Finnegans Wake and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Finnegans Wake on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Finnegans Wake (Wordsworth Classics) [Paperback]

James Joyce , Professor Len Platt , Dr Keith Carabine
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
Price: £1.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 20 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Book Description

15 Jan 2012 Wordsworth Classics
Finnegans Wake is the book of Here Comes Everybody and Anna Livia Plurabelle and their family - their book, but in a curious way the book of us all as well as all our books. Joyce's last great work, it is not comprised of many borrowed styles, like Ulysses, but, rather, formulated as one dense, tongue-twisting soundscape.

This 'language' is based on English vocabulary and syntax but, at the same time, self-consciously designed to function as a pun machine with an astonishing capacity for resisting singularity of meaning. Announcing a 'revolution of the word', this astonishing book amounts to a powerfully resonant cultural critique - a unique kind of miscommunication which, far from stabilizing the world in meaning, constructs a universe radically unfixed by a wild diversity of possibilities and potentials. It also remains the most hilarious, 'obscene', book of innuendos ever to be imagined.

Frequently Bought Together

Finnegans Wake (Wordsworth Classics) + A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Wordsworth Classics) + Ulysses (Wordsworth Classics)
Price For All Three: £5.77

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Wordsworth Classics edition (15 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840226617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840226614
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,322 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


'Listening to Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan is a lot easier than trying to read the book.' --The Guardian

It's estimated that a complete recording of this eccentric masterpiece would run to about 20 CDs, but Naxos has made an attractive abridgement in four, recorded with wit and clarity by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan. I've never met anyone who has actually managed to read every page of this extraordinary book...and there can be little doubt that Joyce intended his work to be listened to as much as read. This brilliant recording is the perfect short cut for slackers, poseurs and insomniacs. --Robert McCrum, The Observer --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

Published in 1939, 'Finnegans Wake' is Joyce's final masterpiece. Seventeen years in the writing, it represents the culmination of his experiments with literary form and language.

As 'Ulysses' charted the wanderings of Leopold Bloom over the course of twenty-four hours in Dublin, so 'Finnegans Wake' encapsulates the whole of mankind's history in the dreams of one man, H.C. Earwicker, during a single, restless night. At once baffling and revealing, rich with mythology and symbolism, 'Finnegans Wake' is a great rushing stream of consciousness, an unrepeatable performance of linguistic virtuosity that, more than any novel this century, stretches the boundaries of the imagination to the absolute limit.

“With enormous genius an erudition, Joyce has actually invented a new language in 'Finnegans Wake'.”

“In conception as well as in execution, 'Finnegans Wake' is one of the boldest books ever written. A great work of literature.”

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
To start: I love this book. I love its music, its humour, and its pathos. I love its poetry, puns and sheer beauty.

However, you may not.

I would imagine that if you pick up Finnegans Wake, read a few pages, and begin to think "this is really annoying, what does it all mean?" then it's simply not the right book for you. If, by contrast, you read a short section and find yourself thinking "wow, this is amazing, but what on earth does it all mean?" you're in with a chance of enjoying it. If you're interested in reading Finnegans Wake, and are not sure whether you'll get on with it, I'd heartily recommend either borrowing it from a library or skim-reading a few pages in a book shop. Now that it's in Kindle format you can even download a sample to try it out - although watch out for the occasional typo in the electronic version! It does seem to be a book that makes readers who are unsuited to it very angry - so, save yourself wasting money and try it before you buy it.

Another word of advice, if you've read earlier Joyce but not Ulysses or FW, try Ulysses before the Wake. If you don't get on with Ulysses, you're unlikely to enjoy FW.

