The Hours by Michael Cunningham (no relation to the Happy Days family)

This book won the Pulitzer in 2002, and so you kind of expect that it’s going to be good. But man, I don’t know. I mean, it’s just i-ight, I think.

It was also  a movie, and the cover says it stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore. And sure enough, there’s Meryl, and Julianne, but if that’s Nicole Kidman than I’m Pippa Middleton. I mean, I guess that’s her but she looks different, like one of the wives on Big Love or something. I don’t know. Anyway.

I picked this book up at a book sale at my local library. It was one of those sales where you fill up a big ass bag full of books for like two bucks or something like that. So, in that situation, with others around me also filling up large satchels of reading material, I act like I am on that show supermarket sweeps where you just kind of shovel armloads of random crap into the cart, like 50 boxes of frozen fish sticks, regardless of whether it’s food you would actually consume. Major judge-a-book-by-its-cover stuff going on here.

So this book follows the lives of three women in completely different time periods: the writer Virginia Woolf, whom I know absolutely nothing about; Laura Brown, and Clarissa something other than Dalloway but she is referred to as Mrs. Dalloway. Oh and then there’s the dead guy. Well, he isn’t dead to begin with. The lives of the three women are apparently connected, although the connection is about as loose as Rep. Weiner’s trousers. *rim shot* Thanks, I’ll be here all week.

Oh and when I say “lives,” I mean, a couple hours of their lives. Get it? The Hours?

For starters, there’s Virginia Woolf, who was a real person, and who really, I guess, killed herself. We get a look at a fictional few hours of her life as she writes a bit of her novel Mrs. Dalloway, entertains her sister, observes a bird funeral, and considers running away on the train to London but doesn’t. At the beginning of the book we see her wade into the water and drown. Just to start things off on a happy note.

Laura is reading Woolf’s book Mrs. Dalloway and relating to the character’s feeling of helplessness and needing to escape. She’s a mom of one son, Ricky, with another one on the way. She’s got some crazy hormonal shit going on and kisses her neighbor who probably just came over to borrow a cup of sugar or something, and then she takes off to a hotel where she reads her book a while and then comes home.

Finally, Clarissa, who is sometimes known to her friend Richard (hmm, any relation to Laura’s son Ricky?) as Mrs. Dalloway (see, there’s that connection, wasn’t that a bit of a stretch?), is hosting a party to celebrate the literary success of the aforementioned gentleman. Who, did I mention, is dying of AIDS? Oh yes, and there’s some strange declaration of love because of a summer when they were 19 and he was hooking up with her and also some dude who she also diddled with but the dude was into Richard so there was a weird three-way cat fight thing going on. And they all lived together as roommates, too. Got that? Anyway, she’s getting ready for the party, and there’s flowers, and then he goes all apeshit and goes out the window buh bye.

Are you bored to tears yet? Or just the tears part, because it’s so goddamn depressing?

Anyway, if you care to read a Pulitzer-winning book then don’t let me stop you. But why don’t you save yourself a few hours — (wink, wink – see what I did there?) and skip it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s