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This review is from: Mrs Dalloway (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
This is a classic, Modernist masterpiece. From a stylistic point of view, it experiments on what's known as "stream of consciousness", that is, trying to reproduce in language the ways of the human mind.
Its themes are manifold: from the social persona to feminism and repression, colonialism, sexuality, madness, etc, all set in postwar London, in the 1920s.
Now, this is no easy read. I'm aware that many will find it boring and pointless, so unless you're assigned to read it, think about your literary taste. There is no introduction -the novel really begins with "Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself"-, there's no real plot -just a party thrown by an MP's wife and a lot of thoughts about her youth-, and there's no ending -it just ends as the party ends-.
For example, Woolf spends quite a long time analyising, from different perspectives, how different people percieve what a plane is writing with smoke in the sky, or how all of them had reacted when a car loudly stopped with someone important inside. Or, for example, Peter Walsh just follows randomly a girl around London, reflecting about his own past, until the girl gets into a house.
There's literature and literature. This is no adventure novel, there's no action, no plight or peril, no quest or objective. It is a work about life, about the human being, about the mind.