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The Voyage Out
The Voyage Out
The Voyage Out
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The Voyage Out

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Virginia Woolf was an English writer, and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and Orlando. Rachel Vinrace leaves on her father's ship for South America and her journey of self-discovery begins. The eclectic group of passengers provides Woolf with an opportunity to poke fun at Edwardian life. The novel is the first published by Woolf and introduces Clarissa Dalloway, the central character of Woolf's later novel, Mrs. Dalloway


During the interwar period, Woolf was a signifi-cant figure in London literary society and a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One's Own (1929) with its famous dictum, "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction".


Other Books of V. Woolf:


To the Lighthouse (1927)
Mrs Dalloway (1925)
A Haunted House (1921)
Orlando (1928)
Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street (1923)
Between the Acts (1941)
The Duchess and the Jeweller (1938)
The New Dress (1927)
The Mark on the Wall (1917)
The Years (1937)

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJun 24, 2015
ISBN9786059285292
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Author

Virginia Woolf

Born in London as Adeline Virginia Stephen, Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a distinguished novelist, essayist, and critic; cofounder of the Hogarth Press with her husband, Leonard Woolf; and a central figure of the famed Bloomsbury group. Celebrated for her modernist sensibility and stylistic innovations,Woolf is best remembered for the novels Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), and the feminist classic A Room of One's Own (1929).

