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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich book
This is the second James Joyce book I have read and it goes to reinforce the feeling I had after reading the first that that writer is a great storyteller. In fact, I consider
James Joyce's Dubliners as one of the best collection of short stories ever put together. The settings are amazing and the rich and lively characters all combine with the incredible plots to...
Published on July 29 2005 by Sancho Mahle

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not reader friendly
The book is a series of short stories about different groups of people in Dublin, Ireland. Joyce uses these short stories to expose the social wrongs and paralysis of morals around the turn of the 20th century in Dublin. All of the stories end in tragedy, sadness, or continuation of a previous wrong. James Joyce's Dubliners was an interesting book, to say the least. At...
Published on March 23 2001 by Aaron McCoy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich book, July 29 2005
By 
Sancho Mahle (Charlotte, USA) - See all my reviews
This is the second James Joyce book I have read and it goes to reinforce the feeling I had after reading the first that that writer is a great storyteller. In fact, I consider
James Joyce's Dubliners as one of the best collection of short stories ever put together. The settings are amazing and the rich and lively characters all combine with the incredible plots to add credence to the stories. Not only are they true to life in fitting with the atmosphere that one finds in Dublin, the stories are also hilarious, subtle, and inspirational and gripping. The pace of the stories is fast and the voices are rich. This is a highly recommended read along with UNION MOUJIK, FINNEGANS WAKE, THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES,ICE ROAD, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exile in Loveville, Dec 5 2003
By 
Jimmy Chen (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
Exile is Joyce's major theme in both Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners. In the former, it was self-induced exile, an imperative coming of age story. In Dubliners, the exile is moral and psychological. Each character in these stories linger on the crest of transcendence-- all of them wanting more, but too tired, scared, and resigned to do anything about it. While this may seem cynical and drab, Joyce's love for the human spirit resonates deeply with each described gesture, however sad they may be.
'An Encounter' follows a boy on the beach, having cut a day of school with his brutish friend, who meets an old man and is in turn humiliated by what he witnesses, only to retreat back to his friend, who he secretly despises. In 'Araby' a young boy begs to go to a fair in order to buy a trinket for a girl he is smitten for, and having arrived minutes too late, cannot bring himself to it when he is met by an apathetic saleslady. 'A Painful Case' is about a lonely man who, self-deluded that he is content, rejects his lover after an ephemeral tryst. He continues to bear the isolation, though the outcome for the distraught woman is much more tragic. The last story, 'The Dead', is of a husband who, after a funeral procession, is awakened to his own mortality and the transience of life, and rekindles in his heart a flame for his wife, only to discover she is distracted by her own thoughts of another man.
Joyce is not merely interested in sad stories. When the story ends, the love each character had continues onward after the page is turned. These stories mirror common failures of our own lives and give meaning to them, as if our own stories, however menial and benign, are worth being told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Earthquake, March 26 2001
By 
alexander danielson (Independence, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
Like in a gloomy church filled with a misty and humid atmosphere, you quietly look for heavenly light to lead your path. As you search for the light switch, feelings of uneasiness and discomfort fill your heart. With fear in every joint of your body, you nervously feel the whole universe will collapse in just a few moments. While feeling your way through the squeezing darkness, the ground starts to tremble from underneath your undecided feet. Earthquake! Yelling and screaming for your life, no one is around. As the shaky church tumbles to the ground, you hope to hold on anything with foundation to save you from going down. Lying six feet in the ground, your only hope is Superman. You continue to struggle with hope of one day finding that light switch. This little story is the feeling I got while reading The Dubliners. The tonality of the book was very depressing throughout. Joyce does a splendid job of letting the reader know the Dubliners and their way of life. Alcohol was excellent in portraying the tranquility of the people and their suppressed lives. Joyce also used a variety of experiences to clearly display the negative tone and outlook on life by the Dubliners. As to the hope of one day finding that light switch, Joyce always gives hope to the reader with his beautiful usage of the English language. And I am not afraid of saying beautiful in describing Joyce's artistic usage of words. For me, he literally paints in the mind a picture of his stories. Joyce's masterpiece of words was the light, hope, and Superman of The Dubliners. The flowery descriptions are what kept me reading. All in all, I thought the book was a fine piece of work that teaches great lessons on real life. I lived in the Philippines for two years and the attitude of life was almost the same as the Dubliners. Alcohol and suppression were hindrances to progression. But living with Filipinos for two years, you learn a lot about trials and tribulations. It is very humbling to be a witness of a heavy-laden people with such great potential. At the same time, the Filipinos' or Dubliners' example helped me realize the great blessings of living in a free country like America. Freedom is sometimes taken for granted. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not always taken advantage of. As we read of the good, the bad, and the ugly, let us be wise and learn from the bad, take in all the good, and change the ugly to mugly. We will be happier as we pursue our potential in a place where we can. We should all be so thankful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life, People, and James Joyce, March 22 2001
