Mrs. Dalloway

  • by Virginia Woolf
  • Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
  • 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is a June day in London in 1923, and the lovely Clarissa Dalloway is having a party. Whom will she see? Her friend Peter, back from India, who has never really stopped loving her? What about Sally, with whom Clarissa had her life’s happiest moment?
Meanwhile, the shell-shocked Septimus Smith is struggling with his life on the same London day.
Luminously beautiful, Mrs. Dalloway uses the internal monologues of the characters to tell a story of inter-war England. With this, Virginia Woolf changed the novel forever.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One Tough Read Perfectly Delivered

First of all, this isn't in the style of Jane Eyre. Modernist writing can be very, very challenging. This book and "To the Lighthouse" are in the same class with James Joyce and William Faulkner. These authors require interaction with the reader.

If you are willing to 'work' with the author and pay attention to the writing, you will be rewarded with a life-long impact that will make much other writing seem vapid.

There are two ways to approach this book. One, search online for notes and commentary and prepare yourself for the journey. If you understand where the book is going, you will greatly enjoy the journey. Woolf intentionally rations information which can make the book very hard to follow. But as in life, if you know a person, you can follow their thoughts with fewer words because you understand that person.

The book is much like a conversation we have in our heads. It's not made of fully complete thoughts and is distracted by other thoughts. And the book takes place in a very narrow slice of time---a single day but with references to times past. Hang on tight!

Sit quietly and think. Pay attention to how your mind will burst forth with fragments of ideas, odd images and unrelated fragments. This how our brains work and what the modernists were exploring.

The other approach is to go through the book twice, unprepared. You'll have to go through the book more than once anyway. I listened to the same 30 minutes sometimes 5 or more times. Move ahead. Go back again!

Now, if you are willing to do this, a treasure awaits you. If not, this book will be a horrible drudge.

I loved it. Frankly, "To the Lighthouse" was easier.

Chris Reich
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- Chris

This book was a marvel!

What did you love best about Mrs. Dalloway?

The writing just blew me away. I thought that it would be inaccessible, but instead it grabbed me from the first few words and never let go.

Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have and I think that this was her best.

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- Ellen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-18-2010
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks