- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 24 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: CSA Word
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 13 Jun. 2005
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ1O2W
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Dubliners Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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Joyce described each story as an 'epiphany', an event in which a character within the story (and hopefully the reader also) is invited to re-examine the familiar, and re-assess their relationships with the events that make up their lives. Joyce is trying to show that the day that changes your life may not be any different than the one that precedes it, or the ones that may follow, and that the life-changing event may just be an alteration in the way you perceive something that you have encountered a hundred times before. Each story is impressive in its construction, and for most of them I was left amazed by the power of their impact when compared to the banality of their content. Joyce manages to observe human behaviour brilliantly and can seem to extract every drop out of each comment, each gesture. Each is short (with the exception of 'The Dead') and I read this book very quickly (unlike 'Ulysses').
'Dubliners' is a sort of abridged 'Ulysses' and fans of the latter, or anyone looking for a way in to the latter, should definitely read 'Dubliners', likewise anyone who is a fan of this sort of 'epiphanic' short story writing (Camus' 'Exile and the Kingdom' is the closest thing I have read to date). However the lack of a strong narrative and the occasional lapse into (for me) impenetrable archaic Irish jargon, means that this book probably isn't for everyone. As far as I am concerned, it is the archetype of its genre, and an incredible book to have read.
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Some of the stories are a bit thin, almost fillers, After The Race for instance, but most are pure joy. Joyce doesn't write prose; he writes poetry that just happens to be cast as prose. This maxim shines through in loads and loads of places. I'll mention just two: The beautiful and complex image of the train at night, its worming light boring into the darkness in 'A Painful Case'; and The last page of The Dead. This passage is rightly eulogised in anthologies of English literature. I won't spoil it for you, discover it for yourself. But just two things - make sure you won't be disturbed, and read it out loud, and listen - the cadences of 'falling softly' and 'softly falling', and my favourite - the mutinous Shannon waves.
Some people will tell you that Joyce can be over complicated and over clever. Yes, he can. They will also tell you that he's overated. No he's not. The only writer in English better at manipulating language than Joyce is Billy Avonswan, Mr Shakespeare. Joyce is that great. If you like reading books that are designed as partners for a lifetime, to be read and savoured again and again then James Joyce is your man.
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Good quality what I did get though.
I opened the volume for the first time, the spine came away from the pages which then fell out.Read more