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Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses (1922)

by James Joyce

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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  1. 231
    The Odyssey by Homer (_eskarina, chrisharpe)
    _eskarina: Joyce himself recommended Homer's epos to get better insight and understanding of Ulysses.
  2. 180
    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (ZenMaintenance)
  3. 80
    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (browner56)
    browner56: You will either love them both or hate them both, but you will probably need a reader's guide to get through either one--I know I did.
  4. 93
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (ateolf)
  5. 40
    The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil (roby72)
  6. 30
    The Bloomsday Book by Harry Blamires (bokai)
    bokai: The Bloomsday Book is a book length summary of James Joyce's Ulysses. It informs the reader of the general plot, of particular references in Ulysses to events in other books (most usually Dubliners)and includes a minimum of commentary, usually focusing on the religious aspects of the novel. For someone reading Ulysses with a limited knowledge of Joyce, Ireland, or Catholicism, this book may be the deciding factor in their enjoyment of the novel itself.… (more)
  7. 31
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (roby72)
  8. 10
    Dublinés by Alfonso Zapico (drasvola)
    drasvola: This book is a graphic narration of Joyce's life. It's in Spanish. Very well done and informative about Joyce's troubled relation with society, his work and family relationships.
  9. 21
    To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (ateolf)
  10. 10
    J R by William Gaddis (chrisharpe)
  11. 21
    Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach (andejons)
    andejons: For those who want to read about how the book was published (and other details about Joyce's life in Paris)
  12. 32
    The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  13. 10
    The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch (chrisharpe)
  14. 00
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
    kara.shamy: Similar -- almost unique really -- in their tremendous breadth and depth...
  15. 00
    Milkbottle H by Gil Orlovitz (EnriqueFreeque)
    EnriqueFreeque: Similar kind of disjointed interiority with multiple pov's.
  16. 00
    La Medusa by Vanessa Place (fuguette)
    fuguette: Place's work is a free-form experiment tracking the depraved, obsessive, unfiltered thoughts of her characters.
  17. 00
    Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (kara.shamy)
  18. 00
    Station Island by Seamus Heaney (kara.shamy)
  19. 01
    Suttree by Cormac McCarthy (eereed)
  20. 01
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Othemts)

(see all 22 recommendations)


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English (180)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
Yes. 'Unreadable' comes to mind. But I was listening to it on audio and I -still- couldn't stand it. I like to think I'm cosmopolitan in my reading and that I don't dismiss books because they're 'hard'.

But this book seems to be nothing but free association. Definitely there are some beautiful 'word matches' but there is little to nothing else to give it any substance or ... anything.

25% into the book and I know it's a no-go. At least for the near future. Gah!! ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses is considered by many to be a difficult book to read. This is certainly true. The book itself is long, and it is not broken up into clear chapters. ( )
  crossr1984 | Feb 5, 2014 |
A stunning book. I've talked with several readers who got stunned by the time they reached chapter 4 and quit. Most would-be readers I've talked to are stunned by its reputation and never even try. I've talked to several academic readers who take Ulysses oh so seriously--some of them had been knocked into a corner professionally and can't get out. I read it and was stunned silly.

I believe the book is a an immensely intelligent set of parodies within an even more staggeringly conceived parody. Ulysses isn't a retelling of the Odyssey, it's a magnificently upside-down parody of the poem. Leopold Bloom isn't a heroic wanderer, trying to get home and take his rightful place--much the opposite; Stephan Dedalus, unlike Telemachus, wants to avoid finding a father and certainly doesn't want to be like Bloom; and Molly Bloom/Penelope sure hasn't been waiting patiently or cunningly for her husband to return.

Within the larger parody, each of the chapters is a parody of some writing style or publishing genre. Sometimes I was entertained and mentally exercised, sometimes I was bored, and sometimes I had no idea what was going on and had to go to the academics for help.

Re-reading Ulysses must be very rewarding, but right now I've decided to settle for smaller rewards elsewhere. I'm wondering, though, if I'll ever be satisfied with any book in which the characters are less intimately drawn. It's a world I might be compelled to come back to because all other book worlds might seem sketchy, thin, and dull in comparison. ( )
1 vote wrk1 | Jan 15, 2014 |
Holy cow. I cannot believe I finished this whole book. I should get a medal. Or at least a merit badge.

