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Ulysses Audiobook

Ulysses [Audiobook]

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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 (1105 )
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3.7 (771 )
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4.1 (788 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Keenan Anchorage Alaska 07-29-15
    Keenan Anchorage Alaska 07-29-15 Member Since 2014

    Keenan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "James Joyce was the master of internal monologue"
    What did you like best about Ulysses? What did you like least?

    The internal monologue was masterful.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Edited it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's one long scene, how can you tell.


    Could you see Ulysses being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Lord no.


    Any additional comments?

    Did he get paid by the word?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 06-16-15
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 06-16-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant Reading"

    Taking on the book visually can be a challenge. Voice artists clarify. It's awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Paulina 06-12-15 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    665
    7
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    0
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    "Not for me"
    Would you try another book from James Joyce and/or Jim Norton?

    Not sure. Jim Norton was great but I just couldn't get through this.


    Any additional comments?

    I really tried with this book - twice. I found it tedious to listen to as there is really no "plot" just rambling thoughts and everyday actions. I'm sure it was all leading somewhere but I have no idea where and worse ... I didn't care. I've listened to several hundred books - Ive been an audible member for a long time and this was the first book I didn't finish. Maybe I'll try again another time and the third time will be a charm. I gave it three stars because I know it's a classic and seemed unfair to rate lower without finishing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Albright Houston, TX United States 06-10-15
    Rob Albright Houston, TX United States 06-10-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    11
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    "Amazing, but somewhat difficult to follow at times."

    Amazing grasp of the English language. Definitely not an easy work to read, but worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerard M. Molyneaux 05-17-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Magnificently written by Joyce, magnificently read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The one essential book of the twentieth century read by one of the best Irish stage actors.


    What other book might you compare Ulysses to and why?

    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.


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

    Buck Mulligan because every college English major has had the pleasure of a Buck Mulligan type on tap with a fine head of booze.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A day like no other so filled with the sensuous delight of intimate immediacy.


    Any additional comments?

    A heartfelt humorous exposure of humankind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas W. 04-13-15
    Nicholas W. 04-13-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    27
    3
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    "A great performance of a overrated work"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Middleton 01-30-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A most admired classic admirably performed"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jarmen 01-26-15
    Jarmen 01-26-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    94
    3
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    "read the book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 10-19-14
    Robin 10-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    297
    ratings
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    226
    169
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    "Don't worry about understanding - just listen!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Curry 10-12-14
    Sean Curry 10-12-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    9
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    Story
    "Simple Great"
    What did you love best about Ulysses?

    Beautifully written, wonderfully read. A treasure.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, needs to be absorbed over time.


    Any additional comments?

    Strongly recommend Frank Delaney's re:Joyce podcast, wherein he deconstructs Ulysses in a most interesting and entertaining fashion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Richard
    Fairlight, United Kingdom
    4/2/12
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    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.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • AK
    3/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Monumental Achievement"

    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    LONDONUnited Kingdom
    10/29/08
    Overall
    "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.

    28 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • common reader
    UK
    2/25/11
    Overall
    "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.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • SEAN HOLDEN
    England
    6/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect rendering of a towering masterpiece"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • S. W. Holdings
    St Martin
    11/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Forget about multitasking"

    I really wanted to read/listen to this book. Declared by many to be one of the most important novels ever written, it was sort of my personal ambition to read it.
    Unfortunately, this book requires your full attention and as someone else observed, even listening to it while walking is too distracting to follow Joyce's thick narrative, turn gibberish.
    He lost me, couple of hours into the story so entangled and impermeable, that in moments I didn't understand what I am listening to.

    Perhaps I will go back to it, when I am so grown up, I have absolutely nothing else to do, than submerge myself to every word of this story.
    For now, I will keep listening to books that are written for pleasure, rather than for mental work out.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Harold's Cross, Ireland
    6/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth the effort!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ulysses to be better than the print version?

    The audio version makes this complex, many layered novel accessible and enjoyable.


    What other book might you compare Ulysses to, and why?

    This is incomparable to any book I have read to date.


    What about Jim Norton’s performance did you like?

    The ability ot the narator to create different voices, accents and sounds was brilliant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Michael Champion
    Nottinghamsshire UK
    9/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I have done it; with a little help"
    What did you like most about Ulysses?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ulysses?

    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 about Jim Norton’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No Far too long for one sitting


    Any additional comments?

    This has to be the best way to access this classic. Highly recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • N Cowan
    Great Yarmouth, norfolk
    4/11/13
    Overall
    "Argh!"

    I'm studying Joyce as part of my degree. I find his short stories engaging, thought provoking and very interesting. I find Ulysses impermiable, impregnable and impossible to get into. Jim Norton does a great job, but the book itself is a pain in the backside. I would recommend only trying this if you have a long summer of sitting in the conservatory concentrating on everything within the book. Joyce is so dense in writing style that any little detail missed can leave you wondering what everyone's talking about. I found any activity - washing dishes, cycling, even walking could lead to minor distractions which would cause me to lose my train of thought.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Darren - UK
    2/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly incomprehensible."

    I bought this book as I had heard that it was the greatest novel ever written. But I found this to be an extremely difficult book to get to grips with. I thought I had a very good grasp of English literature, but most of this went over my head I seriously think you need an English degree to understand what going on here.



    The narration and audio quality are both good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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