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
Life is a system of interactions: interactions with school, work, church, and essential to all of these are interactions with people. Humans are unique in that they are intensely individualistic yet in their last days they take a more communal perspective and define the success of their lives based on the relationships they had with others. Some understand this long before those last days, and because they know that relationships make a life what it is, they try to understand people. While actually getting out and meeting with people is the best way to learn about them, there is a saying that states something to the effect of "learning from others without making the same mistakes that they did" is another good way to learn. Now, I am not sure what mistakes James Joyce may have made in his life, but from his novel, Dubliners, I can tell that he was an avid observer of people and is worth lending an ear to. His words are capturing and tell the story of humanity at its most base and intimate level. Though I may interact with people everyday, and want more of this interaction in order to feel more alive, when I read Dubliners, I felt more human and more united with the persona around me than I ever had before. Joyce is a master of the English language, but if one looks only at his entertaining and piercing rhetoric, one is missing the point. Of course, Joyce's words compliment his work, but I think the real secret behind his success is his knowledge of human nature. In my opinion, Joyce lived a full life. From his writings it was evident that he knew people. He could read their every move, their questioning eyes, or even the organization of their rooms and make a story of it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people Joyce wrote of were inspired by one or two minute incidents that triggered a chain reaction of assumptions. Take for example A Painful Case. Joyce goes to great lengths to provide his readers with the slightest of details about the character's room. He explicitly states the many things that are made of iron. Is this intentional? Without a doubt. Joyce goes on and describes the desk, the smells, the bed sheets. Joyce knows people. He knows that something so simple as the way books are arranged on a shelf can reveal an impressive amount about the person being observed. Reading Dubliners lets you look into the mind of a genius, someone who can understand humanity and is willing to share that knowledge. In each of Joyce's stories, from Eveline to The Dead, Joyce invites the reader to hear the thoughts of his characters, to see the situations they are living in and to make judgments. It's almost as if readers are being asked to take a crash course in social work case studies, or even better, a crash course in life. Joyce amazingly allows the reader to experience the ups and downs of humanity without being discouraged by it. Though he may emphasize prevailing shortcomings like alcoholism, the reader cannot help but be inspired by the stories. How can depression be inspiring? As a fond reader of this novel, it reminded me of my own humanity and made me proud to be associated with mankind. I smile on our chance to choose and to act, and reading about those who took control of that uniquely human feature in the Dubliners reminded me that I have that same right to act for myself. We all may make mistakes, but who's to say that we cannot rebound. In my judgment, Joyce's tone throughout the book is one that praises humanity, even on its follies, for all of our experiences make us human. And in his closing pages Joyce reminds us that there is hope to achieve a greater future. Humans are grand creations. We can choose to fly or falter, and though life may seem overbearing sometimes, even the most boring, monotonous life can be transformed into a cherished collection of stories. Dubliners is just that, and Joyce is a masterful storyteller and observer of mankind. I feel that by reading this book I have gained a deeper understanding of human nature, and thereby life in general. Joyce's Dubliners will forever be a cherished book on my shelf. I wonder what that says about me? Any answers Joyce?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pain and Joy(ce), March 21 2001
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
All days are the same, another day full of tests studying and work. I've finally come to accept the fact that there isn't enough time in the day to finish all of things I have to do. Rather than getting disturbed day after day you eventually shutdown and turn off your emotions, everything becomes routine and robotical. Never receiving satisfaction from knowing you are doing enough to actually accomplish anything. The lights of life start to dim and nothing is able to remind you that you are still a living, emotional entity. There is only one way to gain salvation once you start feeling like you are in that cold closed dark room with nothing except the incessant ticking of a clock to let you know that you are still alive. I pull out my favorite red, Swiss pocketknife. McGyver can use a knife like this 101 different ways to save his life. I can be McGyver. This knife can save my life, all I have to do is cut my hand until the viscous red life in my veins starts to warm the surface of my skin and brings that tingling sense which in turn jump starts the cockles of my heart and reminds me I'm living. Fortunately I've found a new instrument to replace this masochistic behavior. I just pull out my favorite book, Dubliners, by James Joyce. This book is a collection of emotionally tearing, seemingly unconnected scenes from individuals' lives. Each chapter introduces a new character that is in an inescapable, despair filled situation. The reader gets to taste the full spectrum of absurdly depressing stories. There are the failed romantic hopes of a young boy who works his hardest to please a girl who doesn't even seem to notice him. Then there is a girl, who is handed the love of her life, but she can't leave to join her lover for fear that her overly dependent and unappreciative family won't be able to get along without her. The heartbreaking reality of life is ever present as Joyce shares an account of a blue-collar worker who is so enslaved to his job that his only sense of control in life comes from alcohol and beating his child. After hearing about all of the Dubliners who have such a horrible life that their only joy in life comes through dreaming of escape, whether it be mental or physical through the ever present alcohol, life once again starts to feel like something. Emotion isn't a thing of the past anymore. So forget about McGyver, now when you are feeling emotionless and trapped in life's nuances, turn to your new friend, James
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetry as Prose, April 6 2001
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This review is from: Dubliners (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a wonderful collection of stories by the unique James Joyce. This book reads like impressionism on paper, painting transcendent watercolors with language. Each story is a portrait of Dublin life, but the Dublin portrayed here could have been any city in the world, full of pain, joy, laughter, sadness, regret, and Humanity. This book is the best place to start with Joyce, because the narrative hasn't developed into the ambiguity found in later works such as Ulysses. For first-timers, Dubliners is the Joycean work that is most friendly and affecting. But it's still miles away from any other author's work (Including JOyce's own).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners, Dec 12 2003
By 
HORAK (Zug, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
Joyce's book depicts episodes of middle-class Catholic life in Dublin at the beginning of last century; "Dubliners" was first published in 1914. The topics related in the opening stories range from the disappointments of childhood, the frustrations of adolescence and the importance of sexual awakening. Joyce was 25 when he wrote this miscellaneous collection of short stories, among which "The Dead" is probably the most famous. Considered at the time as a literary experiment, they are refreshingly original and astonishing ant the beginning of this century as they were at the beginning of last century!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it so much, I read it again., June 7 2001
By 
L. M Prestwidge (South Pasadena, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dubliners (Hardcover)
Little snippets of life among the Irish working class. I read this book for the first time in my early 20's. Although I enjoyed it then, I liked it even more ten years later. This is one of those books that you appreciate more when you have some life experiences to compare it with.
Good strong believable characters and a subtle writing style that let's you draw your own conclusions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dear dirty Dublin, Oct. 30 2003
By 
Rocco Dormarunno (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
As a young man, James Joyce abandoned his hometown of Dublin, and yet, he never wrote about any other place. He had also rejected Catholicism, and yet all his characters are dominated by it. DUBLINERS, Joyce's collection of short stories which set the standard for the genre, is filled with characters who come to terrible revelations (which he called "epiphanies") about how their lives had been scarred by the provincialism of Dublin, the divisiveness of its politics, and the oppression of religion. By extension, this is how Joyce percieved humanity at the dawn of modernism.
The stories range from the psychologially simple ("Counterparts" and "A Little Cloud") to the extraordinarily complex ("A Painful Case" and "The Dead"). But what is common throughout is the feel for Dublin just after the turn of the last century. The readers see the cobblestones, the chimneys, the trams and carts, the churches, and the street lamps. More importantly, the readers feel the tensions underlying the public smiles and infrequent bursts of confidence that the characters exhibit.
The pinnacle of this collection is "The Dead". A novella, actually, "The Dead" encompasses everything: politics, religion, art, journalism, history, love, and the inevitability of death rendering all worldly things meaningless. This doesn't mean the story is a downer: this death is necessary to making a fresh start. The ending of "The Dead" has been interpreted in hundreds of ways. However, there is no denying that as Joyce "pulls back the camera" from the Conroy's hotel room to the universe above, the writing swells to its most beautiful. To me, this is a movement toward the future, toward change, leaving the living dead behind to a more spiritual life on Earth.
Rocco Dormarunno, author of The Five Points.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest and most influential collections, Aug. 19 2002
By 
Bill R. Moore (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
Though now more famous for his later, immense, incredibly ambitious novels, James Joyce's early collection of short stories remains a classic - and for good reason. Joyce, as someone once pointed out, was and remains almost unique among writers in that he published only masterpieces. Granted, he took years (eventually decades) to write each book - yes, even this slim volume of 15 short stories. It paid off. Just as Joyce was immensely influential with his stream-of-consciousness (or interior monologue) style used in Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man and Ulysses (#3 and #1 on Modern Libary's Top 100 Books of the 20th century, respectively), and the... let us say, indescribable, style of Finnegan's Wake (which people are STILL trying to figure out), his style in writing these short stories became almost the archetype for short fiction in this century. Instead of focusing on action-oriented events in the story (or, as Edgar Allen Poe suggested, by trying to create a particular mood), Joyce instead centered on the simple, everyday mundane events of regular life. This not only made the stories seem realistic and believable, but also made them universally applicable. This is the reason why this is considered one of the greatest short story collections of all-time, and has been one of the most widely anthologized. A true classic of the 20th century.
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Dubliners
Dubliners by James Joyce (Hardcover - Nov. 26 1991)
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