While Bloom's passionate wife, Molly, conducts yet another illicit liasion (with her concert manager), Bloom finds himself getting into arguments with drunken nationalists and wild carousing with excitable medical students, before rescuing Stephen Dedalus from a brawl and returning with him to his own basement kitchen.
In the hands of Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, experienced and stimulating Joycean readers, and carefully directed by Roger Marsh, Ulysses becomes accessible as never before. It is entertaining, immediate, funny, and rich in classical, philosophical, and musical allusion.
(P)2004 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
"As ambitious and rewarding an audio production as any that exists, an audio experience that truly deserves to be cherished....Readers of Ulysses have long been encouraged to read out loud the more difficult sections for added comprehension and enjoyment of the language. Now, thanks to Naxos, the entire book is available in a performance to savor. It is safe to say that anyone wanting to experience the preeminent work of modern fiction has in this package the perfect audio companion." (AudioFile)
No. It's an exceptionally tedious story.
Story? What story?
Jim did an amazing job of making this impenetrable book vaguely accessible. His aplomb at tackling the rambling sentences was wonderful!
It's one of the great books, right? A must read. Thank goodness for Jim's narration to help me conquer this behemoth. While 95% of the book I found exceptionally dull and boring, every now and then it really does soar. Perhaps only because you grasp at straws, but I think there were moments that are sublime...
I know that Ulysses is one of the most important works of the 20th century and I have always felt I should read it, but, at least for me, it was not a good listen. The narrator is probably excellent. However, his accent was difficult for me to understand so I missed much of the reading. I listen when I am in the car which is probably not the best place to be doing that. The story is somewhat of a jumble. Maybe it is poetry but it would be better to be reading the words on the page rather than trying to understand the plot by listening.
I'd always wanted to read Ulysses but had been scared away by Joyce's writing technique. As an audio book, on the other hand, it was an absolute delight. This is writing that is meant to be read aloud. The stream of consciousness prose was like music. Pick it up, listen for a while, put it down, listen again - it was always a joy. The narration was tremendous and the incidental music set the time and place perfectly. The is one of the most aesthetically satisfying books I've ever listened to. An amazingly easy book to listen to, well worth the invested time. Truly a thing of beauty and a joy forever. (I liked it too.)
I agree completely with the other review of the audio version in that the reading seemed a bit rushed, especially the later potions. That said, it was a still a treat to get caught up in the language.
Nothing, Jim Norton did a fine job.
I doubt it. Only if forced to and you had a noose nearby so I could choose to end it soon one way or another.
I have been trying to listen to as many classic books as I can and usually find myself enjoying them very much. I bought this book on recommendation from Audible that it is to become a classic. It may be the last time I ever take in consideration one of their recommendations.
If you like Robin Williams stand up comedian acts this book is for you. I, however, have never been a fan of Robin Williams stand up acts. Movies are a different story. Anyway, that’s what this book reminds me of; a lot of verbiage going nowhere. I can’t count how many times James Joyce list things and they really don’t add anything to the book but it’s done several times. I’ve listened up to Chapter 18 but am contemplating climbing an electric pole and licking the wires if I have to listen to any more. It seems to me to be a story about a man who either has had sexual relations with women or is dreaming about it. I’m not really sure where it’s going with this but it’s a constant repetitive feature of the book. However, occasionally they throw something in about Jews. Still I’m not sure where it’s going. List, Jews and sexual relations on a constant banner that just haven’t added up to anything in this book and by chapter 18 out of 25 you would think there would be some indication or clue that you might want to hold onto to keep going with this book but for me there is nothing.
While it is easy to see why this book is so acclaimed, it is also hard to "recommend" it to anyone. There is no question about the brilliance of James Joyce and what a feat it was to create this masterpiece. At the same time, it is a feat to listen to it.
If you ever wanted to know what it would be like to be inside the mind of another person for an entire day, certainly partake of this novel.
It is too much to digest in one listening .. it could be alifetime study.
I realize now why so many authors refer to it: they are bragging about the fact that they made it through.
I will probably become as pedantic about it myself!
PS The reading is magnificent.
Scientist, artisan, anachronism
this is #1.
Ulysses is the single best book on audible.
One of the most incredible books of all time. Stream of consciousness… pure thought coming out in words. Simple and complex at once. A masterpiece. The masterpiece.
I thought nothing could make it better. I was wrong.
This reading brought the novel to life in no way I could have imagined. Any other reading pales in comparison. And it’s not just Jim Norton that gives a stellar performance. No no… Marcella Riordan … is amazing. absolutely amazing. She gives the end monologue so much sensuality that i get chills when I hear it.
I truly believe there is no better audiobook on audible.
i hope you get the pleasure
Perhaps an absolute literacy or James Joyce fan? Someone lying in bed with lots of spare time and long uninterrupted attention spans?
Something a bit lighter, with a better flow or something didactic within my fields of interest.I've just downloaded "Getting to Yes" and "For whom the bells toll".
Too fast paced and monotonous.
Disappointment and exhaustion.
Unless you know what you're getting into with this book, exhaust the rest of your list first!
Avid reader (and listener) of great (and other) books
It is so difficult to follow. I know James Joyce wrote as he spoke, but this is too much. There are several passages, where all you hear is mumble, so it is impossible to follow the storyline. I have read it and enjoyed it much. This is not a nice spoken word work.
I'm not sure anything could have made this enjoyable. The narrator was sufficient (though difficult to hear at times), the story, dreadful.
His style and the content.
