(by Doris Lessing)
The first book in Lessing‘s Canopus in Argos: Archives series, Shikasta, is unimpressive upon reading, but impresses upon reflection. Lessing puts a thoughtful and intriguing spin on our understanding of humankind’s origins. The second volume, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five is unimpressive upon reading and almost impossible to reflect upon with interest. The bellicose inhabitants of Zone Five are unsophisticated, ‘masculine’ and heavy. The arty inhabitants of Zone Four are loving in an all-inclusive creepy way, ‘feminine’ and smug. So let’s marry the dopey queen of Zone Four to the blustering king of Zone Five and see what happens. Galadriel sets about doing good works, and thinking maybe she should toughen-up a bit. Sauron gets all confused by his feelings. End of story.