The Hours
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The Hours

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  75,853 ratings  ·  2,936 reviews
The Hours tells the story of three women: Virginia Woolf, beginning to write Mrs. Dalloway as she recuperates in a London suburb with her husband in 1923; Clarissa Vaughan, beloved friend of an acclaimed poet dying from AIDS, who in modern-day New York is planning a party in his honor; and Laura Brown, in a 1949 Los Angeles suburb, who slowly begins to feel the constraints...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published November 9th 2002 by Picador (first published January 1st 1998)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Book Circle Reads 20

Rating: 4.75* of five

The Book Report: Three women mirror the facets of the life of Clarissa Dalloway, heroine of the novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. One life is Mrs. Woolf herself, shown in the depths of despair as she convalesces from one of her crippling bouts with depression in the suburban aridity of Richmond while pining for life in London's Bloomsbury, writing her novel of the exquisite nature of the quotidian. Another is the life of Mrs. Laura Brown, dying a mil...more
Sammy
Okay, let's be honest, the only reason this book isn't getting a D is because the language was very beautiful... most of the time. It was beautiful when it wasn't beating me over the head with the whole, "Look how eloquently I can write and use big words and sound smart! Don't you feel smart just reading it? Oh, wait... you just feel stupid, huh?" Which, honestly, wasn't that much, but it was enough to annoy me.

The problem I had with the whole story was that I could not find sympathy in any of t...more
minervasowl
I'm a little ashamed to admit that I read this book because Oprah told me to.

Actually Oprah, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman told me to.

It must have been a Thursday or Friday afternoon because those were the days off the last time I had a job for which I worked weekends.

The episode with these three ladies was a little unconventional for Oprah. Rather than conducting an interview from her usual studio, she met them for tea in a fancy hotel. And it didn't so much seem like an interv...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 08, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
I saw the movie. I read Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (2 stars) and finally read this book.

This is an easier read than Mrs. Dalloway because this uses contemporary English. Well, that thin book by Woolf was one of the first few classics that I had read upon joining Goodreads and I knew I must have missed somethings that was why I just found it okay (2 stars). I should read it again someday.

The movie stayed true to this book so it was not hard to imagine the scenes described in here even if I sa...more
Jonathan

The Hours curiously begins with an ending. Yet, before that ending, one the first leaflet one can note a quote from Jorge Luis Borges poem 'The Other Tiger.' It is fascinating that Michael Cunningham chose to use such a quote, considering Borges' fascination with labyrinths and metalanguage. For Cunningham has, in essence, created a convoluted labyrinth purely out of metalanguage. A labyrinth that ends precisely where it begins as it weaves a path through history. Yet this labyrinth is also in s...more
Tancredi
"Non credo che due persone avrebbero potuto essere più felici di quanto siamo stati noi"

Scrivere una recensione, o anche uno straccio soltanto di commento su questo piccolo capolavoro è impresa quanto mai ardua ed impossibile. Potrei provarci e riprovarci: rimmarebbe sempre la sensazione di non aver reso per nulla la grandezza e la perfezione di questo gioiello della letteratura contemporanea. Allora potrei anche dire solo questo. Vi basti questo: qualunque recensione non può nemmeno lontanament...more
Peter
Feb 10, 2009 Peter added it
Shelves: tutoring
When you read a book like The Hours, you have to decide whether you want to see it as a work in its own right or as an illumination of something else. In this case, The Hours can either be seen as a standalone novel telling the parallel stories of three women in three time periods or as a complementary text to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

I struggled with The Hours. (Full disclosure: I struggled with it mostly because I heard Michael Cunningham speak at a screening, and he was an arrogant, po...more
Madalena
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed that it was beautifully written, even if sometimes 'too' beautiful - the kind of writing that makes you stop reading and think about it. Anyway, I'm always pleased at words that sound good togther, that look nice together, and I think the author's consistently good at it.

Plot wise, I had seen the film before I read it, and although I didnt really remember much details, I think that helped me not getting confused about the characters, names, relationships, et...more
Donna
BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! I loved loved LOVED this book! Every word, every page…. Fantastic writing, intricate structure, amazing insights. I have LOADS of passages earmarked. This is definitely a must-read-again (and again and again and again!). I *never* cry when I read books – this time I cried.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later, to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experien...more
Saman Kashi

