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The Hours
The Hours
Author: Michael Cunningham
A daring, deeply affecting third novel by the author of A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood. — In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, widely praised as one of the most gifted writers of his generation, draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters struggling with the con...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312243029
ISBN-10: 0312243022
Publication Date: 1/15/2000
Pages: 240
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 403 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Hours on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Interesting read - starts off slow but culminates into a surprisingly touching story. The three characters merge into one story that is tied together not only narratively but emotionally. Keep the tissues close!
reviewed The Hours on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Winner of Pulitzer Prize. Having seen the film version of this book, I was surprised that I was able to read it until the end. It is well written novel about three women whose lives are entwined. It is sad and uplifting at same time because it allows women space to be different from the "normal" version of women. There is an element of Lesbianism in all these women's lives although it is not made the most significant element of the novel.
Founder-PBS avatar reviewed The Hours on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a great read. The story of 3 women envelope you during this read. I felt real empathy for the characters and could relate to many of the feelings so eloquently expressed in the book. A great opportunity to reflect on our own lives.
reviewed The Hours on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of the best books I've ever read - brilliant and moving, and the way everything ties together and the three plots connect....simply lovely.
reviewed The Hours on
Helpful Score: 3
1999 Pulitzer Prize and 1999 Pen/Faulkner award. This treasure inspired me to try to read all Pulitzer award-winning novelists' work (I'm still reading, of course). The movie was very enjoyable, but the book was even more profound. The language is beautiful and takes on a life of its own. The book will certainly have a special place on my bookshelf - among my favorites.
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wss4 avatar reviewed The Hours on + 389 more book reviews
In The Hours, Michael Cunningham draws inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair. The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf's last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two modern American women who are trying to make rewarding lives for themselves in spite of the demands of friends, lovers, and family. Clarissa Vaughan is a book editor who lives in present-day Greenwich Village; when we meet her, she is buying flowers to display at a party for her friend Richard, an ailing poet who has just won a major literary prize. Laura Brown is a housewife in postwar California who is bringing up her only son and looking for her true life outside of her stifling marriage. With rare ease and assurance, Cunningham makes the two women's lives converge with Virginia Woolf's in an unexpected and heart-breaking way during the party for Richard.
reviewed The Hours on + 3 more book reviews
One of the best books I've ever read. The way the stories are woven together, separate yet connected, with themes throughout is really amazing. There is a reason this book won the Pulitzer. It is beautifully written yet easy to read, funny and heartbreaking, everything you could want in a book.
2manyb00ks avatar reviewed The Hours on + 203 more book reviews
Thought if I read the book, the movie might make more sense. They were both equally lacking. I want "The Hours" I wasted back!
kato avatar reviewed The Hours on + 21 more book reviews
The hours was by far one of my favorite reads of the year. The author brilliantly weaves the lives of three people from three different times, Clarissa Vaughan, Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf and intertwines all three lives so hauntingly beautifully and poignant, I read the last page, turned over the book and began reading it again. I saw and loved the movie before reading the book and so thrilled I chose to pick it up regardless. There is so much more that writing can do for a story that visuals cannot.
madshrubbery avatar reviewed The Hours on + 23 more book reviews
Cunningham has provided a story of three extraordinary women: a 1950s California housewife, a 2000s New York editor, and the magnificent 1920s Virgina Woolf. Woolf is on the cusp of creating her masterpiece, Mrs. Dalloway, and the women who follow her in history read it and experience it. Beautifully written, it's a great read for open-minded thinkers everywhere. Now an Oscar-winning motion picture.
reviewed The Hours on + 24 more book reviews
book that turned into a movie. interesting read, a sympathetic novel. it is inspired by a Virginia Woolf novel, Mrs. Dalloway. You do not need to know Woolf to read The Hours, you are just cheating yourself if you dont go read her next. (Mrs. Dalloway is one of the finest books ever. Go read that instead of eating now) However, if The Hours turns you into Virginia Woolf's biggest reader, as it did me, then it is not in vain.
reviewed The Hours on + 49 more book reviews
Michael Cunningham's clever adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway combines the beauty and tragedy of everyday life with the hopes and dreams of the book's characters in a tragic, joyful and ultimately unforgetable way. Excellent book that I had a hard time parting with.
bran-flakes14 avatar reviewed The Hours on + 72 more book reviews
The writer of this novel has undeniable talent for prose, and while the story he weaves is relevant and literary, it can sometimes be too unbearably depressing to get through. However, I'd still recommend it as reading, especially if you've read the classic "Mrs Dalloway", from which this modern novel was inspired. Divided into different sections named after its three main characters, the book weaves a tale involving sexuality and suicide concerning a modern-day bisexual, a depressed 1950s housewife, and Virginia Woolf herself. A relatively quick read, with moody and lyrical prose, but only for those who think they can handle a quick dose of psychological darkness.
reviewed The Hours on + 10 more book reviews
I read this especially for my interest in Virginia Woolf, and it is an interesting tribute to her, incoroporating the writing of Mrs Dalloway in with two women's lives during the 50's and 90's. It's a quick and easy read. I'd recommend it.
reviewed The Hours on + 22 more book reviews
This book more than fulfills the promise of Cunningham's 1990 debut, "A Home At The End of The World", while showing that sweep does no necessarily require the sprawl of his second book, "Flesh and Blood"....Cunningham's insightful use of the historical record concerning Virginia Woolf in her household outside London in the 1920's is matched by his audacious imagining of her inner life and his equally impressive plunge into the lives of Laura and Clarissa...Rich and beautifully nuanced scenes follow one upon the other....The overall effect of this book is twofold. First, it makes a reader hunger to know all about Woolf, again; readers may be spooked at times, as Woolf's spirit emerges in unexpected ways, but hers is an abiding presence, more about living than dying. Second, and this is the gargantuan accomplishment of this small book: it makes a reader believe in the possibiltiy and depth of a community based on great literature, literature that has shown people how to live and what to ask of life.

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