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Ulysses | [James Joyce]

Ulysses

Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.
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Publisher's Summary

Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

(P)2004 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Classics, 2005

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (893 )
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3.6 (585 )
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4.1 (596 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Nahant, MA, United States 02-22-12
    Christopher Nahant, MA, United States 02-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I can't do it"

    I can't do it. I downloaded this book because it's on all of the Greatest Books of All Time lists. It's too difficult to listen to, although the performance is very good. It's too disjointed and hard to follow unless you're in a quiet room all alone with Cliffsnotes by your side.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip San Rafael, CA, USA 03-12-10
    Phillip San Rafael, CA, USA 03-12-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Music to the ears"

    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.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-11-08
    11-11-08 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ulysses"

    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.
    Very enjoyable.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sallyspal 07-08-14
    Sallyspal 07-08-14 Member Since 2012

    Linda

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I've read much better classics"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing, Jim Norton did a fine job.


    Would you ever listen to anything by James Joyce again?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Norton – was your favorite?

    None


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment-
    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonnie 02-12-14
    bonnie 02-12-14

    DaWomz

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    "tedious if brilliant"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-09-13
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Scientist, artisan, anachronism

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "there is no better book on audible"


    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

    -m

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZOLTAN London, United Kingdom 11-10-12
    ZOLTAN London, United Kingdom 11-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only if you're sitting in solitude and boredom!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Perhaps an absolute literacy or James Joyce fan? Someone lying in bed with lots of spare time and long uninterrupted attention spans?


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    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".


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Too fast paced and monotonous.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and exhaustion.


    Any additional comments?

    Unless you know what you're getting into with this book, exhaust the rest of your list first!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Mexico D.F., Mexico 12-21-11
    Maria Mexico D.F., Mexico 12-21-11 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader (and listener) of great (and other) books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "very difficult to follow"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jim Norton’s performances?

    no


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Z. Hill West Orange, NJ USA 09-15-11
    H. Z. Hill West Orange, NJ USA 09-15-11 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This was too much for me"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul L. Kamphaus 09-19-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Over 27 hours of drivel."
    What would have made Ulysses better?

    It needed to have some body. There is no point to the story. It needs some entertainment, educational or recreational value. The narrator did an excellent job. That's the only good thing about the book and the only reason I listened from the beginning to the end.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The Winds of War


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can pick no favorite from a list of no value scenes.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Total disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the worst by far of the over 100 audible books I have listened to over the last several years. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It's a 27 hour waste of your time.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 93 results PREVIOUS123410NEXT
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  • James
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Read by Bishop Len Brennan"

    Very nice to hear Bishop Len Brennan from Father Ted read Ulysses. Worth a punt.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amin Amouhadi
    South Africa
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Unfulfilled"

    I couldn't follow the audiobook but I believe it wasn't the audiobook's problem and it was due to the difficulty of the Ulysses. The techniques that Joyce uses in his masterpiece make is a difficult "story" if one just wants to listen to or to read a story. Ulysses is a kind of book that must be read with a lot of pauses and contemplation. if you are willing to hear it so, you could use the audiobook. otherwise my suggestion is to read the book in your sanctuary and then after grasping it try to listen to the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Luton Beds, United Kingdom
    12/22/12
    Overall
    "Timeless"

    Well read and a total pleasure. If you want to hear one of the greatest classics of the 20th Century - look no further. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dan Bowen
    Sydney
    1/31/12
    Overall
    "Unabridged too far ..."

    I had to give up on this after a bit over a quarter the way through (something I rarely do), it just requires too much concentration to keep up with and I don't think it suits the audiobook format. You need to be a bit of a scholar as well; large passages are in Latin, Italian etc. and there are many many references to history/literature which if you are not well versed in take away the enjoyment. The reader is excellent though and I would be tempted to have a go (though it won't be for a good few years) in traditional print.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    CHELTENHAM, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "A fantastic way to experience Ulysses"

    This is a wonderful recording. Jim Norton is a wonderfully accomplished narrator: every character is instantly recognisable simply through such individualised characterisation. Ulysses is not an easy book. Neither is it a book that I thought would lend itself to narration (because of Joyce's parodies of certain forms - such as newspapers). However, this recording is fantastic. It has made me understand the drama of the book much more than before.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Middle Tysoe, United Kingdom
    1/17/13
    Overall
    "Less than useless - don't waste your money"

    No chapter breaks - just 4 tracks of about 6 hours each. (yes, really !)

    and won't play in my car because the files are in a proprietary format.

    Absolutely useless to me.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Naomi
    EPPINGUnited Kingdom
    4/11/11
    Overall
    "Say that again?!"

    I was very disappointed with this purchase because I had to stop after ninety minutes because there were too many patches of audio I couldn't understand. I don't think this is to do with his accents, I have never experienced difficulties understanding these accents in the past, I just think parts of his reading were way too fast and too much language was incomprehensible to be enjoyable. Let down to say the least.

    Review by an avid and regular listener of audio classics.

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    harpenden, United Kingdom
    10/28/10
    Overall
    "slow down"

    though it's hard to criticise such an undertaking, this audio is inaudible, as if the reader is in a race to finish as soon as possible

    1 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Niall
    Longniddry, East Lothian, United Kingdom
    7/25/09
    Overall
    "Slow, boring, incomprehensible rubbish"

    Those who purport to believe that this is the height of "modern" literature are deluding themselves.
    This is a waste of time and money.

    2 of 45 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-29 of 29 results PREVIOUS123NEXT

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