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The Years

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,067 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Tells the story of three generations of the Pargiter family - their intimacies and estrangements, anxieties and triumphs - mapped out against the bustling rhythms of London's streets during the first decades of the twentieth century.
Paperback, 444 pages
Published February 28th 2002 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1937)
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The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonMrs. Dalloway by Virginia WoolfThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Writers who committed suicide
30th out of 175 books — 189 voters
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10th out of 85 books — 36 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Fionnuala
May 2nd 2015

The Years is Virginia Woolf's ninth novel, and since it is composed of a series of vignettes about the Pargiter family covering a fifty year period, it is tempting to review it as if it was an old photograph album, one of those with layers of tissue to protect the images. As we slide back the delicate paper, each image gradually assembles itself:

1880. A family group. The bewhiskered patriarch is squarely camped on the only chair, one elbow propped against a little table on which sits
...more
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
William1
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
Elham
But you may ask why The Years and not Mrs. Dalloway first? I don't know. I think it was a fortunate to find it in my local library and by reading a few pages of it, I realized that I must read it first. Did you know that I tried to read Mrs. Dalloway for more than 3 times, and even once I read almost half of the book, but I failed to finish it? I was losing my hope. I thought Woolf is not my type.

Reading A room of one's own opened my eyes to many things. That Virginia Woolf mainly concentrates
...more
Morgan
Boy oh boy, this is one of the hardest Virginia Woolf books I had to rate. I mean I love Woolf and love her writing, loved the way she wrote in this book, but this is probably my less favorite books of her's I read. Why? This was very difficult to get into unlike her other books for some reason. I think it might be the subject matter she brings up in this book. It seemed different then what her other novels are like. I would love to find out what was going on in her life when she wrote this. At ...more
Laura
"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
Andrea
I didn't like Virginia Woolf's work when I first read it long ago. It was Mrs Dalloway or To the Lighthouse, I can't remember. It seemed all a big fuss about nothing to me, and I thought if she had poverty or a job grinding the life out of her she might well be better off.

I'm not sure I was wrong. Still, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

A year or so ago my partner convinced me to read Orlando and I loved it, found it hilarious and imaginative and thought provoking.

The Years explained some of this
...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
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 Sharabiani
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 دریغا
...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 1941م
...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
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
Daniel
Not as good as The Waves. But still brilliant.
Pardis Parto
ویرجینیا ولف در داستانهایش، با نگرشی نو به جهان پیرامون خود، انسانها را موجوداتی میداند که میتوانند فارغ از پای بندی های اجتماعی و اقتصادی، رها از قید و بندهای بشری، خود را در جلوه های پر نقش و نگار و گوناگون حیات غرق سازند. او در این اندیشه به سر میبرد که برای اینکه بتونی به همه چیز درآمیزی باید خود را میان آن اندازی و سرانجام نیز به این اندیشه جامه عمل پوشاند، خود را میان آب انداخت و به زندگی خویش خاتمه داد.
Ania
Sep 27, 2014 Ania rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I did not enjoy this book at all. Everything was so ephemeral, which I personally do not like and find annoying. I felt like I was reading a mix of different character's thoughts which happened to interact with each other over the years. I think that's what the author was going for, but it was exactly in the style I do not enjoy. It was also quite non-descriptive which made it seem like I was looking into their memories in a way.
The whole book can be summarized more or less like this according t
...more
Josephine Ensign
This book blew me away and is by far my favorite book by Virginia Woolf. Perhaps it affected me so strongly because of where I am in life--I was reading the book when my father died--my last parent--and am dealing with the aftereffects of dysfunctional family/sibling dynamics. That is one of the threads throughout this magnificent book. And what amazing examples of pathetic fallacy! Here's my favorite--and a fittingly fall motif (although in the book she says it is a brutal March wind--she is wr ...more
Carolina
It took me a while to be able to review this book.

If you like really paced novels, where there is a story, where stuff actually happens and you see it happen, this might not be the novel for you.

Virginia Woolf is genius in her poetic way of writing, of making you feel so many different things and sensations at the same time, of making her characters' feelings and confusion get through to you until you feel submerged in her words.

However, this book is really pointless to me. There was no real s
...more
A
I enjoyed Virginia Woolf's The Years. It was a good book. Of course I had trouble following all the characters. I'm always thrown out by multiple characters. But I loved and enjoyed the characters and was glad to follow this rambling and diverse family through their lives.

But as a whole the novel felt curiously uneven. The earlier parts felt more like her much earlier works. The later part, the 'present day' felt closer to her stream of consciousness novels. Perhaps this was deliberate, and the
...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..
Javier Villaseñor
Leer a Virginia Woolf me confirma, cada vez más, que el escribir no es el arte de las palabras, sino el arte de observar.
Jay Mcmullen
Some beautiful passages but the jarring and overlapping speech and thought episodes left me confused.
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.
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2015: The Year of...: The Years by Virginia Woolf 8 45 Mar 20, 2015 06:55PM  
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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?” 25 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.” 24 likes
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