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Dubliners [Paperback]

James Joyce
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 1991 0486268705 978-0486268705 New edition
Declared by their author to be a chapter in the moral history of Ireland, this collection of 15 tales offers vivid, tightly focused observations of the lives of Dublin's poorer classes. A fine and accessible introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential writers, it includes a masterpiece of the short-story genre, "The Dead."

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Dubliners + Ulysses + A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
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About the Author

Sooner or later, most undergraduates encounter him, and some scholars devote their careers to his exuberantly eloquent prose. James Joyce (1882-1941) led the vanguard of 20th-century fiction, and his experimental use of language and stream-of-consciousness technique continue to captivate, intrigue, and influence modern readers and writers.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners Dec 12 2003
Joyce's book depicts episodes of middle-class Catholic life in Dublin at the beginning of last century; "Dubliners" was first published in 1914. The topics related in the opening stories range from the disappointments of childhood, the frustrations of adolescence and the importance of sexual awakening. Joyce was 25 when he wrote this miscellaneous collection of short stories, among which "The Dead" is probably the most famous. Considered at the time as a literary experiment, they are refreshingly original and astonishing ant the beginning of this century as they were at the beginning of last century!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exile in Loveville Dec 5 2003
Exile is Joyce's major theme in both Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners. In the former, it was self-induced exile, an imperative coming of age story. In Dubliners, the exile is moral and psychological. Each character in these stories linger on the crest of transcendence-- all of them wanting more, but too tired, scared, and resigned to do anything about it. While this may seem cynical and drab, Joyce's love for the human spirit resonates deeply with each described gesture, however sad they may be.
'An Encounter' follows a boy on the beach, having cut a day of school with his brutish friend, who meets an old man and is in turn humiliated by what he witnesses, only to retreat back to his friend, who he secretly despises. In 'Araby' a young boy begs to go to a fair in order to buy a trinket for a girl he is smitten for, and having arrived minutes too late, cannot bring himself to it when he is met by an apathetic saleslady. 'A Painful Case' is about a lonely man who, self-deluded that he is content, rejects his lover after an ephemeral tryst. He continues to bear the isolation, though the outcome for the distraught woman is much more tragic. The last story, 'The Dead', is of a husband who, after a funeral procession, is awakened to his own mortality and the transience of life, and rekindles in his heart a flame for his wife, only to discover she is distracted by her own thoughts of another man.
Joyce is not merely interested in sad stories. When the story ends, the love each character had continues onward after the page is turned. These stories mirror common failures of our own lives and give meaning to them, as if our own stories, however menial and benign, are worth being told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars under my expectations Aug. 11 2003
By A Customer
I was expecting a little more from this work. A few stories I just did not understand the point, they just never reached any climax. On the other hand, even the weakest items still put me in the scene and captured an atmoshphere which most short fiction collections cant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Earthquake March 26 2001
Like in a gloomy church filled with a misty and humid atmosphere, you quietly look for heavenly light to lead your path. As you search for the light switch, feelings of uneasiness and discomfort fill your heart. With fear in every joint of your body, you nervously feel the whole universe will collapse in just a few moments. While feeling your way through the squeezing darkness, the ground starts to tremble from underneath your undecided feet. Earthquake! Yelling and screaming for your life, no one is around. As the shaky church tumbles to the ground, you hope to hold on anything with foundation to save you from going down. Lying six feet in the ground, your only hope is Superman. You continue to struggle with hope of one day finding that light switch. This little story is the feeling I got while reading The Dubliners. The tonality of the book was very depressing throughout. Joyce does a splendid job of letting the reader know the Dubliners and their way of life. Alcohol was excellent in portraying the tranquility of the people and their suppressed lives. Joyce also used a variety of experiences to clearly display the negative tone and outlook on life by the Dubliners. As to the hope of one day finding that light switch, Joyce always gives hope to the reader with his beautiful usage of the English language. And I am not afraid of saying beautiful in describing Joyce's artistic usage of words. For me, he literally paints in the mind a picture of his stories. Joyce's masterpiece of words was the light, hope, and Superman of The Dubliners. The flowery descriptions are what kept me reading. All in all, I thought the book was a fine piece of work that teaches great lessons on real life. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life, People, and James Joyce March 22 2001
Life is a system of interactions: interactions with school, work, church, and essential to all of these are interactions with people. Humans are unique in that they are intensely individualistic yet in their last days they take a more communal perspective and define the success of their lives based on the relationships they had with others. Some understand this long before those last days, and because they know that relationships make a life what it is, they try to understand people. While actually getting out and meeting with people is the best way to learn about them, there is a saying that states something to the effect of "learning from others without making the same mistakes that they did" is another good way to learn. Now, I am not sure what mistakes James Joyce may have made in his life, but from his novel, Dubliners, I can tell that he was an avid observer of people and is worth lending an ear to. His words are capturing and tell the story of humanity at its most base and intimate level. Though I may interact with people everyday, and want more of this interaction in order to feel more alive, when I read Dubliners, I felt more human and more united with the persona around me than I ever had before. Joyce is a master of the English language, but if one looks only at his entertaining and piercing rhetoric, one is missing the point. Of course, Joyce's words compliment his work, but I think the real secret behind his success is his knowledge of human nature. In my opinion, Joyce lived a full life. From his writings it was evident that he knew people. He could read their every move, their questioning eyes, or even the organization of their rooms and make a story of it. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright
Not bad. I really like the writing style/imagery on the micro level. But only one or two of the stories were compelling to me on the macro/big picture level.
Published on Oct. 15 2011 by Mark Nenadov
3.0 out of 5 stars snapshots of life in Dublin
I have to admit that I didn't read all the stories(I did it for school as a HS junior, they didn't require reading all of them) and it's not the most exciting book. Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by fraulein
5.0 out of 5 stars Dublin as the center of the world
Despite being written almost a hundred years ago, James Joyce's 'Dubliners' is still as fresh as when it was released. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by A. T. A. Oliveira
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
When I first started it, honestly, I couldn't stand it. Only until I was able to discuss it with some very learned people was i able to understand in a way that made sense. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2004 by "chezewizrd"
1.0 out of 5 stars No one should read Dubliners
This book is so full of crap. It's awful. If you really wanna read it, set aside 15 hours of your time for each story! Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars dear dirty Dublin
As a young man, James Joyce abandoned his hometown of Dublin, and yet, he never wrote about any other place. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by Rocco Dormarunno
4.0 out of 5 stars Imminently readable
Many people, associating Joyce with Ulysses and dense, difficult writing, avoid his other works as well. That's a mistake. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2003 by Peggy Vincent
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant
This is a beautiful, fantastic collection of stories which offer an accessible and beautiful taste of Joyce's genius and the pathos of the inhabitants of his Ireland. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2003 by Carper
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest and most influential collections
Though now more famous for his later, immense, incredibly ambitious novels, James Joyce's early collection of short stories remains a classic - and for good reason. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2002 by Bill R. Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars From Imprisonment to Independence
As each of us progresses through life, we all must develop our character through the experiences we have. Read more
Published on March 19 2002 by Janet Witcher
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