Monday, July 30, 2007

The Hours

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, is a Pulitzer winning novel. The story intertwines the lives of two contemporary women with that of Virginia Woolf. The story starts off with the suicide of Virginia Woolf in 1941.

I couldn't get past page 10. A story that starts with a suicide, even if a true event, should have been a warning sign. How the story all comes together and why will remain a mystery to me. The primary problem I had reading the book is the author writes almost entirely in the present tense. This writing style reads like a stream of consciousness. If you have attempted Ulysses by James Joyce, you will know what I am talking about. In any event, it is difficult to read. The author goes from describing the sound someone's shoes make to observing oneself walking. Very hard to follow.

The book falls into the high-brow, English-lit crowd who likes to experiment with writing styles, vocabulary, and feminist themes. Sometimes I can read those kinds of stories, this time I couldn't. The story was made into a movie. Perhaps that turned out better.

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