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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Dalloway - A Difficult but Satisfying Read
Virginia Woolf's classic novel Mrs. Dalloway is an interesting and challenging read. The plot is simple enough, but the writing is complex and challenges the reader to understand the text in ways that many are not accustomed to. The stream-of-consciousness style is not often used in novels written for today's audiences.
I found myself relying on an online study...
Published on Nov. 30 2005 by Laura Thornton

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
Difficult, detailed, descriptive, dense -- an apt description of Virginia Woolf's prose. I've never been so annoyed by the difficulty and pointlessness of a story in my life. I thought Faulkner was difficult to read. At least his stories go somewhere, never mind that figuring out his plotlines is like putting together the pieces of a broken bottle. But even after I...
Published on June 7 2004 by Luis M. Luque


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Dalloway - A Difficult but Satisfying Read, Nov. 30 2005
By 
Laura Thornton (Carleton University) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Paperback)
Virginia Woolf's classic novel Mrs. Dalloway is an interesting and challenging read. The plot is simple enough, but the writing is complex and challenges the reader to understand the text in ways that many are not accustomed to. The stream-of-consciousness style is not often used in novels written for today's audiences.
I found myself relying on an online study guide to help me interpret what was happening in the story. I often had to reread passages several time, thinking critically about the meanings and then referring to other's interpretations of the work to help me comprehend what was happening. Perhaps this is a byproduct of growing up in the information age, and expecting all the answers to be readily available, without having to work for them.
The various characters in Mrs. Dalloway are relatable and you empathize with them. You want to know more about them and get even more inside their heads. However, due to the style of writing, this is difficult. As you read the novel you loose track of whose thoughts you are currently reading, and what their objective for the day is. There are so many a characters that it is hard to keep track of them all and this is unfortunate, because you want to stay connected with them all. Their lives, while simple, are engaging and leave the reader wanting to be invited to Clarissa Dalloway's party, simply to meet all of them.
I recommend this novel to anyone who is up for a challenging read. It truly is a classic novel that everyone should read. If you are willing to put in the work, the story will reward you. Virginia Woolf was one of the most prolific and influential writers of the 20th century, and Mrs. Dalloway proves why this is true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Prose Gaudily Frames a Day-Long Character Study Emphasizing Self Talk, Aug. 10 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Audio Cassette)
"Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend." -- Proverbs 19:4 (NKJV)

Think of Mrs. Dalloway as being the anti-Ulysses (the James Joyce's masterpiece). The concepts for the novels are similar, but the styles are polar opposites. I recommend becoming familiar with both works in order to appreciate the different ways that character studies can be developed during a day by relying extensively on thought life. Both are brilliant, but in much different ways.

Mrs. Dalloway is English, delicate, fussy, ornate, and feminine. Ulysses is Irish, crude, unrestrained, common, and masculine.

What stands out the most about Mrs. Dalloway are the many original descriptive sentences and phrases that look as though they went through 200 rewritings to be so polished and complete. Their expressions overwhelm the story at time because the reader is left gasping at a stunning turn of phrase or an idea. In writing, you can sit and admire and forget to read on.

A blessing of listening to the excellent reading by Virginia Leishman is that the brilliant writing is better integrated into the story by forcing you to keep going. I enjoyed the experience. I don't want to discourage you from reading the book first, but I believe you will appreciate the overall craft more if you listen before reading. It's the same advice I provide for William Faulkner's books. There's a beauty in the oral expression that is otherwise lost.

I found the story to feel a little dated. I also found myself not being terribly engaged by Mrs. Dalloway or her husband. That's a pretty big problem to have when listening to or reading a novel. Someone today who wrote historical fiction about this period would do it differently.

Naturally, if I were only rating the marvelous ornate writing, this would be five stars. Most writers can only sit back in awe of such writing. On my best day, I wouldn't be worthy of holding a candle for Virginia Woolf.

Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars makes you awe at woolf's ability to write....excellent, June 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
So im a 17 year girl who read this for fun in 2 days. the first 30 pages are tough, especially if you arent used to the language. this is my first book by VW. I came away amazed at woolf's ability to write, she is now my favorite female writer ever. One thinks it is only the story of mrs dalloway but it contains lives of others. I love septimus. ALl i can say is that it kicks butt and you should read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, June 7 2004
By 
Luis M. Luque "luquel" (Crofton, Maryland, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
Difficult, detailed, descriptive, dense -- an apt description of Virginia Woolf's prose. I've never been so annoyed by the difficulty and pointlessness of a story in my life. I thought Faulkner was difficult to read. At least his stories go somewhere, never mind that figuring out his plotlines is like putting together the pieces of a broken bottle. But even after I looked up the Cliff's Notes to see what it was that I hadn't picked up. Once I'd learned all I could learn, I still just didn't care.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Truth, May 18 2004
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" is perhaps my favorite novel. As simple as it is intricate, she provides a seemingly endless number of new insights and observations that I discover with each reading. Her ability to create the voice inside of a situation is clean, being touching and moving without being sentimental.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The real world!, May 1 2004
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
I feel i must give great credit to Woolf for her work on Mrs Dalloway, although it may be dull as there is no real excitement at any part of the novel however, she really does deal with real people in the real world...reality! Her characters reveal how the world really is for so many..we have so many thoughts but are unable to fully communicate it all. It reminded me very much of Catcher in the Rye as you realise so many people in this world are 'fake'. I think anyone who hasn't been able to appreciate her work at all should really wake up!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I Am!, Nov. 24 2002
By 
edzaf (Chandler, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
I read this novel as a prelude to Michael Cunningham's "The Hours" knowing it was homage to Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway." Reading Woolf took me back to my high school days when reading classic literature was a requirement. I am certainly glad I did not have to take an exam on this book. Call me a contemporary book snob, but I found Woolf's stream of consciousness writing style (some sentences often take up nearly a page) unbearable at times. Perhaps I am just a victim of a poor attention span as well. I think I would be "getting it" as I began reading a passage from "Mrs. Dalloway" only to scratch my head wondering what was going on and even who was narrating as I put down the book for the evening.
Nevertheless, I do realize and respect this novel's place in literature. It certainly has literary merit as Woolf's use of language is quite beautiful and stunning at times. Likewise, it must have been groundbreaking back in the 1920s in regards to its concept (a single day in the life of a London wife) and themes (the mental anguish of the title character, particularly her lingering love for a girl she shared a single kiss with in her youth).
Am I sorry I read "Mrs. Dalloway"? No, it certainly made "The Hours" a much richer reading experience. For those who plan on reading Cunningham's contemporty spin, I would cautiously recommend a stab at "Mrs. Dalloway." Overall, though, I have to say Woolf was just simply not my cup of tea.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a story without a story ..., Jan. 10 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
"Mrs. Dalloway" is almost a story without a story. At first sight the plot of this book seems almost banal. After all, who wants to know how Clarissa Dalloway spends her day?. Isn't she merely a shallow woman who leds a boring life?.

Of course, we should remember that first impressions are often misleading... and in this case, they certainly are. "Mrs. Dalloway" is nothing less that a ground-breaking novel in which Virginia Woolf pioneers a style that would later be called "stream of consciousness". Thanks to that style the reader can, literally, read the thoughts of the characters without any kind of censorship. Even though that makes the book somewhat unclear at times, it is nonetheless strangely attractive, and compelling.

"Mrs. Dalloway" is the story of a day in Clarissa's life, but it is at the same time the story of the people who know her, or that are somehow connected to her, and the story of her/their dreams and thoughts. Virginia Woolf's goal in this book was ambitious, but she managed to achive it: she allows the reader to look right into the mind of the different characters...

As I previously mentioned, the story of Mrs. Dalloway is at the same time the story of many more, as the story of each of us is also the story of the people we know/love/hate/like/dislike. There are many people who help us to understand Clarissa, thanks to their interactions with her. However, we also see her under a different light thanks to characters that don't know her, or are merely distantly connected to her through one of her many acquaintances. For example, Septimus Warren Smith, an ex-soldier who battles madness, and whose gloomy life provides a stark contrast to the artificial cheerfulness of Clarissa's own life. The two never meet, but it is impossible to try to understand one without the other...

On the whole, I think you will enjoy this book. It is quite original, and gives the reader food for thought. It makes us realize that there is often more to people than what meets the eye. For that, I highly recommend "Mrs. Dalloway" to you.

Belen Alcat
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3.0 out of 5 stars Novel vindicated at the end, July 10 2004
By 
Shirley A. Phillips "ocee" (Lawrence, KS United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
My initial response of hostility, sustained through much of the book, mellowed some at the end. It is a sensitive story of love and madness, apparent mostly on afterthought. Still, I thought more of Faulkner than of this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars mrs dalloway, Jan. 4 2004
By 
pauline (Netherlands(Holland)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs. Dalloway (Paperback)
Mrs Dalloway is a book well written, it gives a very good example of real life. How people act, what kind of character they have.But my opinion is that it is a bit boring, there's no excitement.
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Mrs. Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Paperback - Feb. 1 2001)
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