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Ulysses Paperback – July 29, 2013
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Ulysses is the tale of a Modern-day Odysseus, Leopold Bloom in his personal existential/sexual quest. The conclusion of this quest is the quintessential affirmation of humanity, the fundamental family unit - the father, mother, son, and daughter. Like Odysseus, absent from Penelope, traveling the world, for many long years, Leopold Bloom is also absent from his Penelope (in Dublin). Like a traveler (Odysseus), Bloom is sexually absent (abstinent) from Molly “10 years, 5 months and 18 days” (736). Unlike Odysseus, the obstacles Bloom faces are psychological (modern) - internal travails instead of Odysseus' external travails. Bloom's only son’s death has become a psychological barrier; as Molly reflects: “we were never the same since” (778). Yet Bloom is optimistic throughout the work - in regard to the possibility of another child, again Molly: ”Ill give him one more chance” (780). Affirmatively (as we grow to know Molly) we find she has given and is willing to continue to give Bloom “one more chance”. Through the course of the (Dublin) day, Bloom experiences “deep frustration, humiliation, fear, punishment and catharsis” (Herring, p.74).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant! Most people, myself included, need a help guide to understand it.Published 13 months ago by ILikeBooks
I tried to read this book carefully with a commentary in the other hand, and, while the first few episodes were actually rather accessible and quite often deeply funny, the book... Read morePublished 17 months ago by N. Stanzione
I am sorry, not your fault but the print is too small for me to read as I wear contacts, and glasses for reading... Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by RB
Not one line was written in Ulysses that the reader would find enjoyable or that makes an intelligent statement.
I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading.
This was the text for a seminar for my senior study group, and it served the purpose very well indeed.Published on July 6, 2013 by Catherine Hoye
Is this a book which I see before me,
The spine resting in my hand? Come, let me read thee.
His Imperial Majesty is yelling on the street corner to his page. Read more
I recieved a copy of this book printed in the sixties! While I think it is very cool, I definitely think it should have been considered "Acceptable" not Good or Very Good. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by Jordan Brown
After page 50 I decided I wasn't enjoying it and moved on to another book. Too many long monologues by some old dude in a bed and others. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Joe Pellettieri