Carole Alden
Carole Alden asked:

Would this be a great read for a book club of 80+ year olds who love to read?

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Meanderer No. This is the kind of book that turns you away from reading novels. It's a grind from the beginning to the end. Life is too short to read anything written by Virginia Woolf.
Alex Sure, yes.

It's a pioneering modernist work, which means (among other things) that it's relatively difficult reading. It has zero dirty parts. It's brilliant.
Inez I am reading this for my book club of mostly retired ladies and at first I was finding it at the very least challenging! But then I decided to do a bit of background research and I found a few helpful sites including a film of Mrs Dalloway starring Vanessa Redgrave... I'm now hooked and understand the writing and ideas much much more - I will be interested to hear what the other readers in my group think when we meet in January. Meanwhile here are a couple of the links that I have found most useful.
The last one is a BBC "My Life in Books" programme.
Jeffrey Myers I think it's too concerned with its own cleverness and too little with character and action to be a good selection for a book club unless all of the readers were English majors.
Jens Rushing Yes, it's an amazing book, rich in detail and psychological complexity. Approach with an open mind and patience and it's sure to be a rewarding read.
Annette Yes. Long experience of life and the people in it means you will bring a different understanding to reading this novel. Younger readers (I include myself when I read it at 20) may enjoy it but not understand it.
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins I'm not sure it's a great book club read, in the sense that it's quite likely the majority of people won't engage with the material (no matter their age or reading history); it's a tough read, tough to interpret, which makes it tough to finish AND tough to talk about. Any chat or debate about this book would likely just focus on whether it's worth reading or not, rather than delving any deeper into the work itself. A different Virginia Woolf book might work, or perhaps her diaries? :)
Max Danion No. Virginia Woolf struggled all her life with depression. This book is showing that in certain ways... Not pleasant to read by people which are not in a good state of mind. And when old, one is not typically in the best state of mind.
I bought this book for my mom. She is 74. She couldn't read it. She stopped reading it after 80 pages as the book was psychologically too heavy for her.
Nanette Yes if the readers are sharp, smart, curious, and interested in challenging social constructs. Woolf is brilliant! Her readers are, too.
andrea absolutely! as Octogenarians they wouldn't be far removed from those times. I think this book is probably best understood the older one gets, actually, (despite the fact that the characters in it lament at being "old" at 50! ).
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