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Publisher's Summary

Six children - Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny and Louis - meet in a garden close to the sea, their voices sounding over the constant echo of the waves that roll back and forth from the shore.
The book follows them as they develop from childhood tao maturity and follow different passions and ambitions; their voices are interspersed with interludes from the timeless and unifying chorus of nature.
©2013 W F Howes Ltd (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"I am writing to a rhythm and not to a plot'" (Virginia Woolf)"Full of sensuous touches...the sounds of her words can be velvet on the page" ( Daily Telegraph)
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Customer Reviews

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By K. R. Jackson on 10-18-16

Acquired, but worth it.

Where does The Waves rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Highly. It was difficult to get through, but, as with ALL Woolf novels, everything - every last word - is all tied together at the end. The entire journey is meant for the last few pages.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This book has a host of characters. There isn't necessarily a favorite. The whole cast of characters is the character.

What does Julia Franklin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Julia's performance is spot on and brings the characters to life perfectly. She reads it as though she discussed the performance with Woolf herself.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It is an extremely abstract book. There will be several times when you have no idea what's happening. But then strings will suddenly snap together. Every word is there to build a road that you aren't necessarily aware you're travelling on. You experience life with every character and it is as absolutely touching, confusing, and realistic as reality. There are several things that happen at the end that made me not only reread, but tear up.

Any additional comments?

Woolf is one of the best writers we've ever had. And she always - always - sticks her endings.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By W Perry Hall on 12-17-17

*Into your heart I'll beat again*

'Who's got their claws in you my friend?
Into your heart I'll beat again.'
D.J. Matthews, 12/96

Six classmates (three girls and three boys) go through seven stages of life via a sequence of interior monologues, sprinkled with allusions to the Earth's relation to the Sun and to the moon's gravitational pull on the ocean--the tides--as time passes.

This is my favorite Woolf novel; it's such a beautiful composition and an incredible feat to create the feel and sense that the characters are flowing and breaking into one another like waves on the shore.

She rejected plot and character conventions in favor of a narrative driven solely by voices to show, I think, that human existence, like waves, means constantly experiencing fluidity and regeneration.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Md Lachlan on 01-27-15

Much better to listen to than to read

What made the experience of listening to The Waves the most enjoyable?

I had struggled with this book before. However, listening to it while walking the dog allows its beauty and strangeness to grasp you. Wonderful.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By DT on 03-24-16

“So strange is the contact of one with another.”

What made the experience of listening to The Waves the most enjoyable?

Being carried on from one monologue to another.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

How different it is from a Virginia Woolf novel that I like much better - "To the Lighthouse".

Which character – as performed by Julia Franklin – was your favourite?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

I expect to re-read “The Waves” (1931), in part because its (Modernist) difficulty is likely to release new meanings, rather than confirm assumptions or provide reassurance, but also because as its six characters get older and, in their interspersed monologues, contemplate death so they seem to matter more and move beyond their very irritating youthful characters.

Even after one reading, though, I would say that while “The Waves” is acute on time, it relegates the social and historical insights that occur from time to time, and, to my surprise, at least, emerge much more unerringly in “Mrs Dalloway” (1925) and “To the Lighthouse” (1927). Possibly, this is because Virginia Woolf sticks, mostly, to the perspectives (and the narrowness of political outlook) of Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis; but, equally, it could be because of Woolf’s allegiance to the values of nature announced in the title and pursued doggedly, as well as through the unnamed third-person narrator who follows the rhythm of one day even as the six named characters go through to middle-age. This allegiance to nature or natural reality is quite deliberate on Woolf’s part and distinguishes “The Waves” from “To the Lighthouse”, which, in some respects, it resembles. Whereas in “To the Lighthouse”, for all its Modernist interest in consciousness, there is a concern with how people inter-relate in society, in “The Waves” “the contact of with one another” is “strange” for the characters. Almost in spite of her metaphysical interests, though, there are so many wonderful passages in “The Waves” when society – and particularly London society -- presses upon the more worldly of the six characters that there is an even greater novel shadowing the novel that Virginia Woolf has written.

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Customer Reviews

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By Jeanette hrvatin on 01-05-18

A timeless novel that never stops given.

easy to listen to. Great narrative voice. story well constructed and easy to listen to. The waves is a masterpiece.

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