Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Mara and Dann: An Adventure Paperback – December 22, 1999
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Eventually, conditions grow so bad in Ifrik that an entire continent of people begin a great northern migration. As Mara and Dann walk the length of the land, Lessing takes the opportunity to comment on the lost cities and vanished civilizations whose remains dot the landscape. That these ancient ruins belong to our civilization makes Mara's curiosity about them resonate eerily. Danger dogs every step; the children are captured by different, warring groups and their destinies take very different paths. A political novelist first and foremost, Lessing uses her futuristic fable to comment on the sins and foibles of humanity as it is now--on war and slavery, sexism and racism--and on its one saving grace, the ability to love. --Margaret Prior --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Set in Africa thousands of years in the future, after cataclysmic events have destroyed civilization and towards the end of a new Ice Age, the novel certainly boasts plenty of coy references to fossilized and bastardized remnants of our own era. Yet, in spite of its futuristic veneer, "Mara and Dann" has more in common with many fantasy novels than with science fiction. Lessing's plot is modeled after a sword-and-dragon tale: their parents slaughtered, siblings Mara and Dann are spirited away from their homeland during the calamities prompted by an unrelenting famine and drought. As the heat wave advances north, they flee up the continent, searching for a new paradise.
Some of the reviews in the press fault the book for being repetitious, and those notices may have, unfortunately, turned off some readers.Read more ›
How will the brother and sister survive? How will they change? What is the meaning behind their incredible adventures? As they move slowly and painfully north, from one disastrous situation to another, North becomes a metaphor for everyone's search--the place where things will somehow be better. The place where life will have meaning. As always, Lessing is creating more than an adventure; it is also a commentary on the human condition, on the rise and fall of civilization, on the desperate human wish to ignore bad news and cling to a comfortable present, on the thoughtless destruction of the environment, on meaningless cruelty, on tribalism, on hope and hopelessness.
It takes a little effort to get started, to travel this hot, dry, dusty road with Mara and Dann, but the adventure soon takes hold of you and draws you onward. You also have to go North. This book is a masterpiece.
Mara and Dann are fascinating characters in a world where survival is a day-by-day matter. Nonetheless, they look for love and security and knowledge in their trek, together or apart. How people organize themselves in slave states, military dictatorships or village bully-states, all impact on their survival. Although the face of the planet has changed so much, how we continue to repeat the same old stories. One ubiquitous world story is that of the Quest, and the endless drive north in this book, although prompted often by obvious physical needs, is a true Quest, and demonstrates even how people, even those with not enough to drink, need a dream of something better, somewhere. As someone suffering from wanderlust, I identified with the need to move on, and perhaps a good companion book to this would by Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. I was also impressed by the contradictory needs for stability, and how many of the cities and tribes travelled through would ignore all the bad omens in nature and rumour in order to protect what they had, until a crisis finally forced flight upon them.
Doris Lessing is a great writer - she sets up a clear mirror in which we see ourselves in lights and circumstances where both human strengths and frailties are spotlit without sentimentality. I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. The story evolves like the journey the main characters take, with each page revealing more detail, background and character. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Julie A. Erickson
I really enjoyed this book. It was an absorbing read that left the with lots of questions about Africa which I have tried to research in various places. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Katharine Smith
I've read a few of Doris Lessing's books and this was not my favorite. Interesting enough plot but does drag on a bit. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Picabo
The story kind of plodded along, and while it kept me interested about Mara and Dann's history, the ending was a little contrived. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Nicole DeCruz
I'm not even sure there was a plot. This was probably one of the worst books I've read. Detailed descriptions of the environment which don't really advance the storyline coupled... Read morePublished 21 months ago by lorina johnson
An eye opening adventure of what may very well come to be...I truly believe Doris Lessing has always been way ahead of her time.Published 21 months ago by Becky S.
Many times while reading this book, I felt as though I were at a "story telling". The book reads more like someone sitting across from you telling a story than you sitting... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Betty C
This was the first book I've read from author, Doris Lessing. She is a fabulous storyteller, taking simple plots and weaving them into fascinating tales in a dry and dusty... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Patty Dee
I will admit to not being familiar with Doris Lessing's works, and to being frustrated by the peculiar language style - very immature despite the aging of the characters. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Calypsoreid