چند نفر از پنجره بیرون می‌پرند، یا خود را غرق می‌کنند، یا قرص می‌خورند؛ عده‌‌ی بیشتری بر اثر تصادف می‌میرند؛ و اکثریت ما را رفته رفته یکی از ده‌ها بیماری، یا اگر بخت یاری کند، خود زمان می‌بلعد. فقط این تسلای خاطر ناچیز هست: (ساعتی) این‌جا و آن‌جا که زندگی ما ظاهراً، به رغم همه‌ی غرابت‌ها و آرزوها، به رویمان آغوش می‌گشاید و هر آن‌چه را که تصور کرده‌ایم به ما می‌دهد، هر چند همه، جز کودکان ـ و شاید آن‌ها نیز ـ می‌دانند که به ناگزیر (ساعات) دیگری در پی این (ساعات) است، (ساعاتی) تاریک‌تر و پیچیده‌تر....more
Sarah
When I first read this book, I loved it. But as I spent time thinking about it, I found myself liking the novel less and less. Finally I went back and re-read it, and on the second reading I truly disliked it. Partly, things that had seemed profound or beautiful looked much more flimsy on second glance...even trite, sometimes. Like a facade of depth, if that makes any sense. Which is not to say that Cunningham isn't completely sincere and genuine in his approach to his subject. Just that I'm not...more
Tea Jovanović
Prevod je nažalost ispao najveća bruka NK, ali nisam imala uticaja na izbor prevodioca... Preporuka: čitajte je isključivo u originalu dok se ne pojavi neki nov prevod na srpski... ili čitajte hrvatski prevod
Martine
Jul 27, 2008 Martine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who love an intense look at life
Several years ago I had the fortune of watching the film adaptation of The Hours, which quite blew me away. I'm not sure why it then took me so long to read the book on which the film was based, but I'm glad I did, as it's just beautiful.

The Hours is both a tribute to and an update of Virginia Woolf's 1920s classic Mrs Dalloway, in which Pulitzer-winning author Michael Cunningham tries to answer the question of how Woolf's characters would interact in a present-day setting. Short on action but...more
Ellie
I gave the novel one star simply because Goodreads wouldn't let me give it zero! The book is about three self-absorbed, whiny and spoiled women, all from different eras, complaining and whining about their lives, even though, they essentially have it all (wealth, love, family, friends, etc). The book is vile. The characters are repulsive and the plot is tiresome. I keep asking myself how on earth did this novel win a Pulitzer Prize? There's a huge red sticker on the front of the cover, of the no...more
Andrew
Oh, hello there! I'm Michael Cunningham.

It turns out that if you simply name-check and extensively quote a legitimate masterwork of English literature-- and one written by a woman in the 1920's, who is therefore oppressed and far more sympathetic to the modern reader (and, more importantly to my eyes, critic for a major current-affairs magazine) than, say, T.S. Eliot or James Joyce-- people will think you're a genius too!

It's really quite simple. If you call your acts of craven near-plagiarism "...more
stephanie
i kind of wonder what would have happened if this hadn't been my first cunningham. i didn't like any of his other books anywhere near as much (i full on hated Specimen Days). but this, somehow, i think it has to do with the way he manages to write virginia in a way that seems pretty true, that won me over. also, the modern-day "mrs. dalloway" breaks my heart every time i read the damn thing.

i think i liked it so much because it was so ambitious, and i thought he pulled it off. i mean, to write...more
Moira Russell
I've read this book at least twice, judging from dog-ears and annotations, and still have no real clear memory of it. And I don't think my memory's _that_ bad. Cunningham brings new meaning to the words "riding on coat-tails," as well as unhappily eliding one of Woolf's most joyously creative periods -- her composition of the novel he pallidly imitates -- with the dark helplessness just before her suicide. Cunningham winds up rather nastily perpetuating the myth of the Frail Suicidal Lady Genius...more
Giovanni Faga
Apro a caso:

"Qui, in questa cucina, piatti bianchi sono impilati come se fossero nuovi, come arredi sacri, dietro le porte a vetri delle credenze. Una fila di vecchie pentole in terracotta, verniciate in varie tonalità di giallo cavillato, è disposta sul ripiano di granito. Clarissa riconosce queste cose, ma rimane separata da esse. Sente la presenza del suo stesso fantasma: la parte di lei più indistruttibilmente viva e meno distinta; la parte che non possiede nulla, che osserva con meraviglia...more
Ginny_1807
Un'opera letteraria può essere pensata, scritta, letta, amata e addirittura vissuta.
E può divenire, travalicando i confini dello spazio e del tempo, una sorta di collegamento tra persone molto dissimili tra loro, eppure unite da analoghe sensazioni ed emozioni.
È quanto attesta questo bellissimo romanzo che, a partire dal titolo, costituisce un tributo al capolavoro di Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway" - originariamente destinato nelle intenzioni dell'autrice ad avere come titolo proprio "The Hou...more
Shana
Dec 26, 2007 Shana rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one who loves Mrs. Dalloway
To be fair, I should state that I never finished this book. I couldn't. It was too awful. Usually, that isn't my style. Usually, I finish what I start. I guess I have some vague hope that maybe some way, some how whatever it is will improve, so I try to power through. Usually. There are a few things I've quit. Moulin Rouge, for example. It was painful. And this.

