Customer Reviews for

The Hours

Average Rating 4
( 177 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 177 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2009

    A Truly Remarkable Work of Literature

    Michael Cunningham's The Hours is a timeless piece of literary achievement that is deserving of its Pulitzer Prize. He remarkably and cleverly weaves the stories of three different women of three different time periods into one flowing story. There is Virginia Woolf in 1923, and her story is followed as she writes her greatest literary achievement, Mrs. Dalloway. Then, there is Laura Brown, a wife and mother from 1949, who struggles with the confinement of her life and seeks to escape it through reading Mrs. Dalloway. Then finally, there is Clarissa Vaughn, a curious reincarnation of Clarissa Dalloway, who is alive at the end of the twentieth century, and whose story follows the planning of a party for a friend. Each finds herself in an undesired position -one of dissatisfaction. These three stories are soon woven together, depicting each individual's triumphs and sorrows and eventually, the connection all three share, despite the passage of time.
    The book really gave me something to chew on. For one, Cunningham's depiction of the theme of confinement was certainly interesting. Though each woman is under a very different situation, each feels that they are somehow constrained. What is more interesting is how each woman handles her situation. Another thing that amazed me was Cunningham's ability to highlight the most everyday things, and give them the most expressive descriptions to make them come alive. He is able to portray that life does not just go on, but every waking moment of life is something special. Interestingly enough, he also contrasts that theme with the idea that life is just a fleeting picture.
    I personally found the book enjoyable. The imagery Michael creates is just stunning, and really brings out the essence of everyday life. At the same time, he is able to manipulate the imagery, syntax, and diction to create a different picture depending on the character. The plot is certainly unique and is very craftily put together. I enjoyed my time reading the book for its literary brilliance. At the same time, I feel that the book was a little over-done at times. While the descriptions certainly add to the life of the book, they do become slightly overwhelming or confusing at times. Also, there are a lot of names to keep track of, making certain parts feel like they're too much to swallow at once. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a good read and a good piece of literature. After I finished reading, not only was I left wowed, but I was also left with a lot to think about. However, I wouldn't recommend this to someone looking for a climactic plot, or a thriller as this is one of those pieces that is simply done to show the power of the pen. Also, it is better suited toward juniors in high school and beyond, as it features some material that requires some maturity to appreciate.
    And so, through his great style of writing, Cunningham is able to entice the reader into getting lost in The Hours, much as Laura Brown fell into Mrs. Dalloway.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    The Hours by Michael Cunningham

    If you've seen the movie and not yet read the book, I would highly recommend Mr. Cunningham's work. The successful transfer of his novel to motion picture says a great deal about David Hare, the man who wrote the screenplay,and did a beautiful job, I must say. The way the movie flows from one era to another is done so masterfully by all who worked to create the motion picture version of this work. Both the novel and screenplay are a 'NOT TO BE MISSED, MUST READ AND SEE'. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BOTH!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2011


    While some parts were sluggish and interuppted the momentum of the story, they were not enough to detract from the beautiful stories that Cunningham effortlessy weaves together. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an intellectually stimulating read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Liked It More Than The Source

    I think the highest praise I can give this novel is that it was worth suffering through Mrs Dalloway to get the most out of it. The Hours, you see, could be described as a "derivative work" ie fan fiction. One thread is about Virginia Woolf, the author of Mrs Dalloway, another about a woman reading Mrs Dalloway and a third about a woman nicknamed Dalloway by a friend. It's this last thread where reading Woolf's novel first pays off since it's a riff on the characters and events of that novel only set in contemporary New York City, and translated beautifully and movingly. One of the pleasures for me in the book was recognizing the references. Eventually the three narrative threads connect up.

