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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 A Wonder--of Convention
To understand something of "Ulysses," one must firstlook at its publication in a historical perspective. Brought out inprint in a time when the banning of books was common practice in the war against "obscenity," Mr. Joyce's work was championed by all liberals everywhere--not so much on its artistic merits, but, rather, due to what it symbolized for...
Published on Nov. 14 1999 by Sonne Nowicki


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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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5 of 5 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 A Wonder--of Convention, Nov. 14 1999
By 
Sonne Nowicki (St. Petersburg, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ulysses (Paperback)
To understand something of "Ulysses," one must firstlook at its publication in a historical perspective. Brought out inprint in a time when the banning of books was common practice in the war against "obscenity," Mr. Joyce's work was championed by all liberals everywhere--not so much on its artistic merits, but, rather, due to what it symbolized for them: The struggle of the artist against the State. As for the book itself,the writing was almost secondary. In fact, it was not just derided by philistines; many noteworthy authors--among whom number Virginia Woolf and Gertrude Stein--questioned its originality and its effectiveness. (For certainly, most of its now-thought "original techniques" had been used before by other writers to far better effect!) That is to say, "Ulysses" became more important for what it was SUPPOSED to represent than for what it actually was. As time passed and young people of a more liberal turn acceded to positions of social authority, "Ulysses" began to be, almost defiantly, hyped as a modernist masterpiece. This, of course, to tweek the nose of the older generation more than to herald a legitimate work of Art. As a result, whole generations of subsequent Americans have had imposed on them the the ready-made opinion that "Ulysses" holds an unassaible position in the Letters of the World; for, certainly, they fear to have attached to themselves the tag "Vulgarian" if they dare to express their own thoughts on this grossly over-rated book. No, truly, "Ulysses" is a triumph of propoganda that, when taken out of its historical context and judged squarely, falls flat, resuming its true proportions on an artistic level given it by great writers of the time: A dry, pedantic and boring farrago.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent example of totally wasted effort, Dec 4 1998
By 
Geoff Puterbaugh (Chiang Mai, T. Suthep, A. Muang Thailand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ulysses (Hardcover)
Ulysses is/was an important book, in setting the scene for a lot of modern novels. It claims to be a novel, but it's very hard to see how it could be. The characters and story are virtually nonexistent: what demands attention on every page is "the brilliance of James Joyce." He has a tremendous vocabulary and a mastery of all the styles _ever written_ in the entire history of English, but somehow overlooks the whole point of the effort, which was (I think) to write a novel, not a catalog of parodies or a pastiche of Homer or whatever you want to term this fashionable mess. It got worse: his next book was Finnegans Wake, and the rule he "overlooked" in that treat of a book was that it needed to be _written in English_. That was too limiting for our Great Artist, so he wrote FW in any old language(s) he felt like.
I have an MA in English and I have worked as an English teacher. In my honest opinion, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are not necessary to read. They are not novels. They're SOMETHING, I grant you. They're very hard to read, and all that. You can really get snobbish about having read them.
Frankly, I'll take Gone With The Wind. (Gasp!!)
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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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Ulysses by James Joyce (Hardcover - March 5 2002)
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