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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative Genius Unbound.
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...
Published on June 9 2004 by Bernard Chapin

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fingernails on chalkboard or Ulysses? Fingernails please!
You shouldn't have to be a literary expert to enjoy a novel. Why anyone would say this is the best novel of the 20th century is beyond me. Joyce seems to have many different themes going and breaks new literary ground in this lengthy novel - but why all in one work? This book is extremely difficult to read, to say the least.
This book has so much innuendo and...
Published on April 12 1999 by brukman


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative Genius Unbound., June 9 2004
By 
Bernard Chapin "Ora Et Labora!" (CHICAGO! USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ulysses (Hardcover)
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My patience are exhausted, Jan. 24 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Ulysses (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Ulysses (Hardcover)
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
By 
This review is from: Ulysses (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
By 
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
This review is from: Ulysses (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fingernails on chalkboard or Ulysses? Fingernails please!, April 12 1999
This review is from: Ulysses (Paperback)
You shouldn't have to be a literary expert to enjoy a novel. Why anyone would say this is the best novel of the 20th century is beyond me. Joyce seems to have many different themes going and breaks new literary ground in this lengthy novel - but why all in one work? This book is extremely difficult to read, to say the least.
This book has so much innuendo and hidden meanings that it makes your head spin! What's with all the foreign languages? A novel should be enjoyable and not so much a study guide. A blind man can see that ("tap tap tap tap").
What book would you wish upon your worst enemy?
Ulysses by James Joyce in any form.
Ghost of William Shakespeare
Friends, Romans, Countrymen - lend me your annotated copy of Ulysses!
Maybe Im being too hard on the book but I dont think so I will give it another shot in a few years with a copy of cliff notes in my hand but I dont think it will help very much can you read this you should check out the last chapter of this utterly pretentious socalled novel by the way dont tell reviewers of this or any book that they are inexperienced you shouldnt have to go to Joyce 101 to understand a novel I wish I could give no stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful writing., Dec 4 2005
Ulysses is a novel that is beautifully written, probably the best I have ever read. After carefully reading Finnigan's Wake, there was much that I didn't quite understand. There were many words in this book that I couldn't understand, and therefore couldn't understand the story. However, in Ulysses, I found the writing to be absolutely amazing in terms of prose. Although there were times of misunderstanding the words, because of Irish slang and language, I was still able to understand the plot and idea of the book. Although originally a very lengthy book, only reading a little bit of this book has painted a beautiful picture of what the rest of the book is like indeed. As well, reading this book definitely creates word painting, which is definitely a sign of a good writing.
There is much use of alliteration in his writing that makes it more effective, more poetic. I haven't come across authors such as Joyce in a long while. Not until my university English class that discusses authors that I am happy to study.
The way Joyce describes in the book is absolutely amazing. "Hypnotised, listening. Eyes like that. She bent." His way of describing struck me as poetry, especially this passage in The Sirens. Reading poetry in prose I find is the most effective way of writing, which I'm starting to use in my own writing. I find that you don't see that enough in description. To actually see the poetic beauty behind description is really great.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great edition of it, July 23 2004
The introduction of this book is wonderful, it helped me understand, not only the book itself, but also Joyce's state of mind while writting it. The book itself is one of the most amazing literary achievments, but if you haven't read any Joyce before, I suggest you read A Portrait of The Artist As a Young Man first to get a feal for the style and Joyce's writting. This a very long book (933 pages-the introduction is around 50) but I can almost gaurentee you will find something you absolutley love in the book unless you didn't understand it at all. Well if you do finishing reading this and want more of the same style of book, try to read Gravity's rainbow, but take a pen and paper so you can take notes on the more then 400 characters so you'll remember them near the end of the book, and also try to pay attention to who is narrating because of the constant and occasionally abrupt changes from character to character. Well anyway I hope you find this reviews helpful. And if you read this book for nothing else, read it for the sake of saying you've read it You won't regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, Sept. 2 2003
Not nearly as difficult as it is proclaimed to be, this book seems to have taken Nietzsche's advice to heart: A great writerwrites at such an elevated level that most people cannot understand him. This is absolutely true of Ulysses, as the convoluted meditations of the characters and abrupt jumps from reveries and memories to actual events do a marvellous job to perplex the reader.
Content: Countless riddles, allusions, metaphors, even intended misspells complicate the reader's life but hardly make this philosphical novel unreadable. Yes, philosphical novel, something you can meditate on after reading. Also, it seems that James Joyce has decided to intertwine modernism, Homer, Irish history, human ethics, and his view on religion and life alltogether, in parts creating a pulp of dense bombast. The modernist techniques are somewhat amusing at first, but after advancing deeply into the book they seem nothing more than ostentatious display by Joyce of his masterful writing ability. There are some faint references to sex and bodily functions, but so subtle as to leave me in mystery of the reason for its ban. Disseminated over a variety of subject, Ulysses does not fail to include relgion and allocate to it a share of the onus. However absurd the concept of religion is, it does serve a purpose in a few of the chapters. Also, Ulysses is famous for its blatant Homeric parallel: each chapter of Ulysses modeled on a Homeric adventure or character. It is truly amazing how the two are combined. To understand the content of this literary behemoth with more insight, one might consult either Pinkmonkey.com (free) or Cliffnotes, both equally helpful.
Characters: The characters could have used a lot more dimensionality. Frugal on polishing their facets, James Joyce seems to be using them as puppets to mouth his philosophy and not much more. Usually a protagonist attracts empathy of the reader, but Joyce did a poor job with his characters as they seem very distant in their meditative drivel. In other words, there wasn't a single way I could relate to them. Even Joyce's flaccid attempt at adding flaws to their character by assigning obscenities, made them no more human or real. Perhaps simplifying the embellished bombast would have helped in understanding them.
Overall: Despite its many flaws (e.g. length, verbosity, etc...) there is no other book that deserves your attention as much as this particular one. If you will just find perseverance to bear through Joyce's daunting baffling narration, you will be delected to have found it (perseverance) to finished such a marvellous literary accomplishment. Having said that, I favor "The Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man" by Joyce over Ulysses.
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Ulysses
Ulysses by James Joyce (Hardcover - March 5 2002)
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