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Ulysses [Paperback]

James Joyce
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 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
4.0 out of 5 stars My patience are exhausted Jan. 24 2012
I bought the Ulysses (Gabler Edition) edition of this book recently as we were reading Ulysses as part of an online book club. The advantage of that edition is that it is popular edition and also has line numberings so that as part of a group you can immediately locate a piece of text.

Joyce edited and added bits and pieces to the text over the years much to the chagrin and frustration of his publishers, so you can expect minor variations between editions, yet they may be 95-99% similar.

"Ineluctable modality of the visible."

There are certain passages that no dictionary will help you with, and that is why you may need a companion book, such as Ulysses annotated, which explains the many allusions, whether to Latin, parallels with the Bible, with the Odyssey which this story loosely parallels, to Latin, British Rule, historical context, local maps, Hamlet, mythical search for the missing father, Shakespeare and the Bible.

The further you get into this book the better it gets.

At once this book is inpiring yet challenging, sometimes perplexing yet ultimately rewarding. Full of inventive wordplay that sometimes defies instant comprehension. I have read entire pages that turn out to be word salad at first. Every chapter has a different narrative style, such as inner monologue, narcissistic, catechism, stream of consciousness. Sometimes this book is brutal to read, sometimes a joy. I can understand why this book is so influential, and the words nibble at the edge of your consciousness forcing your mind to expand itself. This book has changed the way I think about writing, as I have never seen som many different narrative devices used in a single book before. The final chapter with Molly Bloom in bed, with its runon sentences is simply hilarious.

And if you search you can find free online chapter summaries of chapters to speed your comprehension.

I hope you found this review helpful.
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This! June 25 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is certainly one of the most important audiobook performances available. Whether you have already read this masterpiece or you are beginning to study it, you will gain immeasurably from these narrators' idiomatic diction and narrative fluency. They bring the book alive and impart a level of clarity and coherent understanding that offsets the reader's tendency to get bogged down in details. No matter where you are coming from in relation to Ulysses, this reading will dramatically increase your appreciation for it.
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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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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 7 months ago by Andy Vogt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great edition, very thorough, love the original print!
Great read, if very dense, but this book holds your hand with extensive cataloging of the various typographical errors in this original print of the text (some by Joyce, others by... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dylan Timmins
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 15 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 on Sept. 5 2012 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 on July 28 2012 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
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