Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jacob’s Room - by Virginia Woolf

US/UK Kindle Classic
All of Virginia Woolf’s work is coming out of copyright this year and we can hope all of her novels will soon be free on Amazon.  But until that time, we can enjoy Jacob’s Room, a 1922 novel.  (US Edition)  (UK Edition)  

I want to give a thank you here to Wikipedia.  Amazon does not do a good job of showing the publication date.  The publication date on Amazon for a Kindle book is either the formatting date or the upload date.  If you want to know when a book was originally published, and that is important with these classic books, the quickest way to find out is to check Wikipedia.  I am not saying it is infallible in all things, but Wikipedia almost always has a book’s publication date – even with obscure titles.

I don’t really associate Woolf and humor, but this excerpt is funny:
"This is not a smoking-carriage," Mrs. Norman protested, nervously but very feebly, as the door swung open and a powerfully built young man jumped in. He seemed not to hear her. The train did not stop before it reached Cambridge, and here she was shut up alone, in a railway carriage, with a young man.

She touched the spring of her dressing-case, and ascertained that the scent-bottle and a novel from Mudie's were both handy (the young man was standing up with his back to her, putting his bag in the rack). She would throw the scent-bottle with her right hand, she decided, and tug the communication cord with her left. She was fifty years of age, and had a son at college. Nevertheless, it is a fact that men are dangerous.
I hate to give up my take on the book, but this is a beautiful, succinct review from Amazon:
A typically wonderful read from the great Virginia Woolf. While Jacob is on the one hand the centre of this book, he is also the enigma which the reader never quite finds. We hear many others talking of Jacob, but we catch only fleeting glimpses of Jacob himself, making this book a strange, at times disorientating read. This however, is clearly Woolf's intention, as she plays with notions of character, authorial omniscience, and coherent plotting. A great example of classic modernist fiction from one of Britain's most celebrated authors. If you are prepared for a challenging read, then buy this book- but prepare for your expectations of what constitutes a novel to be put under the spotlight.
This is a stream of consciousness novel and I think they are very close to our ADD society and our flitting from task to task; so I do not think that makes it as challenging to a 21st century reader as it must have been to the reader 90 years ago.

This download has some tiny formatting problems with lines missing between paragraphs - but when you are caught up in the work, you won't be bothered by that. 

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