Briefing for a Descent Into Hell

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Vintage International, 2009 - Fiction - 308 pages
2 Reviews
In this ambitious novel of madness and release, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Doris Lessing imagines the fantastical "inner-space" life of an amnesiac.

Charles Watkins, a Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, has suffered a breakdown, confined to a mental hospital as his friends and doctors attempt to bring him back to reality. But Watkins has embarked on a tremendous pyschological adventure that takes him from a spinning raft in the Atlantic to a ruined stone city on a tropical island to an outer-space journey through singing planets. As he travels in his mind through memory and the farther reaches of imagination, his doctors try to subdue him with ever more powerful drugs in a competition for his soul. In this provocative novel, Lessing takes us on a harrowing voyage into the rarely glimpsed territory of the inner mind.
 

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Contents

Section 1
2
Section 2
3
Section 3
4
Section 4
8
Section 5
16
Section 6
26
Section 7
32
Section 8
34
Section 16
170
Section 17
172
Section 18
210
Section 19
214
Section 20
218
Section 21
220
Section 22
246
Section 23
276

Section 9
40
Section 10
122
Section 11
136
Section 12
150
Section 13
152
Section 14
154
Section 15
156
Section 24
288
Section 25
290
Section 26
292
Section 27
294
Section 28
304
Section 29
307
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Doris Lessing was born of British parents in Persia, in 1919, and moved with her family to Southern Rhodesia when she was five years old. She went to England in 1949 and has lived there ever since. She is the author of more than thirty books novels, stories, reportage, poems, and plays. In 2007, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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