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Dubliners (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Joyce James
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Feb 2000 Penguin Modern Classics

James Joyce's Dubliners is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. This Penguin Classics edition includes notes and an introduction by Terence Brown.

Joyce's first major work, written when he was only twenty-five, brought his city to the world for the first time. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From 'The Sisters', a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to 'Araby', a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to 'The Dead', in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed Dubliners, you might like Joyce's Ulysses, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Joyce redeems his Dubliners, assures their identity, and makes their social existence appear permanent and immortal, like the streets they walk'

Tom Paulin

'Joyce's early short stories remain undimmed in their brilliance'

Sunday Times

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (3 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141182458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141182452
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The eldest of ten children, James Joyce was born in Dublin on the 2nd of February 1882. Despite his family being impoverished by his father's failings as a business man, Joyce was educated at the best Jesuit schools and later in 1898 at University College Dublin. His first published work was a review on Ibsen's play When We Awaken in the Fortnightly Review in 1900. Upon graduating, Joyce moved to Paris in pursuit of a medical career. Before long, he gave up attending lectures and devoted himself to literature. He returned to Dublin as a result of the fatal illness of his mother and shortly afterwards, in 1904, Joyce met Nora Barnacle who was later to become his wife. The young couple travelled to the continent and in 1905 settled in Trieste where they were to remain until 1915. Joyce's first book Chamber Music was published in 1907 as a book of poetry and Dubliners followed in 1914.

The Joyces had two children; Giorgio, born 1905 and Lucia in 1907. Lucia was to develop a disturbing mental illness which greatly affected the family and would remain a prominent factor for the rest of Jocye's life. During the First World War Joyce moved to Zurich where he remained until 1919 when he moved to Paris to work on what is widely understood as his greatest and most prodigious work, Ulysses. After being worked on for eight years, Ulysses was published in Paris in 1922 on Joyces Birthday. It could be true to say that in Ulysses, Joyce attempts to 'know' everything and to add to this 'knowledge' by creating his own language. Joyce's highly experimental and revolutionary work positioned him firmly as one of the key figures of modernism.

As spoken to Georges Borach, one of Joyce's students in Zurich, Joyce comments that 'there are indeed hardly more than a dozen themes in world literature. Then there is an enormous number of combinations of these themes.' He goes on to denounce all the thinkers of the last 200 years and to position Aristotle as the 'greatest thinker of all time.' Such statements are testimony to Joyce's determination in his quest for knowledge, to know what knowledge was and to challenge it. Joyce greatly admired authors such as Dante, D'Annunzio and Ibsen.

Joyce was greatly admired by many authors including Italo Svevo, author of Zeno's Conscience who he met in Trieste and, Samuel Beckett who he met in Paris.

Product Description


* A remarkable collection...this is one to savour and revisit. The Observer * ...skill, subtlety, diversity and sheer brilliance...Season the mix with the voice of one of the greatest Irish actors ever, and you're talking about a true classic. Sue Arnold, The Guardian --The Guardian --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

A wonderrful portrait of the city of Dublin. Joyce's first important work, in this he introduced the city to the world for the first time. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I wish I'd written 26 May 2003
It may be a staple of school English literature classes but in the case of 'The Dubliners' classic status is well deserved. I find it incredible that such a collection took Joyce so many years to get published, although upon further consideration the implied sexual perversion of 'An Encounter' and the criticisms of Irish culture, materialism and the Church may not have placed it high on an Edwardian publisher's 'to do' list.
Joyce's penetrating and unsentimental portrayal of Dublin, as told through the experiences of a wide cross-section of its inhabitants, is what makes this book great. It is an example of realism at it's most breathtakingly evocative. Eveline and Little Chandler perfectly sum up the complaceny of a city that has the vague desire but not the motivation or guts to change. Mrs Mooney, Corley and Lenehan embody the ruthless selfishness that facilitated the city's descent into immorality and 'Ivy Day in the Committee Room' and 'A Mother' portray perfectly the political stagnancy and shallowness of the cultural revival that characterised the political situation of the time.
I could go on and on but the point is clear. 'The Dubliners' is as perfect an example of gripping literary portraiture as ever there was, surely one of the greatest books ever written. The harsh realism in every story will leave a potent aftertaste in your mouth and a vivid sense of character and location. My personal favourites are the cold self-isolation of 'A Painful Case' and the truly epic 'The Dead.' The lyrical closing section of the book alone more than justifies the cover price. If you read this book in school or university, dig it up and read it again now. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, buy it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to Joyce 6 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
Dubliners is the usual route into the fiction of James Joyce as it is considered the most "accessible" to readers. I have read the book and agree with that view, but having listened now to these wonderful recordings by Jim Norton I would also say that just listening to this set will do for anyone new to Joyce just as well as reading the book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this 31 May 2012
By Betty
Format:Kindle Edition
I downloaded this as my partner and I were both reading our paper copy for our book group.
I was horrified to find that the text is not set out properly ie each line ends, not with a full word, but with the random letter which fits in to the size of the line.
It is almost unreadable and I strongly advise people not to buy it.

