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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

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Different version than the one online
What I received did not have the same cover as what I saw online when I was ordering(different edition).
Slow shipping.
The condition was fine.
Published 2 months ago by Ian Lee


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5.0 out of 5 stars a classic!, May 17 2002
By 
momazon "cjd" (Astoria, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dubliners (Mass Market Paperback)
James Joyce's The Dubliners is 15 short stories about various people of different ages and backgrounds in Dublin, all of whom are experiencing some sort of emotional paralysis. Joyce started this work in his early 20s circa 1904 and wrote it progressively over a number of years.
Although it does not contain much dialogue, the prose is engaging and brings the various characters to life. It makes you analyze what you would do in each of these real day-to-day situations which could easily paralyze you as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joyce's Classic Early Collection of Stories, April 13 2002
By 
This review is from: Dubliners (Mass Market Paperback)
The first of James Joyce's books, "Dubliners" is a collection of fifteen stories written between 1904 and 1907. Joyce wrote the first of the fifteen stories in this collection, "Sisters," in Ireland in 1904. The story was published in August of that year under the pseudonym "Stephen Daedalus." Joyce wrote the last, longest and most famous of the stories, "The Dead," in Rome in 1907. The stories were published in the book known as "Dubliners" in 1914. While there are many editions of "Dubliners" in print, the definitive edition of the work is generally considered to be the corrected text prepared by Robert Scholes in consultation with Richard Ellman, Joyce's biographer. Random House publishes the Scholes edition under its Modern Library imprint and I recommend this edition.
"Dubliners" stands as one of the Ur-texts of modernism, a startlingly original collection of stories set in turn-of-the-century Dublin that began the Joycean literary project. That project subsequently moved through the increasingly difficult, and characteristically modernist, iterations of "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," "Ulysses" and "Finnegan's Wake." Like those succeeding texts, the interested reader can find thousands of pages of commentary on "Dubliners," the study of Joyce's works being akin to a Talmudic undertaking, an undertaking that can, if one chooses, occupy an entire life.
Joyce once commented that the stories of "Dubliners" constitute a "chapter of moral history" that represents the "first step towards the spiritual liberation of [Ireland]." He also said, "I call the series 'Dubliners' to betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city." The stories are, in other words, inherently critical (although also, at times, appreciative) of the Dublin life that Joyce abandoned, living and writing as an expatriate in Paris, Trieste, Rome, and Zurich for nearly the entirety of his adult life.
The stories operate on two levels. On one level, the stories are realistic narratives of every day life in Dublin. On another level, however, the stories are suffused with symbolism, with recurring, allusive images of spiritual, sexual and political meanings that mark a departure from nineteenth century literary realism and make "Dubliners" an enduring, and deservedly canonical, modernist narrative.
The first story, "Sisters," begins with a striking example of the tone of the stories in "Dubliners." A young boy stands, in the evening, looking up at the shadows flickering through the window of an upstairs room where a priest is dying:
"Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word 'paralysis'. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word 'gnomon' in the Euclid and the word 'simony' in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work."
Thus, a vivid, realistic image appears in the reader's mind, but so does a collection of words that suggest meanings and themes that go far beyond the real, that capture physical and intellectual and religious undercurrents, the inner life of a young boy living in Dublin.
"Sisters" is a brilliant story, as is "The Dead" and nearly every other story in "Dubliners" (excluding, perhaps, one or two, the worst being "After the Race," a story that Joyce reluctantly included in the collection). Realistic in its narratives, richly allusive in its language and symbolism, "Dubliners" is one of a handful of story collections that truly deserves the label "classic" and should be read and studied by every serious reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant Realism, March 15 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Dubliners (Hardcover)
Dubliners is a monument to the power of observation, elegantly translated. Speaking as someone who has tried off and on to write short fiction, Joyce's book at once inspires and devastates the creative impulse. Why bother? So many times I've felt like Little Chandler in A Little Cloud, who has a brief revelatory moment, thinks he might be able to write a poem about it, and then immediately begins to imagine the praise that the critics will heap on his fine collection. Could anything be more deeply, laughably human?
I can't imagine how anyone who likes to read and has lived among other human beings could not appreciate at least a few of the stories. For me, they're life affirming in a deeper way than any religion could be. And that's what Joyce intended. He wanted us to stop looking for redemption in some vague nether region and look as closely as we can manage at the life right here in front of our eyes. Joyce asks that we look at ourselves and see, really see, what we are, because only then can we get beyond all the fear, vanity, and self-delusion.
