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The Hours (1998)

by Michael Cunningham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,009214444 (3.92)558
A trio of stories based around the writer, Virginia Woolf. In the first, set in 1923, Woolf is writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway. In the second, in 1949 Los Angeles, Laura Brown can't seem to stop reading Woolf. In the present, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility.… (more)
Recently added byDarrinLett, rcabbott, DBMON71, alexandria2021, private library, ZannaZori, mattorsara, 4Maya, ejmw
  1. 131
    Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (twomoredays, TammyMarshall)
    twomoredays: If you don't read Mrs. Dalloway before The Hours, I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as fulfilling a reading experience.
    TammyMarshall: It gives you a much fuller appreciation of what Cunningham accomplished with his wonderful novel, "The Hours."
  2. 20
    The 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. 10
    A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen (lucy.depalma)
  4. 10
    The Hours [2002 film] by Stephen Daldry (TheLittlePhrase)
  5. 11
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (sturlington)
  6. 00
    Ohio Angels by Harriet Scott Chessman (Miels)
  7. 11
    Five Bells by Gail Jones (fountainoverflows)
  8. 01
    John Cheever: Collected Stories and Other Writings by John Cheever (Cecilturtle)
1990s (37)
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English (199)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (213)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
“But there are still the hours, aren't there? One and then another, and you get through that one and then, my god, there's another.”
― Michael Cunningham, The Hours

I read it AFTER seeing the film and loved it. The book and film are pretty similar. I enjoyed both the movie and the book.

I skimmed a few reviews and was shocked at some of the low ratings. As one other reviewer who loved it noted: it is a tough book to review. I am glad, honestly that I saw the movie first or I might not have given this a try. Highly recommended. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 5, 2022 |
The Hours : A Novel by Michael Cunningham (2000)
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
Although I don't usually like stream-of-consciousness or the use of historical figures as characters, I really enjoyed this book. Surprisingly, the author was able to make three ordinary days in the lives of the three women very compelling. I would have liked more insight from Leonard Woolf or Richard, whom I found the most interesting - besides Virginia, of course - but I suppose Michael Cunningham wanted to keep the focus on the women. ( )
  doryfish | Jan 29, 2022 |
All I remember from watching The Hours is sobbing while watching Meryl StreepÛªs character, who I loved/hated, sob in her kitchen. This book feel beautiful and round and sad and true. Wish I‰Ûªd re-read Mrs. Dalloway first. ( )
  essarbee | Dec 25, 2021 |
This is one of my all time favorite books. For once, it was deserving of the Pulitzer Prize [so many PP winners don't live up to the hype and expectations]. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf is the inspiration for the book, and that didn't really appeal to me. BUT IT WORKS! Along with Cunningham's prose, descriptions and feelings he portrays.

This book is like a favorite painting- how does one describe exactly what makes it all work? ( )
  JanEPat | Dec 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
Cunningham gives you every chance to hear his echoes of Woolf's style: the whimsical similes, the rueful parentheses, the luminous circumstantial detail. And the narrative method is a homage to Woolf's novel. Each section imitates Mrs Dalloway by being restricted to the events of a single day, and follows the stream of one consciousness, only to leave it, for a sentence or a paragraph, for another....Imitation is fitting because Woolf's original novel was trying to do justice to the sharpness of new experience, even as it detonates old memories, and this endeavour is always worth trying afresh.
added by KayCliff | editThe Guardian, John Mullan (Jun 24, 2011)
 
We don't have to read ''Mrs. Dalloway'' before we can read ''The Hours,'' and no amount of pedantic comparison-hunting will help us understand it if we don't understand it already. But the connections between the two books, after the initial, perhaps overelaborate laying out of repetitions and divergences, are so rich and subtle and offbeat that not to read ''Mrs. Dalloway'' after we've read ''The Hours'' seems like a horrible denial of a readily available pleasure -- as if we were to leave a concert just when the variations were getting interesting.
 

» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cunningham, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cotroneo, IvanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goddijn, ServaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodge, PatriciaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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.
Virginia thinks of Leonard frowning over the proofs, intent on scouring away not only the setting errors but whatever taint of mediocrity errors imply.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

A trio of stories based around the writer, Virginia Woolf. In the first, set in 1923, Woolf is writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway. In the second, in 1949 Los Angeles, Laura Brown can't seem to stop reading Woolf. In the present, 52-year-old Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her oldest love, a poet dying of AIDS. These women's lives are linked both by the 1925 novel and by the few precious moments of possibility.

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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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Cunningham, Michael, 1952-.
Οι ώρες / Μάικλ Κάνιγχαμ · μετάφραση Λύο Καλοβυρνάς. - Αθήνα : Εκδόσεις Πεδίο, 2020. - 263σ. · 21x14εκ.
Ειδική έκδοση για την εφημερίδα ΤΟ ΕΘΝΟΣ, κυκλοφόρησε 2.8.2020.
gre
Επανέκδοση της έκδοσης του ΛΙΒΑΝΗ 2000.
Γλώσσα πρωτοτύπου: αγγλικά
Τίτλος πρωτοτύπου: The Hours
ISBN-13 978-960-635-276-8 (Μαλακό εξώφυλλο), [Εκτός Εμπορίου]
813.54
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