As for the annotation, well, I haven't found it yet.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent version of Joyce's stories 12 Dec 2008
Format:Audio CD
Nobody else has reviewed this, so I thought I'd chip in. I've read 'Dubliners' a couple of times, although not for a few years now. But I've started listening to audiobooks when I travel, and I thought this one might be an interesting listen. The stories are excellent, and if you've not read 'Dubliners' before, you probably should. Most of them convey minor incidents in the lives of minor people, but they do so in a remarkable way. For all of Joyce's later invention & imagination, he also demonstrates here (and elsewhere, for that matter) an incredible insight into the ordinary lives of unexceptional people, and several of these stories are heartbreaking. (Some are also quite funny.)

Anyway, onto the Naxos audiobook. This six-disc set contains the all the stories, over about seven hours. The reader is Jim Norton, best known to me as Bishop Len Brennan from 'Father Ted'. I initially wondered if that was going to be a distraction, but (thankfully) it turns out that his normal reading voice is nothing like that character's distinct style. Norton does the range of characters very well, even in stories like 'Ivy Day in the Committee Room', where I never had any problems telling the multiple characters apart during lenghty dialogues. He even sings a few times! Naxos has also used some suitable music to top & tail most of the stories here, which adds suitably to the atmosphere.

Anyway, whether you've enjoyed 'Dubliners' before, or are trying to start on Joyce with his most accessible work, I can highly recommend this version. I've now bought the Naxos version of 'Finnegans Wake', in the hope that an (abridged) audio reading of that book will make it even faintly comprehensible...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 26 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Amazon Verified Purchase
I am delighted to have found such a beautifully produced complete collection enabling me to simply listen and soak up the atmosphere of James Joyce's early twentieth century Dublin.

Hearing the stories read seems to me to be the perfect way to revisit or discover them for the first time. Each story in this CD box set is introduced by a period song transferred from a 78 rpm record, setting the scene for the faultless readings by Jim Norton to make a completely captivating whole.

The stories vary considerably, from the simply melancholic to, for example, 'Counterparts' which chillingly depicts drunkenness, menace and violence. They have all the resonance of a sad song telling of a love lost, a missed opportunity, the 'if only' or 'what might have been'.

This set contains two triple CD cases. Inside Part One there is a 12 page booklet which includes a useful description of the context of the stories and the struggle Joyce had to get them published. The Part Two booklet contains additional notes by Roger Marsh. Each booklet also contains several photographs of Dublin past, and the details of each track and timings.

Dubliners Part 1 CD contains: The Sisters, An Encounter, Araby, Eveline, After the Race, Two Gallants, The Boarding House, A Little Cloud, Counterparts and Clay.

Dubliners Part 2 CD contains: A Painful Case, Ivy Day in the Committee Room, A Mother, Grace, and The Dead.

Worth every penny, many times over!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
I liked the book because it gave me an excellent insight into live in Ireland towards the end of the nineetenth centuary and the beginning of the twentieth.
Published 3 days ago by Allan de Sousa
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
Enjoyed the short stories, well written which record a good insight into life in Dublin at the time.
Can certainly recommend the book to those who have not had the experience.
Published 21 days ago by cavan
3.0 out of 5 stars James Joyce - Dubliners
This is a collection of short stories all focussing on the city of Dublin and its many different residents. Read more
Published 27 days ago by molko
2.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners
This is required reading for an OU course, otherwise I don't think I would read more than a few stories. Read more
Published 28 days ago by essieb
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Dubliners is an excellent collection of short stories. My favourite is the last, The Dead, which is one of the best pieces of literature ever written.
Published 1 month ago by Tricia
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
3.0 out of 5 stars dubliners
fast delivery. the product was all right, too many notes in the preface, some problems in reading words. the other part of the book was perfct.
Published 4 months ago by ligeia
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners
This is a helpful introduction to Ulysses,since some characters feature in both both books. What you don't get is the stream of conciousness stuff, but no matter.
Published 4 months ago by Mr. A. C. Savory
5.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners Jame Joyce
I needed this book for part of a module I was studying for an OU English Literature degree, and this version of the book was part of the set text. Read more
Published 4 months ago by L P Wingfield
1.0 out of 5 stars This is terrible!
This is one of the worst things I have ever read, the language is excellent but is the only aspect of the book I can merit, the stories have no sense of plot or even have an ending... Read more
Published 4 months ago by James Marsh
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