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The Hours

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  107,403 Ratings  ·  4,133 Reviews
Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, "The Hours" is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who one New York morning goes about planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, who in a 1950s Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beg ...more
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Published April 16th 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1998)
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Jennifer Ochoa I had not read Mrs. Dalloway when I first read The Hours and it was instantly one of the best novels I've ever read. It might enhance your…moreI had not read Mrs. Dalloway when I first read The Hours and it was instantly one of the best novels I've ever read. It might enhance your appreciation to recognize the parallels, but the novel stands alone so well that even knowing Mrs. Dalloway exists would not be necessary. I too loved the film version because it captured the feel of the novel well. Go, go read it now! :-D(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-to-film
”We throw our parties; 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 of windows or drown themselves or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us, the vast majority, are slowly devoured by some disease or, if we’ve very fortunate, by time itself.”

It’s about the hours right? Those few precious hours
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars for this book. It was beautifully written and has a somewhat unexpected (and yet unsurprising) ending. The references to Virginia Woolf are omnipresent as she also comes to life under Cunningham's pen along with Mrs Brown and "Mrs Dalloway". Yes, it did relight a flame in me to read the primary Woolf works (Orlando, Mrs Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, The Waves) and reminded me of the one I did read (A Room of One's Own), but still, something about it felt a little ...more
Richard Derus
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Circle Reads 20

Rating: 4.75* of five

The Publisher Says: In The Hours, Michael Cunningham, who is recognized as "one of our very best writers" (Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times), draw inventively on the life and work of Virginia Woolf to tell the story of a group of contemporary characters who are struggling with the conflicting claims of love and inheritance, hope and despair.

The novel opens with an evocation of Woolf's last days before her suicide in 1941, and moves to the stories of two mo
...more
AMEERA
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
three stories complicated i feel like doesn't understand anything blow my mind but still was something beautiful about it
Sammy
May 29, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-the-okay
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
Diane Wallace
Good read! very intriguing..deals with three women that are intertwine and connected by different time period through a simple book....well written...(paperback!)
Lotte
4.5/5 stars! Such a clever book.
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. با این حال شهر را و ...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
Delphine Lurin
Tick, Mrs. Dalloway. Tock, Mrs. Woolf. Tick, Mrs. Brown. Tock, Mrs. Dalloway…again.
Reviewing The Hours I find myself stuck somewhere in between tick and tock. Reading a novel, poem, play, screenplay, it’s often easy for me to lose touch with reality and completely absorb myself into the world of a story. I lose touch with myself. The sounds around me. The smells hovering under my nose. The world happening around me. Time elapses into nothingness.
The Hours, however, made me fully aware of my posi
...more
Aoibhínn
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
Vitor Martins
É engraçado porque "As Horas" é uma história que eu sempre ouvi as pessoas comentando sobre (principalmente por causa do filme) e, ainda assim, eu não tinha a MENOR IDEIA do que ia encontrar quando comecei a ler.

Pra começar, eu não sabia que esse livro é GAY E SAPATÃO ALL OVER IT e quando as coisas iam acontecendo eu ficava tão envolvido que mesmo com a escrita um pouco densa e os parágrafos imensos, não dá vontade de parar de ler.

A narrativa desse livro é muito mais focada no fluxo de pensamen
...more
minervasowl
Mar 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Vanessa
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not entirely sure why I liked this novel as much as I did - plot-wise it's quite hard to sum up any more than what is already given in the blurb.

