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Jacob's Room [Hardcover]

Virginia Woolf , 1st World Library , 1stworld Library
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Feb 2006 1421803984 978-1421803982
"So of course," wrote Betty Flanders, pressing her heels rather deeper in the sand, "there was nothing for it but to leave." Slowly welling from the point of her gold nib, pale blue ink dissolved the full stop; for there her pen stuck; her eyes fixed, and tears slowly filled them. The entire bay quivered; the lighthouse wobbled; and she had the illusion that the mast of Mr. Connor's little yacht was bending like a wax candle in the sun. She winked quickly. Accidents were awful things. She winked again. The mast was straight; the waves were regular; the lighthouse was upright; but the blot had spread.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: 1st World Library - Literary Society (8 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421803984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421803982
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13.7 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,447,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Virginia Woolf is now recognized as a major twentieth-century author, a great novelist and essayist and a key figure in literary history as a feminist and a modernist. Born in 1882, she was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen, and suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her step-sister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. Her father died in 1904 and two years later her favourite brother Thoby died suddenly of typhoid.

With her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, she was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which was to publish the work of T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and Katherine Mansfield as well as the earliest translations of Freud. Woolf lived an energetic life among friends and family, reviewing and writing, and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.

Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and she then worked through the transitional Night and Day (1919) to the highly experimental and impressionistic Jacob's Room (1922). From then on her fiction became a series of brilliant and extraordinarily varied experiments, each one searching for a fresh way of presenting the relationship between individual lives and the forces of society and history. She was particularly concerned with women's experience, not only in her novels but also in her essays and her two books of feminist polemic, A Room of One's Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938).

Her major novels include Mrs Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), written for Vita Sackville-West, the extraordinarily poetic vision of The Waves (1931), the family saga of The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941). All these are published by Penguin, as are her Diaries, Volumes I-V, and selections from her essays and short stories.

Product Description


"Virginia Woolf stands as the chief figure of modernism in England and must be included with Joyce and Proust in the realisation of experimental achievements that have completely broken with tradition" (New York Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

An experimental novel about a young man who yearns for something greater than his everyday life holds. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A typically wonderful read from the great Virginia Woolf. While Jacob is on the one hand the centre of this book, he is also the enigma which the reader never quite finds. We hear many others talking of Jacob, but we catch only fleeting glimpses of Jacob himself, making this book a strange, at times disorientating read. This however, is clearly Woolf's intention, as she plays with notions of character, authorial omniscience, and coherent plotting. A great example of classic modernist fiction from one of Britain's most celebrated authors. If you are prepared for a challenging read, then buy this book- but prepare for your expectations of what constitutes a novel to be put under the spotlight.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experimental, but still very good 2 Oct 2011
I'm in a Woolf phase right now and came to this book after reading her later works: 'Mrs Dalloway', 'To the Lighthouse', 'Orlando' as well her non-fiction piece 'A Room of One's Own'. Although lacking the brilliance of these later works, 'Jacob's Room' is well worth a read if only to see Woolf starting out on the process of trying to dismantle the idea that novel = linear narrative, fully rounded characterisation, and an omniscient author.

I think 'Jacob's Room' is a very 'impressionistic' novel in that we get no concrete sense of who the main character, Jacob Flanders, is. As another reviewer has said, we only catch glimpses of him. There is no god-like omniscient author forever telling you what the character thinks or feels. (To me this reflects the increasingly godless modern world we live in.) Also, the dialogue in the novel is often disjointed and I think this reflects the atomised modern world we live in. I assume that by writing dialogue which lacks linearity and fluidity Woolf more truthfully reflects human to human interaction: it's often full of non-sequitors, fails to flow easily, is interrupted etc.

If you're prepared for a challenging read and want to see how Woolf got started on the process of challenging the then accepted norms of fiction wfiting - then buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good - but not the best one to start with 23 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent novel and leaves you gasping with admiration at Ms Woolf's wonderful prose. However, compared to her best work - Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves - it reads more like an experiment in prose. If you haven't yet read any Virginia Woolf, start with To the Lighthouse or Mrs Dalloway. Don't expect racy page turners but just wonderful language that reads like exquisite music. In my opinion, though, I think her diaries are her best work and well worth seeking out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars for any fans of woolf 29 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Woolf at her best. Engaging and a mystery. The characters become endearing yet untouchable in a true exploration of self.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The new modernist style 4 Jun 2013
By Bookfan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jacob's Room is VW's third novel (1922) and marks her departure from naturalism to modernism. A slim volume but a full one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars just ok 12 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book in my honest opinion was just ok it was nothing special it i thought it would have been better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great buy 14 Mar 2013
By Hebjude
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Subtle and delicate. A beautiful investigation of desire, memory, character and place. Modern in the best sense of the word.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this novel, it's magical. Unfortunately the kindle edition being sold here is missing inset quotes/songs/poems from the characters so sometimes you might get

"Ah," sighed Clara, who stood beside Jacob, half-way through.

sang Elsbeth Siddons.
(Chapter 7, Loc 1037)

without ever discovering what she sang. It's a little sad, but not unforgivable (especially considering it's a free edition). I would use it to discover whether you like it and then investigate to see if any of the paid-for-but-cheap editions for Kindle are actually complete.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars OPK
It was my choice and it is well made - Delivered before the expected date - and well packaged - Nothing else I can say
Published 7 months ago by Him & Me
2.0 out of 5 stars Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
I only bought it as it was reviewed in Toby's Room by Pat Barker which was excellent. I passed Jacob's Room on to a friend who found it equally difficult and bewildering. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Shirley Stevens
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the few and i do mean few books never finished.
Always wanted to read Woolf's work, very disappointed, hows she stayed so popular,i will never know. Can't think who would like this book.
Published 14 months ago by reader
1.0 out of 5 stars Jacob's Room
Would have the potential to be great but no one sent it to me!!! Poor description of product meant I got a different version
Published 18 months ago by fredric the great ram
4.0 out of 5 stars "...the bees home thick with gold, drowsy, humming, suddenly vocal;.."
This excerpt from a letter sent by Woolf explaining something of her raison d'etre for writing Jacob's Room gives some context for the exceptionally fragmented and sometimes... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Eileen Shaw
3.0 out of 5 stars not my thing
not really a story to suit me but others may like, i did not like style and would not reccommend
Published 20 months ago by Trevtron
4.0 out of 5 stars My first Woolf
I am a newcomer to Woolfs writing. This book was enjoyable although you never get to know too much about Jacob. I am hoping to read 'to the lighthouse' next.
Published 22 months ago by James
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