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Between The Acts (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 16 Jan 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (16 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099982609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099982609
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,361,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Woolf was an innovator who redefined the novel and pointed the way towards its future possibilities.' Jeanette Winterson"

"

'Virginia Woolf stands as the chief figure of modernism in England andmust be included with Joyce and Proust in the realisation ofexperimental achievements that have completely broken with tradition' New York Times

"

Book Description

Woolf's last and most lyrical novel, a playful study on the merging of art and life

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "ewanbleiman" on 10 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Between The Acts was completed just weeks before Woolf's suicide, and it shows. The novel is dark and brooding - throughout there is a dark undercurrent that the villagers refuse to acknowledge - the upcoming war. While perhaps not reaching the same heights as The Waves or To The Lighthouse, it remains a breathtaking work. Out of all her novels that I have read, it is the one in which her radical ideas are set out most firmly. She deals with madness, homosexuality, the class system and of course (as always) the transience and futility of life. In particular, the last monologue of Miss La Trobe is pointed and cutting - a final message from Woolf to the world where she in essence cuts through the illusion and points out the dark, sick heart of "civilisation". Irreverant to the past, plunging headfirst into the future, it is certainly not just for Woolf fanatics. I would certainly rate it amongst her best.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
'Between the Acts' is Woolf's last book, said to be, in her own words, 'the most quintessential' of her works. Published posthumously, its characters show many of the classic traits in her previous novels. In many ways, Lucy can be likened to Mrs Ramsay from 'To the Lighthouse' and William Dodge has the untapped intellect and shy arrogance of Mr Tansley. Somehow we see a very different Woolf, one contemplating mortality and the gift of life with nature and the violence of war. Its characters show no signs of realisation of the war which is about to tear them apart and the pageant or play within the novel, rolls on under the guidance of the frustrated artist, Miss La Trobe.
A mysterious and introspective book, perhaps also a little depressing as the reader can, with hindsight, see how prophetic Woolf was being about herself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gregory S. Buzwell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Reading Between the Acts is a little like walking through an art gallery and seeing a succession of beautiful paintings, each of which catches a fleeting moment from life. Woolf was superb at creating a tapestry of 'impressions', moments caught in amber, all separate and yet all, when skillfully stitched together, forming part of one magnificent whole.

The novel catches the thoughts, memories, loves and fears of a group of people over one day in the summer of 1939. War looms, it's in the air, rumbling like an approaching storm, but while the sunshine remains the characters in Woolf's novel focus their attentions on more personal matters - they gossip, they moan, they present one emotion on the surface while feeling quite another deep down; they flirt while simultaneously being too afraid, or two restricted by the conventions of society, to admit their love. Summer blooms, butterflies rest in sunlight, flowers in vases catch the light.

There is a deep love of nature in this novel and, I would argue, a deep love of England. While Miss La Trobe hurries her actors and actresses into presenting their play - a series of scenes from various eras in English history - for the annual village pageant the movement of sunshine across hills and through the leaves of trees, along with the sights and sounds of nature, all merge together to form an exquisite rural backdrop to the lives of the village inhabitants. It is the descriptions, and the fashion in which Woolf catches the fleeting impressions of her characters as they watch the play, that bring the novel to life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs A Alper on 6 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This is beautifully written about the English way of life, its history, its class systems, about the nonsense we all talk about all the time. It writes about nature and spaces and places, at the end the reader feels part of the village and its all reflected back! Well worth reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Woolf's writing style may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you can get her writers voice inside your head you will be transported to the imaginary world she creates. It's not a detective novel. It reflects rather than leads. Wonderful. The ending is profound.
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