Books: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

November 11, 2006

Woolf is a tough read. I found myself bouncing between opinions in polars much like the user reviews on, one which reads:

Please, let’s put a stop once and for all to this farce that Virginia Woolfe is a good author. She’s awful. Just terrible. Can any one of you honestly say you enjoy her books? No, you can’t. People just claim to like them so they sound scholarly and sophisticated. Every single book is filled with rambling insanity about every little thought that pops into the heads of her boringly depressing characters. Nothing happens in her books. By the 5 page you want all the characters to die anyways.

and another:

I’ve discovered a little secret to reading Virginia Woolf — it takes time.
It is practically impossible to read this book in little ten-minute spots, while watching television or babysitting. Don’t try it; you’ll end up not liking it.

It needs your time. Give it an hour with no interruptions. Get a bag of pistachios and read. Unplug the phone, turn off the TV. Read and don’t stop. Then you’ll discover the joy of Virginia Woolf — for while her prose is tough, it is haunting, beautiful, and real.

The latter is probably more true. But having pushed myself through a lot of books lately because I felt that I “needed” to read them, I was getting weary by the end of this one.

I’m giving it **1/2 (out of 5).

One Comment

  1. mikey says:

    Your reading habits remind me of something Orson Scott Card said about a pretentious writer. “…one that we who read for reasons other than to be impressed and baffled can also appreciate.”

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