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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.

(P)2004 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    621
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    181
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    146
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    183
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    100
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    47
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    76

Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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Too hard to follow

What disappointed you about Ulysses?

This book is obviously well-written, but it is way to hard to follow in audio format. I couldn't keep track of what was actually going on. Very disappointed.

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Amazing

I have tried to read this book many times through the years but never got much past the first two chapters. I couldn't have done it without the excellent narration. The last chapter is absolutely mesmerizing. I will probably read and listen to this again but now I need something a little different. I know why this book is considered by many as the greatest novel ever written. You could probably spend years studying this book but I would suggest to anyone giving it a try the first time to just listen to the great narration and the sound of the words themselves.

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Over My Head

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

For English Majors who want to know more about experimental writings. I had to read Cliff Notes to understand what was going on!

Would you ever listen to anything by James Joyce again?

Probably not.

What about Jim Norton’s performance did you like?

Great character voices - my only clue to what was transpiring.

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The definitive Ulysses

I'm one of those acolytes who reads Ulysses over and over again. I choice to make my fifth reading this audio recording so I could hear the words in a new way. This audiobook may replace my beloved paperback with all its scribbled marginalia. The performance is breathless and rich with all of Joyce's wordplay, never missing a mark. I listen to all audiobooks a bit faster or else I get sick of the plodding pace, and this I liked at 1.25. Except for Molly's soliloquy, which I took at the given speed, because it deserves that much. Fabulous choice to use two voices, a man and a woman's - better choice still to only use the woman's voice for Molly, and let the other women be read by the man. The effect, I think, is a wonderful one in the context of the novel, where Molly is such an important voice, apart from Gerty and the other women of Dublin. I have no idea if this is a good introduction to Ulysses, but for someone who'd like to hear Joyce's words - and they must be heard - this is a fantastic option. The interstitial music is a nice context given how much music plays into the novel, and I was transfixed by the performance of Love's Old Sweet Song, and would love to listen to it on its own, pregnant as it is with meaning from Joyce's work, where it's the gift of a son to his dying mother, and a mother to her dead son.

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Brilliant Narration

Brilliant narration by Jim Norton, finally making sense of the dense text. The characters come alive with Norton's variety of voices and spoken rhythm.

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Brilliant

Reading of this difficult brilliant book is brilliantly performed. Making thoughts, characters, fragments and songs come alive is no easy task, but it has been, let me say, brilliantly executed.

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Buy a hobo booze.... and get the same ramblings

What would have made Ulysses better?

To set the mood..... downtown San Diego, CA, circa 1993, fresh out of boot camp and I explore the area. There are no bums in my hometown of 212 people, and yet years later, this book brings the ramblings of the homeless back to MN. Why this is a classic, is beyond me.

Would you ever listen to anything by James Joyce again?

No, I am not impressed

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

NO, but anyone who can make heads or tales of this book is very talented

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

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Took me years

I quit the book multiple times because I just couldn't make heads or tails of it. I finally just forced myself to press through. I never did really figure out any underlying meaning but there were certainly masterful passages throughout.

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Fantastic reading of Ulysses

What an excellent reading of Joyce's classic text. The variety and accuracy of Dublin accents is none other than brilliant; the final monologue by Molly simply stunning.

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Fantastic performance

I loved listening to this book. I have read it once on the page, studied it. Listening was just brilliant. It feels like how the work ought to be experienced. And I do lot know how the reader/performer pulled off such a demanding performance. A feat! A great artist himself.