To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf’s arresting analysis of domestic family life, centering on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, brings the impressionistic prose of this classic to vibrant life.
Split into three parts, the story observes Mrs. Ramsay, Mr. Ramsey, and their children at their vacation house on the Isle of Skye. While the novel follows seemingly trivial events between the family members, the plot takes a backseat to philosophical introspection, which gave the novel its fame as an icon of modernist literature. The Ramseys' quest to recapture meaning creates a powerful allegory of man’s impermanent battle with the tangible world.
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©1927 Virginia Woolf (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Absolutely crazy wonderful
Each of the characters were important in their own way, but I think that William Banks was my favorite.
Nicole performed the Omnipotent narrator in such a way that she made me believe that she sould actually see into the minds of the characters.
It would have been impossible to sit and listen to this in just one sitting. It is a story that I could take in the information for about forty-five minutes, then sit quietly and process all that had happened.
This is beautifully read by Nicole Kidman. Wolfe is not always easy to follow so you have to pay sharp attention to figure out the story. Nothing too dramatic happens as the story traces the summer home of a large family over the years and watches the developments and losses. Almost everything is from the view of women and the daily household happenings. Men and affairs of the outter world revolve around them almost without touching them except for big issues like deaths, marriages, wars. It is really lovely.
This is only the second work of Woolf's I've read, and overall it presents an intimate portrait of a family who lives near a lighthouse. The frail assumptions, the insecurities, the tiny triumphs, the rare moments of insight are all captured here with a stream of consciousness technique that is as lovely and flowing as the sea. The many wars play a fundamental role in shaping the narrative as male and female characters explore the meaning of the opposite sex and both fail to understand the needs and desires of the other. These inner conflicts are amplified by the moment to moment actions of this story's cast. A loving experience, I wish I could have experienced this work with fewer daily distractions myself. I can't wait to read the rest of Woolf's all too short bibliography.
Virginia woolfs ability with words and poetics is incredible. So sad she ended her life so early for she was truly a flicker of genius in the sea of literary history.
5 and 1/2 hours in.......No. A migraine ensued upon listening to this. A swirling dreamlike journey akin to whittling a block of wood whilst daydreaming of other peoples lives, delivered by an airy tired voice.
The over embellished melodramatic inner lives of the characters were irritating. It is chock full of near run on sentences speckled with flavorful imagery. The writing at times is like being in a candy shop, but then mellows back into a wasteland of gray drivel until the next high or low. If you needed a touchstone to take you to manic depressed state, this book is or you.
There is another version with a different narrator. I think I will try that one and give this "classic" another shot.
I really disliked nicole kidman as a narrator.....tiresome.....
I love To the Lighthouse but had never "heard" it before. Nicole Kidman positively
ruined it…mushy articulation, dropped her voice at the end of every sentence and had
that god-awful Australian accent.
When it was over
Very poor articulation, dropped her voice at the end of each sentence, literally ran out
of breath. Plus, she has a pronounced Australian accent which clashed with Virginia
Woolf's lovely story.
It wasn't the writing--that was wonderful.
Miss Kidman should have at least auditioned for the part, rather than just being hired because of her celebrity status.
I’m not a big fan of To The Lighthouse. I dislike these stories and novels that are set in a time when the middle class seems to have nothing to do but sit around and think and be artistic while servants do all the labor. The characters speak multiple languages and can play the piano and recite poetry, but for what? To keep from being bored to tears, I think. But I am bored to tears when I read about their lives and thoughts. This focus on the characters’ thoughts vs. their actions is characteristic of the modernist style, so I supposed it’s something one can read just to appreciate the style of the time, but I am not a fan. Woolf does an admirable job with character, developing a level of psychological depth that is realistic and convincing; however, like real people, most of these characters are dull, dull, dull. The most interesting part of the story to me is Mr. Ramsay’s narcissistic tendencies. He's a jerk, and it's slightly entertaining to consider why he is such a jerk and why the other characters tolerate him. It's very interesting to think about why his wife supports his boorish behavior. The novel glorifies Mrs. Ramsay the mother-wife-martyr to an extent that is mystifying considering that her greatest accomplishments are throwing memorable dinner parties and stroking her husband’s ego. I do find it interesting that this novel is reputedly somewhat autobiographical, which means that Woolf’s father was possibly narcissictic and her mother an enabler, which may have contributed to Woolf’s mental illness and eventual suicide? I find that idea MUCH more interesting than Woolf’s novel.
I haven't listened to any of Woolf's other books.
Her reading is good; it's the novel that's terrible.
No. I can't imagine anything more boring.
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