    I loved this book a lot more than the source. For one a central event in first novel has a lot more resonance in the second where it has a real affect on the other characters. The narrative of The Hours, although lyrical and interior is far more coherent than Woolf's almost mad stream of consciousness narrative--and certainly, present-day New York City is far more accessible to me than 1923 London and the way of its upper classes. I also found the characters of The Hours much more sympathetic and easier to identify with than Woolf's characters. (That's not the distance of time or country--Austen, Forster, Shakespeare--Gilgamesh have characters far more accessible and sympathetic to me than Woolf's in Mrs Dalloway) I felt the second novel illuminated and used the first well, while standing on its own with its themes of the terrors of middle age and taking a measure of one's life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2009

    Virginia Woolf Reincarnated

    Outstanding novel. Based on the novel Mrs. Dalloway and Ms. Woolf's life, this book is an excellent read. Not for religious fundamentalist as the gay focus will greatly trouble them. Highly recommended for the rest of us.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2007

    Because the light is too fleeting to grasp in your hands.

    THE HOURS is a book both beautiful and agonizing, portraying human emotion clearly, like a bell rung through a forest: you hear it, you want to run to it, but it is too far away. Lovely.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    I highly recommend this book to people in junior high and high s

    I highly recommend this book to people in junior high and high school. This is a very good mystery book. You never really know what going to happen. You better read it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    I watched the movie abd fell in love

    Read this bpok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you like classics, you'll love this book...

    This story was unexpected. It's difficult to review this book without giving too much away. Complicated, for me, is the word that best describes a meeting place for these characters; they relate with restraint, with each relationship falling short of a need. This book improves with age, and plays on your mind. I loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2011

    It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read

    This book shows romance and drama it is about a girl that has the best life until she. Finds out that she has cancer she ends up going into a deep depresion until she has a flash back and is throughn. Into the future and see what she could of been what she could of looked like and what her future was going to look like. She could never have kids she could never get married she sees that all of her life is flashing befor her eyes. I would read this book again but it is one of those books that you want to waight a little wile before reading a gain so you dont go ow she gets. Cancer in this scene but this is one of the best books that I have ever read and I would like to read it again some time in the future.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Over the top

    The writing is great to the point that it is just too much. You have long flowing paragraphs filled with description after description. None of it's really necessary. The story was intriguing, and the last 40 pages or so kept me reading until the end. But take away the fluff, and what you have is a completely mediocre book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not worthy of a Pulitzer

    The author's writing style is simple and easy to read which is the only positive thing I can say. I appreciated the writing style but could not grow to care for the characters. I usually enjoy gloomy storylines because a depressive mood is real to most people. I don't expect a happy ending or a moral lesson in every book I read. However, the author did not do a good job in getting the reader to care for the characters. This was a story that had potential but did not deliver.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Read!

    This was just a wonderful book to read and I can definetely see why it won the Pulitzer! The style is superb, and I really got lost in the language and imagery! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great read and a new story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2009

    The Hours Book Review

    In his book, The Hours, Michael Cunningham weaves together what I feel is practically a literary masterpiece. Masterfully integrating the very different lives of three women into one coherent story, Cunningham interlockss the timeless tale of Mrs. Dalloway and the plight of the great Virginia Woolf with the life of a nearly real-life Clarissa Dalloway into a tapestry of unmatched intricacy.
    The majority of the plot revolves around the respective and separate lives of three very different women, living in three very different time periods. There is Virginia Woolf, living in England in the early 1900's and embarking on her greatest literary achievement. There is a modern incarnation of the immortal Clarissa Dalloway, preparing for a party in a manner remarkably similar to her namesake. There is Laura Brown, pregnant in the 1950's, a voice suppressed and finding escapism in the words of Virginia Wolf. Although it seems as if these three distinct story lines could not possibly mesh in a manner that is both elegant and entertaining, Cunningham veritably proves all doubters wrong.
    With the book opening dramatically with the poignant suicide of Virginia Woolf, the entire book sets off on a rather somber mood, as Cunningham's prowess with the English language provides a suicide to be masterful and elegantly beautiful. As the limp body of Virginia Woolf drifts down the river, so do Cunningham's words, as they smoothly flow into each other just as naturally as a river. In an effort not to spoil the book for those of you unfortunate enough to haven't have read this amazing work of literary splendor yet, I'll refrain from detailing the plot and focus solely on the non-plot based merits this book deserves. And of those there are so many.
    Adding to the pure magic of the book is the relatability of the characters. With universal themes of loneliness and societal pressure being everprevalent in this book, the very core and soul of the book has the capacity to touch the depths of every heart. Adding insight to the most mundane aspects of life, like buying flowers, Cunningham weaves thought-provoking existentialism commentary into every day chores. As even taking a stroll down a street walked on so many times becomes grounds for a deep contemplation of life and all that is important for the characters of The Hours, Cunningham proves his adeptness in injecting the extraordinary into the ordinary.
    Honestly, I just think that this is one of the best books I've ever read. It's perfect for those days when you're just feeling a bit down and need a bit of escape, just as Laura finds escape in Mrs. Dalloway. I'm in love with Michael Cunningham's style and the way he uses commas and the fact that he somehow conveys exactly what he wants with all the accompanying images that just make this book so evocative. This is a tale of the outcome of when fate intertwines with deliberacy, as Michael Cunningham is able to teeter delicately on the line between intrigue and bore. Also, I wholeheartedly enjoy the jellyfish and yellow rose imagery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A book to be enjoyed!