The short version of my review:

I liked it a lot, but it was a lot of work. The most delightful thing about Ulysses is that in the mumble-mumble years since I got my B.A. in English, I'd forgot that this was a way that novels could be written. There's a playfulness in Ulysses between author, character, and reader that I'd not experienced in a long time.

I read the Vintage Classics Edition printed in 1990 from a 1961 edition. I chose this edition because it's the one that Roof Beam Reader is reading for the Ulysses read-along and the typeface seemed like it would be easy to read. (While reading Pilgrim's Progress earlier this year, I realized just how important typeface is to me when I read classics. The text itself is challenge enough; I don't need to be further hampered by unpleasant type.)

I began reading the book without any helps besides a quick gander at an online annotated version so I could jot down the chapter names at the beginning of each chapter. I didn't want any help on my first reading. I wanted to form my own impressions and come to my own conclusions before I read anyone else's ideas---and there are many, many other ideas about Ulysses out there.

This worked fine for the first four chapters---Nestor, Proteus, Calypso, and Lotus-Eaters. These chapters seemed fairly...normal. I liked the writing, and while some of the internal/external shifts were a little confusing, I felt like I had a handle on things.

It's in Nestor that one of my favorite passages in the novel appears. Stephen is in his classroom observing a young student who's come to his desk asking for help with a math problem:

Ugly and futile: lean neck and tangled hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him under foot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. (p 27)quote>

Then Stephen goes on to reflect about the absence of his own recently deceased mother, which makes the passage even more poignant.

You can find the full review on my blog. ( )
1 vote ImperfectCJ | Jan 11, 2014 |
This novel (odyssey in fact) needs to be read with good notations and a focused mind, but is fulfilling and wonderful! I would recommend it a thousand times over! There are passages that I have laughed at and there are passages that I have skipped, but overall...there are no words to describe Ireland's 20th century epic! ( )
  DeanaDav | Dec 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
A few intuitive, sensitive visionaries may understand and comprehend "Ulysses," James Joyce's new and mammoth volume, without going through a course of training or instruction, but the average intelligent reader will glean little or nothing from it- even from careful perusal, one might properly say study, of it- save bewilderment and a sense of disgust. It should be companioned with a key and a glossary like the Berlitz books. Then the attentive and diligent reader would eventually get some comprehension of Mr. Joyce's message.
For readers to whom books are an important means of learning about life, it stands preeminent above modern rivals as one of the most monumental works of the human intelligence.
added by Shortride | editTime (Jan 29, 1934)
During the one exciting day in Dublin, Joyce turns the mind of Bloom inside out. The history of Ireland comes to us in refracted rays. Through Stephen Dedalus we are introduced to Joyce's own profound spiritual uneasiness, his sense of loss, his hatred of the pragmatic commercial ethic, his need for the moorings and soundings of the medieval Catholic synthesis, his mental honesty that won't permit him to accept a religion, no matter what its appeal, so long as his intelligence tells him it is a figment of dream.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, John Chamberlain (pay site) (Jan 25, 1934)

» Add other authors (220 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Joyceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berkel, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bindervoet, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandt, MatthiasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clever, EdithNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Angelis, GiulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutschmann, HeikkoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dewey, Kenneth FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellman, RichardPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellmann, RichardForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, Morris L.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabler, HansEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabler, Hans WalterContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabler, Hans WalterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hülsmann, IngoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henkes, Robbert-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kenner, HughIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klaußner, BurghartNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, WolframNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kogge, ImogenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mallafrè, JoaquimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matic, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthes, UlrichNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melchior, ClausEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milberg, AxelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noethen, UlrichNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rois, SophieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Samel, UdoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schüttauf, JörgNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steppe, WolfhardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tellegen, ToonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thalbach, AnnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wollschläger, HansÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolsey, John M.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zischler, HannsNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
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Grad student door stop.
Tree that I would never see
One hand clapping ‘yes’.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679722769, Paperback)

Ulysses has been labeled dirty, blasphemous, and unreadable. In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book--although he found it sufficiently unobscene to allow its importation into the United States--and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's "cloacal obsession." None of these adjectives, 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 a close-focus sort of 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 sheer 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 might 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 indelible Dubliners. We watch them teach, eat, stroll the streets, 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 accordian 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 naive 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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This account of several lower class citizens of Dublin describes their activities and tells what some of them were thinking one day in 1904.

» see all 14 descriptions

Legacy Library: James Joyce

James Joyce has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See James Joyce's legacy profile.

See James Joyce's author page.

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Twelve editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182806, 0141197412


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