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Description

It is a June day in London in 1923, and the lovely Clarissa Dalloway is having a party. Whom will she see? Her friend Peter, back from India, who has never really stopped loving her? What about Sally, with whom Clarissa had her life’s happiest moment?

Meanwhile, the shell-shocked Septimus Smith is struggling with his life on the same London day.

Luminously beautiful, Mrs. Dalloway uses the internal monologues of the characters to tell a story of inter-war England. With this, Virginia Woolf changed the novel forever.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

(P)2010 Naxos AudioBooks

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Notations

Global

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Performance

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Histoire

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Beauty

Just lovely. Timeless. Beautifully read, great style of speech and very suited to the novel.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 11/06/2012

One Tough Read Perfectly Delivered

First of all, this isn't in the style of Jane Eyre. Modernist writing can be very, very challenging. This book and "To the Lighthouse" are in the same class with James Joyce and William Faulkner. These authors require interaction with the reader.

If you are willing to 'work' with the author and pay attention to the writing, you will be rewarded with a life-long impact that will make much other writing seem vapid.

There are two ways to approach this book. One, search online for notes and commentary and prepare yourself for the journey. If you understand where the book is going, you will greatly enjoy the journey. Woolf intentionally rations information which can make the book very hard to follow. But as in life, if you know a person, you can follow their thoughts with fewer words because you understand that person.

The book is much like a conversation we have in our heads. It's not made of fully complete thoughts and is distracted by other thoughts. And the book takes place in a very narrow slice of time---a single day but with references to times past. Hang on tight!

Sit quietly and think. Pay attention to how your mind will burst forth with fragments of ideas, odd images and unrelated fragments. This how our brains work and what the modernists were exploring.

The other approach is to go through the book twice, unprepared. You'll have to go through the book more than once anyway. I listened to the same 30 minutes sometimes 5 or more times. Move ahead. Go back again!

Now, if you are willing to do this, a treasure awaits you. If not, this book will be a horrible drudge.

I loved it. Frankly, "To the Lighthouse" was easier.

Chris Reich

136 sur 139 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ellen
  • 16/04/2012

This book was a marvel!

What did you love best about Mrs. Dalloway?

The writing just blew me away. I thought that it would be inaccessible, but instead it grabbed me from the first few words and never let go.

Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have and I think that this was her best.

20 sur 20 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ilana
  • 17/09/2012

When the mood is right...

All the action within this novel takes place during one day and evening as Mrs Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class woman, is first preparing for, then throws a party in the evening. While still at home before she sets out to run her errands, she is visited by Peter Walsh, a man she's known since she was a young girl and who once asked her to marry him. For the whole of the novel, we wander from one stream of thoughts to another, with Clarissa's mind wandering from the moment's happenings and backwards into the past, then without preamble we are following Peter's thoughts, then Clarissa's husband and so on, with the author's focus wandering between every person encountered in the novel. Clarissa thinks about the life choices she has made. Peter has just come back from India and is seeking a divorce from his wife now that he has fallen in love with a much younger married woman. Clarissa's husband has bought her flowers and intends to tell her he loves her, something he presumably hasn't said in a very long time. There is Doris Kilman, the teacher of Clarissa's daughter Elizabeth, who, while she venerates the young girl to a degree that borders on desire (or as much desire as a religious fanatic will make allowances for), despises her mother Clarissa for all she stands for as a society woman living a life of ease and luxury. We meet Septimus Warren Smith, sitting in the park with his wife; he is a war veteran suffering from a very bad case of shell-shock who is being treated for suicidal depression. His wife is concerned because he talks to himself and to his deceased army friend Evans, who may have been much more than just a buddy, and together they are waiting to meet a psychiatrist who will suggest a course of treatment for the young man.

I had a couple of false stars with this book over the years, never making it past the first couple of pages, and must say one needs to be in the right frame of mind to fully appreciate this short, yet very profound novel. Having just finished reading A Room of One's Own I found myself in the right mood for more of Woolf's deep reflections on life and how we are affected by circumstances and the people we are surrounded by, whether by choice or happenstance. Once one gets accustomed to the flow of words, which doesn't follow a traditional narrative style with chapters and commentary, but pours forth in an organic way meant to mimic a real-life experience, one is transported by the portraits Woolf paints of these people, whom we get to know from the inside out, as opposed to the other way round. Because of this, there is a timeless quality to this novel, even though the events it alludes to are very much fixed in the London of the 1920s.

Beautifully narrated by the much recommended Juliet Stevenson.

48 sur 51 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Calliope
  • 15/07/2014

lyrical prose, wonderfully read

This is probably a very difficult novel to read, as it is various streams of consciousness of different (but often intertwining characters) taking place in the course of a single day. The novel jumps from one to another without so much as a chapter break, but the fabulous narration of Juliet Stevenson makes it so much easier to understand and follow. The language is so wonderful, it's almost poetic in it's feeling and pacing, and this was a joy to listen to.

