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Ulysses Paperback – July 29, 2013

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1613823590 ISBN-10: 1613823592

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Ulysses will immortalize its author with the same certainty that Gargantua immortalized Rabelais and The Brothers Karamazov immortalized Dostoevsky. . . . It comes nearer to being the perfect revelation of a personality than any book in existence. --New York Times

To my mind one of the most significant and beautiful books of our time. --Gilbert Seldes, in The Nation

Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordian folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism. --Amazon.com Review

Talk about understanding 'feminine psychology'--I have never read anything to surpass it, and I doubt if I have ever read anything to equal it. --Arnold Bennett

In the last pages of the book, Joyce soars to such rhapsodies of beauty as have probably never been equaled in English prose fiction. --Edmund Wilson, in the New Republic

About the Author

Born in Dublin in modest circumstances, James Joyce (1882 - 1941) spent most of his life abroad, living in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. His writings, however mainly centre on Dublin - most famously Ulysses, Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He pioneered and perfected avant-garde prose techniques that saw him rise to the rank of one of Europe's foremost Modernists.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 564 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (July 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613823592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613823590
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By ReadingWhileFemale on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last semester I took a seminar class on James Joyce, and of course no class on Joyce would be complete without reading Ulysses. We spent the last half of the semester on Ulysses, and now that I've reviewed both Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist, I think it's finally time for me to talk about my experiences with Joyce's most famous/infamous novel.

Ulysses picks up approximately one year after Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ends, and begins with our old friend Stephen Dedalus, who is navigating the world of Dublin, working as a teacher, and still trying to be an artist in a place that continuously leaves him feeling isolated, alone, and without a home. While the first three chapters focus on Stephen, the rest of the book focuses on a new character, the famous Leopold Bloom, a Dublin Jew who, after eating a breakfast of mutton kidney, leaves the house to go about his daily business, all-the-while knowing that his wife, Molly, is planning an affair later that afternoon. That knowledge, the isolation he feels from his fellow Dubliners, the death of his young son ten years ago, and many other things weigh on his mind as we follow him about the affairs of his day. His path crosses and recrosses that of Stephen, and eventually the two outcasts finally meet and have a real conversation. Taking place in slightly less than 24 hours, Ulysses is an epic of the ordinary, a single day that contains every conceivable high and low.

Now, if you've ever heard anything about Ulysses, I'm sure you've heard that it's nearly impossible to read. It has gained a nearly mythic status in the bookish world as an impenetrable wall of stylistic experimentation and dense allusion.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Glaublich on May 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
First off, if you can actually read this book from start to finish - have your eyes travel over every word while trying your best to find their meaning - then you deserve a medal, and whatever opinion you care to toss out is immediately valid; just for having the read the whole damn thing.

Today I have joined those ranks, and now am such a person. Let me tell you: being able to read War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, Les Miserables, or anything by Charles Dickens will not prepare you for reading this millstone of literature (well, my younger impression of Moby Dick comes close). It is an equally rewarding and frustrating work. I find both the positive and negative reviews to be equally valid. My own three stars is in fact a crude averaging of the variety of ratings I gave it throughout my reading sojourn; from one star to five stars.

There is no doubt in my mind, but that James Joyce is a literary genius, but whether that makes his book a superlative read is quite another story. I fully agree with another reviewer that Joyce mostly sacrifices narrative content for the sake of style - after all the book is the seemingly schizophrenic description of the often mundane minutiae of one single mediocre day. There were moments of deep literary contemplation where the author reveals his stunning command of language, and then there are dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of pages of juvenile page-wasting sophomoric literary stunts that I found rather dull and tedious. But of course in the day they were written it must have been ground breaking and astounding, like a post-syphilitic Nietzsche re-writing a novel by Dickens while driving across America with Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady (a rendezvous with Ken Kesey or Timothy Leary would be going too far).
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Format: Paperback
Ulysses can be a tough read, but is very rewarding for those who plough through it. James Joyce writes, in this book in particular, in what I would call the literary equivalent of the impressionist style of painting. By this I mean he sometimes he uses words as if they're broad brush strokes meant to give you an impression of the events taking place as opposed to describing them in a literal sense. Once you get the hang of his writing style the book really takes off, describing, in a surreal way, the world that the main character lives in. There were some portions of the book where I was lost and didn't know what was going on, but I persevered and this ended up being a good read.

If you're ready for a challenge, pick this up. If you're just looking for some casual reading you might want to find something more straightforward.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PETER FREUND on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
A masterpiece? Yes, no doubt about it, yes, it is a masterpiece, yes!

Joyce's "Ulysses" is endowed with Aristotelian unity of space: it all happens in Dublin, and God knows, it helps if you know your way around that city. Unity of time as well, it all happens in a 24-hour period starting on the morning of Thursday, June 16, 1904, and God knows it helps if you know the headlines of Dublin newspapers for that day. It even has unity of action, whatever there is of that ingredient in this novel. It all revolves around the current adulterous affair of Molly Bloom with the vulgar Blazes Boylan, and the preparation of her next adultery with intensely intellectual Stephen Dedalus, whose father Simon had also been her lover at some point. There seem to be three main characters: Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly, and the young "bard" Stephen Dedalus, alias Joyce himself. It is amusing that Joyce repeatedly keeps referring to Stephen Dedalus, his alter ego, as a bard, a title reserved these days for William Shakespeare. This seems to signal Joyce's conviction that he belongs to a very exclusive club with the bard of Stratford upon Avon as its only other member.

Beyond these three "main" characters, there are literally hundreds of other characters whose names and even their Dublin addresses are mentioned and oft-repeated. You might think, I wrecked your whole pleasure in reading this book, by giving away these spoilers. You need not worry, as things are not what they seem to be. The true main character of the novel is none of the above, but rather the English language, of which Joyce has a command second to none, with the possible exception of the bard of Stratford upon Avon.
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