All the great myths weren't handed down from on high; they came from us. We have all the power. It's just a matter of using it, which is exactly what the Dubliners, and a pretty high percentage of the human race, now and forever, have not done.
There are a few stories in Dubliners that don't quite measure up, but the majority rank among the best ever written. I don't know of any literature more perfect than Araby and The Dead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Joyce's Classic Early Collection of Stories, Dec 19 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dubliners (Hardcover)
The first of James Joyce's books, "Dubliners" is a collection of fifteen stories written between 1904 and 1907. Joyce wrote the first of the fifteen stories in this collection, "Sisters," in Ireland in 1904. The story was published in August of that year under the pseudonym "Stephen Daedalus." Joyce wrote the last, longest and most famous of the stories, "The Dead," in Rome in 1907. The stories were published in the book known as "Dubliners" in 1914. While there are many editions of "Dubliners" in print, the definitive edition of the work is generally considered to be the corrected text prepared by Robert Scholes in consultation with Richard Ellman, Joyce's biographer. Random House publishes the Scholes edition under its Modern Library imprint and I recommend this edition.
"Dubliners" stands as one of the Ur-texts of modernism, a startlingly original collection of stories set in turn-of-the-century Dublin that began the Joycean literary project. That project subsequently moved through the increasingly difficult, and characteristically modernist, iterations of "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," "Ulysses" and "Finnegan's Wake." Like those succeeding texts, the interested reader can find thousands of pages of commentary on "Dubliners," the study of Joyce's works being akin to a Talmudic undertaking, an undertaking that can, if one chooses, occupy an entire life.
Joyce once commented that the stories of "Dubliners" constitute a "chapter of moral history" that represents the "first step towards the spiritual liberation of [Ireland]." He also said, "I call the series 'Dubliners' to betray the soul of that hemiplegia or paralysis which many consider a city." The stories are, in other words, inherently critical (although also, at times, appreciative) of the Dublin life that Joyce abandoned, living and writing as an expatriate in Paris, Trieste, Rome, and Zurich for nearly the entirety of his adult life.
The stories operate on two levels. On one level, the stories are realistic narratives of every day life in Dublin. On another level, however, the stories are suffused with symbolism, with recurring, allusive images of spiritual, sexual and political meanings that mark a departure from nineteenth century literary realism and make "Dubliners" an enduring, and deservedly canonical, modernist narrative.
The first story, "Sisters," begins with a striking example of the tone of the stories in "Dubliners." A young boy stands, in the evening, looking up at the shadows flickering through the window of an upstairs room where a priest is dying:
"Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word 'paralysis'. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word 'gnomon' in the Euclid and the word 'simony' in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work."
Thus, a vivid, realistic image appears in the reader's mind, but so does a collection of words that suggest meanings and themes that go far beyond the real, that capture physical and intellectual and religious undercurrents, the inner life of a young boy living in Dublin.
"Sisters" is a brilliant story, as is "The Dead" and nearly every other story in "Dubliners" (excluding, perhaps, one or two, the worst being "After the Race," a story that Joyce reluctantly included in the collection). Realistic in its narratives, richly allusive in its language and symbolism, "Dubliners" is one of a handful of story collections that truly deserves the label "classic" and should be read and studied by every serious reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Joyce guy might amount to something, Dec 5 2001
By 
This review is from: Dubliners (Mass Market Paperback)
I wish I could stand up here and make some pretentious claim that this is the "greatest short story collection of all time!" or something along those lines but I generally don't read short stories or short story collections. But I like James Joyce and so figured what the heck, I made it through Ulysses, this should be a cakewalk. So I read it and if you were wowed by Ulysses then this should reconfirm Joyce's genius for you and that he could do other writing besides that wacky postmodern stuff (before there really was a postmodern). If you're not a Joyce fan most of these (other than a notable handful) probably won't convert you. In essence these are Joyce's portraits of the people of Dublin and the city itself, most of these stories are character sketches, mostly following a few people around as they go about their lives. They were written over a period of time so the quality does vary a bit, the first few stories I don't find anything special but by the time you get to around "Two Gallants" the quality takes a sharp spike upward and stays there right until the end. The prose is fairly easy to follow, the worst part is deciphering all the Irish names and slang that are used liberally for obvious reasons . . . if anything it showed me how two cultures who technically speak the language can sound so different. The stories run the gamut of the "slice of life" genre, if such a thing exists, showing people from all walks of life and all classes of society, showing them as realistically as Joyce could, all their fears and foibles, warts and all. At his best he makes you live the lives of the characters and immerses you deeply into the city of Dublin, probably more than any group of short stories has ever brought a city to life. If you're still not convinced, then take this advice, buy the book for the sake of only one story, the last story in the collection, "The Dead" . . . simply put it is one of the best pieces of short fiction I have ever read. It starts off mundanely enough at a party but by the time the characters leave the party and go back to their hotel the writing becomes something almost otherworldly and Joyce starts writing some of the most evocative prose ever put on paper. If the last few pages don't send chills down your spine, then you must be dead. That's the only explanation. After that gem, everything else is just icing on the cake. Simply put, everyone should read "The Dead" and if you're the type of person whose fancy shall be struck by the rest of the stories here, so much the better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and subtle, a snapshot, Nov. 2 2001
By 
Cambel "cambel" (Washington, DC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dubliners (Mass Market Paperback)
This frozen moment in time of Ireland not so long ago captures brilliantly the sense of frustration, regret, sometimes hope which is all tied in with religeon and history that living in Dublin was.
