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Ulysses [Paperback]

James Joyce
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative Genius Unbound. June 9 2004
We're approaching the 100th anniversary of the action in Ulysses and I've taken my copy out and began to reread it. No other book I know of has more power to inspire or instill creative thought. His symbolism and skill is simply astounding. Anthony Burgess once said that many times he'd think of Ulysses and then think about his own work, "Why bother?" I know what he meant, but the power of the characters and style gives everday writers like myself something to strive for. This book is worth more than ten creative writing courses in the Ivy League. Even if I wanted to, I could never forget it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars --Introibo ad altare Dei July 19 2004
I wrote this review previously w/ my other Amazon account but now that I changed email addresses, I'm going to publish this review in this account
Ulysses is considered by me to be the greatest book ever written. Now the following review is just the very basic storyline, in order to even begin to fathom the magnitude of it's magnificence, you need to read the other reviews and so here it is. It describes in florid detail a single day in the life of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly and Stephen Dedalus, a young would-be-writer -- a character based on Joyce himself. Bloom, a Jewish advertising salesman, spends the day wandering through the streets and offices, pubs and brothels of 1904 Dublin
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but difficult book March 13 2006
If you’re looking for a modern page-turner, a la “Da Vinci Code” by Brown or “Katzenjammer” by J. McCrae, then look someplace else. This is NOT it. ULYSSES is a classic in the same way that Proust’s work is, but easy to read? Don’t think so. It is worth your time trying to get through this tome, the same way it is with “Atlas Shrugged” or other classics that take a bit of getting used to. Most readers probably won't be able to approach this famous novel without some outside aid, but don't let that deter you. I've read parts of it many times and still haven't any idea what the central theme is supposed to be, yet it remains a fascinating work. The book is less about plot and character as it is about the creative use of language - stream-of-consciousness, changing narrators, parodies and other rhetorical devices are some of the techniques Joyce uses to the fullest. This is one of those rare books that can be read over and over and something new understood each time. For that alone, I recommend this to curious readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Dec 6 2003
Brilliant book, a web of words encompassing centuries of literature and philosophy and its impasse on the overeducated lower middle class, a perfect allusion to a work of great literature (The Odyssey) that this book has matched well. Perhaps this is the first book to transcend the ability of what it has parodied. To those who have denied recommending it to someone of sixteen or seventeen, I had been upon this earth for a decade and a half when I came upon it, and just reread it one year later. Granted, you need a Latin dictionary and a good book of annotations to thoroughly understand it, but this book has made me realize just what a waste my public rural high school education was--Ulysses is literary heaven and hell and propagator of autodidacticism and eschews all principles of what has ever been said to create this century's magnum opus. I am exactly one-hundred years younger than James Joyce (and Stephen Daedalus), and on the sixteenth of June in 2004 I plan to! take the route of Leopold Bloom to vicariously relive it. One thing to be forewarned about: it is highly addictive. I have developed Ulysses codependency, as will anyone who gets through it. My head aches after reading it, for it is the best kind of masterpiece, the kind that attacks physically and intellectually at once. It is vulgar, carnal, and base (for its time, that is) and at once completely holy and pure because it has allowed the world to start over. Joyce is the avant-garde. He is our master philosopher and psychiatrist, who wrote the book that will never be shredded.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD only June 9 2004
Format:Audio CD
Do not buy this CD to listen to in the car! The selections and interpretation of this abridged audio edition are unimpeachchable. However the reader, gifted with a clear and expressive voice, presents most of the narration sotto voce, which is inaudible on the road even at top volume.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the original. June 13 2000
A couple things: First off, everyone's heard of Ulysses, and everyone has their own notions of what they expect from a book, what they expect from Ulysses in particular, and how they feel about experimental literature in general (though by today's standards Ulysses appears vastly less experimental than, say, Finnegan's Wake). So basically, if you don't think you'll like Ulysses, you probably won't. And no, it's not a casual read. If you're willing to do some homework, though, which in my case included some Homer, Shakespeare, Freud, and Irish history (though I could go on), it just might be worth your time (lots of time) to slog through all 900+ pages of the thing. But that's just my two cents.
The real reason I'm writing this review is to steer people away from the 'reader's edition' of Ulysses--that's the reason for the two stars. This is not the novel as Joyce intended--it is an adaptation by Danis Rose, and reflects what he (Rose) thought was 'accurate.' Though the changes he makes are minor--and, in all fairness, may correct oversights made by Joyce--I am offended by the idea that an editor has the ability to take an important and influential work and make changes as he sees fit. The fact that this edition was ever put to print debases the role of the artist (any artist), and reflects the increasing trend toward commercialization and dumbing-down of art in favor of turning a profit.
So--is Ulysses the greatest artistic achievement in any medium, ever? I don't know, and whether I think so is irrelevant anyway. But if you want to find out for yourself, please, PLEASE, at least read Joyce's words, not Rose's.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars no
I might just be too dumb to work my way through this unpunctuated trash. Sorry. Not for me. This tripe gave me a headache.
Published 1 month ago by Andy Vogt
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle cheapens Ulysses
Ulysses is (to me) the most important novel of the 20th Century. I have read it nearly every June since the late 1950s. Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Salus
4.0 out of 5 stars "Just you try it on."
'Ulysses' is surrounded as much by controversy as brilliance. In his masterwork, Joyce moulds his theories on narrative, humanity, and philosophy into a complex view of Dublin at... Read more
Published 19 months ago by AP
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, or?
I knew this wasn't going to be the easiest book to read when I ordered it, but it certainly is an interesting one! I wasn't sure if I would get anything from this tome or not. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Raymond A. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars not as illustrated
Nice readable book but not as illustrated, delivery in fairly good time considering an international order. Company label tore cover when I tried to remove it. Oh well!
Published on Nov. 15 2011 by JWJW
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way into Joyce.
Last month saw an article in the Guardian regarding some comments made by Gabriel Josipovici, former professor of comparative literature at Oxford University. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Paolo
5.0 out of 5 stars I was impressed!
The book I ordered was in excellent condition (new). The packaging was also excellent. I received it within 5 days, including the day I ordered it and the day I received it. Read more
Published on May 4 2011 by Serge Gagnon
1.0 out of 5 stars A Life in a Day
This book is music. Joyce, in a linear format attempts to create multiple musical counterpoints. The reader must juggle and hold on to an ever increasing number of (lines of)... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2008 by Kevin Austin
3.0 out of 5 stars An Epic of Excess
Ulysses is an unparalleled work. True. But this is not a bad thing. No, contrary to previous reviewers who have bemoaned that no book will ever reach these heights, I am happy that... Read more
Published on March 24 2008 by E. Haensel
5.0 out of 5 stars Pages 561-703, the "Nighttown" part, is spectacular.
I wish to comment on the Nighttown part which is written in script format as a theatrical piece. I have not read all of Ulysses, only about half. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2007 by Ndt
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