Shana's Reviews > The Hours

The Hours by Michael Cunningham
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's review
Dec 26, 2007

did not like it
Recommended for: no one who loves Mrs. Dalloway
Read in January, 2007

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, but god is it worth it. To sit down and power through Mrs. Dalloway is work, but it is work of the most rewarding kind. That book is brilliant, amazing, incredible. There is no shortage of superlative adjectives to describe it, so The Hours just broke my heart. I really did like movie. Nicole Kidman was brilliant. Then again, I saw it before reading Mrs. Dalloway, so I'm not sure if I'd feel the same way now. The book was dreadfully written, and well, that's it. I can't say more now, but I hated it. Really.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally The Bright Young Things would like to invite you to share your opinions on this book (and others). If you haven't already checked us out please pop in...

Stacey Me too! Couldn't finish it!!

Tristan What is your specific issue with the style; I find it to be deliberately similar to that of Mrs. Dalloway--are you upset by the feeling of imitation, or is that a style you only enjoy in Woolf's specific work?

Shana Tristan, it's been so long since I looked at this book that I'd be remiss to address anything specific about it. When I hate something, I try to forget it, and at this point, all I remember about this book is being in the bath trying to read it and relax and not being able to.

As for style, I meant that not finishing a book is not my style. I tend to hope for the best and look for something redeeming, which requires reading the whole thing, but I just couldn't.

I should also say that I believe I tried to read this book very soon after finishing Mrs. Dalloway, so Woolf was fresh in my mind, which was why the feeling that this book didn't stand up to it was so acute.

Tristan Okay. By "style" I meant that you said you had issues with the actual writing, but I suppose those could be issues with plotting and other characteristics of a novel. (My interest in writing is primarily centered on style due to my love of lyric poetry). I can see reading Mrs. Dalloway right before this could be frustrating; there is an element of detachment that would have to be summoned to read Cunningham's novel on its own terms--and I know I can't always muster that.

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