I first read the thing from cover to cover without recourse to any other materials like the A Skeleton Key to "Finnegans Wake" or Roland McHugh's amazing Annotations to Finnegans Wake, and it took me much longer than any normal book. I'll be honest and say I had absolutely no idea what was going on in places. But gradually the sense does filter through.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete Book 8 July 2012
By Andrew
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is famously hard to read but it is well worth the effort. Reading it aloud or listening to a recording helps beacause there is so much poetry in the text but do read the complete book. The kindle copy of this book I received has passages missing from the end of book III chapter 3 and Book III chapter 4. There are a considerable number of pages missing although the book is not advertised as abridged. I notice that other reviewers refer to the footnotes. My version did not have any so maybe I have a different version although my account on the Amazon site identifies this as the copy I bought. If I had known this I would have paid more to get a complete copy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Books 14 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
People who don't like Finnegans Wake often feel obscurely resentful, and can't believe that anyone else genuinely does like it. I firmly believe that you can't persuade anyone to like anything, so I'm not going to argue with anyone who thinks that I'm fooling myself, or trying to show off. Saying you like Finnegans Wake is in any case a bit like saying you like Arnold Schoenberg's music; most people won't know what you're talking about, and most of the rest won't believe you and think you're pretentious anyway, so the moral is, there's very little kudos in saying that you _do_ like the damn book.
It's just the ultimate novel. All novels, even the simplest, have various layers of allusion or symbolism going on; this one just has more. All novels are written with some kind of self-conscious style; this is the most stylish. All novels are structured one way or the other; this is uber-structured. I've often thought that Finnegans Wake is in many ways a precursor of HTML. Some genius should do an online version of it. Practically every word would be a hyperlink, leading to a page or so of annotation (Roland McHugh's book 'Annotations to Finnegans Wake' is the most ambitious print venture of that sort, but with the novel itself you get the most alarming sense that the layers go on forever...)
Every novel is difficult if you've never read novels before. If you've only read trash, then even a middling good novel is tough going; the writer demands more of the reader. James Joyce merely wants you to spend the rest of your life reading this book. Personally I think that's one of his better jokes.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
94 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're big enough try this one 8 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Finnegans Wake is the most daring novel ever written. Despite this, it seems to be its fate not to be appreciated for what it is. Its original publisher Faber has let it go out of print. Its very name is mostly given wrongly ... Adolescents who have struggled with Ulysses feel that it is their right to abuse it.
So what is it, after all?
The funniest novel ever written. The best book about adultery. The best book about sibling rivalry. The only book which reruns a country's history from the point of view of a provincial pub landlord. The best written book ever. Better than Ulysses.
Right, I'm obviously not going to precis the plot or anything. Why should you read it?
The first thing to say is that you can read Vico, Bruno the Nolan and the Four Masters if you want, but why bother? It's not an intellectual book. Joyce was clever enough, but he wasn't an intellectual. So this is not a book for intellectuals. Hardly surprising, Joyce was much more interested in the smell of dirty knickers than in philosophy.
Read it aloud in a cod Oirish accent if you want to feel the prose. Get the casettes to help you out, I have.
Read the prose from "riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recurculation back to Howth Castle and Environs." to "Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the"
Yes it does make more sense if you reverse them. This is something you learn.
What about the first words of the most accessible section, about the Liffey. (This is a gross simplification of the theme.)
"O tell me all about Anna Livia! I want to hear all about Anna Livia. Well, you know Anna Livia? Yes, of course, we all know Anna Livia. Tell me all.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 days ago by xxx
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
havnt read it yet but looking forward to it
Published 14 days ago by gillian herrity
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by George
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great price
Published 2 months ago by michael flanagan
1.0 out of 5 stars I did not like it
I didn't like it.It was in Gaelic and I was not aware of that when I bought it. Is that enough.
Published 4 months ago by DENNIS MELLOR
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is the most amazing book ever written. Impossible to comprehend as it is, it it clear that Joyce chose every single word with meticulous care and precision. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jonas Nyman
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary book
Was reaquainting myself with the book which I had never managed to get through as a girl.
I think the best thing to do is to just dip in to it and not try and take it straight... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miss Clare I M Fox
4.0 out of 5 stars JOYCE IS A GOOD CHOICE
Words cannot express what inarticulate people want to say. Conversely, exceptionally eloquent people (including writers like James Joyce), while not struggling with... Read more
Published 6 months ago by NAROLC
5.0 out of 5 stars Finnegan's Wake
Beautifully read and CD pack includes booklet with the text of the extracts. I'm using it alongside the printed book to help me hear the rhythm and music in the language. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Books4me
3.0 out of 5 stars Finnegans Wake
I've only given this 3 stars cos I didn't know what else to do.
I read and re read portrait of the artist and dubliners when I was younger and really enjoyed them. Read more
Published 7 months ago by baz123
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category