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Reviews for The Voyage Out

Rating: 3.016574585635359 out of 5 stars
3/5

362 ratings13 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Very good for a first novel. Woolf does not disappoint-- not in the least. The characters are the vivid and the romance is an especial highlight. The setting is variable, but interesting nonetheless, and the prose is marked by poetical language that bears the majesty that accompanies the gifts that Woolf had at writing.Overall, I was very satisfied. I typically am not such a fan of Woolf's work-- but this one seems to be an exception. Still, I was impressed.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Rachel Vinrace is a character whose life in England is structured by Victorian ideas of the proper development of young women. Her outer life is restricted by her maiden aunts, and her inner life is kept in check by self-discipline in her piano playing and the restraint imposed on her imagination in the kind of literature she is allowed to read. Rachel has an opportunity to take a voyage out of her bonds on a cruise to South America. She begins to loosen her self restrictions as she studies the artificial and real motives of her fellow travelers. While on her father's ship, Rachel's liberation is as slow and determined as her piano playing, staying with the composition but engaging in a few private improvisations. While staying at a hotel in South America, the pace of Rachel's development accelerates. As she accompanies other brave souls on a short guided trip into the wilds of the jungle, Rachel's insight races. But she has no meaningful starting point or signposts to guide her in self exploration. Her emotions become increasingly intense and her behavior more erratic as she falls in love with a fellow passenger. Rachel's ideas take flight with striking visual images and loose emotional associations. A common resolution of her out of control improvisations is the complete peace of immersion in an undersea world, a final reduction of "fever." Virginia Woolf's first novel is an excellent self portrait of budding bipolar disorder. The author sketches this portrait by producing unexpected and "pretty notes" as Louis Armstrong described his jazz. Woolf ultimately found her own underwater peace suggesting the tremendous toll of manic creativity.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This is my first Virginia Woolf book and if I thought all the rest were like this I would not be reading any more of her works. However, this was her first and I am assured that she got better with time and practise so I will probably try again. I listened to this book read by Nadia May and I give May full marks for making the book as interesting as she could. From the internet I gleaned that Nadia May is a "nom de mike" for Wanda McCaddon who has narrated over 600 books. I'll be looking out for more books narrated by her.Rachel Vinrace, her father and her aunt and uncle, Helen and Ridley Ambrose, take passage on one of her father's ships to South America. Rachel has lived a very sheltered life with some maiden aunts as her mother is dead and her father travels a great deal. Her aunt Helen proposes to introduce Rachel to modern life. Rachel's father leaves Rachel with her aunt and uncle on an unnamed island near South America where Helen and Ridley are staying in a villa owned by Helen's brother. Near the villa is a hotel where other British people are staying. The hotel is a little bit of British upper class life with proper English breakfasts, afternoon teas, English newspapers and a vicar. Rachel meets Terrance who is one of those Englishmen with no apparent job but an income and the two fall in love in a very short period of time. Other English people are also profiled but they are very one-dimensional. Apparently Woolf meant this book to satirise Edwardian life and the people do seem to be almost caricatures.The ending was rather a shock. Just when I had gotten used to not much happening there was a sharp change and then the end. Not my cup of tea for the most part although Woolf does show a facility with the English language.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Virginia Woolf completed Melymbrosia, her first novel in 1910, but she did not publish it until 1915 after two complete redraftings and retitling it as The Voyage Out. Louise DeSalvo, a Woolf scholar, spent seven years at the Berg Collection piecing together the early manuscripts until she established the text of Melymbrosia, and the New York Public Library published it in 1982 with a description of her methodology. That book, long out of print, was re-released by Cleis Press, with a new introduction by DeSalvo, in 2002.The basic plot line and characters of the two versions are the same, but the writing in The Voyage Out is more highly refined and somewhat more oblique than in Melymbrosia. The protagonist of the story is Rachel Vinrace, a young woman in her early 20s, daughter of the owner of a fleet of ships that trades in South America. Her mother died in childbirth, and she was raised by her two maiden aunts in Richmond, outside of London. Like most privileged young women of the time, her education was spotty, but she is a talented pianist, who has not really been afforded the training to make her a serious one. She has embarked upon a South American voyage on one of her father's ships along with her maternal uncle and aunt, Ridley and Helen Ambrose. When the ship arrives at the Ambroses' destination, a villa in Santa Rosa, an European tourist spot, Helen convinces Rachel and her father that she should stay with them until her father completes his business further up the Amazon. In the village near where the villa is located is a tourist hotel. The interaction of the denizens of the hotel and the villa and the growing awareness by Rachel of the expectations of English society and her place within it define these rites-of- passage novels. There is a ship of fools quality to the picture of this microcosm of privileged British society caught in a colonial getaway for a few weeks. Woolf chronicles the male privileging, the female frustration, the sexual hypocrisy and the basic uselessness of most of the members of this society. The two forays made by the adventurous ones in the troupe, up a mountain trail and down the river to a native village, are completely managed by local guides and laborers who are utterly ignored by those they lead. I was reminded of the river voyage into the interior described by Aphra Behn in Oronooko, and some critics have referenced Joseph Conrad. In both versions, the writing is exquisite, but Melymbrosia is more savagely satiric, funnier, less inhibited in its depictions of characters and their thoughts, and generally more alive than The Voyage Out. It's certainly not necessary, and indeed somewhat repetitive, to read both versions -- either is revealing as a first novel by a great novelist. Personally, I preferred Melymbrosia.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I really didn't enjoy reading Virginia Woolf's debut novel, "The Voyage Out." I just found it incredibly boring... I could only read a few pages at a time before I fell asleep. I didn't connect with any of the characters- none felt particularly realistic nor interesting.The book more or less follows the story of Rachel Vinrace, a young woman who has lived a sheltered life with her aunts. She gets out into the world and starts learning about herself and others. There are a ton of characters who are living in a hotel who populate much of the book.The novel did help me appreciate Woolf's later more experimental novels a bit more-- if this is where she started, it's amazing where she ended up. Ultimately, Woolf is just not an author I really enjoy reading, despite feeling like I really should like her work.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I love Virginia Woolf so much that I have invented a book club where we will read all her books, in chronological order. Just read these sentences and tell me you don't want to read everything this woman has written:"And now the room was dim and quiet, and beautiful silent people passed through it, to whom you could go and say anything you liked. She felt herself amazingly secure as she sat in her arm-chair, and able to review not only the night of the dance, but the entire past, tenderly and humorously, as if she had been turning in a fog for a long time, and could now see exactly where she had turned. For the methods by which she had reached her present position, seemed to her very strange, and the strangest thing about them was that she had not known where they were leading her. That was the strange thing, that one did not know where one was going, or what one wanted, and followed blindly, suffering so much in secret, always unprepared and amazed and knowing nothing; but one thing led to another and by degrees something had formed itself out of nothing, and so one reached at last this calm, this quiet, this certainty, and it was this process that people called living." (p. 354)The Voyage Out is first on the list, and it's one I hadn't read before. Telling the story of a married couple and their 24-year-old niece who take a boat from England to South America (with Mr. and Mrs. Dalloway!) for a holiday and there meet a hotel full of English folk. Various relationships start and stop and some exciting things happen, but most of the action is observational and interior. The central section of the book in particular had a Women in Love quality to me (with much less sex and frantic melodrama), but that faded a bit as the story moved to focus on Rachel, the niece, and Terence, who has fallen in love with her. This is Woolf's first novel and was heavily revised and edited before its release -- a reconstruction of the original manuscript has been published as Melymbrosia (the original title) and I'm keen to read that one and see a more radical view of these fascinating characters. Novel #1 did not disappoint!
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I probably didn't do the book much justice by reading it in the space of a few months, and stopping halfway through to read something else. The characters and names were very confusing, but that's obviously my own fault, and not a critique of the book. I didn't see the end coming at all. Most importantly, I did live the writing. It was descriptive and effective and creative. But I'll probably have to read it again sometime in a more dedicated way.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I found this decidedly easier reading than the more experimental later novels (particularly The Waves, which required a high level of concentration. This was very moving in places, and contributes to understanding the later books too.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    Well, I tried to finish this book but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't stand it any longer. It's horrid. I found the book so slow and so boring. It doesn't help that I'm not a big fan of drama/love stories about English society in the early 1900's either. I didn't care about any of the characters- they were all whinny brats on vacation. I did, however, appreciate Woolf's forward thinking in regards to women in politics and education. That was nice. That, however, was the only nice thing. After over 200 pages I just couldn't read the next 200. No way. I really tried. Really, I did. Oh well... hopefully the next book is good.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I don't understand all the negative reviews saying, "I'll excuse this because it was Woolf's first book." Maybe this book hit something personal for me, because I absolutely loved it. Loved the style, loved the plot, loved the characters. I even loved how Woolf invents an imaginary South America (no mountains near the Amazon that I know of...) and peoples it with upper-class English who light the fire after dinner (one would burn up on the equator!). It's like Jane Austen "tripped out", excuse the pun.