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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked by the first line...
The best first line every written in any novel. Read it and see. =)
Published on July 1 2004 by Zeeshan Hasan

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Portrait...defines a new turn in the century of fiction writing. From the cold, heartless times of Ireland, here is a tale of growing up that offers a critical insight into the heart of an eight year old.
Joyce's style is inimical,imperfect yet charming. he paints the human world of emotional bonding in the most natural way on a child hearted canvas.
A great...
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by pawansingh3


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked by the first line..., July 1 2004
By 
Zeeshan Hasan (Dhaka, Bangladesh) - See all my reviews
The best first line every written in any novel. Read it and see. =)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing … Stephen Dedalus, March 8 2013
By 
Great Kindle edition of Joyce's first great novel, which seems unabridged and has not been "improved" by half-witted editors that regularly insist on changing Joyce's idiosyncratic punctuation, etc.

Portrait is at times sublime in its evocations of The Artist's thoughts and perceptions. Highly recommended on its own, and as an intoduction to one of Joyce's main characters in his magnum opus Ulysses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Paring his fingernails", Sept. 6 2012
This story is about the emergence of identity. Stephen Dedalus's consciousness is front and centre in the book as Joyce weaves together important vignettes from his life that all contribute to his hero's artistic realization. Language, as always, is vital to Joyce's understanding of how humans develop.

For instance, the first segment of the book begins with a fantastic childhood story that showcases Stephen's diction and syntactical choices--without his awareness of this fact. I enjoyed the subtle things about this part. For instance: Stephen sees his father's glasses only as "glass that his father looked at him from behind." Also, Joyce starts out the book's tacit use of Dante by rendering the regional pronunciation of "Auntie" as "Dante." That's how Stephen hears it, and that's how we do too. Another great moment is when Stephen is at boarding school and hears the gas vents "singing." He's unaware of his artistic potential, but Joyce is pointing us in that direction already.

But Joyce is not here to help us read. Rather, he wants to show us the ins-and-outs of a young boy's mind. That's a difficulty I can't blame anyone for having with his writing in general. It's something you either have to accept, deny, or shred, and then you can decide whether to read him or not. However, even if you go through those steps, you're already doing something that Joyce wanted in the first place. He's tricky that way.

In my honest opinion, a lot of people will love or hate this book. It's got dark colours throughout, gets murky when Stephen feels bad, but shines when he's on the verge of realizing himself. Joyce is destabilizing form to parallel the ups and downs of a young man's social, intellectual, and religious maturation. It's poetic that he chooses to write in this way, and particularly so for a young man. My advice is to read "Portrait" for a window into an early revelation in 20th Century English literature. If you 're happy with that, see what Virginia Woolf does with this style, and you won't be disappointed in the slightest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket Size, Nov. 26 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Love what I've read so far, but potential buyer should be aware that it is a pocket-sized edition with small print.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are the rest of you reviewers talking about?, May 26 2004
By A Customer
How could James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man not receive a single rating of five in all of these reviews? I dare all of you to read the book again and find other words besides "dull," which it isn't, and "thick," by which you might have meant "layered," in order to describe this masterpiece I see as certainly on par with Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Wrong edition, Oct. 20 2011
I purchased this book by looking up the ISBN number. I really needed that edition for class to follow with the corresponding page numbers. Instead I got a different version. Also, I know "slightly used" is not perfect, but I didn't expect to pay for an old library book with everything still attached. The latter doesn't bother me as much though, it's just that it will be harder to follow in class.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Joyce leaves me confused by, but appreciative of, his brilliance, Jan. 21 2009
By 
J. Pollock - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young man is irreducibly complex, layered with symbolism, and complicated by politics. Even as this work is often cited as Joyce's most accessible, the narrative structure is often baffling in sections. The footnote references which illuminate some (but by no means all!) of the allusions are an absolute necessity. While I admire Joyce immensely for his brilliance I did not find this book a 'pleasant read.' Nevertheless, I felt as though I 'should' read it even if, now having done so, I have not totally understood it. I would definitely recommend reading A Portrait.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel by one of the greatest writers, Nov. 8 2007
By 
This review is from: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Paperback)
If you're new to Joyce, this would the the book to start with. I definitely wouldn't start with Ulysses as that will put you off with its stream of consciousness. "Portrait" is much more user-friendly and easy to read. This novel is one of the greatest works in the English language. It is not only beautifully written but it can carry a different meaning for people at different stages of their life. Young high school students will find some themes very interesting while a man of 40 can draw new pleasure from reading it a second time. For those interested in Joyce's work, this is a good place to start, for it is easier than his other novels. This is not to say that it is an overly easy book to understand. Anyone who has read The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner knows that the stream of conscienceness style of writing can at times stifle reading comprehension but for the most part give a unique, exciting view of a character. Overall, though, this is an excellent novel and worthy of anyone's effort. As I said, this is a good place to start if you're looking for a Joyce induction. Would also recommend the novels "O Pioneers!" by Willa Cather and the Vonnegut book titled "Cat's Cradle"--these are something different as I don't like reading the same thing over na over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not as difficult as everyone says, July 23 2004
This book seems to have been written for style more then anything else, and at times it makes it difficult to read, this is true. But overall the book is not to difficult to read, it is a great introduction to Joyce, if you plan on reading Ulysses, or Finggans Wake, and it's an excellent book to read over and over because you will find things you missed and find reading Joyce's style become easier everytime you read it. Joyce does go into greek mythology a bit and reading about Deadalus (he built the labrynth) will allow you to better appreciate some of the symbolism. But don't read this book if your looking for a nice story to read, read it to appreciate the style and the poetic descriptions Joyce uses. And remember the book is narrated differently as Stephen matures, so it is a little difficult in the beginning due to the constantly broken thoughts when he is an infant, irrational, and extreme (puberty), and then finally logical and intelligent at the very end of the book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, July 2 2004
By 
Brandon Annette (Norco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Sure its pretentious, frustrating, difficult, etc., but it is also such a rewarding read. Boring sections like chapter 3 with the church sermon set up excellent ones, such as the end of Chapter 4, with Stephen's epiphany, which I must say is the most beautiful, glorious thing I have ever read. the emotion and symbolism (such as Stephen Dedalus taking flight from society much like his Greek namesake Daedalus did from an island) is simply overwhelming. I had to read this for a college english class (as well as write an essay on it) but i still enjoyed it. the stream of conciousness style may be too difficult and odd for some but i found a nice break from other literature, which is more than i can say for the similar novel To the Lighthouse by Woolf (also extremely good stylistically, but much less interesting). brilliant, but not a good introduction to joyce for those still in high school or not used to reading challenging literature. I would recommend "The Dead" to try him out first.
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (Paperback - May 20 1994)
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