39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The book I wish I'd written,
This review is from: Dubliners (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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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Initial post: 10 Dec 2013 01:37:24 GMT
gordon henry says:
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