what inspired the narrator's relentless rhythm or the poignant cadencing but it's bang on the money. There are moments where the music of the prose alone is enough to send my little calcified heart ballooning into my throat. I'm short the quality and depth of the reading is such that it becomes the voice of the novel an inseparable part of it. I think that's the highest ideal for which to strive. Thanks very much

Excellent Reader

(3.5 stars)

Tony Foster does a superb job with Lawrence's prose. There are many beautiful, almost hypnotic passages. But many times I, quite frankly, fell asleep. For posterity, Lawrence's editor might have done better to focus on redundancy rather than the naughty bits. In light of the fact that the published novel was burned and banned throughout Britain, his focus is probably understandable. Worth a listen, and you'll get a few good night's rest.

Excellent reader for an excellent novel.

(5 stars)

The nuances of the characters are excellently rendered by this thoughtful reader. Well done.

Dark, Depressing, Overly Dramatic

(2 stars)

I suffered through this book hoping it would have a great conclusion. The final paragraph was interesting, but I don't know if it was worth the torture. Before you give up and move on from this boring book, just skip ahead to the 2nd half of the final chapter. Great reader. I found the detailed descriptions of every blade of grass and speck of dirt so very tiring. And just when there is a happy scene, you can bet it will turn into some chaotic, depressed madness. To me the moral of the story is to find peace of mind and contentment within yourself. I didn't find any characters with that quality. Also it made me wonder if people really think that way and are so crazy and selfish. I wonder if the author was a manic depressive?

(1 stars)

the reader is completely monotone. the author managed to write an entire book without saying anything. I was listening to this on my drives to work and as the book progressed, I just wanted to slap the characters for their languid sentimentality and meaningless drama, slap d.h. lawrence for his overall weirdness, and slap Tony Foster in particular for reading the whole drivel in such a serious intonation that relentlessly persisted throughout the hours of tedious reading. I had to stop listening. I have never had an audio book bring up such rage in me... and I do like d.h. Lawrence's earlier work.

Very raw with emotion

(4 stars)

Like his other books, D. H. Lawernce packs a lot of emotion into this book. Very in-depth with the character's minds and the thoughts and reactions they experience. Not a book for everyone as it doesn't have a lot of plot, but rather prefers to travel the inner-self of the characters, which can come off as a bit slow for some people. As usual, Tony Foster does a magnificent job on this. His voice takes a little getting used to, as it's more soft-spoken, but he is a very even reader and very relaxing too.


(4.5 stars)

Lawrence weaves a complex tale of a family of the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries in beautiful language. He allows us to look into the characters’ very souls. Splendidly read. You won’t understand the meaning of the title until the very end of the book.

(4 stars)

This is a very intense read. It is highly emotional and probes the inner world of the characters and their conflictual feelings around relationship and life. It was fascinating but also challenging to persist in reading. The reader is talented.