The Years
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The Years

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,695 ratings  ·  115 reviews
The principal theme of this ambitious book is Time, threading together three generations of an upper-class English family, the Pargiters. The characters come and go, meet, talk, think, dream, grow older, in a continuous ritual of life that eludes meaning.
Paperback, 444 pages
Published February 28th 2002 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1937)
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Mariel
Jun 11, 2013 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: rays of a searchlight
Recommended to Mariel by: this is why we can't have nice things
That is true, Rose thought as she took her pudding. That is myself. Again she had the odd feeling being two people at the same time.


It has been months since I read The Years. There have been many books in my life. Light bulbs switched on and off over my head. They glow and brightness hot to the touch. I don't know how long they'll last but they often come back when I had been trying too hard to get inside other windows. Hey, you forgot about it and left all of the lights on. This next part might...more
William
I will not call the early going a slog, but the novel did fail to engage me until page 140 or so. After that, all was well. The novel took off as a proper Virginia Woolf novel should. By the end of the long party scene which closes the book I was familiarly dazzled. I have to admit that I find the content almost unsummarizable. There's no plot to speak of. It's the technique that astonishes. Woolf's concern is not the quotidian, and often not the particular, but the structural. There are any num...more
Madeline
Other reviews tell me that this isn't as good as Mrs Dalloway or To The Lighthouse - having read all three books now, I will concede the Mrs Dalloway point, but I think I liked The Years better than To the Lighthouse. The two stories are similar, in that they deal with an extended family and the perspective switches from person to person and the closest you get to an action scene is everyone sitting around and talking, but the scope of The Years is much wider (it deals with several generations o...more
Sam
Everybody was like "this is really conventional Woolf," and I was like, "Really? I mean, is she every really conventional?" and people were like, "Dood, this is nowhere near as good as To the Lighthouse or The Waves, so don't get your hopes up," and I was like, "Well I haven't read The Waves," and people were like, "What Dood? You never read The Waves? I'm not sure we can have this conversation," and I was like, "Oh man, I'd better read The Waves, but first I have to read The Years for class, yo...more
Jamie
This novel gets too much hate among Woolfians, which I can now say, having read it--and being, you know, the final word on "good" and "bad" Woolf. (Of course, there is no such thing as the latter. Then again, I haven't read her biography of Fry, which is hear is just torture.)

It's a family saga in the old sense of it, & for those thinking she's going to entirely upturn that literary tradition by the bare fact of her being V Woolf, well, you probably will be disappointed. It's about as conve...more
Laura J. W.
"The Pargiters", "Here and Now", finally entitled "The Years" - a grand book of exquisite beauty - maturity, I suppose, tight and dense, a clear vision, a finely cut gem in her crown of achievements. She said in her diary: "It’s different from the others of course: has I think, more 'real' life in it; more blood and bone." (11/30/1936). At some point, she referred to it as "that misery" in her diary, but there is so much love in how it is written, and reading the process of her writing it, it wa...more
Sarah
I kept thinking, as I read this, that it was Virginia's material put down in Katherine Mansfield's style. I particularly enjoy that sort of sweet, gently pattering prose, -- though from Virginia it feels curiously disembodied. Her sensory perceptions are well articulated, but her focus is ultimately social. (My personal bias favors singularity). Indeed, the story could be considered purely social as there isn't even a central narrative consciousness. This was her last novel and, in a way, it doe...more
Rachel Crooks
I've been afraid of Virginia Woolf for many years (bad joke unabashedly intended). I didn't think I would be able to understand or feel at home in her writing, it being too cleverly crafted, too intellectual, or too eccentric.

I was wrong, and regret waiting so long to find out.

Going to history museums when I was younger, I would notice the smell of old things: that particular cracked-leathery smell - similar to the smell of libraries and old paper. I have always wondered, "but is this what the...more
Ahmad
611. The Years, Virginia Woolf
سال‌ها - ویرجینیا وولف (امیرکبیر و ...) ادبیات
پیچیدگی سبک نگارش «ویرجینیا وولف» خوانشگر را در برزخی قرار میدهد که حتی در پایان داستانهایش نیز از آن رهایی نمییابد
رمان «سال‌ها» داستان پسرها، دخترها، پدر، مادر، عمو، زن‌عمو، پسرعموها، دخترعموها، مستخدم و یک خانواده است. کتاب به فصل‌ها تقسیم شده و در هریک شرح زندگانی چند نفر بازگو. «ویرجینیا وولف» از دیدگاه خویش کوشیده تا بیهودگی زندگی انسان، خانواده و فامیل را بنگارد. انگار کنید همان داستان «سال‌ها»ست. کودکی نیز همواره...more
Saman
ويرجينيا وولف رمان (سال‌ها) را در سال 1932 شروع به نوشتن كرد. پيش از اين رمان، وولف آثار زير را در كارنامه خود داشت:
سفر به بيرون (1915
شب و روز(1919
اتاق جيكوب(1922
خانم دالووي(1925
به سوي فانوس دريايي(1927
اورلاندو(1928
موج‌ها(1931

