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I tried to be impartial. But maybe that wasn't exactly what I expected. Still I gave it five stars. I've read the book several times and certainly I had my own vision of the Ramsays, and this ran counter to N.Kidman's rendition. It was just different, all the more interesting.
Since the book is not about action, but introspection, the narrator can discover and impart other subtle nuances of meaning that could be lost on or interpreted differently by the reader.
N.Kidman managed to make the narration sound rhythmic and melodious. Definitely her breathiness was sexy. Her pitch range was rather restrained with no paroxysms of emotion. The whole thing was moody and melancholy at times, just the way it should be.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Nicole Kidman's intonation and reading style is superb, so much of this novel takes place in the female mind/voice and Nicole just nails it. She brings what can be a tricky style to read to life. It seemed to me, that she truly understood the novel and it showed in her reading.
I do have to warn you, she does have a nasty habit of taking sharp intakes of breath in between lines, and I feel this must have produced an editing dilemma. As someone who regularly edits audio, I'm guessing that Nicole must have read at too fast a pace to smoothly edit out these sounds (although you could lower the sound levels and raise them appropriately). It can be quite annoying at first, but you soon get used to it. Ideally these kind of noises should be removed.
Still I can't fault Nicole for inhaling.
It won't be for everyone. It's about thought, perception, transience, meaning, understanding, gender and all kinds of abstract ideas. If you want a straight narrative with clearly defined actions and goals this will be tricky, but I loved it.
The characters and their search for meaning and their approach to understanding really reflected some of the half understood/explored thoughts that I myself have struggled with. Lily Briscoe is possibly my favourite character in any novel, and occasionally Woolf's prose is just stunning.
As I say, To The Lighthouse is written in a style that is destined to alienate some, and enliven others. I found it incredibly rewarding, but it might leave you cold, be warned.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to To the Lighthouse again? Why?
Definitely not as although it was an ultimately fulfilling listen it was hard work and demanded a lot of concentration and perseverance.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
Loved the quality of the writing.
Have you listened to any of Nicole Kidman’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have not listened to Nicole Kidman narrate an audiobook before but think she is an amazing actor. She narrates this book perfectly and evokes the perfect, mesmerising atmosphere.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Definitely not! Could only listen in half an hour sittings.
Any additional comments?
I really think this would be an easier read than a listen. I first read this almost 30 years ago and felt it was time to revisit it. The writing is beautiful and I could listen to Nicole Kidman read the beautiful prose for hours. However in order to keep focused and keep up with who was who I had to listen in short bursts.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Nicole Kidman's dry, deep voice really adds to this classic novel. I found it a little hard to get used to her at the beginning, but after a couple of chapters couldn't imagine anyone else reading it. I hadn't read (listened to!) any Virginia Woolf for a long time, and it was a pleasure to rediscover 'To the Lighthouse'. The shifts in perspective are brilliant. I love the way a character's view of another character can shift so many times in a short walk to the village.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I'll never get over how Virginia Woolf can extract, bottle and stopper the mood of a whole life in a brief moment. Originally, the plot of this novel never appealed to me. A delayed family trip to a lighthouse is hardly thrilling synopsis stuff.
I'd read Orlando, Mrs Dalloway and The Waves first. But I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I'd place it as a close second to Orlando as my favourite Woolf work.
Fair warning: it is slow. All of Woolf's novels are by our poor attention standards, and that is a big part of their beauty. It's like watching a moth get slowly caught in amber.
Nicole Kidman is an excellent narrator. Her voice is clear and she adds a thoughtful element all her own to Virginia's beautiful prose. You have the feeling that she loves this book, these characters and their frailties.
not my cup of tea! iI found the narration also very slow and tedious. Did not finish.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful