We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Hours | [Michael Cunningham]

The Hours

The Hours is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, Laura Brown, and Virginia Woolf. By the end of the novel, the stories intertwine in remarkable ways, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace.
Regular Price:$27.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1999

The Hours is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, a beloved friend of ailing poet Richard Brown, who one fine New York morning goes about planning a party in his honor; Laura Brown, who in a 1950's Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beginning to write Mrs. Dalloway. By the end of the novel, the stories intertwine in remarkable ways, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace.

©1998 Michael Cunningham; (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2001

"An exquisitely written, kaleidoscopic work that anchors a floating postmodern world on pre-modern caissons of love, grief and transcendent longing. (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"A delicate, triumphant glance...A place of late-century danger but also of treasurable hours." (The New York Times Book Review )

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (172 )
5 star
 (50)
4 star
 (49)
3 star
 (27)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (24)
Overall
4.0 (43 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Story
3.8 (43 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Steve Sunnyvale, CA, USA 12-02-03
    Steve Sunnyvale, CA, USA 12-02-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Very literary, intentionally slight plot"

    Compared to many best-sellers, this book actually displays literary prowess by its author. Although he veers into over-writing at times (not unusual for a newer, over-enthusiastic novelist), author Michael Cunningham clearly has a way with the English language. Even better, he is very skilled at created fully realized characters (a *very* refreshing change from most best-selling fiction). All this said, The Hours is still somewhat difficult to recommend. Most audiobook listeners prefer a strong plot or at least some sort of clear linear thread to pull them through long hours of commuting. If you are such a listener, then this book is definitely not for you. The plot is the least important element of this book and as such, is very slight. Instead, what you get is mostly the inner thoughts of three very fascinating women in very different circumstances. Expect to hear extended interior contemplations of things as mundane as buying flowers and baking a cake. This doesn't exactly make for the most "exciting" listening. But if you enjoy skillfully constructed prose and don't mind a book where very little happens (at least in plot terms), then you'll be in for a treat. Incidentally, if you've seen the film adaptation of this novel, don't expect the huge emotional outbursts that the filmmakers felt so compelled to insert. Most of this book is about internal thought processes, not external displays of raw emotion. Additionally, familiarity with Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" is helpful (though not required) for enjoying some of the nuances of this novel. Finally, please note that the author serves as the reader of this audiobook. He's not the typical professional voice-over artist that we usually expect to hear from audiobooks. As such, his voice is a little unusual, but not necessarily unpleasant. I recommend clicking on the "Hear Sample" link to be sure you won't mind spending over six hours with his voice.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Denton, TX, USA 11-29-03
    Diana Denton, TX, USA 11-29-03 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    133
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    The bold concept of The Hours is to capture the essence of life in a single day. It is a contrast of mundane and extraordinary, life and death, and the ability of a human to carry all this inside, with every breath.

    Mr. Cunningham takes a lot from Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and while it is not necessary to read Mrs. Dalloway first to appreciate this novel, it greatly added to my enjoyment as I recognized the parallels between the two books. It is pure brilliance that he was able to take another author's concept (and stay true to it), borrow from the actions in her book and yet make it his own.

    I have previously read this book and thought that listening to it would enhance the beauty of the writing. Unfortunately, Mr. Cunningham's reading of The Hours leaves something to be desired. I don't think he does the power and beauty of the words justice. However, if you love literature, this is a must read, whether in print or this audible edition.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa San Francisco, CA, USA 05-20-05
    Lisa San Francisco, CA, USA 05-20-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Unlistenable"

    I still plan to read this book in written format because I've heard so many wonderful things about it. And I have listened to some author-read books that I enjoyed very much (most recently The Kite Runner, which was exquisitely read). Unfortunately, Cunningham insists on reading this book as if it is a poem with pauses and emphases in strange places. I soldiered on for an hour and a half and then couldn't take it any more. It seems like empty affectation and distracts from the content. What a terrible disappointment and waste.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey Bailey Exton, PA 07-12-08
    Stacey Bailey Exton, PA 07-12-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    111
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Could not follow the audio"

    I have no doubt that this is probably a fanstastic read. I put it in my cart just based on the number of awards it had won without knowing anything about the plot or premise. Almost an hour into the book, I still didn't get it. I don't know if it was the narration or the production, but I couldn't easily pick up on the thread switches or follow who was who. I've been an audiobook lover for over 8 years now and have to say this definitely ranks low on my list. I would suggest trying another audio version or try the physical book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Fresno, CA, USA 09-11-04
    Laura Fresno, CA, USA 09-11-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Horrible reading"

    I couldn't tell you whether the novel The Hours was good or bad because I couldn't get past the absolutely horrendous reading in this recording. I was looking forward to the book, but I had to turn it off about an hour into the audiobook because the reader was just too irritating. All the prose is read in poetry-reading style - lots of unnecessary pauses and strange vocal intonations. I recommend buying the physical book and passing on the audio version. Highly disappointing.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Gardner, KS, USA 03-29-08
    Donald Gardner, KS, USA 03-29-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good Book, Bad Audiobook"

    All the other bad reviews are right: the narration of this book by the author is god-awful: it's boring to listen to. Great book, though, and if this is the only way you can access the book, it's at least usable & unabridged.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary VENTURA, CA, United States 03-16-07
    mary VENTURA, CA, United States 03-16-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    486
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WORSE THAN I THOUGHT"

    I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR HOW BAD THIS EXPERIENCE REALLY WAS, BETWEEN THE STORY AND THE AUTHOR'S READING. I MADE MYSELF LISTEN, HOPING FOR A GOOD STORY. NEVER HAPPENED. BORING STORY AND A TERRIBLE, BREATHY NARRATOR. THANKFULLY IT WAS A SHORT BOOK.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Kamuela, HI, United States 01-29-09
    Diana Kamuela, HI, United States 01-29-09 Member Since 2005

    I find a reason to laugh everyday!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    200
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Haunting"

    The characters in this book continue to pop into my head years after reading it. I will read it again soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    245
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    203
    169
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    17
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as good as the movie"

    I turned to the novel thinking it would add some depth and breadth to the phenomenal movie version. It didn't add much. If anything, it highlighted Cunningham's weaknesses as a writer. His characters aren't so much individual creations as they are aspects of a single character. His situations are all too often lacking in dramatic punch. His world has a kind of bland sameness about it that suggests he doesn't get out much. New Yorkers would probably be surprised to hear that their corner of the world is really sort of a tiny slice of all there is. His strengths are his ability to synthesize multiple storylines to tell something of greater significance. In that respect, this is still an impressive book. What the movie added in creating more forceful characters and more dramatic situations is a testament to the very talented people who saw the potential here. One charming little surprise is that Meryl Streep is (possibly) in the book, but this episode was quite appropriately cut from the film.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 07-25-13
    Stephanie Borger, TX, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WHY do authors insist on reading their own work?!?"
    What would have made The Hours better?

    A voice over artist would have made all the difference. It's such a good idea and a well-written story, but the narration is so bad :-(


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.