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I have read the Dubliners before and loved them, so I thought it would be fun to listen to them. The stories do not translate that well to an audio format. The stories are difficult to follow when read aloud, and the narration did not help at all. The reading is not done by professional audio book readers, and it makes such a difference. I had such a hard time, especially with some of the narrators as each story has a different narrator. It was especially difficult when there was dialogue because most of the narrators did not even really attempt distinct voices. I would definitely recommend reading these lovely stories; just avoid the audio book version.
Joyce's stories are more like intense slices of life than traditional stories. The writing is, of course, masterful and the audio readings were the highest professional level. However, I found many of the stories themselves somewhat heavy, serious, and depressing.
I approached Joyce's 'Dubliners' with some trepidation, having struggled with my father's ancient, hard back edition; ultimately giving up in frustration at not 'getting it'. This audio version, however, is spellbinding. The narrators voices, with their gently Irish lilt bring out the nuance and meaning to every story, hitting just the right pitch for both the humour and the pathos of these simple, yet astonishingly complex tales. The characters sing in your head and it's hard to get rid of them. Poverty, pretension, humour and pathos mixed with wry, social commentatory and unforgetable honesty. At last I 'get' Joyce. Wonderful stuff.
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