Book Review: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf was an excellent read.

Posted: Oct 20, 2011 11:52 am

I’ve added another book to this year’s booklist, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Excellent; what more can one say? One day in the life of London’s Clarissa Dalloway and her friends, yet we get to know years of events in their lives, told almost completely through their inner dialogues. The book has no chapters or breaks, so it probably should be read in a single sitting, but I put it aside to sleep a couple times, and each time had to back up a few pages to regain the flow. A ‘modern’ novel written in stream-of-consciousness style from the point of view of about 6 main characters, it is hard to imagine what the movie could be like, unless the movie features lots of inner dialog. I’ll have to see the movie now, just to satisfy my curiosity.

I bought these two books about two weeks ago from Goodwill, for a dollar each; Absurdistan, which I finished last week, wasn’t really worth the dollar, but Mrs. Dalloway was worth every penny and much more, easily enough to make up for the first wasted dollar. I have nothing in common with Woolf’s upper-class English snobs, and yet the stream-of-consciousness writing style reveals much in common under the skin. Of course, all of the characters are revealing the inner life of Virginia Woolf herself, so maybe it’s her humanity to which I feel a kinship. One wonders if dull people have the same rich internal self-conversations. Hope so, for their sake!

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