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Orlando | [Virginia Woolf]

Orlando

Fantasy, love offering, exuberant celebration of English life and literature, Orlando is a uniquely entertaining novel. Originally conceived by Virginia Woolf as a playful tribute to Vita Sackville-West, Orlando's central character lives as both a man and a woman through four centuries.
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Publisher's Summary

Fantasy, love offering, exuberant celebration of English life and literature, Orlando is a uniquely entertaining novel. Originally conceived by Virginia Woolf as a playful tribute to Vita Sackville-West, Orlando's central character lives as both a man and a woman through four centuries.

©1928 The Estate of Virginia Woolf; (P)2003 Chivers Audio Books

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (177 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (52)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (100 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (95 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Mayca Tel AvivIsrael 05-31-05
    Mayca Tel AvivIsrael 05-31-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Magical"

    Orlando by Virgina Woolf has totally enchanted me. It is beautifully written with an extraordinary abundance of vocabulary and mastery of the English language. Woolf transports you effortlessly to a world where ages succeed one another depicting all the world changes typical of the corresponding era. But Orlando lives through them all. And although his gender changes, his personality, so rich and versatile, does not and stays fascinating throughout the whole book which holds you spellbound from the very first word to the last. Clare Higgins is a gifted narrator and her clear and musical diction contributes to the enjoyment of the story. I have listened to the book twice and I intend to do it more times. I also intend to purchase more books by the author.


    Mayca Est?vez




    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven baltimore, MD, USA 02-05-06
    Steven baltimore, MD, USA 02-05-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way Ahead Of All Writers in That Era"

    What can I say. She was a writer that had visions where a writer would probably dare go in the year "Orlando" was written. She had a style of her own. A style that seem to catch on as time went by. As more writings, essays and stories came to press the more she became excepted as a top writer not only in Britian but also other areas such the US. She was most certain a women's right's supportor. At the same time she loved all her family including her husband Leonard. She also was very close with her sister and brother.
    As for the story "Orlando" it kept my interest right up til the very end. It is a love story with twist and turns and surprises. Iam sure you will find in very intersting and mysitical as I did. I have read a many of Mrs. Woolf stories and essays. "Orlando" I would rate high on HER charts for story line and writing expertise. Give it a sample listen it may get your curiosity.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angela Charlotte, NC, United States 04-10-12
    angela Charlotte, NC, United States 04-10-12 Member Since 2011

    I am addicted to audiobooks and chocolate!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I know I'm supposed to like it, but..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Very creative right brained people or those who enjoyed literature class in college would enjoy this book. I had frequent flashbacks to English lit during my confused listening, which may yet necesitate treatment for post traumatic stress. The only reason I continued to listen was that I enjoyed the way that the narrator read it. Her voice made the rambling string of words sound like poetry, though what it all meant was beyond me.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. PUTNEY, VERMONT, United States 03-21-13
    J. PUTNEY, VERMONT, United States 03-21-13

    I live in Vermont. My freelance work requires reading critical and expository prose, so I like fanciful escapist fare for fun.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "wonderful language, unusual style"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Perhaps. It's something that few people would seek out on their own.


    If you’ve listened to books by Virginia Woolf before, how does this one compare?

    Somewhat less grim than her polemics, a witty fantasy.


    What about Clare Higgins’s performance did you like?

    Superb reading, showing fluency and thorough familiarity with the material and idiom. It made me able to pretend I was hearing the voice and thoughts of the author, as she projected them into her protagonist.


    If you could rename Orlando, what would you call it?

    Migrations of a soul


    Any additional comments?

    Vivid descriptions of wonderful natural and social environments; no direct dialog or conversations; some devastating skewering of the follies of manners and institutions, as in essays; rambling plot and erratic pace, with many digressions and ellipses; humorous turns of phrase; interesting characters.

    Not nearly enough pause breaks for skipping back if you miss one or two intricate sentences among the dense verbiage.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Las Cruces, NM, United States 04-19-12
    Scott Las Cruces, NM, United States 04-19-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "It might start becoming interesting..."

    ...but I won't be there to find out. This is unlike any Woolf I've read before -- forced and artificial, with great long catalogs of cloying elaboration. The atmosphere is claustrophobic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thierry INDEPENDENCE, MO, United States 07-21-12
    Thierry INDEPENDENCE, MO, United States 07-21-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Went on and on and on"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I kept thinking the story was going to get better but it never did.


    Has Orlando turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was somewhat boring.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    No reaction besides wasting time & credit.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NC 05-21-12
    Amazon Customer NC 05-21-12

    I'm a little fish in a medium pond.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A+++++++++++++"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    excellent! i say aldlkaoib aksdlkb aidfn ;lka;ld akd;zi alkdoiadmv asldlki i see that i am just doing this so i can hit preview


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Orlando?

    !


    Which character – as performed by Clare Higgins – was your favorite?

    !


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    !


    Any additional comments?

    !

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scottish lassie texas 05-05-12
    scottish lassie texas 05-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "nice to hear this book unabridged finally"

    prior only able to hear abridged version. nice to have this unabridged version. well done

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Western Cape, South Africa 04-25-12
    Joy Western Cape, South Africa 04-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highbrow literature"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Lincoln, NE, United States 01-09-12
    Randall Lincoln, NE, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overrated"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Nicholas
    Hampton, United Kingdom
    1/18/09
    Overall
    "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!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Phillip
    SydneyAustralia
    9/24/09
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steph B
    Polegate, United Kingdom
    5/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deserved classic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ant
    St Albans, United Kingdom
    8/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    4/10/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Sherborne, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results

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