I will not try another Joyce book, but Norton is wonderful. James Joyce is heralded as a revolutionary intellectual, a Modernist, a brilliant artist. His intellect is unquestionable, but his artistry is so corrupt that it is truly iniquitous. The book is littered with pearls of wisdom and genius; at its core, it is a brilliantly conceived artifice. Even so, like pearls cast among swine, or diamonds in a cesspool, they are priceless, but why punish your readers to endure the filth just to capture the gems? Don't be fooled. Vulgarity appeals to our base nature, our flesh. But vulgarity only masquerades as the truth. Joyce's message indulges our flesh, he indulges his own flesh in the writing, but the truth is that our flesh does not need to be entertained, it does not need to be indulged any more than addiction needs to be indulged to fully understand it, even to abhor it. Today's ugly rap music makes the same statement about the truth of the human existence, but it drags us down, it incites the flesh, our base nature. We need true artists to create things of beauty - not the pretense of iniquity as artistry. We need to be inspired, we need to be encouraged,. That is the purpose of art. Joyce misses the point entirely. Smearing feces on canvas requires no genius, it just creates stench. Don't waste your time. You should have better things to do.
Count of Monte Cristo
Stephen Dedalus, the junior hero - Norton brings all of the characters to life, but they are, for the most part, so corrupt and dysfunctional that even Norton cannot make them bearable.
Pure frustration that Joyce would indulge himself and waste his genius. He destroyed his opportunity to leverage his intellect to bless posterity; instead, he added to the burden.
The only reason I rated Ulysses a 2 overall was because of Norton's performance, and because utter abomination can be instructive of true genius, squandered.
I have wanted to read Ulysses, but found it really difficult to listen to. The narrator Jim Norton talks very quitely and then when doing the voices gets really loud to the point of yelling at you. I still wish to read the book but this was not the best telling of it.
I've wanted to listen to this one for a while. Unfortunately it is very difficult to make out what they are saying because the recording quality is poor. I couldn't finish the book, because I couldn't follow it.
I quit the book multiple times because I just couldn't make heads or tails of it. I finally just forced myself to press through. I never did really figure out any underlying meaning but there were certainly masterful passages throughout.
What an excellent reading of Joyce's classic text. The variety and accuracy of Dublin accents is none other than brilliant; the final monologue by Molly simply stunning.
I loved listening to this book. I have read it once on the page, studied it. Listening was just brilliant. It feels like how the work ought to be experienced. And I do lot know how the reader/performer pulled off such a demanding performance. A feat! A great artist himself.
I do immersive reading, listening to the book and reading the text at the same time. This is a great audio edition but Ulysses is one of the most difficult reads. I suggest using the Gabler edition of the book along with The New Bloomsday Book for a great synopsis so things are much clearer than if did not have it. Then if you are serious you should also have Ulysses Annotated, an entire book of annotations unto itself. Three books and the audio book: with time and perseverance you are set! Trevor
Reviewer's often refer to this as a classic about a single day in the life of Leopold Bloom and his wife, Molly in and around Dublin. How boring does that sound, and what injustice does it do to this brilliantly subversive novel? It could not understate anything more.
Joyce is a master of pastiche and co-opts multiple styles in this at times wickedly funny and often profound and unsettling masterpiece. This was a bucket list read for me. I thought it would be a chore, but it was amazingly funny. At times, Nietzsche and Freud meet the Marx brothers. At others, the puffed up style of academia catalogs a dissected life. In places it is vulgar and bawdy; while in others poetically beautiful. It mirrors us: complex and complicated, dirty and selfish, neurotic and needy, striving for understanding and acceptance while trapped by prejudice and the prevailing mores of the 19th century and driven to define the meaning of being alive.
The performance of the readers was extraordinary. Jim Norton's mastery of all the nuances, rhythms and emotions of the characters in all types of situations was nothing less than brilliant.
The last few chapters about the lady wonderful!
The lady at the end.
He is perfect in his readings.