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Not my favorite of Woolf's work, but undeniably important as a literary text. Worth reading if you're a fan of Woolf, but this novel is not for the faint of heart or lover of traditional narratives.
Thank you M. Cook [below] for your excellent analysis of this book. True wit is nature to advantage dressed.....i was compelled to slog through it for book club. The characters are shallow, i would not have tea with them let alone spend a summer vacation. Why did Lilly the plain faced untalented artist endure while some potential heroic characters got killed off in child birth or as cannon fodder? I would have thrown the book against the wall except I have to return it to the library to lie in wait for the next hapless reader.
A moron, an imbecile, and an idiot met and discussed To The Lighthouse, praising it for its beauty, masterly use of volume, emotional swings...the book is tiresome to read and I had to make myself finish it; the conclusion is as disappointing as the rest of it. The book lacks the poetic beauty of Robert Penn Warren's classic All The King's Men; a line in the story says women can't write, and if Woolf were the only example, that would be a truism, but there is the wonderful tale by Harper Lee which puts that claim to rest. Woolf is pretentious to the point of incredulity and completely lacks the plot development of such true greats as Great Expectations. A dreary, moribund work at best.
Absolutely beautifully written and philosophically driven. Lacks the combination of prose and description to paint a picture in the reader's mind, but certainly a thinking novel.
With unmistakable genius the fluid and gorgeous prose carries you completely into this book. The reader becomes a spirit flitting between the minds of the novel's characters. it's about beauty, about the unpreventable tragedy of time passing, about art and people.
A beautiful study not just of family dynamics in a changing society, but also of the deep shifts in writing and narration happening in the novel. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE is one of the first to actively explore shifting perspectives, partially unreliable narration, and the power of language to support a story.
Considered one of the Top 10 classic novels (my #10) of the western world. This novel centres on the tensions within a family during a vacation. The novel was written in 1927 between two of her other popular novels, Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando. See my GerryD Lists for other great novels.
The use of stream-of-consciousness narrative and nonlinear plot makes this book difficult to follow for those like me used to a formal structure of chronological time.
Always a good read. Be sure your mind is clear so you can get into the cadence or the sentences.