Amazing grasp of the English language. Definitely not an easy work to read, but worth it.
The one essential book of the twentieth century read by one of the best Irish stage actors.
The Bible because Joyce's Ulysses sets a standard for prose and poetry in the 20th and 21st century and in Bloom, an Irish Jew, it is the story of every man. No book is so thick with concrete sensuous prose, no book is so rich in diverse writing styles.
Buck Mulligan because every college English major has had the pleasure of a Buck Mulligan type on tap with a fine head of booze.
A day like no other so filled with the sensuous delight of intimate immediacy.
A heartfelt humorous exposure of humankind.
The narrator does an amazing job of bringing to life a work of mad genius. However I did not care for the "book" as a whole. It was broken, fragmented, and in general an exercise in what can be, not what should be. The first story arc as well as the last chapter were the redeeming qualities of this work of fiction, that was otherwise nearly intolerable.
This book is often listed among the greatest novels. It is certainly among the most admired, but perhaps not among the most beloved. It's stream-of-conscious format and rambling plot make for very difficult reading. Fortunately, the audio format removes some of that confusion.
It is still a many-hour and hard listen but the narration is brilliantly done and helps immeasurably to get the dedicated listener through it. Unless one is a literature major or true intellectual, most will find this a real task. But if you love language and are willing to be projected back to an earlier time with harsh references to ethnic groups, this can be quite rewarding.
Don M, of Queen Creek, AZ
For a first time reader/listener, read the book first. This is a well done recording, but the book itself is too hard to follow for the first time without the text in front of you.
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.
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.