Customer Reviews for

Mrs. Dalloway

Average Rating 4
( 90 )
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5 Star

(43)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

'make sure something happens in it'

Mrs. Dalloway is a difficult book to read, especially if you do not enjoy reading or you are not a very apt reader. I've read several reviews on Virginia Woolf's books, and I have to say that the main reason behind the bad reviews is ignorance. It is a day, an...
Mrs. Dalloway is a difficult book to read, especially if you do not enjoy reading or you are not a very apt reader. I've read several reviews on Virginia Woolf's books, and I have to say that the main reason behind the bad reviews is ignorance. It is a day, and in this single day in a person's life Woolf makes the closest representation of love in writing I have ever read. Simply genius, however difficult the book is for you, I assure you that the ending makes it worth it. However, if by the time you finish it you feel like Woolf failed and did not 'make sure something happened', go watch an action film that's not too clever for you. :)

posted by Anonymous on May 10, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Don't Expect Riveting Storytelling

I was assigned this book several times in high school and college and turned to Monarch notes rather than finishing, because words can not express how tedious and boring I found this book. Hated it. Recently, I wanted to read Cunningham's "The Hours" because I was intri...
I was assigned this book several times in high school and college and turned to Monarch notes rather than finishing, because words can not express how tedious and boring I found this book. Hated it. Recently, I wanted to read Cunningham's "The Hours" because I was intrigued by the film. I knew that Mrs Dalloway was one source for the novel, so wanting to get more out of my reading I returned to this novel, thinking, well, maybe being more of a sophisticated reader I'll enjoy it now. I can't say I did.

The novel is written with the stream of consciousness technique and has no chapters and few section breaks. Woolf's sentences are famously long and complex. Sometimes this makes for lyrical, sinuous prose; I especially remembered one passage about the flowers looking like starched laundry striking me as beautiful. It was easier to take in such sentences early in the book, but the prose became more and more numbing because of the its unrelieved density. There are many paragraphs and sentences I reread more than once trying to make sense of them. The narrative often comes across as rambling and incoherent. Given one of the characters is mentally ill, I think some of the narrative is deliberately mad. Different point of views mix throughout the novel without clear cut edges. This is also one of those novels that's feels abstruse, dated, because of many contemporary references are hard to get as a 21st century American without constantly turning to the notes.

There's little discernable plot. We follow various characters--mostly related to Mrs Dalloway--through one mid-June day in London, but the events feel disjointed. Besides there being no plot to absorb me, there was not one character I found likable--I found Mrs Dalloway herself and almost all the characters vapid and shallow. This isn't an accessible story like those of a Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte or EM Forester--its very interior and page after page is filled with character's thoughts. There is a structure and technique of historic importance, but not a read I'd call enjoyable and filled with the melancholies of middle age. A formative classic for good reason, so I'd give it a shot if you haven't read it--but I finished it more frustrated than moved.

posted by Lisa_RR_H on May 23, 2010

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Expect Riveting Storytelling

    I was assigned this book several times in high school and college and turned to Monarch notes rather than finishing, because words can not express how tedious and boring I found this book. Hated it. Recently, I wanted to read Cunningham's "The Hours" because I was intrigued by the film. I knew that Mrs Dalloway was one source for the novel, so wanting to get more out of my reading I returned to this novel, thinking, well, maybe being more of a sophisticated reader I'll enjoy it now. I can't say I did.

    The novel is written with the stream of consciousness technique and has no chapters and few section breaks. Woolf's sentences are famously long and complex. Sometimes this makes for lyrical, sinuous prose; I especially remembered one passage about the flowers looking like starched laundry striking me as beautiful. It was easier to take in such sentences early in the book, but the prose became more and more numbing because of the its unrelieved density. There are many paragraphs and sentences I reread more than once trying to make sense of them. The narrative often comes across as rambling and incoherent. Given one of the characters is mentally ill, I think some of the narrative is deliberately mad. Different point of views mix throughout the novel without clear cut edges. This is also one of those novels that's feels abstruse, dated, because of many contemporary references are hard to get as a 21st century American without constantly turning to the notes.

    There's little discernable plot. We follow various characters--mostly related to Mrs Dalloway--through one mid-June day in London, but the events feel disjointed. Besides there being no plot to absorb me, there was not one character I found likable--I found Mrs Dalloway herself and almost all the characters vapid and shallow. This isn't an accessible story like those of a Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte or EM Forester--its very interior and page after page is filled with character's thoughts. There is a structure and technique of historic importance, but not a read I'd call enjoyable and filled with the melancholies of middle age. A formative classic for good reason, so I'd give it a shot if you haven't read it--but I finished it more frustrated than moved.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    I hated this book.

    What a waste of time. I was not drawn into the story enough to care about any of the characters. Now I know why I didn't read this "classic" earlier.

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2000

    *Here's a hint* BUY CLIFFS NOTES

    I unknowingly just picked out a book for my English Honors class independant reading assignment, I saw that the author was Virginia Woolf, and I thought, what the heck? I've at least heard of her, so I'll read it. That was a mistake. The book takes place over one day, is about a lady giving a party and a crazy man. It is hard to keep track of who is telling the story, for it changes often, and there are no chapters. I don't really reccommend the book unless you have a lot of time and patience.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    What a self-indulgent piece of muck!!! I have rarely been so bor

    What a self-indulgent piece of muck!!! I have rarely been so bored by a book.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    wrong edition!

    This is not the annotated edition in nookbook!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    AP English forced me to attempt to read this garbage.

    My AP English class has to read this book, so we can analyze The Hours, which is heavely based off this terrible read. There is I think maybe two or three people in our class that are actually reading it, everyone else has given up the torture. Okay, Woolf does have a brilliant writing style, but she forgot the most important thing in a novel...THE STORY! This story is absolutley boring. I read forty-five pages, but I could not focus on any of them without thinking of an actual good story that I'd rather be reading right now. Why can't books like this remember to make the story gripping and entertaining. I don't believe she is that great of a writer just because she writes in stream of consciousness well. If a writer can't remember to make the reader want to keep reading then they do not deserve to be published.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    Never Read

    I studied this book for extension english and found it to be the most tiresome text i have every read. I started the book four times before finishing it (skipping 4 chapters in between). Its not that i'm anti-feminist or an elizabethan fan i just don't enjoy blabber that is not related to the sentence before or after it. A book of one day is all very well however if you ever plan on writing one make sure something happens in it, unlike this one.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2003

    It's HORRIBLE

    I found this book very boring. It was beyond horrible!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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