FROM THE PUBLISHER
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.
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.
Thought if I read the book, the movie might make more sense. They were both equally lacking. I want "The Hours" I wasted back!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.