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Six children - Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny and Louis - meet in a garden close to the sea, their voices sounding over the constant echo of the waves that roll back and forth from the shore.
The book follows them as they develop from childhood tao maturity and follow different passions and ambitions; their voices are interspersed with interludes from the timeless and unifying chorus of nature.
"Full of sensuous touches...the sounds of her words can be velvet on the page" ( Daily Telegraph)
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Of what it’s like to be human
I have three audible versions of The Waves: Davies’ dramatized production, which is abridged and semi-inaccurate, possibly for creative reasons; the unabridged narration by Frances Jeater, which is gentle and stream-of-consciousness sounding (pleasantly hypnotic if you are a Woolf fan); and this, narrated by Julia Franklin. All are excellent, but recommend this narration if you are new to Woolf and plan on finishing The Waves, as Franklin does an excellent job clarifying the nuances and complexities of this beautiful novel. The abridged dramatized version produced and directed by Davies is also well worth listening to, whether you are new to Woolf, or a seasoned votary.
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Acquired, but worth it.
Where does The Waves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Highly. It was difficult to get through, but, as with ALL Woolf novels, everything - every last word - is all tied together at the end. The entire journey is meant for the last few pages.
Who was your favorite character and why?
This book has a host of characters. There isn't necessarily a favorite. The whole cast of characters is the character.
What does Julia Franklin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Julia's performance is spot on and brings the characters to life perfectly. She reads it as though she discussed the performance with Woolf herself.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It is an extremely abstract book. There will be several times when you have no idea what's happening. But then strings will suddenly snap together. Every word is there to build a road that you aren't necessarily aware you're travelling on. You experience life with every character and it is as absolutely touching, confusing, and realistic as reality. There are several things that happen at the end that made me not only reread, but tear up.
Any additional comments?
Woolf is one of the best writers we've ever had. And she always - always - sticks her endings.
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- W Perry Hall
*Into your heart I'll beat again*
'Who's got their claws in you my friend?
Into your heart I'll beat again.'
D.J. Matthews, 12/96
Six classmates (three girls and three boys) go through seven stages of life via a sequence of interior monologues, sprinkled with allusions to the Earth's relation to the Sun and to the moon's gravitational pull on the ocean--the tides--as time passes.
This is my favorite Woolf novel; it's such a beautiful composition and an incredible feat to create the feel and sense that the characters are flowing and breaking into one another like waves on the shore.
She rejected plot and character conventions in favor of a narrative driven solely by voices to show, I think, that human existence, like waves, means constantly experiencing fluidity and regeneration.
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