Cunningham portrays a day of the live in three very different but very connected women: Clarissa Vaughan, a middle-aged woman living in New York in the 1990s; Laura Brown, a young house-wife in 1940s Los Angeles; and Virginia Woolf herself in 1920s London, or thereabouts. Virginia Woolf has just begun writing Mrs Dalloway, Laura Brown is trying to f
...more
T4ncr3d1
"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
Paria
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ۱۳۹۵, 1396
کتاب، داستان زندگی سه زن رو روایت می کنه. ویرجینیا وولف، زن خانه داری به نام لورا براون و زنی به نام کلاریسا وون. زن هایی که در دوره های زمانی متفاوتی زندگی می کنن ولی تمایلات و اندیشه های نسبتا مشابهی دارن. ویرجینیا وولف که نویسنده ی کتاب "خانم دالووی" هستش و دو زنی که هرکدوم به نوعی از این کتاب الهام گرفتن. و البته در پایان کتاب پرده از راز ارتباط بین این سه زن برداشته میشه.

مایکل کانینگهام قسمت اول رو درمورد زندگی واقعی ویرجینیا وولف نوشته و صحنه هایی از زندگیش رو بازسازی کرده ولی داستان دو زن
...more
Holly
This book made me want to weep and to sing with joy.
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
Peter
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
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  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
Dorotea
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, next
I'll write a better review later, I want to collect all my thoughts (and all my feelings), but I have been out all day and I just want to go to sleep right now BUT I do want to write about this marvellous book. Undecided whether to see the movie before or after, I opted for watching parts of it (I divided it into thirds) and after reading the related parts. I think it was the right choice, because it helped me dilute the book and therefore savour it, and compare the two of them. The book is so m ...more
helen the bookowl
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no doubt that with this book, Michael Cunningham has done a beautiful job at interweaving the lives of Virginia Wolff, the author, and Clarissa Dalloway, one of his most famous fictional characters. I was constantly surprised when reading through the 180 pages because I kept finding relations and connections that I hadn't seen before. Even though I have watched the movie starring three of my favourite actresses, I think that the books gives you SO much more of an insight into these hidd ...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
Chrissie
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: dely
What has happened to me? I started this book extremely annoyed and ended up liking it. Why? Why? Why? I don't quite know. I have to think........

By the book's end I know the central characters. Who are they? Let me start here. The book follows three women. First there is Virginia Woolf. She is recovering from headaches, terrible headaches. She is and was manic-depressive. The date of this thread is 1923 and Virginia is cared for, watched over or you might say even repressively ordered around by
...more
Madalena
Jun 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, american
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
Alice Poon
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Our lives are made up of years, of days, of hours. What happens around us on one particular day can make us take a blind, or even desperate, leap forward, or it can force us to look at life with patient gratitude. Each one of us would make different choices, according to our own personal system of values and beliefs, our sense of reasoning, our temperament and most importantly, our state of mind at the final hours of that particular day.

With lyrical prose, the author knits and weaves the events
...more
ZaRi
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, cinema, women, film
ساعت ها با سه داستان موازی روايت مي شود.زندگی وولف،لورا،کلاریسا که دوست ریچارد(پسر لورا)است. اما در واقع همه این افراد به وسیله وولف خلق شده اند و البته او نزديك ترين شخصيت به خود را كه مردی به نام ريچارد است و قرار است جايزه ادبی مهمی به او داده شود،در داستان خود مي كشد،چرا كه"با مرگ يك نفر دیگران قدر زندگي را بهتر مي دانند" و اين جمله ای است كه وولف در جواب همسرش كه در مورد ضرورت وجود مرگ در رمان می پرسد،بیان می كند.ريچارد و وولف كمبود هويت و عقده ندارند و به همین دلیل جايزه"يك عمر فعاليت هنری ...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
Ana Ovejero
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Michael Cunningham's tribute to Virginia Woolf.

We have the lives of three women connected in a literary way: Virginia Woolf in her retreat away from London; Clarissa Daloway, an editor preparing a party for her birthday, and, finally, Mrs Brown, a housewife in the 50s living an unsuitable life for herself.

All of then are struggling with her own issues. Virginia is fighting with the fact that she is hearing voices again, writing Mrs Dalloway and trying to make her husband understand that
...more
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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...

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“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...” 401 likes
“Dear Leonard. To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard. Always the years between us. Always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.” 394 likes
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