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The Waves [Kindle Edition]

Virginia Woolf
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This carefully crafted ebook: “The Waves” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents.


The book is Virginia Woolf's most experimental novel, first published in 1931. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book's six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis. Also important is Percival, the seventh character, though readers never hear him speak through his own voice. The monologues that span the characters' lives are broken up by nine brief third-person interludes detailing a coastal scene at varying stages in a day from sunrise to sunset.


As the six characters or "voices" alternately speak, Woolf explores concepts of individuality, self, and community. Each character is distinct, yet together they compose a gestalt about a silent central consciousness. Bernard is a story-teller, always seeking some elusive and apt phrase Louis is an outsider, who seeks acceptance and success; Neville desires love, seeking out a series of men, each of whom become the present object of his transcendent love; Jinny is a socialite, whose Weltanschauung corresponds to her physical, corporeal beauty; Susan flees the city, in preference for the countryside, where she grapples with the thrills and doubts of motherhood; and Rhoda is riddled with self-doubt and anxiety, always rejecting and indicting human compromise, always seeking out solitude. Percival is the god-like but morally flawed hero of the other six, who dies midway through the novel on an imperialist quest in British-dominated colonial India. Although Percival never speaks through a monologue of his own in The Waves, readers learn about him in detail as the other six characters repeatedly describe and reflect on him throughout the book. The novel follows its six narrators from childhood through adulthood.



Product Description

Review

Full of sensuous touches...the sounds of her words can be velvet on the page (Maggie Gee Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

'Virginia Woolf wanted to write about the vast unknown uncertain continent that is the world and us in it' Jeanette Winterson, from her introduction to The Waves

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 660 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Publisher: e-artnow ebooks (1 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ELCXRL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - but not for the uninitiated! 1 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In my view this is Woolf's best book. It is less of a novel as one usually expects - more a 300-page poem in prose form. The key to reading the book is to simply let the words flow over you - don't try to decipher the literal meaning of every sentence, just enjoy the sensations that their shape and texture give you. Ostensibly about the lives of five friends from birth to death, the book can actually be interpreted as an attempt by Woolf to delve deep into various facets of her own psyche, and a sharp reader will doubtless notice many of their own deepest psychological experiences in there.
A word of warning - don't try it if you've never read Woolf before. This is Woolf at her most abstract and esoteric. Try Mrs. Dalloway or Orlando first to get used to her style, then perhaps To The Lighthouse, before you try this. But for those who read the book with the right approach, the rewards are enormous, and indeed potentially life-changing.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, difficult, Woolf's masterpiece 22 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This novel must invent its own narrative form to speak, and does; Woolf perfects her own poetics through the voices of six characters as we follow them from infancy to death, all in the course of a day. But the novel is not merely a formal or stylistic exercise in describing the world: it is one of the twentieth century's most moving accounts of the mostly unspoken, largely unspeakable shock at there being a world at all.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was, but not now. 2 Aug. 2004
Format:Paperback
Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?
She was an author I had put off reading for some time now, for reasons I'm not sure I fully understand, but having finally got around to reading her once, I'm looking forward to a second chance.
For the first time in a long time, I have found myself shocked by a book. By the style as well as the substance. I remember an old friend describing the first time he heard 'Sunshine of your love' by Cream in the sixties and how he thought 'I didn't know you could do that, make that sound with a guitar'. Reading this book shocked me out of the complacency of what a novel could be or achieve.
In a stream of consciousness narrative, echoing the tide's waxing and waning over a single day, the novel follows the life of six friends from childhood to old age. It's a novel of feeling and sound, emotive more than cognitive. Poignant, halcyonic, melancholic - like it's author. A wonderful poetic gift that needs to be felt. A book to return to again and again.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cutting and revolutionary 6 Nov. 2002
By Nicholas VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is the first virginia woolf book that I have had the fortune to read, and I must comment that I was blown away by it's fantastically original style. It reads to me as a beautiful at times haunting long poem, that never ceases to enage the reader. The story is based around 7 individuals and documents their lives from children to adults. The book can be a little confusing at times due to the nature of it's content, but the sheer beauty of the words carries it through it's weaker moments. So lovely I might even read it again.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I've Ever Read 20 Mar. 2009
Format:Paperback
Possibly one of the best books I've ever read. This is writing at its most skilled, incorporating excellent ideas about life, death and being. I found that rather than reading the book and deliberating over every word, I let the book read me. This is a very enlightening read, when read like this. Unusually, I also found this an easier read than `To the Lighthouse'.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be read out loud 30 April 2009
Format:Paperback
The Waves follows the lives of six friends from childhood to adulthood. There is no dialogue, but we follow the innermost thought of each of the characters. This provides a unique experience, different from that of any other books I've read: it can be (barely) summed up as a collection of intertwined monologues. As such, it's somewhat closer to a theatre play than a novel. I suggest it to read it out loud: only then, Woolf's delicate and precise choice of words (and sounds) can be fully appreciated.

