The Waves by Virginia Woolf

The Waves

Set on the coast of England against the vivid background of the sea, The Waves introduces six characters—three men and three women—who are grappling with the death of a beloved friend, Percival. Instead of describing their outward expressions of grief, Virgina Woolf draws her characters from the inside, revealing them through their thoughts and interior soliloquies. As their understanding of nature’s trials grows, the chorus of narrative vo...

Details The Waves

TitleThe Waves
Release DateJun 1st, 1978
PublisherHarvest Books
GenreClassics, Fiction, Literature

Reviews The Waves

  • Violet wells
    For the unprepared reader the first fifty pages can be as baffling as an unknown code. But once the code is cracked, the whole experiment has a brilliant simplicity. Imagine this: a biography of you and your five best friends. From early childhood to death. Told not within the usual matrix of bald accountable facts, social landmarks of achievement and failure. But through a linguistic transposition of the ebb and flow, the forging and eroding, of...
  • Jonathan
    The Waves Playlist Pop songs, not classical or Jazz. charactersRules: One song each. Gender matching. Must express as many of the key character traits as possible. I must love it. Bernard: Bob Dylan – To RamonaSusan: Kate bush - Mrs. BartolozziRhoda: Throwing Muses – FearNeville: Anthony and the Johnsons – Crazy in LoveJinny: Julia Holter - Gold Dust Woman Louis: Jeff Buckley - A Satisfied Mind [P...
  • Garima
    The sun rose. Its rays fell in sharp wedges inside the room. Whatever the light touched became dowered with a fanatical existence. A plate was like a white lake. A knife looked like a dagger of ice. Suddenly my copy of ‘The Waves’ became alive as the clouds on the cover page started floating in resplendent movements and the water of the ocean moved swiftly over the edges of several dog-eared pages carrying along thousands of words written upo...
  • Lizzy
    The sun fell in sharp wedges inside the room. Whatever the light touched became dowered with a fanatical existence. A plate was like a white lake. A knife looked like a dagger of ice. Suddenly tumblers revealed themselves upheld by streaks of light. As I turn the pages of The Waves, Virginia Woolf talks to me, to my heart, my spirit and my soul, like I could not have imagined. Such splendor and beauty come to me through her words, and I feel like...
  • Seemita
    Hi. || Hi. || Is it you? || Yes, I am. || You look different. || Should I have been same? || Mmm... I don’t know. But you have my color. || In setting auburn, yes. || But it still looks content on your skin; that color – like a sheet of fine, wet porcelain covering a tired, antique statue. || And you look dazed, as if an army of nebulous thoughts have held you captive. || Is it so evident? || Yes. || I met a few people – Bernard, Susan, Lou...
  • s.penkevich
    Probably my favorite book ever written. The 'waves' become a compound metaphor of sheer brilliance; we are all a harmony in the chorus of life, a part of a whole but each an individual part of beauty equally beautiful in solidarity as the whole. I wish I could write a single sentence as glorious as Woolf.
  • Stephen P
    A review of second reading coming.Initial Review:We know so little of others. Barely we capture pieces of ourselves which can be cobbled together into what we believe ourselves to be; the unified presence necessary to calculate and cope with with the underside of the unfurling wave of life's chaos.The book opens upon a group of innocents, small sensitive children at a private school in the country. They take turns, perhaps in a game, naming what ...
  • Rowena
    “No, but I wish to go under; to visit the profound depths; once in a while to exercise my prerogative not always to act, but to explore; to hear vague, ancestral sounds of boughs creaking, of mammoths, to indulge impossible desires to embrace the whole world with the arms of understanding, impossible to those who act.” - Virginia Woolf, The WavesVirginia Woolf never ceases to amaze me. If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I woul...
  • Paul
    This is a wonderful novel; Woolf herself referred to it as a play-poem. Often when I’m thinking about a review I will read what others have written, do a bit of research about the context or author. In this case, that approach is not really possible because there is a whole industry around Woolf and her novels and people spend academic lifetimes on all this! Woolf said she was writing to a rhythm and not to a plot and the novel is a series of i...
  • Lee
    Best book ever, I said when I finished before returning to the first non-italicized page to re-read phrases that this time around didn't baffle (as much). A quarter through, as I started saying "wow" aloud at perfectly phrased phrases (that "land on two feet"), it was clear that this is and has always been an obvious canonical MVP. Tried reading it maybe ten years ago sitting in a Jiffy Lube waiting room, got to page 21 (dog-eared it), reading wi...
  • Marissa
    I've read this book several times. The first attempt my mind drifted off half the time because there is no plot (which is perfectly fine). I wandered so much that I had to reread the final chapter but by the time I got to the last two pages I burst into tears. It vouches for the power of a book when the reader can be so moved by the ending after only truly paying attention to the final chapter.I love what The Waves says about being human, being f...
  • Ian
    Novelplaypoem"The Waves" is arguably the greatest single work of literary Modernism, superior to Woolf’s own "Mrs Dalloway" and "To the Lighthouse" and potentially to Joyce’s "Ulysses". The first two of these works are temporally much more limited in scope, the last so stylistically diverse that it can’t be said to have a singular integrity (which is not to criticize it; this criterion is quite the opposite of its design and intent). "The...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    654. The Waves, Virginia Woolfعنوانها: امواج (موج ها)؛ خیزابها ؛ ویرجینیا وولف (مهیا، صهبای دانش، افق) ادبیاتعنوان: امواج؛ اثر: ویرجینیا وولف؛ مترجم: فرشاد نجفی پور؛ تهران، محیا، 1377؛ در 248 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1388؛ شابک: 9789645577276؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، صهبای دانش؛ 1389، شابک: 9786005692129؛ ...
