Public Domain ©1928 The Estate of Virginia Woolf; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Clare Higgins's supple, silky voice does justice to Woolf's literary landmark. The language of Orlando, peppered with alliterative phrases, flows effortlessly with perfect pacing by Higgins, and Woolf's dry wit shines through her performance." (AudioFile)
I believe 'one should' read Virginia Woolf and this was a painless way to peruse her thoughts and views expressed in fiction. It was maybe to highbrow for me, though, and a relief when it was done.
I kept thinking the story was going to get better but it never did.
The narrator was somewhat boring.
No reaction besides wasting time & credit.
I'm a little fish in a medium pond.
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This book has classic - must read status. I don't believe it deserves this distinction. Clearly it was controversial subject matter when it was written. And the premise of the book is interesting. But mostly it's just boring and a big waste of time. But I'm not an academic or a scholar so I could be completely wrong. I had to struggle to listen to this book to the end. I read the SparkNotes for the story and tried to get into it and to understand the characters and the story. It just didn't work for me.
If ever you would tire from listening to what is arguably very lovely prose, it would be listening to this book. I found myself talking to the player begging the narrator to get on with the story -which turned out to not be one.
"An imaginative classic..."
This is an outstanding pieces of literature. I came to this title by accident following a audible recommendation link from a previous title, The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar.
This voyage through life and time is superb. Humorous, intense and subtle. He, then she, Orlando, touches, brushes and grasps each era from the 16th to the 20th century. An imaginative classic, this work is accessible and highly recommended!
They stream of consciousness style and dry wit is suited perfectly to an audiobook. Also, Clare Higgin's voice is perfectly suited to the work, and I want her to record all of Virginia Woolf's work.
It is magical, perfectly produced and the only disappointment is that 8 hours and 43 mins is over much, much too quickly. It is one of the few audiobooks that I will listen to again.
Wonderful, magical, surprising, original, beautiful, bold and full of love.
Listen to the sample . . . and then you will find that you must get this audiobook.
Beautifully read, beautifully written. Not much story , significant happenings, like the birth of her son, just mentioned briefly. Lists and more lists of observations. Very strange end very different.
I deliberately didn't read up about Orlando before I started listening to my Audible download because I didn't want to be be distracted by trying to fit facts of Woolf's life with Vita Sackville-West into whatever the story would bring. I think I made the right decision - and probably wouldn't have got the references anyway!
Orlando is written as the biography of an Elizabethan boy who ages only twenty-odd years while the rest of the world advances by several hundred years. Oh, and Orlando also becomes a woman. As you do.
I absolutely adored Woolf's descriptions of Elizabethan England. Her prose when she allows it to run away with her is sublime and many times I felt as if I were really there. My audio was narrated by Clare Higgins who does a fantastic job throughout, especially during such passages. Other highlights for me were the encroachment of the damp and the sudden sweep of the Victorians. However, I wasn't convinced by the Turkish Gypsy episodes and felt they lacked the same immediacy, and the writing seemed to lose structure towards the very end, probably deliberately, but I thought this made the conclusions tough to follow.
Recurring characters made it seem perfectly natural that Orlando aged so slowly and the story never came across as contrived which, having just reread my two line synopsis, is pretty amazing! The poet Nicholas Greene and his Groundhog Day pronouncements showed just how far people haven't come in so many years. And the same is true of Orlando's androgynous outlook which Woolf uses to great effect to show the restrictions placed on women by societies that revere and patronise concurrently.
I enjoyed listening to Orlando and would even wish that it had been longer. There is a lot of humour, which I hadn't expected, and it didn't seem to matter that I didn't recognise the real people behind many of the characters. The story can be appreciated on its own terms with further layers of understanding added by Googling later.
"Entertaining, if a little odd"
Virginia Woolf is an author I'd never read and felt that I probably should, so I was expecting this book to be "good for me" rather than particularly fun. I found myself pleasantly surprised, The writing was elegant and easily consumable. I was kept interested by the ideas raised and liked that they were posed in a meditative manner that one could take or leave without feeling hounded into agreement by the author.
I wouldn't read the book again for the story or the concepts, but the prose would definitely draw me back:
"For it would seem - her case proved it - that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver."
The narrator did an excellent job of not getting in the way of this introspective story.
"Gorgeousness heaped on gorgeousness"
Seen the film starring Tilda Swinton? It's pretty awe-inspiring in its sumptuousness and magical atmosphere. So, you won't be surprised, is Woolf's novel. Hilarious at times (a surprise for someone who'd only read her experimental works before) and truly revolutionary in its assumptions and form.
"Subtle and beautifully written"
A delightful voice lulled you through this very diverse tale of an extended life, with its myriad of twists and turns. Easy to get a bit lost at times if the intonation didn't stimulate enough, but a very interesting listen in the main. The screen version from 1992 with Tilda Swinton was my initial experience of this tale, and I was pleased that the book was more compelling than its visual counterpart.
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