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Spark Notes: To the Lighthouse

Spark Notes: To the Lighthouse

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. It's wondrous to listen to a fine reading of a long-loved novel. Leishman makes masterly use of volume, timbre and resonance to distinguish between characters and draw us into the emotional swings and vibrations of the internal musings of each. She creates not a new but a more nuanced reading, following the interwoven in a British English that lends authenticity to each voice. Leishman swims smoothly through Woolf's sentences that ebb and flow with numerous parenthetical thoughts and fresh images. These passages are interspersed with quick, sharp, simple sentences that gain strength in contrast. Leishman also draws our attention to Woolf's poetic prose: her rhythms and images, her use of hard consonants in monosyllabic words in counterpoint to long, soft, dreamy words and phrases. To The Lighthouse plays back and forth between telescopic and microscopic views of nature and human nature. Mrs. Ramsey is both trapped in and pleased in her roles as wife, mother and hostess. The introspective Mr. Ramsey is consumed with his legacy of long-since-published abstract philosophy. This is a book that cannot be read—or heard—too often. (Jan.)
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--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


To the Lighthouse is one of the greatest elegies in the
English language, a book which transcends time.” –
“Without question one of the two or three finest novels of the twentieth century. Woolf comments on the most pressing dramas of our human predicament: war, mortality, family, love. If you’re like me you’ll come back to this book often, always astounded, always moved, always refreshed.” –Rick Moody
“[Woolf’s] people are astoundingly real…The tragic futility, the absurdity, the pathetic beauty, of life–we experience all of this in our sharing of seven hours of Mrs. Ramsay’s wasted or not wasted existence.
We have seen, through her, the world.” –Conrad Aiken
From the Hardcover edition.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

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About the Author

Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882, the daughter of Sir Leslie Stephen, first editor of The Dictionary of National Biography. From 1915, when she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf maintained an astonishing output of fiction, literary criticism, essays and biography. In 1912 she married Leonard Woolf, and in 1917 they founded The Hogarth Press. Virginia Woolf suffered a series of mental breakdowns throughout her life, and on 28 March 1941 she committed suicide.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From AudioFile

Virginia Woolf's groundbreaking novel about the vacationing Ramsay family and their relationship with their guests and each other is effortlessly voiced by acclaimed British actress Eileen Atkins. As members of the Ramsay family fall away from each other--through normal familial difficulties heightened by the tragedy of war--Atkins does a superb job conveying each character's individual feelings and struggles. In the character of Lily, the painter intrigued by the entire Ramsay family (although mostly by its gentle matriarch), there is a delicate strength that comes through. Atkins has plenty of experience reading the works of Woolf (she also recorded Mrs. Dalloway and A Room of One's Own for Penguin Audiobooks) and is a joy to listen to in this recording, as well. R.A.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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