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on April 14, 2014
I read it before, and need a new copy to wear out. The best book ever written other than the Bible. My opinion though.
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on April 30, 2016
This edition doesn't break down chapters correctly. Keeps parts I II and III but not the 18 episodes.
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on March 5, 2006
Please don't let yourself get mired down in the details; if you do, the novel reads like an encyclopedia. Enjoy the beautiful language the while you distance yourself and look for repeating patterns. The theme of /Ulysses/, in my opinion, is universal love and the unity of all humanity through biology, history, and language. The flipside of this theme is that human beings don't treat each other like family; rather, we treat each other like dirt.

The unity theme in Joyce inspired Joseph Campbell, the great comparative mythologist.

The Gabler edition is superior if only for the preface where the simple theme of love is discussed.

This book, as the professor I had told the class I was in, will change you. Read it by all means, but at a distance from the details so that you'll be afforded an insight into the patterns that repeat.
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on March 19, 2005
The only real reason to tackle the massive burden of Ulysses is to become aware of the stark reality that it expresses regarding the "spirit of the age", essentially a rampant nihilism. Then one can possibly adjust one's outlook on the current world society and proceed accordingly, perhaps avoiding being a lemming going over the cliff.

Before entering the cavern of this work, one has to decide the "why" as above, then the "how". For me, after much diddling, false starts and self deceptions, this excellent CD set became the obvious answer. I had heard the comments of people far more intelligent than I on how difficult the work was to plow through. Therefore, I would have even more difficulty than they if I chose to continue reading it (a false start at reading the 735 page tome got almost nowhere). Also, I would be displaying a gracious nature in accepting the much-touted idea that "Joyce's prose must be HEARD to be truly appreciated".

The production here is an excellent way to expose oneself in a leisurely manner to the book's wily trap without becoming totally enmeshed. The trap is simply that one thinks the work is "going to say something", but the fact remains that it really says nothing, albeit in a brilliant way.

One can be tired but still listen to part of a CD, repeat passages at will, turn it off, reflect, then continue. It is MUCH harder to read this work than to listen to it. The CD set also contains very valuable and detailed notes about each section as well as overall enlightening critical information, and relevant musical selections are also present throughout.

If one is truly serious about attacking this work, I would recommend the sort of "Joyce for Dummies" approach that I followed: purchase the DVD of the film version of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (although the film doesn't boast a very good screenplay and is unrestored, the performances are excellent), as well as the CD audio book of the same title (abridged, but all the important parts are there). Absorbing these will give you a central clue about Ulysses, mostly in the Stephen Dedalus character that appears in both (hint: Stephen is a boring, cold, emotionless prig). Then purchase the DVD of the 1967 film version of Ulysses (excellent photography in a pristine black and white print). Although set in 1967, it will give you a reasonably OK overview of the "story" of Ulysses which is set in 1904.

Having taken in these, you are almost ready to proceed to the CD set of Ulysses, and you can already rightly claim to have listened to the prose of Joyce, definitely a feather in your cap at certain parties (where you may also want to rhyme off a few memorized lines in the appropriate accent).

Avoid the millions of words contained in endless musings about the book, and read only one essay, that of Carl Jung entitled Ulysses in the book The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature. If read carefully and more than once before listening to the Ulysses CD set, you'll find that it does indeed contain the golden key to truly understanding the nature of this massively influential book.
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on March 2, 2016
Exactly as described.
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on February 5, 2016
Joyce changed my life
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on October 23, 2015
In college I asked some fellow students about Ulysses and they said things like, " He is a master of the English language but obeys very little laws of grammar. " "But, what's it about?" I persisted. Looking back I know that none of them actually read Ulysses but knew it was considered fancifull to have read it. So they talk as if they have. I have read on Ulysses and just finished the breakfast scene. James Joyce probably will answer all truly necessary questions required of any storied work of literature. At this point, over 100 pages plus in, he doesn't show a clue of these answers. What questions, you say? Why would the reader care, what makes a reader care. What is likeable or unlikeable. We all have our private world inside our mind, which is a conceptual shorthand, a poetry. Because a writer wants to use this as a style is more arbitrary than crafty. My opinion.
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on December 21, 2002
I haven't finnished it, i pulled it off the lbrary shelf to look at page one a couple of days ago, and now a couple of hundred pages on feel compelled to write a review. It is a very difficult piece of litriture, and not for those who enjoy a dime store novel, but it's not impossible, take heart at the fact I'm 16 years old and am loving every word, especially the especiallylongones that sit on every other sentence.
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on December 23, 1999
Those who attack Joyce and this book today are like the people who attack Einstein and his theory of relativity simply because they're to addled to understand the chaos and unity behind the mathematical symbols. In my experience as a teacher of undergraduates and as a published writer of fiction as well, I would like to say in response to comments by a so-called Phd English student, that criticising a monumental work of art that deals with the need for a personalised fiction in the fragmentation of twentieth century alienation, reflects an ignorance that boggles the mind. It is better to remain silent on what one doesn't understand than convince the world of one's lack of, well, insight. My suggestion to those who want to fathom what Joyce is trying to do is to check out what writers like Burgess have to say. And as for comments about male 'post-modernist' stuff, please read Grass's 'The Flounder' on what excess feminism is all about and learn to grow.
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on December 23, 2014
It's difficult to read, but worth the effort. Started several times. Also in audio book.
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