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Extended Audio Sample To the Lighthouse Audiobook, by Virginia Woolf Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 53.7 out of 5 3.70 (70 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Virginia Woolf Narrator: Virginia Leishman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781436101080
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One of the icons of modernism, Virginia Woolf is credited alongside James Joyce for redefining the novel and challenging the limitations of the form. Published in 1927, To the Lighthouse helped establish Woolf among the 20th century’s most important and influential writers.

At their second home on the Isle of Skye, the Ramsay family surrounds itself with friends and colleagues. They contend with World War I, family deaths, and hardships both spoken and unspoken. All the while, the lighthouse looms in the distance. Six-year-old James asks his father to take him there, but many years will pass before the voyage begins.

Woolf was deeply interested in her characters’ inner thoughts and feelings, and because of this, To the Lighthouse emerges as an unforgettable, introspective masterpiece.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alisa | 2/20/2014

    " Man, I feel like a jerk for not liking this book. There WERE several moments where the writing was captivating, in particular the section where the perspective shifts to an impersonal one and the decline of the unoccupied house is described. But I had a hard time finishing it, and never felt really involved in the story or the characters. Maybe I'll try it again in a few years, at a time when I am more in the mood to read a book that requires thought and patience. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jesper | 2/20/2014

    " Actually, so awful that I have never quite managed to completely finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawnacy | 2/16/2014

    " unbelievable in depth. my appreciation for and awe of virginia woolf has increased exponentially in the reading of this. so many of those great moments when you have to put the book down and think about what you just read. brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 2/11/2014

    " Beautiful words on relationships, purpose, beauty, love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bernadette | 2/6/2014

    " I read this book back in the mid-1990s. It is, as someone else said in their review, dense writing. It was hard getting through it but the challenge was worth it. I felt very enriched after completing it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mariana | 1/31/2014

    " Do not read this book if you're looking for an "easy summer read." This novel requires your focus and concentration. But everyone should eventually read this novel. It is beautifully written and Woolf's style of writing is very poetic. I read this for my British Lit class and most people complained about not liking it. I personally loved it. You should understand that the plot is not the most important part of the novel but the character's development throughout the story. It is more on the psychology of the minds and thoughts of each character. I've read before that Woolf was one of the first writers to write about human nature and that is shown in this novel. Symbolize also plays a huge part in the novel and once you figure it out, you'll know why this novel is pure perfection. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Imasongbyrd | 1/26/2014

    " I found it tedious. Maybe I'll try it again one day. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wendy | 1/26/2014

    " this is a classic?? i couldnt even tell you what it is about after having read it...i wanted to stop reading it soo many times.....it reminded me of being in some womens head and listening to her rambling thoughts, no thanks, got my own ramblings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica Hongach | 1/23/2014

    " I will probably reread this again one day. Can't say that I really appreciated it the first time around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marius Hancu | 1/18/2014

    " The difference between the materially-minded and the soulfully-minded, if such term exist:-) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 timo0o | 1/17/2014

    " i disliked the non-dialogue style! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindyjo | 1/11/2014

    " I did not warm to any of the characters in this novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frankie Massa | 1/11/2014

    " Oh, I did not expect this! I have tried older books and have not liked them, but this book was so wonderful. It was confusing, but written in the most beautiful way. And the saddest ending, but happiest in another way. This is now right up there with some of my favorite books. Please, do read this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mjscholl | 1/11/2014

    " We read this in our Book Group and the general response was not good. Not a fun read. We even invited an English professor to our gathering and he agreed that Virginia Woolf was a unique writer, but not really a good writer. I do remember very long runs of words. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 1/11/2014

    " Like drinking a glass of water! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika | 1/8/2014

    " Virginia Woolf never fails to amaze me, so I will probably never give a bad review of her work. In this book, she plods the reader along and then wow! She kills it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 1/6/2014

    " Something about this book just captured me. It might be because my "second Mum" had just passed away (my mother's best friend) and it's one of the first books I read after that, but it also might be Woolf's style. Whatever the case, I escaped to the Lighthouse with the family in the story too ... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kevin | 12/24/2013

    " Interesting, but not really my stlye. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William S. | 12/22/2013

    " While I think Mrs. Dalloway is a better work overall, this book is a beautiful piece of prose. Especially her interlude, Time Passes, is one of the most prosaic parts of any book I have ever read. A classic. If you enjoy modernism, you will enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 12/21/2013

    " What can I say. I adore Virginia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/15/2013

    " The is how language was meant to be used. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 12/10/2013

    " Not as wonderfully compelling as I'd been led to believe. There were so many slow moments that it felt almost overdone at times, but I can understand where the appreciation comes from. I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it for a class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 12/10/2013

    " My first Woolfe book and I was hooked. She is great! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison Junkans | 12/6/2013

    " I did not really enjoy this book. However, I did appreciate the writing and I'm glad I read this classic. I used Sparknotes to assist me with the analysis of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 12/5/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book! I'll pick it up again in a few years and see what I think then... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debra | 11/30/2013

    " I particularly enjoyed the interpersonal perceptions and poetic imagery employed by Woolf. The reading was somewhat difficult because she jumps from one character's perceptions to another without indication of whose mind you're in at the moment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dee | 11/22/2013

    " One of my all time favorite books.. love it so much it's half my thesis :-)) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Wetherholt | 11/19/2013

