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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • By: James Joyce
  • Narrated by: Colin Farrell
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (1,670 ratings)

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

By: James Joyce
Narrated by: Colin Farrell
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Publisher's summary

Golden Globe winning actor and Dublin native Colin Farrell revisits his home country with a moving, authentic performance of one of Irish icon James Joyce’s masterworks, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The quintessential coming-of-age story follows Stephen Dedalus as he matures in an era marked by budding Irish nationalism and intensely conservative Catholicism. From infancy to adulthood, Stephen struggles to find his place, flitting between periods of guilt-ridden fanatical religious obsession and hedonistic exploration. But even as he is pulled in every direction by family, flesh, faith, and nation, Stephen longs for something seemingly forbidden–the life of an artist.

Joyce’s first work to experiment with stream of consciousness style—a technique that he and his contemporaries developed—A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man evokes both the pains and complexities of growing up and the furious optimism that accompanies youth. Pulling from events from his own past, Joyce weaves a semi-autobiographical recount of life in nineteenth century Ireland, crafting a narrative that is at once tender and sharply satirical. When combined with Farrell’s gentle brogue, Joyce’s tale soars, as much a portrait of the artist as it is a portrait of Ireland itself.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Go Behind the Scenes with Colin Farrell

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Publisher's summary

Golden Globe winning actor and Dublin native Colin Farrell revisits his home country with a moving, authentic performance of one of Irish icon James Joyce’s masterworks, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The quintessential coming-of-age story follows Stephen Dedalus as he matures in an era marked by budding Irish nationalism and intensely conservative Catholicism. From infancy to adulthood, Stephen struggles to find his place, flitting between periods of guilt-ridden fanatical religious obsession and hedonistic exploration. But even as he is pulled in every direction by family, flesh, faith, and nation, Stephen longs for something seemingly forbidden–the life of an artist.

Joyce’s first work to experiment with stream of consciousness style—a technique that he and his contemporaries developed—A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man evokes both the pains and complexities of growing up and the furious optimism that accompanies youth. Pulling from events from his own past, Joyce weaves a semi-autobiographical recount of life in nineteenth century Ireland, crafting a narrative that is at once tender and sharply satirical. When combined with Farrell’s gentle brogue, Joyce’s tale soars, as much a portrait of the artist as it is a portrait of Ireland itself.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Inc.
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Our favorite moments from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Only God could do that
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Athy tells Stephen a riddle
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A Dedalus Christmas dinner debate
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A poet? He’s only a rhymester!
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Stephen reflects on the Virgin Mary
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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Only God could do that
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Athy tells Stephen a riddle
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • A Dedalus Christmas dinner debate
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • A poet? He’s only a rhymester!
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Stephen reflects on the Virgin Mary

About the Performer

Born and raised in Castleknock, Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, actor Colin Farrell began his schooling at the Gaiety School of Acting—but before he even completed his studies, he’d already landed starring roles in the miniseries Falling for a Dancer and the beloved BBC drama Ballykissangel. In 1999, Farrell made his film debut, in Tim Roth’s The War Zone. Shortly thereafter, his career took off, boasting early credits on films including Tigerland, Phone Booth, Minority Report, Daredevil, and Alexander. But it was his 2008 performance as troubled hitman Ray in Martin McDonough’s black comedy In Bruges that first brought him award season acclaim including a Golden Globe for Best Actor. After that incredible success, Farrell went on to star in Seven Psychopaths, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Saving Mr. Banks, Total Recall, Fright Night, Horrible Bosses, and The Lobster—the latter of which earned him nominations for Best Actor at the 2017 Golden Globes, 2015 British Independent Film Awards, and the 2015 European Film Awards. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he continues to hone his craft.

About the Author

One of the most inventive, influential, and important authors of the 20th Century, James Joyce left an indelible mark on literary tradition with a staggering canon of novels, short stories, and poems that span genres and decades. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland as the eldest of ten children in an impoverished and unstable household, Joyce spent his childhood engulfed in the works of Dante, Aristotle, and Aquinas. By 22, he had published his first short story and was working diligently on producing longer works while toiling part-time as an English teacher to support his family. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled Dubliners, was published in 1914 followed shortly thereafter by the semi-autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. But it was his 1922 landmark novel Ulysses, a feat of modernist literature, that earned Joyce tremendous fame. A highly experimental, deftly structured novel ripe with humor and rich characterization, the novel is one of the most hotly discussed literary works in the world. By his death in 1941, Joyce had already long cemented himself as what he is recognized as today—a legendary author whose mastery of language is matched only by his earnest portrayal of humanity.