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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 (889 )
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3.6 (581 )
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4.1 (592 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amy Olathe, KS, United States 08-21-14
    Amy Olathe, KS, United States 08-21-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "27 hours of misery"

    This book may have been shocking or even relevant when it was originally published. However, it is no longer neither now. It is a complete bore.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 08-09-14
    sam shreveport, louisiana, United States 08-09-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Uh...It Was An Experiance"

    I'll be honest, this is by no means light reading, and I went into this seeking something that would challenge my mind. I appreciated Joyce's depiction of life in early 20th century Ireland and how he showed it completely rounded and even focused on less mentioned aspects such as the general anti-semetism. It is also clear that Joyce was quick the literary ventriloquist, and clearly never met a writing style he never liked. I also liked Simon Bloom's internal monologues, and Buck Mulogan was a cheeky fellow

    Having said that, at times it felt more like the book was focused on being clever and doing literary tricks, and the plot and general experience of the novel suffered because of this. Actually, this was a recurring problem I had with this novel. I also feel I'd have better appreciated this novel is studied in a class rather than read on my own. Maybe I'd have a better appreciation rather than feeling it might be more than a little overhyped. I'd been on a literary kick, but after this book I dove back into the world of genre.

    Overall, it was...an, um, experience. If nothing else

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hoeilaart, Belgium 07-29-14
    David Hoeilaart, Belgium 07-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Clever but dull"

    Joyce is a very clever author. He has a mastery of the language that is at times very funny, and at times very engaging.

    On the other hand, he just doesn't know how to tell a story. There is no narative here, no suspense, no climax. It is just an account of a man's thoughts and trivial actions going through a day.

    Joyce badly needs an editor. I found myself looking to see how much longer I was going to have to suffer through a chapter.

    The reading, I have to say, was excellent, which is probably what made me stick with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sk3ptic Michigan 07-16-14
    Sk3ptic Michigan 07-16-14
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    "Production Ruins the Book"

    I've always wanted to read Ulysses, and I thought that this would be a great way to get the nuances of the language.

    While the narration seems great at first, someone, the narrator, the engineer or the producer, decided that it would be great for the performer to speak very quietly through the narration and then bellow the speaking parts. I listen in the car and the narrative parts are indecipherable without the volume turned nearly to max, and when the performer gets to a spoken part I have to quickly turn the volume down to avoid getting blasted out. When I realized that I was driving with my hand on the volume control I abandoned the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clay 06-20-14
    Clay 06-20-14
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    "Not well suited for audio"
    What would have made Ulysses better?

    From the reviews I've read of the work, much of what makes Ulysses a "masterpiece" is the characters' inner monologues. I'm guessing that is why this book is so confusing to listen to. It is impossible to tell when the character is interacting with another character and when he is thinking thoughts to himself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 05-10-14
    Tim 05-10-14
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    "Great experience"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ulysses to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily. I'm Irish so when reading the book I "get" all the meanings and nuance's.However, for anybody not lucky enough to be Irish Jim Norton makes the book accessible to all. This version is a great way to "read" this iconic book for the first time but I would strongly recommend reading it in the old-fashioned way afterwards.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed M. Shivers Scarsdale, NY, US 07-25-13
    Jed M. Shivers Scarsdale, NY, US 07-25-13 Member Since 2001
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    "Virtuoso performance story hard to follow"
    If you could sum up Ulysses in three words, what would they be?

    Funny Parodies Thoughts


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Anti climax


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Listening to Ulysses, if like me, you haven't taken the course that explains the book is more like listening to an Opera without orchestration than a book. It's more like music where you can figure out what is going on in snippets as he moves from one stylistic vehicle to another. It is very funny with terrific parodies that work just as well 100 years after it was written.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Seattle, WA, United States 07-12-13
    Eric Seattle, WA, United States 07-12-13
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    "Jim Norton brings Dublin to life"
    Would you listen to Ulysses again? Why?

    Yes, the performance by Jim Norton is masterful. He sings, he brings each character to life, he even does his own sound effects. This dense book is much more comprehensible in audiobook form than print. As much as I enjoyed reading the text years ago, listening to it now in this form is so much richer.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Leo Bloom, everyman.


    Have you listened to any of Jim Norton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, but I will now seek them out.


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

    -


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended for anyone who has always wanted to read this master work, especially for those who found the text too dense. This is more like a radio play.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Bethesda, MD, United States 07-08-13
    P Bethesda, MD, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Very good if you've read the book before"
    Would you listen to Ulysses again? Why?

    Maybe in the distant future. It's too long for a lark.


    What other book might you compare Ulysses to and why?

    Maybe Pynchon.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Wandering Rocks, Cyclops, and Oxen cane through particularly well read aloud.


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

    Not likely.


    Any additional comments?

    This recording reminded me of just what a feat Joyce pulled off with the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mónica buenos aires, Argentina 11-06-12
    mónica buenos aires, Argentina 11-06-12 Member Since 2012
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    "excellent companion to an extraordinary reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ulysses to be better than the print version?

    It could never be better because Ulysses is a masterpiece of writing but it truly benefits the undestanding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked all the characters due to their particular qualities, but as I have to choose I pick L. Bloom because he could really be a man you met any time. And regarding Molly, I am sure I heard women saying the words in her monologue.


    What does Jim Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings the story to life. You feel that every moment is a true moment.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Perhaps Nausicaa.


    Any additional comments?

    I am very glad I chose this new experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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