I love, love, love Mrs. Dalloway. It was no easy task, of course. Mrs. Dalloway is not the kind of book easily read on a train or a bus...more
David Lentz
The opening of this book is one of stunning and vivid artistry -- it's a most visually arresting first chapter. Like Moliere, Cunningham has a real talent for choosing the right words. Each word was carefully selected for its contribution to the work.The author obviously labored at this short novel. Cunningham properly gives credit to Jonathan Galassi as a "secular saint" who scores another popular, literary victory after "Charming Billy." But we almost expect work of this literary quality from...more
Manny
First I saw the movie; then I read Mrs Dalloway; and finally I read the book. With this unusual order, I really liked it. But given that a lot of other reviewers seem dismissive, it's possible that Cunningham is getting a free ride from Virginia Woolf, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

Whatever the truth of the matter, and despite the fact that I did it more or less by accident, I recommend the recipe!

Randy
A gripping story about 3 woman in different time periods each unhappy with their lives. This is easily my all time favorite book for the beauty, the prose, the connections and the storylines. Simply wonderful. A novel to aspire towards.
Saman Kashi
Sep 23, 2009 Saman Kashi added it
Shelves: novel
لئونارد عزيز، از زندگي رو بر نگردون و هميشه با زندگي رو در رو شو و سعي كن بفهمي چه ماهيّـتي داره و درنهايت، بشناسش و دوستش داشته باش؛ براي چيزي كه هست و بعد كنارش بگذار


بخشی از نامه‌ی خداحافظی (ویرجینیا وولف) به همسرش

Margaret
Well at first I made it to "sluttish widow" and then I threw the book down. I picked it up again and made it the part about a woman agreeing to be harmless so her husband will provide for her and then I just decided to skip Clarissa's entire first chapter and move on to the next chapter on Woolf. Thus far I am wondering why this book won the Pulitzer Prize . . . So I have been reading the Woolf and Brown chapters and skimming the Clarissa chapters (I absolutely loathe these; the author is so cra...more
Mowey
gaad, i loved it. i just loved the book to pieces.

i’m still confounded of why in that moment i first laid my eyes on this book, did i feel automatically drawn to pick it up and buy it. i have to tell you, it’s even got nothing to do with the beautiful faces of Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman on the glossy cover. for i was even remotely aware of the celluloid version of the novel at the time when i bought it. and then i read the back cover and i thought, maybe, just maybe, it was...more
Heather
I'm not usually crazy about book characters to whom I can't relate, but MY GOD! the prose is magnificent. Sometimes I felt like Cunningham was just showing off, but I would too if I could write like this:

"It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later, to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk, the anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been l...more
Jolanta
´The Hours´ is about three different women, living in three different periods of the 20th century, telling the story of one day in each of their lives. Three different, contradictory and yet so similar stories.

In 1923, Virginia Woolf begins her work on ´Mrs Dalloway´, living with her husband on the outskirts of London. Smothered, trapped in herself, increasingly feeling that she embraces depression and mental illness, struggling with uncertainty and accumulation of ideas.

Gradually reality and...more
Chad Schimke
THE HOURS – The novel skillfully interweaves three story lines: Virginia Wolf as she writes Mrs. Dallaway, Laura Brown (a Leave it to Beaver sort of fifties housewife) and Clarissa Vaughan a Manhattanite in the midst of planning a party. The Hours by Michael Cunningham explores what it was (might have been like?) to be a lesbian within three specific historical contexts (1920, 1950 and approximately 1990). It also explores varied aspects of illness--such as the AIDS epidemic, depression, suicide...more
Arwen56
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), Specimen Days, and By Nightfall, as well as the non-fiction book, Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown. His new novel, The Snow Queen, will be published in May of 2014. He lives in New York, and teaches at Yale University.
More about Michael Cunningham...
A Home at the End of the World By Nightfall Specimen Days Flesh And Blood The Snow Queen

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“Beauty is a whore, I like money better.” 277 likes
“We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It's as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we're very fortunate, by time itself. There's just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we've ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so...” 243 likes
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