Ulysses is one of the greatest literary works in the English language. In his remarkable tour de force, Joyce catalogues one day - June 16, 1904 - in immense detail as Leopold Bloom wanders through Dublin, talking, observing, musing - and always remembering Molly, his passionate, wayward wife. Set in the shadow of Homer's Odyssey, internal thoughts - Joyce's famous stream of consciousness - give physical reality extra color and perspective. Though Ulysses is widely regarded as a "difficult" novel, this fresh and lively reading shows its comic genius as well as its great moments of poignance, making it more accessible than ever before.
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I thought this book was well performed by a variety of people playing the roles of the many characters encountered during one day in Dublin. The narrator's method of lowering his tone for soliloquys can be a little bit of a problem but I'm not sure what other method the reader could have used. My problem with this title is that the book is so severely abridged that you can't follow the story at all. I appreciated it as an enjoyable sampler that can give life to a few of the chapters of the book and leave you wanting to read the rest.
This is one of the few books from Audible that I abandoned after an hour's struggle. I had prepared to read this book by listening to twelve hours of lectures (from the Teaching Company) about the novel so that I could better appreciate it. Despite my eager anticipation, I could not bear to listen to this recording. The book switches between description and internal monologue. The narrator, to convey the difference, drops the amplitude and dampens the modulation of his voice for the internal monologue parts. Since I listen to these books in the car, I found that I simply could not hear that part of the story. When I turned up the volume of the car's sound system, the narrative parts of the story were painfully loud. Perhaps Marcella Riordan's rendition of Molly Bloom's famous soliloquy at the end of the book compensates for Jim Norton's mumbling. I don't know. I never got that far.
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