Norton, yes. Joyce, no.
Norton is an excellent guide to a terrible book.
James Joyce, both as Daedalus and as the author of the book.
Like a herd of dictionaries contracted norwalk virus and then stampeded themselves to death over a marathon-length course, spilling their contents in a random slurry along the way. They intermittently run out of grammar and punctuation. Finding meaning in this book is like finding the face of Jesus on your muffin.
Jim Norton takes this classic to a new level. It's a pleasure, likely even a welcome aid in understanding to first-time readers and an exquisite, enriching new experience to those who are well familiar with the text. Think of this audiobook as performance rather than mere narration - much like reading Hamlet will not keep you from enjoying it on stage, prior study of Ulysses does not make this audiobook any less worthwhile (quite the opposite).
This is a book I put off for many years, because it was supposed to be hard work. It probably is if you want to study all the allusions to mythology, Irish history, Shakespeare, etc. But It's wonderful just to listen to. It's full of poetry and song, sometimes just in the middle of a sentence. It does take concentration and I listened to some sections more than once, always picking up new things.
I'm working through it with a book group and I've been listening first, then looking at the text to see what I missed, or what visual aspects there are (as he does play with that as well.) This must have been very challenging for the narrator and I think he does a great job.
Beautifully written, wonderfully read. A treasure.
No, needs to be absorbed over time.
Strongly recommend Frank Delaney's re:Joyce podcast, wherein he deconstructs Ulysses in a most interesting and entertaining fashion.
The narrator is hard to understand and sometimes speaks really quietly while others talking too loud, this makes it difficult to keep at an adequate listening level. Although the narrator is very good at performing, the difficulty of the subject and style of the book make it imperative that the narration is clear and and understandable.
Yes. This was not an issue with the writing- which though difficult is very interesting.
By over acting, speaking too loudly or too softly, and by often times being difficult to decipher.
I would not have cut any scenes.
Riverrunner, Powderhound, Pizzaiolo, Mountainbiker, Fisherman, Dzedo to James
Of course we all know what a great writer Joyce is and how great this book is. We all know what it meant for literature and freedom of speech and all of that. Joyce himself is supposed to have said that he would rather be read by one reader a million times than a million readers one time each. Or words to that effect. That about sizes it up for me. For professionals and dedicated amateurs only. Others need not apply.
Absolutely not. I enjoy a lot of the classics. But I need any book that I chose to read/listen to be, at least, accessible. I couldn't do it, and I've tried several times, because I'm always told how important and essential this book is. If this makes me illiterate, so be it.
The only scene I could sort of access was the opening scene with Stephen and Buck and the milk lady. Sandymount strand! Forget about it.
Pretty much perpetual confusion.
I thought Jim Norton did a great job. Just not for me. Got a couple hundred pages into it and then came up against what I always come up to whenever I have tried to read this book. Life is too short!. And what's the point? That, in the course of our humdrum day, we all have countless wondering impressions and imaginings? The common man as Ulysses? There's got to be more to it than that. This book doesn't even make me want to go to Dublin.
avid listener, during exercise and travel. Been doing for 30 plus years and probably will never stop. I am trying to read more recently, it requires more downtime.
Sorry, couldn't get interested in this book. I would have finished if I had nothing else to read and needed to pass a test on the content. I am sure the performance was great, loved the Broadway music and theatrical themes, oh, well...
Ulysses is not a simple read - especially without annotations. This audio version absolutely makes the text more accessible - and is a Herculean achievement by all involved - not the least Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan who deserve an OBE each (or something) for reading it out loud with such seeming ease.
This book may have been shocking or even relevant when it was originally published. However, it is no longer neither now. It is a complete bore.
I'll be honest, this is by no means light reading, and I went into this seeking something that would challenge my mind. I appreciated Joyce's depiction of life in early 20th century Ireland and how he showed it completely rounded and even focused on less mentioned aspects such as the general anti-semetism. It is also clear that Joyce was quick the literary ventriloquist, and clearly never met a writing style he never liked. I also liked Simon Bloom's internal monologues, and Buck Mulogan was a cheeky fellow
Having said that, at times it felt more like the book was focused on being clever and doing literary tricks, and the plot and general experience of the novel suffered because of this. Actually, this was a recurring problem I had with this novel. I also feel I'd have better appreciated this novel is studied in a class rather than read on my own. Maybe I'd have a better appreciation rather than feeling it might be more than a little overhyped. I'd been on a literary kick, but after this book I dove back into the world of genre.
Overall, it was...an, um, experience. If nothing else