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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Modernist Writing
Mrs Dalloway is critically regarded as one of the quintessential exemplars of both stream-of-consciousness writing and the ethos of the Modernist era. Stylistically stunning, the innovative narrative follows a day in the life of protagonist Clarissa Dalloway, an aristocratic socialite struggling to find meaning and contentment in post-war London. Juxtaposed with her,...
Published on 1 Feb 2009 by F. Hendry

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsure...
Having finished `Mrs Dalloway', I was left unsure whether I actually enjoyed the book. I can clearly see why it has received so much praise as Woolf's excellent use of language truly envelopes you in the psyche of Clarissa Dalloway and the thought processes of her other dramatic devices, particularly the visionary Septimus. However I was, as I am sure Woolf intended,...
Published on 12 July 2008 by H.J.P.


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not an easy read, 4 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Kindle Edition)
I found this a very difficult read. Pleased I stuck with it to the end but would not recommend to other reades
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 30 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
fine
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Dalloway, 13 Feb 2009
A slight copy of "Ulysses", shifted from Dublin to London... maybe less "vulgar" than Woolf considered "Ulysses".
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing style, 20 Aug 2006
Virginia Woolf was one of the most famous writers of the stream of consciousness style of writing along with James Joyce. One of her most famous books reflecting this style was Mrs. Dalloway.

It centres around one day in the life of an MP's wife as she plans a party set to feature the usual higher ranks of London society. The book focuses on her plans and her dreams; her past dreams with Peter Walsh and her future hopes and anxieties.

Personally I found Septimus Warren Smith to be more intriguing than the eponymous protagonist. He is a literary man and commits suicide by hurling himself out of a window. He is similar to Woolf in that He suffers from manic depression like Woolf and his suicide reflects Woolf's failed suicide consisting of the same method. He is mentally ill therefore and Woolf lambasts the treatment of him by his patronising doctor.

