Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

“She picks up her pen”

It seems this was the week for reading books where I’d already seen the movie. A past winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Pen/Faulkner Award, this much acclaimed novel also quite helpfully ticked a few more numbers off my many and varied to read list.

Initial thoughts are a little muted. It has been a really long week and I might have finished this novel in the wee small hours of the morning. It concerns the stories of 3 very different women drawn together by the works of Virginia Woolf. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this story more, were I  a greater fan of her work.

The author, Woolf is even a character in the novel. Something you would also know from watching the film - and Kidman's infamous prosthetic nose - the nose steals the show. Back to the novel, for I digress. It really is hard to escape from a stressful week with a novel that opens up with a suicide. Placing stones in your pocket and going for a swim was beginning to sound quite relaxing - not a pleasant thought at all.

I think I just wasn't in the mood to appreciate this melange of stories that all seemed a little bit too depressing to bear. Was it well crafted, yes  it was. I cared about the characters, I found the world's well realized, I just couldn't be bothered with a melancholy tale this week and for that I subtract one point. Death, AIDS and flower arranging, just not the book for me.

4 out of 5 Woolf fans don't cry wolf.

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