    I loved the ending of this book and how it all came together. As a woman, I related to all of the characters on one level or another. It was well written and is really a book that is meant to be absorbed slowly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2009

    Captures the essence of Virginia Woolf (this is me Miss Jones)

    The Hours by Michael Cunningham follows the life of three women, from different eras, in a style very similar to the Virginia Woolf (it also includes chapters from Virginia Woolf's perspective). The novel is very effective in capturing Woolf's spirit in different aspects of Cunningham's writing, which include format, tone, and theme.
    The story is set up in a different, but effective format, which emphasizes each woman's daily life. It also helps with the flow and connection of the different stories of the three very different, but eerily similar women. Each chapter (give or take) follows one of the three main characters throughout their struggle with everyday life, and forbidden love.
    The overall tone of the story is gloomy, but with a backlight of hope. Each character within themselves are tragic, and come to a tragic end, which is common of Woolf's writing. Cunningham does a great job by not dragging down the story with tragic events that are prominent within the book. The world choice, or diction, is very uplifting and keeps the story flowing steadily all the way though.
    Overall this is a very good book for capturing the essence of Virginia Woolf, who is without a doubt one of the greatest writers of all time. It is a fairly quick read, with the text being fairly simple, and forceful, pulling he reader along for a ride. Virginia herself would be proud of this novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway first.

    Michael Cunningham succeeded in writing this adaptation of Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. At first, I thought it was a forced and trite reproduction of Woolf's writing style, but by the end of the book I was certain he brought a refreshing originality to the novel. The story follows three women: 1923 Woolf as she is writing Mrs. Dalloway, 1949 Laura Brown as she lives her life as an unsatisfied suburban housewife, and 2001 Clarissa Vaughan whose life follows that of Clarissa Dalloway.
    The Prologue at first seemed to be too haunting, but it did settle into a moving theme of despair and regret for the rest of the novel.
    The novel can be followed easily without having read Mrs. Dalloway first, but without reading it one can very easily miss many common themes, events, and character types.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009


    The commonality of the females issues and the diversity of their lives made this a good book club discussion. It was amazing all the different opinions that our club came up with.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    One of the most finely crafted books I've ever read

    Michael Cunningham expertly weaves a tale through time and literature. It grabs you from the beginning and never let's you go. I was amazed at how well he understands the intimate internal dialogue women conduct with themselves.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    at the end I am satisfied...

    There is one sentence at the end of The Hours that expresses the theme of the novel. "There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone.....knows these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult." The Hours follows a day in the life of 3 women parallel to each other as they struggle. Virginia Woolf struggles to remain sane and writing, Laura Brown struggles to feel something and to make her husband a perfect birthday cake, and Clarissa Vaughn struggles to throw her friend Richard, dying of Aids, a party. The striving of these hours comes to climax bringing the stories of these women together. I love the subtleness of this novel. The writing is wonderful and fresh. The Hours has many layers and at the end I am satisfied.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 177 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9