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The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours

by Michael Cunningham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,775166296 (3.93)451
  1. 111
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twomoredays, TammyWright)
    twomoredays: If you don't read Mrs. Dalloway before The Hours, I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling a reading experience.
    TammyWright: It gives you a much fuller appreciation of what Cunningham accomplished with his wonderful novel, "The Hours."
  2. 10
    Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: And Other Poems by T. S. Eliot (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Cunningham is constantly referencing Prufrock. If you haven't read it, you should
  3. 00
    Ohio Angels by Harriet Scott Chessman (Miels)
  4. 11
    Five Bells by Gail Jones (fountainoverflows)
  5. 01
    John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America, No. 188) by John Cheever (Cecilturtle)

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» See also 451 mentions

English (154)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
It was an interesting book with 3 intertwined stories that I expected to meet up but really were 3 separate stories. It kept referencing Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and I had never read that book so I felt a little at a loss. Like there were probably things that were going over my head. Some of the relationships were interesting especially the relationships among the adults. But I felt that the author had no idea how mothers or children feel or think. It was enjoyable but I didn't feel like it was a must read. ( )
  KamGeb | May 22, 2016 |
Empathy in three parts, this novel did not quite hold together. Though it seemed a bit too contrived structurally, its poetic moments redeemed it. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I picked this up because of the movie at first, but I was shocked because the book is a million times better then the movie. The details are enriching in the book where you got only half of what was going on in the movie. The book is truly an inspirtation to me to be a better writer. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
I haven't watched the movie, The Hours, and I haven't read Mrs. Dalloway. I have done a little research on Woolf from time to time but hardly enough to be of any consequence. Despite this, I really loved this book.

I think Cunningham did a great job of giving us a view of Virginia Woolf, Laura, and Clarissa as women of their eras and the hours they inhabit. I can't say I was completely satisfied with the book, I certainly felt the desire for more in several areas. But the way each part bleeds into the next, the parallels and unique situations alike, made me feel almost grasped at by the book. The main thing I have to compare the situation with is my most recent read of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. I felt the pull of the emotion that really only comes from an author that gets inside the emotions they write about enough to be able to translate them into pen and ink for reader consumption.

It's that ability and the novels that exhibit it that makes literature so “potent and dangerous” as said in the book. As well as so relative and relatable. Some people will be devoured by this book, some will devour is much like Laura feeds on the succor of Mrs. Dalloway. Some will hate it or find it tedious and some will have a light fondness for it that seems inconsequential comparatively. For me, personally, it was a dived-in depth that verged on ineluctable. ( )
  lemotamant898 | Jan 18, 2016 |
I haven't read Mrs Dalloway but now that I've read The Hours it is much higher on my priority list of books to read. Written in a stream of consciousness style, this novel focuses on a single day in the life of three women: Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughn and Laura Brown. Through the works of Mrs Dalloway all three women are connected and all three go through similar thought processes despite being generations apart and separated by place as well as time. I really enjoyed this and definitely want to look further into Woolf's work because of it. Definitely worthy of the Pulitzer Prize and a place on the 1001 Books list. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cunningham, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodge, PatriciaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like the others this one too will be a form of what I dream, a structure of words, and not the flesh and bone tiger that beyond all myths paces the earth. I know these things quite well, yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me in the vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest, and I go on pursuing through the hours another tiger, the beast not found in verse.
- J.L. Borges, The Other Tiger, 1960
I have no time to describe my plans. I should say a good deal about The Hours, and my discovery; how I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters; I think that gives exactly what I want; humanity, humour, depth. The idea is that the caves shall connect, and each comes to daylight at the present moment.
- Virginia Wolf, in her diary, August 30, 1923
This book is for Ken Corbett
First words
Sie hastet aus dem Haus, wirft einen für die Witterung zu schweren Mantel über: 1941.
She hurries from the house, wearing a coat too heavy for the weather. It is 1941.
"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'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) knows 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."
What a thrill, what a shock, to be alive on a morning in June, prosperous, almost scandalously privileged, with a simple errand to run.
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 experience lay in a kiss and a walk, the anticipation of dinner and a book...What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Clarissa dislikes arrangements. She prefers flowers to look as if they've just arrived, in armloads, from the fields.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The book concerns three generations of women affected by a Virginia Woolf novel. The first is Woolf herself writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923 and struggling with her own mental illness. The second is Mrs. Brown, wife of a World War II veteran, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1949 as she plans her husband's birthday party. The third is Clarissa Vaughan, a lesbian, who plans a party in 1998 to celebrate a major literary award received by her good friend and former lover, the poet Richard, who is dying of AIDS. The situations of all three characters mirror situations experienced by Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway in 'Mrs. Dalloway', with Clarissa Vaughn being a very literal modern-day version of Woolf's character.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312305060, Paperback)

The Hours is both an homage to Virginia Woolf and very much its own creature. Even as Michael Cunningham brings his literary idol back to life, he intertwines her story with those of two more contemporary women. One gray suburban London morning in 1923, Woolf awakens from a dream that will soon lead to Mrs. Dalloway. In the present, on a beautiful June day in Greenwich Village, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. And in Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown, pregnant and unsettled, does her best to prepare for her husband's birthday, but can't seem to stop reading Woolf. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility each keeps returning to. Clarissa is to eventually realize:
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.... Still, we cherish the city, the morning; we hope, more than anything, for more.
As Cunningham moves between the three women, his transitions are seamless. One early chapter ends with Woolf picking up her pen and composing her first sentence, "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." The next begins with Laura rejoicing over that line and the fictional universe she is about to enter. Clarissa's day, on the other hand, is a mirror of Mrs. Dalloway's--with, however, an appropriate degree of modern beveling as Cunningham updates and elaborates his source of inspiration. Clarissa knows that her desire to give her friend the perfect party may seem trivial to many. Yet it seems better to her than shutting down in the face of disaster and despair. Like its literary inspiration, The Hours is a hymn to consciousness and the beauties and losses it perceives. It is also a reminder that, as Cunningham again and again makes us realize, art belongs to far more than just "the world of objects." --Kerry Fried

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a novel of love, family inheritance, and desperation, the author offers a fictional account of Virginia Woolf's last days and her friendship with a poet living in his mother's shadow.

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