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Mrs. Dalloway Audiobook

Mrs. Dalloway

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Publisher's Summary

Mrs. Dalloway, perhaps Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel, follows English socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party in post-World War I London. Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) performs Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling brilliantly, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life.

When we first meet Clarissa Dalloway, she is preoccupied with the last-minute minutiae of party-planning while being flooded with memories of long ago. Clarissa then examines the realities of the present as the story travels forwards and back in time and in and out of different characters’ minds.

Mrs. Dalloway is daring not only in its stream-of-consciousness form, but also in its content. Woolf’s depiction of Septimus Warren Smith brings to light the ugly and often ignored truth of how the brutality of war can drive men mad. We also get to see in depth how our main protagonist, Clarissa Dalloway, suffers from her own form of psychological damage: the more subtle, everyday oppression of English society.

Mrs. Dalloway is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star helped select. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.

©1925 The Estate of Virginia Woolf (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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What the Critics Say

“Bening's work here is fine…her tone offers its characteristic grace…both this narrator and this novelist offer tremendous gifts.” (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (363 )
5 star
 (151)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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3.8 (332 )
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Story
4.2 (338 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 01-10-17
    David San Diego, CA, United States 01-10-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic of the Earlyt 20th Century"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Bening's performance was masterful, and while it can be slightly difficult to follow between the different characters, the story remains as interesting as ever with some truly great lines


    Which character – as performed by Annette Bening – was your favorite?

    I think it would have to be between Peter Walsh and Lucrezia.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 10-01-16
    Heather 10-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    13
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    "Airy"

    Unless you are an upper class person who throws parties, you are going to get lost on more than one occasion. Great book to fall asleep to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 09-20-16
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 09-20-16

    Glass blower and audiobook junkie. Books are my schoolroom and my entertainment!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exquisite, poetic prose"

    I was almost scared away from this book by reading some of the reviews, but I'm glad I wasn't. I've read and disliked some books that have been described as "stream of consciousness" before, but I totally loved this one - I guess it just depends on whose consciousness you're streaming. Virginia Woolf's communicates the beauty and terror of existence as fully as the best poetry, even while sticking to the realm of everyday life.

    I'm glad I listened to it instead of just reading it, because I was able to hear more of the lyric beauty in the sounds of the language than I would've in print. Still, I'm not sure Annette Bening was the right choice for this one. Her reading was too breathy and precious, I think a delivery with more frankness and straightforwardness would've let the beauty of the writing shine through better, rather than getting in the way. Still, this is definitely one I'll listen to again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    escoocoo 09-13-16
    escoocoo 09-13-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "MARVELOUS"

    Beautifully written and oh so superbly narrated by Annette Bening. Marvelous. Marvelous, marvelous. Just Simply Marvelous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 09-08-16
    mary 09-08-16 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "Excellent reading by Annette Bening"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mrs. Dalloway to be better than the print version?

    I always like books better.


    What other book might you compare Mrs. Dalloway to and why?

    The Hours.


    What about Annette Bening’s performance did you like?

    Her voice is pure magic - crisp and velvety at the same time.


    Who was the most memorable character of Mrs. Dalloway and why?

    Clarissa


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Van Deusen Muncie, IN, US 08-18-16
    Pam Van Deusen Muncie, IN, US 08-18-16 Member Since 2011
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    5
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    "Horrible!"
    What would have made Mrs. Dalloway better?

    I didn't even get through the first chapter!


    What didn’t you like about Annette Bening’s performance?

    Put me to sleep. Love her movies


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

    Very disappointed


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RI in Canada 07-26-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So Glad we're done with modernism"

    So one curls on a comfortable chair lazily reading, but the day is too hot for such a curl and fan cools with inadequate breath, rather breathing hot the heat of the day. So, one's forehead glistens, then perspires, then -- dammit -- sweats, in fact. This is no longer civil, no longer polite. Why then must one persist in this futile exercise of reading? Oh for the appearances of course. We cannot all simply slip from the windowsill to the street below, ending our despair. Some of us must persist, perspire, not expire for the sake of it. For the bloody-minded British sake of it. So, one reads Mrs. Dalloway, not because one likes it -- certainly not because one likes her, the priggish self-centred, self-satisfied "perfect hostess". Even her friends agree. Except perhaps poor Peter. Yet again, his heart given to a woman who cannot love him: this icy Dalloway.

    So, one thinks, this is modernism. How it smacks of Victorianism, how it sounds like George Eliot or Flaubert: women equally frozen, equally unable to speak, unable to throw off the social fetters -- except perhaps in Woolf the ennui has penetrated the men as well, leaving them emasculated, ineffectual, failed, mostly nothing. Indeed, it has penetrated the plot likewise, so the story (can one even call this a story, rather this scramble of thoughts left unarticulated because one just doesn't say, it is too much to say "I love you" too much to speak one's mind or heart except for Sally, she must speak her mind, but has so little of one, that it really cannot penetrate the humid fog the whole creates) drifts listlessly, interminably despite the novel's brevity, toward an endpoint that gives nothing, reveals nothing, offers nothing.

    Oh, but the language?! Yes, admittedly, it is some of the most elegant nothing put into prose. If one regards it as poetry, takes delight in the languidness of language, in the emptiness of the loss of vigour or the possibility of action, then it does have a certain je ne sais quoi. And that is its appeal, the interior lives of these lost souls laid bare in the most exquisite poetic language, making their banality beautiful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Spring Valley, CA, United States 07-15-16
    Amazon Customer Spring Valley, CA, United States 07-15-16 Member Since 2005

    Ray M.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm still afraid of Virginia Woolf"

    Perhaps afraid is not the right word. Although if I were stuck for a long time with nothing but Woolf novels I just might go mad. I guess that would be a fear. On the plus side, Annette Bening does a nice job conveying...well, not really much of anything. That to me is sad. Bening, a gifted artist is left trying to breathe life into a book that just sits there, tangentially wondering where things went. This is my third Woolf novel and after one hit and a miss I thought I would see if I couldn't get back on the plus side of the literary ledger. I tried to like this book, I really did. But there just isn't much to like. It's just a series of incoherent musings, with to be fair an occasional witty insight. But the ratio of incoherency to wit is far too lopsided to make this a book to recommend.

    This is not one I recommend, but in all honesty I think I need to clear my head before I try to tackle such a weighty author. There, I admit that the failing could be...Or maybe not. Woolf is a tough author, and her style can be maddeningly difficult. Caveat emptor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Ferrie San Jose, CA 05-25-15
    Richard Ferrie San Jose, CA 05-25-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Annette Bening Loves this Book--and it shows"
    Would you listen to Mrs. Dalloway again? Why?

    Yes--for the human insights, for the enduring style, for the unforgivable truth of it.


    What other book might you compare Mrs. Dalloway to and why?

    Well, of course, Cunningham's THE HOURS, eloquenty based on this eloquent work.


    Have you listened to any of Annette Bening’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    NA


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    NA


    Any additional comments?

    MRS. DALLOWAY is, of course, one of those novels that changes as one's life changes. Ah, the shock of recognition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the reader did it!"

    struggled to understand novel. will have to listen one or more times before I choose favorite scene. LOVED Annette Bining!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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