رمان (سال‌ها) پس از 5 سال نوشتن و بازنويسي در سال 1937 منتشر شد. پس از چاپ اين رمان، وي سه كار ديگر را به چاپ مي‌رساند
سه گيني(1938
راجر فري(1940
ميان پرده(1941

ويرجينيا وولف پيش از آخرين خودكشي‌اش يك بار ديگر در سال 1913 دست به اين عمل زده بود كه بي‌نتيجه مانده بود. در 28 مارس...more
Christian

The Years is considered by most a saga of the Pargiter family, and even though I tend to approve this idea, I can not stop myself from thinking that this was not the only thing that Virginia Woolf wanted to express in this novel.
The mystery of human memory and the flow of the conscience are used to build multiple scenes and show various perspectives of each character through the passing of the years. From childhood to senescence the Pargiters experience various feelings, but they also never se

...more
Pamela
It would seem more than presumptuous to give Virginia Woolf less than five stars. At least, I'm not gonna be the one to do it. Nevertheless this is a less successful novel, to my mind, than Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthous (admittedly a spectacularly high bar). The Years follows the members of an extended family over a period of 57 years. But the narrative is very broken--we touch down, for instance, in 1880, then not again until 1891, then in 1907, and so on. There are lovely moments and sket...more
Cristina
This was a somewhat enjoyable read. It took me a long time to read it and I never really felt "in to it". There isn't really a plot, climax, etc. It is just the story of people and it looks at these people and those that they encounter/give birth to through time. Everyone was pretty discontent and always wished for something else -- old people wish for the future, young people wish for the past, rich people wish to be poor and on and on. Oh and everyone is really isolated and lonely, wishing for...more
Hossein
من شاید این کتابهایی که یک نسل یا یک خانواده را سالها پیگیری می کنند دوست دارم. برایم مثال زندگی واقعی است و خوب درکش می کنم حتی اگر براحتی نشود خواندش مثل این یکی.. ولی برای من دوست داشتنی بود، نسخه درجه 2 یا 3 از صد سال تنهایی..
Laura
What a magnificent book and a masterpiece written by Virginia Woolf.
kymdotcom
I found this extraordinary tedious.
Lavinia
Feb 23, 2011 Lavinia added it
Shelves: abandoned
Not going to happen. Sorry.
Julie
A lovely book, one of my favourites by the author. This book was one that you could easily lose yourself in, and is well worth reading.

One of my favourite aspects of the book were some of the descriptive passages the author had. Long, flowing and elegant passages throughout the book which not only helped paint a beautiful picture but were often symbolising something occurring with the characters and plot. These were stunning, Woolf's writing and observations shine in this book, especially with...more
Ken
The Years is a tough book. I thought this many times while I was reading it, and I kept waiting for that time when things started to click into place and I figured out what Virginia Woolf was up to doing. And while I did come to some conclusions, I'm not sure the journey was worth it for me.

The novel chronicles approximately 50 years in the Pargiter family. The novel begins when the many Pargiter children almost all live at home (except for the two eldest). The long first section, set in 1880, i...more
Danielle
Reading anything written by Virginia Woolf is not an easy feat for the casual reader, so I would not recommend starting out with her highly experimental novel, The Waves. The Years, however, is a highly accessible narrative that engages Woolf’s traditional themes of feminism, modernism, WWI, sexuality, etc. without the experimental language that characterize other novels like Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves.

The Years follows three generations of the Pargiter family beginning in the 1880s and ending...more
May
At times, the stream of consciousness was UNBEARABLE! Woolf's writing, however remains consistently 'clean' throughout and the first page also serves as one of the best cityscape-introductions I've ever read. The Years mirrors her life and draws from some of her other works (Three Guineas, The Pargiters) so I'm beginning to have minor doubts regarding the order in which I should have tackled them all... thankfully, the notes at the back of the book were conducive in clearing up details, particul...more
Melissa
"Tell me about William Whatney," she said. "When I last saw him he was a slim young man in a boat."
Peggy burst out laughing.
"That must have been ages ago!" she said.
"Not so very long," said Eleanor. She felt rather nettled. "Well -" she reflected, "twenty years - twenty-five years perhaps."
It seemed a very short time to her; but then, she thought, it was before Peggy was born. She could only be sixteen or seventeen." (pg. 205)

We've all experienced this, haven't we? This somewhat unsettling real...more
kissmyshades
Not The Waves, but great in its own way. Not a novel to be skimmed. It's not the best 'novel' and that I tried to read it as a standard family-tracing story threw me for a bit though. I really must reread this.