As any other novel by Virginia Woolf, this book can be daunting, and the lack of explicit dialogue can make it fell more so. However, it's an enriching emotional experience.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stream of consciousness 15 Jan. 2009
By Jitkat
Format:Paperback
The Waves is a stream of consciousness describing thoughts of a group of schoolmates throughout their lives. The molonologues start as they go to school together and alternate from one friend to another. There's also a non-talking character who is very important to the others but we never know what he's thinking.

The prologues at the beginning of each chapter mark the different stages in the freinds' live: from sunraise to sunset. The waves motive represents the different thoughts and feelings that go up and down and the live experiences that are also up and down the shore, just like the waves.

The book is generally very difficult to read: follow Woolf's thoughts was sometimes impossible for me. But don't give up, after a lot of emotional talking, there always is a factual information which aligns the plot. Her language is fabulous, although the meaning at times obscure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting - some cha;llenges 8 April 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not for the faint hearted reader! The style of writing and the the format of the book are something quite different. Here you will find in analysis of the psyche which scratches beneath the surface to reveal the subjects as they are, rather than as they would wish to appear. The chronological approach emphasizes changes - one is constantly asking what is genetic, what is learned? As an in depth writing the book is interesting - there are brilliant passages, some a little abstract.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
GOOD
Published 2 months ago by R D Coleman
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
This was tricky to read, but definitely worth finishing. It is written in a stream of consciousness style which can be disconcerting. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Robert Pask
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Genius
Published 8 months ago by R. Holloway
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to become immersed in
It's poetry. Amazing insight into minds of characters easily and immediately conveyed to the reader. Should appeal to anyone interested in the Bloomsbury Group.
Published 8 months ago by Mrs E MacGregor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fabulous read from a great author
Published 10 months ago by CBW
4.0 out of 5 stars WOOLFS MASTERWORK
BUY THE TIME THIS BK APPEARED WOOLF HAD EXPERIENCED MANY PSYCHOTIC EPISODES.HER MENTAL ILLNESS IS CLEAR IN THIS WORK AND IS IN MY OPION HER BEST. Read more
Published 10 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
2.0 out of 5 stars Really struggling
Cannot, cannot, cannot get into this book. With the rhyme format I feel myself following the lyrical not the story
Published 12 months ago by K. King
3.0 out of 5 stars A satisfactory book
This item was bought for a book club project. Nothing wrong with the item but a typical V Woolf book, almost unintelligible, depressing and not liked by the majority of Club... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr. G. M. Ashley
1.0 out of 5 stars Deleted!!
Amazon was not able to supply this product. The manufacturer told me it had been deleted - but I got a copy on EBay; it same from the USA but arrived promptly. Read more
Published 22 months ago by JAT
5.0 out of 5 stars This is for a book group
Have not read this as yet but do look forward to reading it in the future we start in Sept
Published 24 months ago by Mr M J Walling
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