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Ulysses by [Joyce, James]
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Ulysses Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 532 customer reviews

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Length: 442 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
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Amazon.co.uk Review

Ulysses has been labelled dirty, blasphemous and unreadable. In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book--although he found it not quite obscene enough to disallow its importation into the United States--and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's "cloacal obsession". None of these descriptions, however, do the slightest justice to the novel. To this day it remains the modernist masterpiece, in which the author takes both Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. It is funny, sorrowful, and even (in its own way) suspenseful. And despite the exegetical industry that has sprung up in the last 75 years, Ulysses is also a compulsively readable book. Even the verbal vaudeville of the final chapters can be navigated with relative ease, as long as you're willing to be buffeted, tickled, challenged and (occasionally) vexed by Joyce's astonishing command of the English language.

Among other things, a novel is simply a long story, and the first question about any story is "What happens?" In the case of Ulysses, the answer could be "Everything". William Blake, one of literature's sublime myopics, saw the universe in a grain of sand. Joyce saw it in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904, a day distinguished by its utter normality. Two characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of inforgettable Dubliners. We watch them teach, eat, loiter, argue and (in Bloom's case) masturbate. And thanks to the book's stream- of-consciousness technique--which suggests no mere stream but an impossibly deep, swift-running river-- we're privy to their thoughts, emotions and memories. The result? Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordion-folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism.

Both characters add their glorious intonations to the music of Joyce's prose. Dedalus's accent--that of a freelance aesthetician, who dabbles here and there in what we might call "Early Yeats Lite"-- will be familiar to readers of Portrait of an Artist As a Young Man. But Bloom's wistful sensualism (and naïve curiosity) is something else entirely. Seen through his eyes, a rundown corner of a Dublin graveyard is a figure for hope and hopelessness, mortality and dogged survival: "Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland's hearts and hands. More sensible to spend the money on some charity for the living. Pray for the repose of the soul of. Does anybody really?" --James Marcus

Amazon Review

Ulysses has been labelled dirty, blasphemous and unreadable. In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book--although he found it not quite obscene enough to disallow its importation into the United States--and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's "cloacal obsession". None of these descriptions, however, do the slightest justice to the novel. To this day it remains the modernist masterpiece, in which the author takes both Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. It is funny, sorrowful, and even (in its own way) suspenseful. And despite the exegetical industry that has sprung up in the last 75 years, Ulysses is also a compulsively readable book. Even the verbal vaudeville of the final chapters can be navigated with relative ease, as long as you're willing to be buffeted, tickled, challenged and (occasionally) vexed by Joyce's astonishing command of the English language.

Among other things, a novel is simply a long story, and the first question about any story is "What happens?" In the case of Ulysses, the answer could be "Everything". William Blake, one of literature's sublime myopics, saw the universe in a grain of sand. Joyce saw it in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904, a day distinguished by its utter normality. Two characters, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of inforgettable Dubliners. We watch them teach, eat, loiter, argue and (in Bloom's case) masturbate. And thanks to the book's stream- of-consciousness technique--which suggests no mere stream but an impossibly deep, swift-running river-- we're privy to their thoughts, emotions and memories. The result? Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordion-folds of a single day, which makes Ulysses not just an experimental work but the very last word in realism.

Both characters add their glorious intonations to the music of Joyce's prose. Dedalus's accent--that of a freelance aesthetician, who dabbles here and there in what we might call "Early Yeats Lite"-- will be familiar to readers of Portrait of an Artist As a Young Man. But Bloom's wistful sensualism (and naïve curiosity) is something else entirely. Seen through his eyes, a rundown corner of a Dublin graveyard is a figure for hope and hopelessness, mortality and dogged survival: "Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland's hearts and hands. More sensible to spend the money on some charity for the living. Pray for the repose of the soul of. Does anybody really?" --James Marcus


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1890 KB
  • Print Length: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Waxkeep Publishing (19 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AVZM3MW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 532 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,058 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For anyone who has been fascinated by Finnegans Wake but has been unable to follow it very far in a printed version, this is a great alternative. I got a much better idea of what was going on and found it very enjoyable. The language flows like music. Of course I'm not Irish nor a Joyce expert and no doubt some will quibble about the interpretation, for example the inflections of speech which impart meaning to the stream of consciousness text - I myself doubt if there any 'right answers' to be found. However, if you're looking for a way into this book, this reading is probably as good as you're going to get.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic work(obviously) but so-so edition. Decent price, I like the cover art.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Only writing this review because it appears to be the only way I can leave the last page of the book using the kindle reading app. Poor show.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Complex, elaborate and very difficult to finish. Trying to get past chapter 6.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a pretty good book but I don't think it's amazing
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Joyce, James. Ulysses
Fifty years ago as an undergraduate I read Joyce’s novel and vowed that one day I’d read it again. Well, that day has arrived and gone and I’m proud to say I was not wrong in my original baffled reception of the book - or should I say The Great Book? First, it’s still not an easy read, but then who wants an easy read? For those who love language and literature it is surely the one crucial text that must be read through attentively over a period of time, say, as in my case, one month. Another crucial text for me is the English translation of Proust’s massive novel, correctly named, as in the Kilmartin translation, In Search of Lost Time. But that was in another country ... a word I originally mis-spelt, giving rise to a Freudian slip, under the spell perhaps of Joyce!

It would be difficult to give a plot summary of the book, but it is basically the story about a son, Stephen Dedalus, looking for a father (although he, rather than the reader, doesn’t know it) and a father Leoplold Bloom looking for a son, likewise unconsciously. The two men wander through the meticulously detailed streets of Dublin in 24 hours, the ‘real’ time of the book. So this, rather than the frequently detailed critical apparatus suggested as a guide by academics, is the thread around which all the other ventures and adventures the men encounter is the essential thread around which the book is woven. If you like to trace the relationship between Ulysees and Homer’s Odyssey, good luck to you. Me, I preferred to read Joyce, his definitive voice, or rather voices, overwhelming all others, especially its swarm of critics and commentators.

Ulysses is a multi-dimensional novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought it for Christmas for my Husband, who is very happy with it. (Filler to make up the word count)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny, rude, poetic and baffling in turn. An amazing work. It deserves the scrutiny, the approbation and the admiration. I've read it three times and love it but am none the wiser as to what the hell it's all about. A true classic. Worth the effort
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