Jacob's Room

6 CDs. 6:51 hrs. Naxos. 2014. ISBN 9781843797685. $41.98. digital download. F
Woolf's (Mrs. Dalloway) brilliant novel is a classic of modernism, that literary style that developed after World War I in opposition to classic novels that required a hero or heroine, major and minor characters, and an organized plotline. Like another, better-known modernist work, James Joyce's Ulysses, which was published around the same time, Jacob's Room is a disjointed ramble though various individuals' thoughts and actions. Through his or her described thoughts, each person who interacts with Jacob provides a significant glimpse of his or her own and Jacob's existence. However, these thoughts are frequently splintered and often not about Jacob at all. Juliet Stevenson gives a highly competent reading of a difficult-to-follow text. Even so, many listeners may find that an exceptional effort of concentration is required to appreciate this or any other modernist text in audio format.
VERDICT Recommended for individuals interested in Bloomsbury writers, modernist literature, or 20th-century feminist fiction.
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