"There must be another life, she thought, sinking back into her chair, exasperated. Not in dreams; but here and now, in this room, with living people. She felt as if she were standing on the edge of a precipice with her hair blown back; she was about to grasp something that just evaded her...more
Kristina A
I had never heard of this novel until I came across a comment on goodreads that claimed A.S. Byatt's _The Children's Book_ was basically a rip-off of _The Years_. Having now read (and loved) both novels, I can say that I don't understand the criticism of Byatt's novel. There is a similarity, I suppose, in the concept of the novel, but the approach, content, and style are all completely different. That said, I'm thankful for the comment I disagreed with, because it led me to this lovely book.

Appa...more
Whitney
Oct 31, 2007 Whitney rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: those interested in the connective threads that bind us
"When the sun went down a million little gaslights, shaped like the eyes in peacocks' feathers, opened in their glass cages, but nevertheless broad stretches of darkness were left on the pavement. The mixed light of the lamps and the setting sun was reflected equally in the placid waters of the Round Pond and the Serpentine. Diners-out, trotting over the Bridge in hansom cabs, looked for a moment at the charming vista. At length, the moon rose and its polished coin, though obscured now and then...more
Cynthia
I read this on the heels of "The Waves," and enjoyed both but found this to be a bit more work. It spans decades and threw me at the beginning with more than one name for some of the characters in the LARGE Pargiter family.

I enjoyed Woolf's take on the passage of time. Sometimes it drags, and sometimes the years fly by. I loved the slowed down time of the party at the end, and how frustrated North got answering the same questions over and over about the farm in Africa.

I loved her description of...more
Aaron
Altogether too long and plodding. Woolf's attempt to work within the genre of the 'family chronicle' novel constantly creates a force of formal rupture with her concerns to convey the immediacy of modernity and the new subjective experiences of being/time. In this book she rather cruelly drops her talent for lyricism and pure aesthesis and takes up a more materially-concerned work, creating a novel, instead, that clearly targets the social and political concerns of the time... though sadly to th...more
Matt
This is a quietly magnificent novel. The beauty of the book is intertwined in the style of the writing and the manner in which that style conveys the author's thematic intent. Mrs. Woolf is once again concerned with one of the major themes of her work: time and its passage. This is not a discussion of time on a grand scale, but rather on a quotidian scale, insofar as the story unfolds through the small details of the lives of the members of one family, beginning in 1880 and ending at an unspecif...more
Shedim
Something of the painful beauty prevalent in To the Lighthouse is missing from the poetic passages and characters of this book, and the obsession over dramatic statements (or dramatic silences) comes off melodramatic and somewhat clumsy at times. But The Years provides the reader with a churning of time from the various views of an affluent family as they grow some methodically into the graves waiting for us all.

While Woolf explores sibling and other interpersonal relationships, from ambiguous t...more
Kat
It's been years since I read Virginia Woolf. I loved her when I first encountered her work, back in my twenties, but I hadn't read enough literature then to fully appreciate the novels I loved. I'm glad I waited till now to read this particular one, which deals, as I am now dealing, with age, and the passage of time, with generational change, and with the meaning of it all.

The characters are many and are for the most part lightly sketched and difficult, at first, to keep track of, a problem not...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Adding author name and combining 3 21 Mar 17, 2014 03:43PM  
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Virginia Woolf: A Biography
  • Mrs. Woolf and the Servants: An Intimate History of Domestic Life in Bloomsbury
  • The Longest Journey
  • Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life
  • All Passion Spent
  • The Nice and the Good
  • Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography--1949-1962
  • Stories
  • Castle Richmond
  • Pointed Roofs (Virago Modern Classics)
  • Harriet Hume
  • Tono-Bungay
  • A Tale of a Tub and Other Works
  • Born in Exile
  • Sleep Has His House
  • As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning
  • The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
6765
(Adeline) Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and essayist regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length es...more
More about Virginia Woolf...
Mrs. Dalloway To the Lighthouse A Room of One's Own Orlando The Waves

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“Would there be trees if we didn't see them?” 22 likes
“There must be another life, she thought, sinking back into her chair, exasperated. Not in dreams; but here and now, in this room, with living people. She felt as if she were standing on the edge of a precipice with her hair blown back; she was about to grasp something that just evaded her. There must be another life, here and now, she repeated. This is too short, too broken. We know nothing, even about ourselves.” 16 likes
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