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The Voyage Out (Twentieth Century Classics)…

The Voyage Out (Twentieth Century Classics) (original 1915; edition 1992)

by Virginia Woolf

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1,619184,478 (3.64)1 / 130
Title:The Voyage Out (Twentieth Century Classics)
Authors:Virginia Woolf
Info:Penguin Classics (1992), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (1915)



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English (16)  Spanish (2)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Not quite what I was expecting — at times it's almost like one of E.M. Forster's "the English abroad" novels. But there are also some very characteristically Woolfish things about it. I loved the cameo appearance by the Dalloways and enjoyed the passages where Woolf suddenly started striding out confidently with something very like her mature style. It was interesting too to watch what were obviously the first sea-trials of the famous shifting-point-of-view narrative technique. So it definitely satisfies the rule that you can't have too much Virginia Woolf.

On the other hand, there are obviously some problems with it. The most glaring one is the accident of history: Woolf had a hard time with her health while she was writing the book (from 1910 onwards) and it took her so long to finish it that someone had shot an Archduke in the meantime, and a great deal of what she says about social status, work, death and suffering, religion, the role of women, Russia, etc. is totally and utterly irrelevant to the world of 1915. Or indeed to the post-war world. Anyway, the social satire in the book has been edited down and concealed to such an extent that you almost need a microscope to find it (she does discuss a few topics that might have been considered very daring at the time, had anyone noticed that they were there...). And it does ramble a bit. There are passages, especially in the "South American" part that just seem to duplicate each other, not really advancing either the action or our understanding of the characters. ( )
  thorold | Mar 9, 2015 |
I found this decidedly easier reading than the more experimental later novels (particularly The Waves, which required a high level of concentration. This was very moving in places, and contributes to understanding the later books too. ( )
  bodachliath | Nov 11, 2014 |
I probably didn't do the book much justice by reading it in the space of a few months, and stopping halfway through to read something else. The characters and names were very confusing, but that's obviously my own fault, and not a critique of the book. I didn't see the end coming at all. Most importantly, I did live the writing. It was descriptive and effective and creative. But I'll probably have to read it again sometime in a more dedicated way. ( )
  GraceZ | Sep 6, 2014 |
I could not finish this, it was making me nutty. Just too mannered and smugly intellectual to truly enjoy. I feel fine with only getting halfway through and then releasing it on my trip.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
I think this was the first I've read of Virginia Woolf, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped though. It didn't feel like a great deal happened for awhile, at least earlier on in the book, and some of the descriptive or philosophical passages got rather wordy and took a bit to wade through. I didn't really like any of the characters either, so I didn't really care what happened to them throughout the book. It was just ok. ( )
  digitalmaven | Nov 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
So the story maunders on, and the fact that it is crowded with incident, most of it futile, and that the clever talk by every one continues in a confusing cataract in every chapter, does not save it from becoming extremely tedious.
added by Nickelini | editNew York Times (Jun 18, 1920)

» Add other authors (50 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Virginia Woolfprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gadda Conti, GiuseppeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Previtali, OrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As the streets that lead from the Strand to the Embankment are very narrow, it is better not to walk down them arm-in-arm.
In the streets of London where beauty goes unregarded, eccentricity must pay the penalty.
She looked forward to seeing them as civilised people generally look forward to the first sight of civilised people, as though they were of the nature of an approaching physical discomfort—a tight shoe or a draughty window.
"I have a weakness for people who can't begin."
Each of the ladies, being after the fashion of their sex, highly trained in promoting men's talk without listening to it, could think—about the education of children, about the use of fog sirens in an opera—without betraying herself.
[...], for if Rachel were ever to think, feel, laugh, or express herself, instead of dropping milk from a height as though to see what kind of drops it made, she might be interesting though never exactly pretty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156028050, Paperback)

Woolf’s first novel is a haunting book, full of light and shadow. It takes Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose and their niece, Rachel, on a sea voyage from London to a resort on the South american coast. “It is a strange, tragic, inspired book whose scene is a South americanca not found on any map and reached by a boat which would not float on any sea, an americanca whose spiritual boundaries touch Xanadu and Atlantis” (E. M. Forster).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

We meet young free-spirited Rachel Vinrace aboard her father's ship, the Euphrosyne, departing London for South America. Surrounded by a clutch of genteel companions -- among them her aunt Helen, who judges Rachel to be "vacillating," "emotional," and "more than normally incompetent for her years" -- Rachel displays a startling maturity when she finds her engagement to the writer Terence Hewet listing toward disaster.… (more)

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