Jacob's Room

Jacob's Room

by Virginia Woolf

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Jacob's Room (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of all her books, Virginia Woolf's "Jacob's Room" was her favorite. It is like an Impressionist painting - sketches and outlines of characters, hints of plot, swirling language. It's a beautifully written novel- but be sure to take the time to read it carefully.
ofstoneandice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I understand that the style is experimental, I found it too rough. The constant leaps from one POV to another is bewildering and much of the information we receive consists of useless filler material. The true bulk of the content lies in the loosely strung together metaphors, some of which appear almost as half-finished thoughts.
cestovatela on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Virginia Woolf knows what goes on inside your mind and she transcribes that whole thought process onto paper. Some people don't like her style, but I love the way she makes the ordinary seem transcendent.
dmsteyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel, published in 1922, the same year as Joyce's Ulysses and Eliot's The Waste Land, is acknowledged as a landmark Modernist text. Having previously read Woolf¿s To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway during my undergraduate years, and having enjoyed those novels, I came to Jacob¿s Room with certain expectations. For one, I expected it to be challenging, and challenging it was. But it is also very short (around a 120 pages) and therefore more manageable than Joyce¿s magnum opus. It also illustrates some of the problems I have with Modernist fiction in general, and Woolf specifically.More on that later. First, let me expound on the technique of the book. Whereas Woolf¿s first two novels were, according to what I have read, fairly straightforward, in this novel, Woolf takes a much more impressionistic approach to novel-writing. Jacob¿s Room has barely any plot. Ostensibly being about the life of Jacob Flanders (supposedly based on Woolf's brother, Thoby), the book presents snatches from many different points of view on Jacob, and, sometimes, from Jacob¿s point of view. Despite being presented in chronological order, these impressions are disjointed, and it often takes some effort to make sense of what is going on. This creates a collage effect, very different from most novels that one might encounter.I liked Woolf¿s attention to detail and her way of turning a phrase. She creates an intense emotional portrait of Jacob, even though he is not really the protagonist of the novel; no-one is. To get an idea of what Woolf is endeavouring to do, here is a short passage from the novel:It is thus that we live, they say, driven by an unseizable force. They say that the novelists never catch it; that it goes hurtling through their nets and leaves them torn to ribbons. This, they say, is what we live by ¿ this unseizable force.Although Woolf displays some scepticism in this extract ¿ all those `they say¿s ¿ it is still evident throughout the quasi-novel of Jacob¿s Room that it is exactly this `unseizable force¿ that she is trying to grasp. It is the ineffable quality of life that Woolf tries to represent, precisely by going against the supposed realism of the Realist writers, such as Arnold Bennett.Her characterisation is fluid to the point of flowing down the drain, at least at times. That is one problem I had with her writing. Despite beautifully lyrical and elegiac passages, the book sometimes felt insubstantial ¿ `flimsy¿, maybe. Perhaps this is because of its lack of plot and other anchoring points, such as relatable characters and substantial events. Woolf sacrifices these on purposes, but it sometimes felt like the book was an experiment that either went too far, or did not go far enough. To the Lighthouse and Mrs Dalloway seemed comparably more successful attempts at marrying traditional novelistic techniques to Modernist experiments in narration. Ulysses, which uses similar techniques, also seems more successful, as it goes the whole hog in rejecting Realism. That said, I read Jacob¿s Room without any guide, so I might have missed out on some of Woolf¿s intentions with the novel.On the whole, an interesting, if flawed, attempt at presenting a life as it is really experienced, and not as it is usually channelised into easily digested fiction.
Chris_V on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first of Virginia Woolf's novels that sought a new way of writing fiction tells the story of a young man who is to be killed on the battlefields of WWI. This edition includes a forward by her nephew Quentin Bell.
janetf8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How have I missed this before? Could it have been something as trivial as not liking the previous copies I've started, which were scruffy hardbacks? I mean, I've read The years and The waves, for goodness sake!Anyway this is superb. Woolf at her finest. Great descriptions of London and nature and scenery. Hinting at characters, capturing the sense of life as I experience it, puzzling me and then revealing more to satisfy and keep me alert. I want to re-read it at once - but of course I won't as there is too much else waiting to be read. But I will come back to this. The personal associations (connections with her brother Thoby), her femininism, her revelations of what life was like at that time are all fascinating.
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Walks in
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She walked in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is very tiring one... you have to read it in the silence of the night. why? because this one gives you the sensation of being another one, being a very misterious.. being loved but unknown, being frustrated for live but you desire to live forever...
Jarpy More than 1 year ago
Maybe I wasn't in the mood for some artsy-fartsy literary style, but I couldn't get interested in this book in the first 20 pages, and had to put it down. I'll let my guilt over that fester for a while and try again, but I'm not holding out much hope that it'll somehow be better the second time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wht are you weaing? And are you a virgin.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U here