    " This was a very difficult book to read. I read it for an AP Literature class in high school, and because I owned the book, I took notes in the book. I am really grateful that I stuck with this book because it was incredibly well written and had a wonderful story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 11/16/2013

    " My first Woolfe book and I was hooked. She is great! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yanxi | 11/11/2013

    " holy shit that last sentence gave me goosebumps all over but i don't know why "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosemary | 10/31/2013

    " It was a little tough going at the beginning until I sort of got the rhythm of it. Now I'm intrigued. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Penido | 9/18/2013

    " One of the best novels ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianne Lange | 8/30/2013

    " Read it for the second time, and love it even more. Lighthouse goes on my Top 10 Favorites of All Time list. It just gets better and better...or am I getting wiser and wiser? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tressa | 7/24/2013

    " I'm not sure about To the Lighthouse. The narration and the prose were lovely, but I didn't find anything compelling about the story. I did enjoy the musical interludes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 7/14/2013

    " Much more interesting as an audiobook. I think this is going to be one that grows on you. I didn't really like it much the first time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marius Hancu | 7/8/2013

    " The difference between the materially-minded and the soulfully-minded, if such term exist:-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 and | 6/24/2013

    " writing what's illegible; femininity into a masculine discourse. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katrina Sakovica | 6/22/2013

    " Couldn't get into it at all, if we were not reading this at university I probably would not have picked it up in the first place. Maybe in the near future I will give it another go. However, need to do an assignment on this book and the theme of death and gender will be very easy to discuss! (Y) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rose Deniz | 3/8/2013

    " Absolutely one of my all time favorite books, for its poetics, and imagery. Based much of my grad school painting thesis (along with Emily Dickinson) on the sound of Woolf's impeccable words. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Signe Mehl | 1/6/2013

    " This book took me 4 years to finish "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hilary Lang Greenebaum | 12/17/2012

    " I want to read this again and more of her work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ceilidh | 8/10/2012

    " I have a real problem with Virginia Woolf. I know I'm supposed to love her, in theory I do, but man I remember this being a real drag. I might should try it again... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrismcginn | 8/1/2012

    " I haven't read Woolf since college. Thick reading but still in awe of her ability. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 7/4/2012

    " One of the craftiest, most psychologically honest, and thus harrowing, reading experiences I've ever had. Can't recommend enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby | 6/28/2012

    " You kind of just need to read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 6/8/2012

    " I finally read this! It took over 10 years... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Morris | 5/27/2012

    " If you read only one Woolf novel, make this it. But seriously, you really should read more of her work. She's brilliant! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristy MR | 5/6/2012

    " It wasn't bad, it just didn't interest me "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellzi | 2/15/2012

    " Think I tried to read this when I had too many other things on, I'll have to reread it to get it properly "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Oostveen | 1/23/2012

    " Good book but confusing at times if you're not used to stream of consciousness writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thuraya Lynn | 11/14/2011

    " Something bout this feels like "pauline at the beach" serene, silly and scary. It felt like a good dream and a quiet nightmare. A memorable piece. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katrina Sakovica | 9/30/2011

    " Couldn't get into it at all, if we were not reading this at university I probably would not have picked it up in the first place. Maybe in the near future I will give it another go. However, need to do an assignment on this book and the theme of death and gender will be very easy to discuss! (Y) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 9/14/2011

    " Very different to anything I've ever read before but absolutely teeming with vivid descriptions and imagery. Overall an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 8/11/2011

    " Beautifully written, but I have NO idea what it was about! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niraj Kumar | 7/26/2011

    " in the initial phase of reading this, i hated it because it was just very slow and monotonous. but as one gets habituated with the style of writing, one gets to know the marvel that woolf has created by beautifully picturizing the thoughts of every character in the novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke | 6/11/2011

    " This was a really interesting read. A great exploration of the purpose and value of art, and the fluidity of human relationships. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 5/25/2011

    " Woolf's tunneling technique taken to perfection. A beautiful book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 5/24/2011

    " Sometimes I go back to this book just to read the last 1/3. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielroffle | 5/13/2011

    " I remember this feeling fresh, and something about a woman with chinese eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amie | 5/7/2011

    " A favorite for a long long time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 5/7/2011

    " Had to read this in high school and strongly disliked it. Woolf's writing style is so hard to be interested in. Weak plot, slow read, not recommended unless you really like Virginia Woolf. Maybe since I had to read it for a class, I was less engaged in it. I wouldn't have read it on my own time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 4/20/2011

    " I found the writing style hard to get used to – and even after it became somewhat familiar it never became easy. However, it is fairly rewarding in the end. And relatively short. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 4/17/2011

    " I am not a big fan of modernism style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 S.K. | 4/15/2011

    " Such supple craft and prose that the work can only be called a thing of beauty. Utmost excellence and profundity —— the most beautiful book in the world. "

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About the Author
Author Virginia WoolfVirginia Woolf (1882-1941) was one of the major literary figures of the twentieth century. An admired literary critic, she authored many essays, letters, journals, and short stories in addition to her groundbreaking novels.
About the Narrator

Virginia Leishman successfully revived The Railway Children and other titles by E. Nesbit. She parses phrases carefully for nuance, and flavors dialogue with personality and spontaneity, as exemplified in her rendition of A. S. Byatt’s Possession.