From the story of the wife possibly regretting her marriage to the young boy who wants nothing more than to buy a gifr for the girl that he almost confuses in his head with the virgin Mary, James Joyce gives you an entrance into the minds of people that live under the rules of their families, their government, their church and their culture. If you don't mind the darkness of the book it is truly wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff for connaisseurs, June 25 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
From the first page on, I started to love this book and to adore James Joyce's style of writing. In fact, the stories build a unity, but every single story is also convincing on its own. How James Joyce reveals the paralysis that Dublin holds upon its inhabitants, is fantastic. The story that moved me most is "The Dead". This one scene is marvellous: When Gabriel Conroy sees his wife standing on the top of the first flight, leaning on the banisters, listening to some far away sound... When he "paints" this picture of hers, calling it "Distant Music". That's something that reaches one's heart. I was really touched by this feelings which Joyce let his main character create. It's obvious that I recommend this book to everyone, especially to those who're interested in the literature of the early 19th century.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not reader friendly, March 23 2001
By 
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
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 times I riveted by its description and imagery, and at other times I was lulled to sleep by its lack of movement. I also felt that the dark, almost gothic, feel of the book pushed me away. I think, though, that the main reason that I didn't enjoy the book completely was because I feel that I missed a lot of the symbolism that Joyce intended to use to prove his points. One of the main issues that Joyce addressed was the saturation of alcoholism. The characters used alcohol as a "cure-all" for their problems. I am reminded of one story in which a man literally gets fired over his alcohol addiction. He thought that he couldn't meet his deadline for work so he gave up. He decided to go to the bar and drink. For no reason; he just wanted to drink. He ended up spending all the money that he and his family had. He came home in a drunken rage and beat his kid. That is the feeling surrounding Joyce's short stories. I think that Joyce was trying to prove a point about the things that he saw as problems during the time that he spent in Dublin. I don't like the way that he went about it. Either I don't understand it fully, or I just don't like the way he did it. His stories are full of description, but the plot in each of them moves very slowly; then it all falls apart quickly at the end in a tragedy. His writing didn't grab me as I expected it would. I almost fell asleep during most of the book. Then, as I get to the end of each short story, I feel sick about the way that he ended them. But then maybe that is the point that he is trying to show: that the people are so lulled by their problems that they don't notice them until it ends in tragedy. I think that he could have gone about making his points differently, though. I don't think that he took into account the reader. Most people didn't feel as adamant about the things that Joyce is exposing as he did, and I think that he needed to keep the reader interested along the way. I think that if he went about it this way he would get his point across in a more profound and impact full way. I think that it could be possible that the symbolism that Joyce used, if that is what he was trying to do, could have just been over my head. You have the feeling throughout the book that you are missing the point of how he is trying to communicate with you. At times you feel that he is just rambling for no reason and you want to know why he is saying what he is saying. It makes you feel lost as a reader. I hated that feeling. I think that if he was going to use symbolism, he should have made the meanings of things a lot more clear. For example, at the end of the book it starts snowing and you get the feeling that the snow is supposed to mean something as a symbol of how things are going to end or what the characters are going to do next in their life, but you don't know what. You are completely at a loss for what it was supposed to mean. Well, at least I was. It could have been done better. This book is hard to understand and not very uplifting, but I must admit that the description and imagery is extraordinary, sometimes to its downfall. I also think that this book could have been more reader friendly, but I did enjoy some of parts of the book: the parts that I understood. I would recommend this book to anyone that feels like they are up to the challenge of trying to understand Joyce's mysteries in his Dubliners, but if you are looking for an easy, uplifting read stay clear of this one because you will be thoroughly disappointed as I was.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Reader Friendly, March 23 2001
By 
This review is from: Dubliners (Paperback)
