My choice for last weekend’s book club was rightly given a pounding by the club members. We all, myself included, decided that as a story, Orlando is pants (to use the coloquial). However, it does have some remarkable ideas which are hung about the framework of the novel. The scene when the Thames ice breaks up is a powerful example. Orlando’s changeable gender is not satisfactorily explored. I felt that a contemporary author, perhaps with some knowledge of the transgender scene would have more insights to share. Virginia Woolfs mastery of the English language does occasionally shine through.
High battlements of thought, habits that had seemed as durable as stone, went down like shadows at the touch of another mind and left a naked sky and fresh twinkling stars in it.
Overall, I’m glad I read Orlando, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but the most ardent fan of the Classics; someone with the devotion to see it through.