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The Dubliners [Mass Market Paperback]

by James Joyce, Brenda Maddox
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 1990 0553213806 978-0553213805
James Joyce has been hailed as one of the great literary rebels of our time. He rebelled against social and literary conventions, against Catholicism, and against Dublin, the city at the center of this magnificent collection of stories.

In Dubliners, Joyce paints vivid portraits of the denizens of the city of his birth, from the young boy encountering death in the fist story, “The Sisters,” to the middle-aged Gabriel of the haunting final story, “The Dead.” This collection is both unflinchingly realistic portrait of “dear dirty Dublin” and, as Joyce himself explained, a window through which his countrymen could get “one good look at themselves.”

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Frank and Malachy McCourt and 13 Irish actors bring Joyce's short stories to life in this well-produced audiobook. None of the readers employ a thick accent in the narrative portions, but for dialogue they let their imitative talents shine and their Irish lilts bloom. Brendan Coyle and Charles Keating, reading "A Little Cloud" and "Grace" respectively, give such wonderful expression to the idiosyncrasies of every individual voice that the listener is never confused even when numerous men are talking. Joyce wrote only sparingly in actual dialect, but most of the readers interpret his intentions freely and successfully. Fionnula Flanagan is perfect reading "A Mother," her voice shifting easily between prim and proper tones and fiery indignation punctuated with little sighs. It helps that Joyce's writing is so masterful that when Flanagan and the two other actresses read the three stories that revolve around women, their words sound utterly natural. Not all the performances are on the same level—Stephen Rea's cold, somber voice is apt for the meditative beginning and ending sections of the collection's most famous story, "The Dead," but too flat for the central description of a lively party. This audiobook creates the atmosphere of a fireside storytelling session that will hold any listener in rapt attention. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

Joyce's classic has been recorded before, of course, but in this new version, each of the 15 stories will be read by a different person, including writers Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt, and Patrick McCabe, and actors Ciaran Hinds and Colm Meaney.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics (March 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
143 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Joyce guy might amount to something December 5, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wish I could stand up here and make some pretentious claim that this is the "greatest short story collection of all time!" or something along those lines but I generally don't read short stories or short story collections. But I like James Joyce and so figured what the heck, I made it through Ulysses, this should be a cakewalk. So I read it and if you were wowed by Ulysses then this should reconfirm Joyce's genius for you and that he could do other writing besides that wacky postmodern stuff (before there really was a postmodern). If you're not a Joyce fan most of these (other than a notable handful) probably won't convert you. In essence these are Joyce's portraits of the people of Dublin and the city itself, most of these stories are character sketches, mostly following a few people around as they go about their lives. They were written over a period of time so the quality does vary a bit, the first few stories I don't find anything special but by the time you get to around "Two Gallants" the quality takes a sharp spike upward and stays there right until the end. The prose is fairly easy to follow, the worst part is deciphering all the Irish names and slang that are used liberally for obvious reasons . . . if anything it showed me how two cultures who technically speak the language can sound so different. The stories run the gamut of the "slice of life" genre, if such a thing exists, showing people from all walks of life and all classes of society, showing them as realistically as Joyce could, all their fears and foibles, warts and all. At his best he makes you live the lives of the characters and immerses you deeply into the city of Dublin, probably more than any group of short stories has ever brought a city to life. Read more ›
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding for those willing to tackle it December 26, 1999
Format:Paperback
Having grown up in a small town much like Joyce's Dublin, this book has a special significance for me. I've seen so many people from my town graduating from high school without really understanding that there is an entire world outside the place they grew up and lacking the ambition to go explore it. I fear many of them will spend their lives "getting by" in a job they hate, raising children who will inevitably do the same thing. Joyce's "Dubliners" depicts this cycle with as much complexity and compassion as any author I've read.
In an age where the most publicized fiction tends to be simple-minded and genre-bound, it's refreshing to come across a writer with Joyce's complexity. "Dubliners" is so rich in its intellectual and symbolic atmosphere that many readers may be put off by the overall weight of the prose. The writing is so thick with metaphorical contexts that the literal content of the story occasionally becomes obscured, which can be frustrating for those not used to reading Joyce. Yet, while difficult, "Dubliners" is far from impossible to decipher, and although these stories function well as a whole, they are also more or less self-contained, which makes "Dubliners" easier to get through than Joyce's other works(it's a lot easier to take on a ten page short story than a 600+ page novel like "Ulysses" or "Finnegan's Wake"). For readers who are new to Joyce, this would be a good place to start.
A final note: since this book is old enough to be considered a "classic," there are a plethora of editions available from various publishers. I own the Vintage edition (ISBN: 0679739904).
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dear dirty Dublin October 30, 2003
Format:Paperback
As a young man, James Joyce abandoned his hometown of Dublin, and yet, he never wrote about any other place. He had also rejected Catholicism, and yet all his characters are dominated by it. DUBLINERS, Joyce's collection of short stories which set the standard for the genre, is filled with characters who come to terrible revelations (which he called "epiphanies") about how their lives had been scarred by the provincialism of Dublin, the divisiveness of its politics, and the oppression of religion. By extension, this is how Joyce percieved humanity at the dawn of modernism.
The stories range from the psychologially simple ("Counterparts" and "A Little Cloud") to the extraordinarily complex ("A Painful Case" and "The Dead"). But what is common throughout is the feel for Dublin just after the turn of the last century. The readers see the cobblestones, the chimneys, the trams and carts, the churches, and the street lamps. More importantly, the readers feel the tensions underlying the public smiles and infrequent bursts of confidence that the characters exhibit.
The pinnacle of this collection is "The Dead". A novella, actually, "The Dead" encompasses everything: politics, religion, art, journalism, history, love, and the inevitability of death rendering all worldly things meaningless. This doesn't mean the story is a downer: this death is necessary to making a fresh start. The ending of "The Dead" has been interpreted in hundreds of ways. However, there is no denying that as Joyce "pulls back the camera" from the Conroy's hotel room to the universe above, the writing swells to its most beautiful. To me, this is a movement toward the future, toward change, leaving the living dead behind to a more spiritual life on Earth.
Rocco Dormarunno, author of The Five Points.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners, and the theme of death
"One by one, they were all becoming shades..." This book is haunting in its depictions of human interaction and motivations, and its contemplations of the meaning of life... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Leslie Soule
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Not sure which version of the book I have (or if it matters, but I don't see the cover here). But these are some succinct and lucid stories. Loved them.
Published 22 days ago by BronxRev
5.0 out of 5 stars The Appreciation of James Joyce
I originally got several James Joyce books when I was young, because they were on a banned list. Teenage Angst. ha. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rhapsodos Azoil Kallitechnis Strigidae
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners (Dover Thrift Editions)
In an effort to read some books on a "bucket list", I ordered this inexpensive copy. It was totally satisfying, and came in good condition without tears, underlining, etc.
Published 2 months ago by Virginia Whiting
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book.
I didn't expect this book to be so small, but I was pleased with its ability to be transported easily. Very nice edition.
Published 2 months ago by Peter Bernetsky
5.0 out of 5 stars gifted
I gifted this book to a friend who wanted something to read to a friend in the nursing home. She loves James Joyce's work and my friend who did the reading to her was quite happy... Read more
Published 3 months ago by charlene pray
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners by James Joyce
I gave this to my granddaughter for Christmas so that I don't know if she has read it yet; however I have read it and enjoyed it so much ... Thank you RB
Published 3 months ago by RB
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible James Joyce, Short And Sweet
A trip to Dublin reawakened an interest in Irish literature. I read most of these stories years ago and enjoyed them. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mickey in Sarasota
4.0 out of 5 stars An eclectic group of characters from pre-World War I Dublin...
This is a collection of 15 short stories set in Dublin before the First World War. It is generally considered to be the most "accessible" of Joyce's major works, in that there are... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John P. Jones III
4.0 out of 5 stars Male prostitution--see Joyce's Ireland
When I read in the NYT travel section, SEE JOYCE'S IRELAND, I think of this book, unpublishable in Ireland until it was known everywhere else. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Paying Guest
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Dubliners by James Joyce
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