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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blamires's book is essential for first-time Joyce readers, 8 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
Harry Blamires's "The New Bloomsday Book" is an essential companion to Joyce's Ulysses. He guides the first-time reader carefully through Joyce's (famously difficult) novel, but does not not challenge the mystery that make Ulysses a joy to read. Blamires's book will make your first reading of Ulysses more rewarding and enjoyable. Then you can read ulysses a second time--that's when the fun really begins!
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last, a sensible exposition of Ulysses, 28 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
Many books aspire to shed light on Ulysses. Many are narrowly philological or encyclopaedic. If you want to know the meaning of a word or the provenience of a song, joke, or proverb, you can use these books much as you would a dictionary. They are keyed to both the old (Random House) or new (Gabler) editions of Ulysses. Blamires, by contrast, is useful if you are--and you will be--all at sea about such rudimentary details as where you are, what is happening, and who a character is. For example, in the chapter which is set in a Dublin maternity hospital, identified by Joyce only as a place of parturition associated with a certain doctor (whose name you will never have heard), Blamires sets the scene, identifies the characters, themes, patterns of imagery and allusion in such a way that what had seemed hopelessly obscure is bathed in light. After reading Blamires I found the text approachable and moving and amusing--i.e., difficult still, but difficult in the way that any major English text is difficult, rather than hopelessly, riddlingly obscure. I ought probably to add that Blamires is a brilliant reader, a wonderful combination of the gifts that characterize a "common reader" (in Virginia Woolf's sense of the word) and a modest and helpful scholar. In other words, he does not make Joyce accessible by having failed to notice that he (Joyce) forgot more than you, reader, will ever know. I warmly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 16 Nov 2010
By 
J. Bresnan (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
Highly recommend this for anyone reading Ulysses. Good references and synopsis throughout. Line note references in it refer to the Gabler edition of Ulysses.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, almost perfect, first time guide., 2 Jan 2010
By 
J. Davis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
Apart from desperately needing a character reference list The Bloomsday Book is a great first time general guide to Ulysses for a serious reader (if you aren't a serious reader you have no business with Ulysses).
It has a chapter by chapter interpretation, regular page reference numbers for the two main editions, a reasonable index and an accessible style.
For serious study you will still need to use an detailed annotation book, but since annotation books alone can be tedious and overwhelming an interpretative guide such as this is invaluable to help us see a pattern amongst the chaos.
However, since there is no one authoritative interpretation of Ulysses, I would recommend getting your hands on as many guides, essays and audio lectures as possible - see my review on Ulysses for further information and tips in this regard.
As we learn in the Cyclops episode - the more eyes the better!

I also think this book would benefit from some maps and photos of Dublin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your doorway to Ulysses, 16 April 2013
By 
Friend of Dorothy (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
I chanced upon this book when starting Ulysses and it gave me everything I needed to enjoy the book and understand much that otherwise would have been obscure. Blamires' book mirrors the structure of the novel and leads the reader through it paragraph by paragraph, so it really is a companion work. Also, at about 260 pages (in the edition I read) it's succinct.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
The Bloomsday book is invaluable if you'd like to understand Ulysses on the first read rather than the third or fourth. Intricately detailed but amazingly concise. Blamires does not use an unnecessary word throughout -- it is clear he could write a book on each chapter alone, but he just scratches the surface of everything, giving a very well-rounded view and leaving the reader to choose what they'd like to study deeper. There is endless material written on this book, a Google Scholar search of anything he mentions will grant endless reading should you wish. I paired Bloomsday with the Jim Norton audiobook for my first time and I have to say it was the best reading experience of my life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bloomsday guide, 19 Sep 2012
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
This guide has really helped me engage more with text. It is also consise & easy reading :-) I would think a must have when wanting to really understand U
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4.0 out of 5 stars Willing to use for Instruction, 11 May 2011
This review is from: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses (Routledge International Studies in) (Paperback)
I felt that the Blamires guide was essential for linking allusions to the Odyssey text, however I would not say this text should be regarded as an authority on Ulyssian interpretation and it makes no claim to be. I have found it helpful in my interpretations and Nietzsche, Aristotle, and Aquinas make many appearances within the Ulysses text and I would have preferred more focus on those particular references. I would suggest that interested buyers include the Gables annotated notes with the purchase of the Blamires in tandem these two are hard to beat.
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