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)
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
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.
The best book read in the worst way. Narrator reads too fast and not clearly. Lots of mumbling. Goes from almost whisper to shouting. Other characters also read too fast and not clearly. Its a difficult book as it is and this version makes it even more difficult to digest
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.
Beautifully written, wonderfully read. A treasure.
No, needs to be absorbed over time.
Strongly recommend Frank Delaney's re:Joyce podcast, wherein he deconstructs Ulysses in a most interesting and entertaining fashion.
Ulysses is not a simple read - especially without annotations. This audio version absolutely makes the text more accessible - and is a Herculean achievement by all involved - not the least Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan who deserve an OBE each (or something) for reading it out loud with such seeming ease.
The audio is terrible. It's a disgrace. Screaming loud on the dialogue, a tiny whisper on the narration. I finally gave up turning the volume up and down. I have no idea who mixed this, but it's not artful or creative when your audience cannot hear the product. Don't buy this until they fix the audio. I want my money back.
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.
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
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.
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