Mrs. Dalloway then is certainly not easy to read and enjoy and at times I found myself rushing through some pages as I admittedly struggled with some of the deviation prevalent in this style but I did find the book interesting to read. The style is peculiar yet because it is from the conscious it is at most times easy to read and understand.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars quite disappointing, 23 Jan 2012
By 
G. Chambers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I picked the book for a read out of curiosity and also because I realised I had never read anything by her . I knew a few things about Virginia Woolf but not about her work , so I thought Mrs Dallaway would be a good starting point ...Well , I think is going to be the end as well ! The style is very confusing , the thoughts jump from one character to the other so it takes a while to realise that is somebody else and I was forever going back . Yes , probably an innovative technique if it wasn't for James Joyce to take it to perfection beforehand ! I was expecting a few strong characters , that didn't happen either , I found Mrs Dalloway absolutely without substance , common in her choices and pretty cold as a wife , mother , ex-lover . The other main character is the soldier returned shell shocked from the war and unable to adapt to normal life after his experience , kills himself just when you think there's some hope and the whole closure of his life is really a bit confusing , I had to re-read the passage to understand if he's dead or not as his wife flow of thoughts was pretty strange after having a chrystal clear flow throughout .
I did found a good thing about the book and that is the description of different parts of London during the day , the ding dong of the Big Ben and so on, but I'm afraid , that's about it ...
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fragmented moments, 25 Aug 2001
By A Customer
If you are looking for a narrative packed with exciting events, a story that will keep you thinking 'What'll happen next?' then Eileen Atkins's reading of "Mrs Dalloway" is not the tape for you. Virginia Woolf's novel does not have an exhilarating plot. It is not an eventful story. Neither is it peopled with unusual characters. It is, perhaps, a medium through which you might experience what Woolf termed a 'moment of being', the sudden revelation central to her writing at its finest.
Eileen Atkins is the author of "Vita and Virginia"; a dramatization of the correspondence of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West from the women's meeting in the early nineteen-twenties to Virginia's suicide in 1942. The depth of her understanding of Woolf is evident as reads "Mrs Dalloway" perfectly, bring out every nuance in the calm surface of the text, insisting the listener weighs the significance of the echoes of a refrain from Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" ('Fear no more the heat of the sun'), while delighting to surprise us with Woolf's sudden expletives: 'What a lark! What a plunge!'
This recording, like most audio books, is an abridgement of the original text. Many books, particularly long novels written in the realist tradition, are abridged with great success, delivering them to a new 'readership' via a different medium. This is not true of Virginia Woolf's fiction. 'Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day', Woolf suggests in "The Common Reader", 'The mind receives a myriad impressions....is it not the task of the novelist to convey this?' In "Mrs Dalloway" the cause-and-effect narrative of the realist tradition is abandoned. The 'scaffolding' of the realist plot is taken down; there is 'scarcely a brick to be seen' in this critique of social convention. Instead, Woolf's reader follows an apparently random chain of external happenings and thought-processes that comprise a single June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. It is a beautiful, delicate novel, woven out of what its author called 'incantation and mystery', in which the social message is communicated via metaphor, allusion, rhythm, and repetition. Despite Ms Atkins's inspired reading of the text, the abridgment of the novel is a series of crude intrusions into those 'moments of being' that are its life force
Eileen Atkins is a first-class narrator so, despite my personal misgivings, I feel sure that many devotees of Woolf's fiction will enjoy this recording. However, it is certainly not a substitute for the unabridged text of "Mrs Dalloway". Listeners seeking to deepen their understanding of Virginia Woolf, her novels, and wider literary world would do well to read Hermione Lee's excellent critical biography and the text of Eileen Atkins's "Vita and Virginia".
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad lot!!, 25 Mar 2007
By 
Jane Baker "jan-bookcase" (Somerset) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I have always struggled to read Virginia Woolf but I finished this with great satisfaction tinged with bemusement. Most of the characters are seriously mad. Richard Dalloway is the only one who is even remotely sane - and the only one who has a job. This may be more than coincidence. The others have far too much time for egocentic languishings which doesn't help their edge of sanity status. Septimus Smith was mad before he was shell-shocked in WW1 - he seemed only to go to war to fight for Shakespeare! Peter Walsh is a drifter and Clarissa Dalloway is utterly self-absorbed. One wonders if she would have taken her own life had she had more to think about than her own ego-centric stream of consciousness. This was a very good read but I think it will be my only successful flirtation with V.W. I only read it after someone gave me a copy of Michael Cunningham's "The Hours".
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dog ate it, 21 Dec 2011
This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This would have been an interesting read if I had managed to get to the end of it before my stupid dog ate it, quite literally munched it to its very end. It has earned her the nickname 'Enemy of Literature' which she relishes. I hope you have more luck with it than I did. On the upside, it looked tasty if that is your plan too.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slowely but surely, 26 Nov 2002
Mrs. Dalloway is a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway (who's having a party).This may sound dull but Woolf actually pulls it of. It's written in her quite unique immpressionist style. We are mostly inside peoples head and read what they're thinking and doing ,their memories and their fears.
If I had to describe this style? It's like the movie Fallen with Denzel Washington (which is actually a rather lame film but nevermind) where the spirit of a serial killer moves from one person to the next. The person carrying the spirit will walk past another person and it will move into the next body.
While reading Mrs.Dalloway I felt like a fly on the wall (rather in the head actually). You move from one person's mind to the next and back again. In the end all the characters and the events come together (although not in a Hollywood type ending).
If you don't like a bit of a slow read or something to mull over you should definitly not read it. If you're ready for a literary masterpiece DO! (And buy this edition it's cheap and has lots of extra's!)
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6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reading should not be such hard work, 17 Feb 2009
This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this book at all although I expected to do so as it's the kind of subject that I normally would enjoy. I read it because it was chosen by our book club. The stream of consciousness is extremely hard to follow and because there is so little (no?) variation in voice you don't immediately notice either that you've changed character, or who you are now with. I had to keep turning back to find out who I was reading about now. The way the narrative keeps switching from one character to another meant that I couldn't form a coherent picture of any of them - I just started to feel I knew something about one of them when I suddenly found myself dealing with another.

The suicide I found puzzling, in fact I had to read the section more than once to be sure it actually was a suicide. I found the widow's reaction confusing and it destroyed all the empathy I had created with her - the only character with whom I did feel any empathy.

Initially I feared I was just not intellectual enough to appreciate this work, but after finding that all our book club members had the same opinion of it I came to the conclusion that the pain and grief Virginia Woolf apparently went through in writing this book was hardly any less than I felt in reading it, and didn't justify the results.
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Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics)
Mrs Dalloway (Wordsworth Classics) by Virginia Woolf (Paperback - 5 Aug 1996)
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