Thursday, 23 January 2014

Book Review: Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Title: Orlando
Author: Virginia Woolf
Pages: 162
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 3.82/5
My Rating: 1/10

Synopsis from Goodreads

Virginia Woolf's Orlando, "The longest and most charming love letter in literature," playfully constructs the figure of Orlando as the fictional embodiment of Woolf's close friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West. Spanning three centuries of boisterous, fantastic adventure, the novel opens as Orlando, a young nobleman in Elizabeth's England, awaits a visit from the Queen and traces his experience with first love as England, under James I, lies locked in the embrace of the Great Frost. 

At the midpoint of the novel, Orlando, now an ambassador in Costantinople, awakes to find that he is a woman, and the novel indulges in farce and irony to consider the roles of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the novel ends in 1928, a year consonant with full suffrage for women, Orlando, now a wife and mother, stands poised at the brink of a future that holds new hope and promise for women.


What can I say about this book. Obviously from the rating I gave it, you can tell that I did not like this book. I think to be honest the only reason I actually managed to finish it is because I had to for university.
When I first saw that I had to read this book I was pretty happy with it, although it wasn't a book which had jumped out at me before, I did want to read some Virginia Woolf stuff, so this was the perfect opportunity. Then I saw that the book was only 162 pages long, and I figured it would be a nice quick easy read. Man was I wrong. 
My normal reading speed tends to be about a page a minute. I was expecting it to take a bit longer simply because my copy of this book has really small text and small margins and spacing, but I didn't expect it to take me so long. Each page would take me about two and a half to three minutes to read, and after reading around two or three pages, I found myself falling asleep. I'm not even kidding. No matter what time of day it was, I would start feeling really tired. So I'd put it down and almost instantly feel awake again.
This inability to get into the book without falling asleep made it really hard to get through.
Honestly for me this book wasn't enjoyable at all. I did think the idea of a fake biography thing was cool, and learning about the book is actually pretty interesting, it's just the book itself that I couldn't get into.
For me this book was a struggle and it wasn't enjoyable, hence the low rating.

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