While I can appreciate the authors place in history, and this books place in history, because it is often considered one of the greatest works of all time, I expected more.
I am apparently not a fan of this style of delivering a story. If you are on a quest to read and enjoy the greatest works of literature (as judged by others) then you should obviously give this a fair chance; it's just not for everyone.
I've listened to 30+ books from Audible now and a few of them have needed a bit of persistence. I was keen to listen to Ulysses as I reasoned that I may be unlikely to finish the book in print if I attempted it.
It seems to me that the audiobook format is excellent for this incredible book. I can see why the book is rated so highly. The narrator is excellent and I found his characterisations worked very well. The pace was just right - quite hard to keep up but I don't think this is the book to read aloud slowly.
Did I understand everything? No. I had to review an online source at the end of each episode to keep up. But it is well worth it and I feel like I have experienced a very special piece of literature.
"Ulysses brought to life"
This is audio books at their absolute best. I'm only a quarter of the way through but this is completely captivating. The range of voices Jim Riordan can produce is amazing: it brings the characters to life and helps the listener keep track of what is obviously a difficult 'plot'. He also brings a range of tone to the characters, distinguishing speech and thoughts very helpfully. Perhaps not the best bed-time listening - a fatal combination of mellifluous accents and aimless ramblings that has me dozing off in minutes - but there the fault is entirely my own.
"Grant me, Lord, the courage and the joy / I need to scale the summit of this day”, wrote Jorge Luis Borges of "Ulysses" in one of his sonnets. Both are needed, courage and joy, since the most challenging works of literature should be enjoyable in their difficulty. When it comes to Joyce’s great work, a colossus among the colossals, it’s quite impossible to write about the reading experience succintly, to the point, and well. I’m trying, though.
I like reading "Ulysses", but equally I love listening to it. There is something about Joyce’s language and his way of expressing things that lends beautifully to performance. His words float, soar and swerve, and I think we are incredibly lucky to have an audiobook of the work that is without equal. Narrated by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, it is an unabridged recording (27 hours and 21 minutes) that has not only been expertly read, it’s actually recorded and mixed wonderfully, and it’s amongst the best audiobooks I’ve ever encountered. This is a monumental achievement in audiobook recording that cuts no corners, takes all the time it needs in the right places, and uses technology and vision to create an unforgettable listening experience.
One of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to.
"A book for grown-up people"
Jim Norton's performance is the greatest triumph of reading-aloud that I ever expect to hear.
Looking at some of the earlier negative reviews, I feel like inviting these people to grow up a little. It is the rhetoric of the playground to dismiss something as rubbish merely because you yourself do not appreciate it.
"Well worth the effort!"
The audio version makes this complex, many layered novel accessible and enjoyable.
This is incomparable to any book I have read to date.
The ability ot the narator to create different voices, accents and sounds was brilliant.
This book needs concentrated time to absorb, but I was always delighted to return to it and did so again and again and got more out of each reading.
I was surprised with how much enjoyed this book. Even after 3 readings, I feel there is still a rich vein to be excavated so I know I will return for more.
"Perfect rendering of a towering masterpiece"
This reading opened this wonderful, wonderful book to me. I, Seán Holden, have started what's always been called a hard read several times. Jim Norton has led me effortlessly through Bloom's journey. The depth of Joyce's understanding of language, mind and body is as profound as Shakespeare's and as beautiful. And he is funny and and he is learned. Having done the 27 hours I'm going to start all over again. Jim Norton's own understanding of the narrative and the distinctive presentation of the vast swirl of characters is perfection. It sounds just as I imagine it swooshing out of Joyce's head. The last chapter, read by Marcella Riordan, is a joy of pure eroticism with her enticingly beautiful voice taking us intimately inside Molly in every way. This is the best audio book performance I have ever heard. It gives us with ease the book we should all have.
"I have done it; with a little help"
I listened and read on Kindle at the same time. If It was under my own steam I would never have made it. The combination worked well for me and is highly recommended.
This is an important book and to gain access to it to observe the way Joyce turns words over in his hands and plays with the form of language is awesome.
I can see me repeating this over the years.
There were some dull and inaccessible episodes in the middle (memorable for the wrong reasons) but overall the pictures that Joyce paints of life in Dublin are what stand out. The various interactions as the day goes on are deep, comedic and give a good insight to the life of the time.
What a fantastic performance. If you need a sense of his artistry read a section out aloud to someone and then play Norton's performance of the same passage. What skill!
The numerous accents and various pace of reading are just brilliant.
I also loved Marcella Riordan's contribution at the end of the book; very philosophical, sad and sensual at the same time.
No Far too long for one sitting
This has to be the best way to access this classic. Highly recommended
"Don't think you can do anything while listening"
The story demands your full attention as you borrow the characters thoughts and feelings. I did try to listen to it while walking, but found that there is no room to be distracted. Having said that it is a rich experience that matches visual media.
Make sure you have time to give listening your full attention, and you will be rewarded.
This is beautifully read. Stunning. When I bought this I was reading 'Dubliners' and now find myself reading that with the narrators voice. It is a work of genius, bringing Joyce's multilayered masterpiece to life.
Only buy if you have staying power, though the lyrical, poetic prose is a thing of beauty in it self.
The beauty and lyricism, scope and style is undeniable, Norton's voice is somewhat irritating, too insistent, would prefer a more melodic voice. The text sags in places, Joyce's achievement is marred by the text being 'overstuffed' with detail, this great work needed pruning imho
Report Inappropriate Content