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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.