21 sur 22 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jefferson
  • 18/12/2011

A Painful, Beautiful, Perfect Modernist Pleasure

What an utterly absorbing audiobook is Mrs. Dalloway! From the first words read by Juliet Stevenson, I found myself immersed in Virgina Woolf???s stream of consciousness day in the 1923 London life of her characters, floating down the narrative river with repeated stops for nostalgic eddies of memory, until the novel ended with an emotional rush. I had to re-listen several times to the last five minutes, wanting to re-experience the tail end of the climax when middle-aged Peter Walsh, Clarissa Dalloway???s old flame, is sitting alone for a moment at Clarissa???s posh party:

What is this terror? what is this ecstasy? he thought to himself. What is it that fills me with extraordinary excitement?
It is Clarissa, he said.
For there she was.

I read the novel in university (thirty years ago) and had forgotten everything that happens in it. Ah, how sad it is! Even the comfortable upper class people like Clarissa and Peter feel something lacking, whether soul or love or life, and their middle-aged minds and hearts look backwards with such longing to their youths together, and the interwoven story of poetic, shell-shocked Septimus Warren Smith and his poor young Italian wife Lucrezia is almost unbearably inexorable. And yet Woolf???s writing is so beautiful, honest, lucid, and (surprisingly) witty, and Stevenson???s reading so engaging, empathetic, and perfect, that listening to this audiobook was a pleasurable pain.

If you???d like to experience a great example of modernist stream of consciousness fiction that is much more compact and understandable than James Joyce???s Ulysses, or are interested in London between the wars, or like stories that depict passionate middle-aged characters who married the ???right??? people at the cost of their souls and who have never forgotten the ???wrong??? people they didn???t marry, you should listen to this book.

36 sur 39 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Darwin8u
  • 07/03/2014

A near perfect modern novel

There is something almost perfect about Virginia Woolf's modernism. Her stream of conscious writing seems to be more aromatic than Proust (if that is possible) and goes down easier than Joyce. While she didn't write the massive 'Remembrance of Things Past' or the revolutionary 'Ulysses', her short novels seem - pound for pound - to stand up to these greats. Mrs Dalloway is a Madeleine that bites back and most certainly a novel that would make God "shout in the street" after reading.

50 sur 55 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan Coyle
  • 12/11/2012

Audible version gets inside the heads

What made the experience of listening to Mrs. Dalloway the most enjoyable?

Woolf uses stream-of-consciousness to tell the story of one day in the life of ... . The frequent changes in point of view can be difficult to follow in the printed text, but the Audible version lets you get inside the heads of the various characters pretty seamlessly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mrs. Dalloway?

Mrs Dalloway hearing about Septimus Smith

What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator relates the story evenly and makes the frequent changes in point-of-view seem natural.

13 sur 14 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia von Schilling
  • 08/06/2015

Perfect performance.

A timeless and introspective examination of life choices. The complex inner narratives and descriptive passages would be ponderous without the deftness of the performance.

9 sur 10 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie Gray
  • 18/07/2017

Goes on my list of all-time favorites!

What a gorgeous novel. I was entirely blown away. Juliett Stevenson's narration was absolutely perfect. I didn't want it to end. Wow.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zrinka
  • 14/08/2017

Just one day and so many human thoughts, desires and destinies!

I do not think it's necessary to point out the genius of the writer. This is well known.
But for anyone who has not read her yet, when you read this book you will understand why she holds that place in literature.

Following several characters over just one London day, with their individual destinies living side by side, but often unconscious of each other, this book gave me a very interesting insight into the early 20th century society.
New look at the world, new morals, new freedom of thought of the post World War I generation can be felt in the writing style and from the story as well.
Maybe, as I was intensely reading Victorian authors lately, that contrast in thinking and feeling got especially striking!

I first thought that the style was a bit too melodramatic, but finally understood it to be a reflection of writer's character and susceptibility. As the book progressed, it actually stopped bothering me and I really got to enjoy it in the end.

The writer builds situations and characters perfectly but leaves it to the reader to interpret and understand fully. So I felt like I was discovering that world all on my own! I actually felt like a spirit floating, transported a century back, through the world long gone and listening to its people as they brush against me ..on one June day .. back in 1923.

Excellent performance ( as always :-) by Juliet Stevenson!

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • 22/10/2017

Sehr positiv überrascht

Bin beim Lesen immer gescheitert, weil ich's schrecklich langweilig fand. War vielleicht auch eine doofe Übersetzung, jedenfalls ist die Sprecherin grandios und die Geschichte unerwartet kurzweilig. Große Empfehlung, obwohl wirklich nicht viel an äußerer Handlung passiert.

0 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.