1928 ***** 329 pages
It had been many, many years since I had read a Virginia Woolf novel, so when I picked up Orlando, I was anxious to delve into the literary mind and prose of my favorite author. Orlando is a very different work from Woolf's incredible mind. Orlando is a "biography" of a young man who lives for hundreds of years, and even changes sex to become a woman. Like all of Woolf's works, the real point of the novel is not the plot itself. Orlando is a fascinating look at men and women through the Elizabethan era to 1928. Told through a main character who begins life as an effeminate young man and becomes a powerful woman, the real substance of the book comes from Orlando's musings about people and society, dissecting what it really means to be a man or a woman. Orlando is at once Woolf's most accessible book, while at the same time being incredibly cryptic and deep. It's a fabulous fantasy that's also deeply rooted in realism. It's incredibly serious, yet wonderfully comic. It's a very well-rounded book that should please anyone who spends time perusing its pages.