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The Years

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,378 Ratings  ·  166 Reviews
The most popular of Virginia Woolf's novels during her lifetime, The Years is a savage indictment of British society at the turn of the century, edited with an introduction and notes by Jeri Johnson in Penguin Modern Classics.

The Years is the story of three generations of the Pargiter family - their intimacies and estrangements, anxieties and triumphs - mapped out against
Paperback, 444 pages
Published February 28th 2002 by Penguin Classics (first published 1937)
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To the Lighthouse by Virginia WoolfThe Waves by Virginia WoolfMrs. Dalloway by Virginia WoolfA Room of One's Own by Virginia WoolfOrlando by Virginia Woolf
From Virginia's Room
9th out of 85 books — 57 voters
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 213 books — 207 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
Jun 11, 2013 Mariel rated it really liked it
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
Jan 20, 2013 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 20-ce, uk
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
Jul 05, 2015 Elham rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 18, 2012 Madeline rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-list
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
Dec 12, 2011 Sam rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2015 umberto rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found reading this novel tough and tiring, in other words, it didn’t literally hook me when I started reading “1891,” its second chapter. Presumably known to readers, it has no content page so I would create one from this publication in the meantime so that we can realize its scope as an overview:
Chapter 1 1880 (p. 3)
Chapter 2 1891 (p. 89)
Chapter 3 1907 (p. 129)
Chapter 4 1908 (p. 146)
Chapter 5 1910 (p. 160)
Chapter 6 1911 (p. 192)
Chapter 7 1913 (p. 214)
Chapter 8 1914 (p. 224)
Chapter 9 1917 (p.
Feb 08, 2015 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 28, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: london
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
Laura J. W.
Apr 23, 2011 Laura J. W. rated it it was amazing
"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
Feb 01, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it
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
Răzvan Molea
Jan 27, 2016 Răzvan Molea rated it it was amazing
Hands down, cea mai bună carte pe care am citit-o anul ăsta. I love lady V.! :)

Anii nu are un subiect propriu-zis; însă oferă o imagine totală a societății; se discută despre artă, feminism, istorie, politică etc. Evenimentele urmăresc membrii familiei Pargiter pe parcursul a 50 de ani, din 1880 până în 1918 și după război, ultimul capitol fiind intitulat ”Prezentul”. Deși scris în anii 1930, m-a impresionat prin descrierea minuțioasă a vieții personajelor a căror existență este juxtapusă cu ora
Roger Brunyate
May 28, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-reviews
Fleeting Moments
But Eleanor was standing with her back to them. She was watching a taxi that was gliding slowly round the square. It stopped in front of a house two doors down.

"Aren't they lovely?" said Delia, holding out the flowers.

Eleanor started.

"The roses? Yes..." she said. But she was watching the cab. A young man had got out; he paid the driver. Then a girl in a tweed travelling suit followed him. He fitted his latch-key to the door. "There," Eleanor murmured, as he opened the door and t
Rachel Crooks
Apr 12, 2013 Rachel Crooks rated it really liked it
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
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
Helen Stanton
Jul 19, 2015 Helen Stanton rated it it was amazing
So lovely to get back to get back to Virginia ....all her usual themes : the role of women ; old versus new; the passing of time; her love of London . Beautiful prose, written in 1937 , the book anticipates the horrors to come.
Saman Kashi
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

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
Sep 17, 2015 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not the best Virginia Woolf but for some the most readable.

I think my all-time Woolf favourite remains Mrs Dalloway and while I love To The Lighthouse I always find Mrs Dalloway more haunting and all-consuming.

The Years is also a wonderful book but isn't on the same intellectual knife edge as the other two books. It is however superb and I'm giving it 5 stars because it is a re-read & I'll read it again.

Effectively it's a family saga that spans several decades, choosing key moment
Vania Cherveniashka
...Проследяваме историята, виждайки замръзнали сцени и картини от живота на семейство Парджитър, фрагменти разхвърляни през годините, късчета живот видени през очите на някой от семейството. Всичко е като бледи щрихи от картина, която се рисува пред очите ни, долавяме атмосферата на Лондон, виждаме или по-скоро усещаме промените, чрез героите, които са загубени и объркани, всеки един, от тях в някакъв момент си задава въпроса „Къде съм, какво правя сега?“

Годините минават забързано, пред очите ни
Dec 10, 2015 metaphor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: virginia-woolf
There must be another life, here and now, she repeated. This is too short, too broken. We know nothing, even about ourselves. We’re only just beginning, she thought, to understand, here and there.
Oct 05, 2015 F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confusing book. If I had been reading it alone I think I may have given up long ago. However, it ended on such a happy note and left me looking forward to a new day (I'm being a sap, but if you read it you'd understand) that I am willing to grant it 4 stars.

It's a book about the Pargiter family - or maybe about all families and the conflicts they have, the weird aunts and their lives throughout the years. I wasn't overly fond of all the characters but then again, I don't think everyone loves eve
Aug 24, 2009 Ken rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-england
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
Aug 02, 2012 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

Jan 02, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
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
Nov 17, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing
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
May 20, 2016 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Lovely and masterful. At first it took me a while to get into, due to the small shifting povs, but then the sections got larger and it became easier to follow. In fact, the first time I enjoyed reading the book was when the pov changed to Edward and Kitty's time at Oxford, a longer, more defined, section. However, the moment I really fell in love with the novel was the long chapter about Sara and Martin's day in London - it's absolutely lovely, and Sara is a brilliant character. The book is just ...more
Jun 14, 2008 Cristina rated it liked it
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
May 26, 2016 Hayley rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
So many names.
This really needed to be a novel that I could sit down with and read over a couple of days, unfortunately (by my own fault entirely) I kept having to put it down, and pick it up days later. As a result, much of the connections I had to the characters were weak, which wasn't helped by the quick shifts through time. I enjoyed the story, but I would have liked a more well rounded view of the characters in the time shifts. Virginia Woolf presents a great insight into an era and a chang
Jan 04, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as The Waves. But still brilliant.
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Moments of Readin...: [General] The Years 7 9 Apr 24, 2016 05:36AM  
2015: The Year of...: The Years by Virginia Woolf 8 48 Mar 20, 2015 06:55PM  
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(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
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“But why do I notice everything? She thought. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wanted to force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came.” 40 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.” 38 likes
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