Briefing for a Descent Into Hell
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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afraid animals baby beast better bird breath camellia Charles Watkins Chetniks cold colour course creature Croats Crystal dark dead DEAR DOCTOR doctor Y DORIS LESSING dream drugs earth edge everything eyes face feeling feet Felicity fighting forest Frederick friends girl glade Guinea Current honeysuckle human Jupiter knew Konstantina leave lecture light live look Mad Professor memory Miles Bovey mind monkeys moon mountains moved never night North Equatorial Current nurse Odysseus patient perhaps Philip Glass planets porpoise Professor pulse raft Rat-dogs reached remember Representative for Planet river rock seemed shining ship shock singing sleep slide solar wind sound spray stammering stand stay stone stood talking tell thing thought thud trees turned village waiting wake walked wall watch waves wife wind women words Yugoslavia