Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“A luminous novel, a breathtaking achievement. Do not expect a conventional reading experience - nothing (and everything) happens, the prose is poetry, and the book deserves to be slowly and closely read.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Having slogged through “To the Lighthouse,” I can now assert it is going straight To the Donations Bin… Hated it! This is the first Virginia Woolf novel I have read, and given that I understand her other works are even more “challenging,” I feel fairly certain it will be the last. Because here’s...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Story of the Ramsay's starts and ends on the Isle of Skye in Scotland told mostly in stream of consciousness. First we are introduced to the Ramsay's as husband and wife/mother and father. The Ramsay's have a good marriage. Mrs Ramsay is a strong woman in her way and holds the family together. Son James loves his mother but dislikes his father. A trip to the lighthouse cannot happen because of weather. Life is interupted by WWI. Several people die and no one returns to the summer home for 10 years. Finally the family does return and the trip finally occurs. The narration shifts from person to person, started with Mrs Ramsay and ends with Lily Briscoe, an artist and strong independent woman who has not married who achieves her vision. This story is somewhat autobiographical of Virginia Woolf's own life. She is what I would categorize as a "woman's" author.
“The beauty of the human mind; a frustrating life, art, a painting, maybe taken as an idea from 'The Oval Portrait' or 'The Picture of Dorian Grey' which comes to symbolise a whole life, unfinished till Lily Briscoe puts the finishing touches at the very end. The passing of time and how it affects us, not just by giving us wrinkles, but by changing the way we think and feel. This book is a wonderful experience.”Sandra Millighan wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I do love a really good latte in the morning; when I get it to perfection, my whole day resonates with positive energy. It is like reading an exceptional piece of writing, with lyrical prose that plays through my thoughts and in the depths of my being. Virginia Woolf can do that, with a literary voice that is evocative with imagery and intelligent, insightful observations of human nature and perspective. To the Lighthouse is said to be her masterpiece. Done in stream of consciousness, without a plot, and no definitive narrative voice, To the Lighthouse is a dense read, requiring the reader to engage intellectually and emotionally. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, and for myself, I am coffee drinker; but I can appreciate perfection and craft, and I am keeping this book in my library.”Jacquie Ream wrote this review Monday, November 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This whole book was incredibly dense. I had to really focus on /everything/ which is difficult for me... but still, it was good. More of a character-driven plot than plot-driven characters (actually there really wasn't much of a plot... but... still)”Emily the Great wrote this review Thursday, October 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was a very nicely written book. Ms. Woolf really has a way with words. It so lyrical yet so common. I would have given it 5 stars but it was not a book that is easy to read. It was a bit uninteresting but don't get me wrong, this is a good book. The plot was okay and it turned out a bit sad in the end. Ms. Woolf's words can actually bring you to tears but it took me a long time to finish it. It is not a book you read in one sitting.”Krizia Anna L wrote this review Sunday, August 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ To The Lighthouse
by Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
audio - full cast dramatization (BBC Radio Classics)
considered modernist literature (origins in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) primarily in Europe and North America.
Modernism in literature is characterized by an intentional break with traditional styles of poetry and verse.
It expresses belief that the world is created in the act of perceiving it; that is, the world is what we say it is.
Concerned with the stream of consciousness, we (the reader) listen to her characters' "perception of the moment"
We visit their emotional responses to what they see.
We're given the opportunity to understand people when they are engaged in the art of looking.
★ ★ ★ ★”
“I wonder why some books come at such a perfect moment in our lives, while others completely miss it. I should have read To the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf some other time, perhaps I would have loved it then. It’s the kind of book I’d make my favourite, it’s beautifully written, poetic, introspective, real and deep. However, at this time, I did not enjoy reading it much. Maybe one day I will come back to it.
“What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.” ”
“I understand why many have started but not finished reading this book. The first fifty pages are not very enjoyable. I had to do a bit of research while reading this section to see if Woolf was known to have issues with drugs - it seemed like the drunken, nonsensical ramblings of someone who thinks their writing something beautiful. It was dreadful. I didn't find any proof that Woolf had drug issues but she certainly had mental issues which might explain this less than impressive start.
Luckily, if you make it past that part, you are treated to some real nuggets of truly great literature. One of my favorites occurred around page sixty nine in my edition as Woolf describes the "wedge-shaped core of darkness" that overcomes Mrs. Ramsay once the children are put to bed, her husband is absent and she has a moment to shut down. These passages so accurately describe these moments when nothing is expected of you and suddenly everything becomes possible.
The other section that impressed me was the dinner scene when William Bankes, the widower who also lost his only child, finally joins the rest instead of taking his meal privately. While Woolf's "stream of consciousness" (I put this in quotes because her method of using this device is different than others I've read) is often difficult to follow, in this scene she randomly hops across the table from person to person as inner dialogue is exposed and the reader witnesses not only the things that are said but the motivation behind each's response. In this section, one really gets the sense of Woolf's genius.
The remainder of the book is a much easier read than the beginning and the middle section, Time Passes, very artfully brings the reader up to date ten years later in preparation for the final section in which the dilapidation of the Ramsay's summer home after years of neglect reflects perhaps the state of the remains of the aging family. ”
“Though beautifully written, the extreme "internalness" of it all made it occasionally tough to trudge through. This is a book that I think I'll enjoy more when I read it again at an older age.”Harris Weening wrote this review Wednesday, June 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No