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Modern Classics Dubliners [Paperback]

James Joyce
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2000 0141182458 978-0141182452
James Joyce's "Dubliners" is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. This "Penguin Classics" edition includes notes and an introduction by Terence Brown. Joyce's first major work, written when he was only twenty-five, brought his city to the world for the first time. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From "The Sisters", a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to "Araby", a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to "The Dead", in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience. James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake". He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness. If you enjoyed "Dubliners", you might like Joyce's "Ulysses", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Joyce redeems his "Dubliners", assures their identity, and makes their social existence appear permanent and immortal, like the streets they walk". (Tom Paulin). "Joyce's early short stories remain undimmed in their brilliance". ("Sunday Times").

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Frank and Malachy McCourt and 13 Irish actors bring Joyce's short stories to life in this well-produced audiobook. None of the readers employ a thick accent in the narrative portions, but for dialogue they let their imitative talents shine and their Irish lilts bloom. Brendan Coyle and Charles Keating, reading "A Little Cloud" and "Grace" respectively, give such wonderful expression to the idiosyncrasies of every individual voice that the listener is never confused even when numerous men are talking. Joyce wrote only sparingly in actual dialect, but most of the readers interpret his intentions freely and successfully. Fionnula Flanagan is perfect reading "A Mother," her voice shifting easily between prim and proper tones and fiery indignation punctuated with little sighs. It helps that Joyce's writing is so masterful that when Flanagan and the two other actresses read the three stories that revolve around women, their words sound utterly natural. Not all the performances are on the same level—Stephen Rea's cold, somber voice is apt for the meditative beginning and ending sections of the collection's most famous story, "The Dead," but too flat for the central description of a lively party. This audiobook creates the atmosphere of a fireside storytelling session that will hold any listener in rapt attention. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

Joyce's classic has been recorded before, of course, but in this new version, each of the 15 stories will be read by a different person, including writers Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt, and Patrick McCabe, and actors Ciaran Hinds and Colm Meaney.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich book July 29 2005
Format:Paperback
This is the second James Joyce book I have read and it goes to reinforce the feeling I had after reading the first that that writer is a great storyteller. In fact, I consider
James Joyce's Dubliners as one of the best collection of short stories ever put together. The settings are amazing and the rich and lively characters all combine with the incredible plots to add credence to the stories. Not only are they true to life in fitting with the atmosphere that one finds in Dublin, the stories are also hilarious, subtle, and inspirational and gripping. The pace of the stories is fast and the voices are rich. This is a highly recommended read along with UNION MOUJIK, FINNEGANS WAKE, THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES,ICE ROAD, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By AP
Format:Paperback
The title of my review comes from the last paragraph of "The Dead," already mentioned by previous critics as one of the great short stories of English literature. In a way, this line reflects Joyce's collection as a whole: much in the way a newspaper collects concise, level-headed, yet crisp glimpses into the times of a people, his book has tried to achieve a similar feat. 'Dubliners' aims for objectivity that differs slightly from journalism. Quite similar to Hemingway's scientific approach to writing, Joyce has tried to establish an objective approach to fiction that provides minimal judgment of the content, while maximizing the efficacy of its characters, images, and stories.

With the Modernists, literature begins to shift away from the hoity-toity implied authors so popular in the Victorian Era. (Dickens is most famous for this, though I think the words "hoity-toity" are ironic according to his intentions, but right-on in terms of his prose style.) T.S. Eliot was infamous for saying that a writer must banish himself from what he writes. One question I always have is this: can that actually happen? Surely, the very act of writing, where details are selected, ordered, and described has to accord with someone's vision. Perhaps the implied author that readers can picture so clearly from the Victorian Era instead becomes a "ghost author"--or, as Joyce so eloquently puts it in 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man": "The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent paring his fingernails." This makes the act of composition one of inevitable consumption, both by the editing process and the reading process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners Dec 12 2003
By HORAK
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Short Stories
James Joyce's short stories render turn of the century Dublin and Dubliners for readers who want to ease into the work of the guy who wrote Ulysses. Read more
Published 14 months ago by J. A. I.
5.0 out of 5 stars "A long mournful whistle into the mist"
Although James Joyce lived outside of his native Ireland for most of his life, his work is as Irish as peat smoke. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2008 by Linda Bulger
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Storyteller
James Joyce's Dubliners is one of the best collection of short stories ever penned. The characters are memorable, the plots are subtle, gripping and frequently ironic, the... Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by David James Trapp
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
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 Huddled by the fire
James Joyce sketches in a few deft words, the lives of characters who inhabit the homes in Dublin a hundred years ago. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into Dublin circa 1904
I am not a fan of James Joyce but how can you not read this collection of short stories about ordinary everyday people living in Dublin circa 1904. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by girldiver
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
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