  • Julie Christine
    For three weeks I have looked at this book on my desk, trying to summon the necessary courage to write up my thoughts. Courage, because whatever I say will be an inadequate, tepid articulation of how The Waves made me feel. 'I was running,' said Jinny, 'after breakfast. I saw leaves moving in a hole in the hedge. I thought "That is a bird on its nest." I parted them and looked; but there was no bird on a nest. The leaves went on moving. I was fr...
  • Perry
    Who's got their claws in you my friend?Into your heart I'll beat again D.J. Matthews, 12/96Six classmates (3 girls and 3 boys) go through seven stages of life via a sequence of interior monologues, sprinkled with allusions to the Earth's relation to the Sun and to the moon's gravitational pull on the ocean--the tides--as time passes. This is my favorite Woolf novel; it's such a beautiful composition and an incredible feat to create the feel and s...
  • Dolors
    Poetry in prose.Woolf writes without rules, no punctuation, no paragraphs, pure sensations, disarrayed and irrational thoughts, explosion of feelings.We see life through the eyes of six characters, three men and three women, each one strikingly different from the other but close friends and lovers, from childhood to old age.Early innocence, pure thoughts, playful games become more and more complicated when the characters grow up. It was devastati...
  • Libros Prestados
    Han pasado varios días desde que lo terminé y aún no encuentro las palabras para describir esta novela.Es fascinante. Rara como un perro verde, pero un ejercicio de estilo que si te atrapa, no te suelta. Posiblemente es un libro de extremos (o lo amas o lo odias, no creo que pueda dejar indiferente a nadie), pero tan alejado de lo corriente y tan lírico y tan devoto a su estilo (Woolf tiene muy claro en su cabeza cómo quiere escribir esta hi...
  • Edward
    The Waves is is an incredible novel. It beautifully and poetically captures the experience of living and growing throughout one's life, from the slow gathering of consciousness in childhood, and the formation of identity, to the energy and wild optimism of young adulthood, to the eventual bitterness, desperation and regret (and perhaps clarity) of later life. The novel blurs the lines between the individual and the collective experience, acknowle...
  • Duane
    This novel is without a doubt a work of art, a masterpiece, one of the best of the 20th century by, quite possibly, the greatest female writer who ever lived. The beauty, the poetry of the written word in this book is beyond description. She must have been so proud when she finished writing this, she had to know it was special. This book has my highest recommendation.
  • João Fernandes
    "How then does light return to the world after the eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gra...
  • Luís C.
    Difficult to make a critique of The Waves, it is a text that feels but only in an absolute way. Invasive as the flow of the mind, emotions, the deep course of existence ... I read it long ago, it is always present in my memory, it lives and enriched me. Not only because of my resonance with the essence of what is delivered there (and the extracts I have piously relieved from it), rather by the wonder of discovering there a form of perfection in l...
  • Aubrey
    What is that quote, that one that says that you cannot read some books, you can only reread them. Here is one. Rampant poetry that you ride, crest in and crest out of the waves of words that flow in such a way that one sentence is one of many, a social construct like the bees and the birds flocking in the sky. Fluidity does little justice to this book. One word does not exist without all the rest, and it is better to float through the sentences r...
  • p.
    "Things have dropped from me. I have outlived certain desires; I have lost friends, some by death […] others through sheer inability to cross the street. I am not so gifted as at one time seemed likely. Certain things lie beyond my scope. I shall never understand the harder problems of philosophy." I opened the book, hoping to find a distracting and entertaining novel that could take me into oblivion and make me forget what I've been through la...
  • Laura
    Magnífico.Completamente seductor como una ola.
  • Kim
    Virginia Woolf referred to this work not as a novel, but as a “playpoem”. It consists of monologues spoken by six characters, three female and three male, who recount their lives from childhood to old age and death. The various stages of the characters’ lives are interspersed with nine brief third person accounts of the seaside at different stages of the day from sunrise to sunset. The work is in effect an extended poem, with the various vo...
  • Proustitute
    Thus when I come to shape here at this table between my hands the story of my life and set it before you as a complete thing, I have to recall things gone far, gone deep, sunk into this life or that and become part of it; dreams, too, things surrounding me, and the inmates, those old half-articulate ghosts who keep up their hauntings by day and night; who turn over in their sleep, who utter their confused cries, who put out their phantom fingers ...
  • Deepthi
    “And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.” From the very first line, Woolf throws her reader into six different minds; we see what they see, hear what they listen to and feel what they touch or are touched by. These six narrators show us glimpses of their childhood, their surroundings, their fears, their midlife, their loves, their ambitions, their failures, their sacrifices, their old age and lastly, their deaths. Somehow all thes...
  • Vessey
    I wish to thank my friend Seemita for insisting for me to get to “The Waves” as soon as possible. I am not sorry that I did. I also thank her for her glowing, brilliant review which in itself is a recommendation enough. Thank you, my friend.I was incredibly moved by all the sweeping intensity and beauty laid at the heart of this novel. It was a tremendous, exceptional experience. It isn’t really a story. It’s more like a lyrical feast. If...