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 times I riveted by its description and imagery, and at other times I was lulled to sleep by its lack of movement. I also felt that the dark, almost gothic, feel of the book pushed me away. I think, though, that the main reason that I didn't enjoy the book completely was because I feel that I missed a lot of the symbolism that Joyce intended to use to prove his points. One of the main issues that Joyce addressed was the saturation of alcoholism. The characters used alcohol as a "cure-all" for their problems. I am reminded of one story in which a man literally gets fired over his alcohol addiction. He thought that he couldn't meet his deadline for work so he gave up. He decided to go to the bar and drink. For no reason; he just wanted to drink. He ended up spending all the money that he and his family had. He came home in a drunken rage and beat his kid. That is the feeling surrounding Joyce's short stories. I think that Joyce was trying to prove a point about the things that he saw as problems during the time that he spent in Dublin. I don't like the way that he went about it. Either I don't understand it fully, or I just don't like the way he did it. His stories are full of description, but the plot in each of them moves very slowly; then it all falls apart quickly at the end in a tragedy. His writing didn't grab me as I expected it would. I almost fell asleep during most of the book. Then, as I get to the end of each short story, I feel sick about the way that he ended them. But then maybe that is the point that he is trying to show: that the people are so lulled by their problems that they don't notice them until it ends in tragedy. I think that he could have gone about making his points differently, though. I don't think that he took into account the reader. Most people didn't feel as adamant about the things that Joyce is exposing as he did, and I think that he needed to keep the reader interested along the way. I think that if he went about it this way he would get his point across in a more profound and impact full way. I think that it could be possible that the symbolism that Joyce used, if that is what he was trying to do, could have just been over my head. You have the feeling throughout the book that you are missing the point of how he is trying to communicate with you. At times you feel that he is just rambling for no reason and you want to know why he is saying what he is saying. It makes you feel lost as a reader. I hated that feeling. I think that if he was going to use symbolism, he should have made the meanings of things a lot more clear. For example, at the end of the book it starts snowing and you get the feeling that the snow is supposed to mean something as a symbol of how things are going to end or what the characters are going to do next in their life, but you don't know what. You are completely at a loss for what it was supposed to mean. Well, at least I was. It could have been done better. This book is hard to understand and not very uplifting, but I must admit that the description and imagery is extraordinary, sometimes to its downfall. I also think that this book could have been more reader friendly, but I did enjoy some of parts of the book: the parts that I understood. I would recommend this book to anyone that feels like they are up to the challenge of trying to understand Joyce's mysteries in his Dubliners, but if you are looking for an easy, uplifting read stay clear of this one because you will be thoroughly disappointed as I was.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dubliners, March 23 2001
By 
When I first began to read this book I thought it was hard to understand, and it didn't seem very interesting. The first chapter was "The sisters." I read it carefully trying to understand everything to build a good foundation to be able to comprehend better the other chapters. But when I finally got to the second chapter, "An encounter," I realized that it had nothing to do with "The sisters." They were two completely different stories. However, the more I read the more I realized that the fifteen stories that comprise Dubliners, while different, contain many of the same themes and settings. Most of the characters in "Dubliners" belong to the middle and low Irish classes of the twentieth century. Something common among all the personages in the book is their inability to decide by themselves. The subordination to England and to the Catholic Church limits their freedom to choose how and where they want to live their lives. Most of the characters feel isolated and unworthy. In "After the Race," Jimmy feels as if he doesn't really fit in the community of the people he is living with. Irish's weaknesses and low motivation to leave the terrible situation they are in tempt them to escape from the real world through things like alcohol or dominance. In Dubliners the use of alcohol as a way of escape is very common among men. At the same time, women try to escape their situation by controlling their daughters' lives. Some examples of controlling mothers are seen in the "Boarding House" and in "Eveline." In the "Boarding House." Mrs. Mooney's (the mother) intentions are to get her daughter married to one of the clients at the boarding house regardless of her daughter's happiness. In "Eveline," the mother plays the role of an unhappy woman who forces her daughter to follow the same steps she did. The stories also have a symbolic meaning. The English dominance and the Catholic Church are sometimes exposed by symbols. For example, in "Araby," the dominance of the father over the family can be representative of the power of the English dominance and the Catholic Church over Ireland. Because of the dominance found throughout the book, the atmosphere in the novel is that of pessimism and darkness. There is a shadowy environment in most of the stories except in the last one, "the dead." The characters of "the dead" are mainly teachers. Their economical situation is better than the other characters' in the book. Christmas time and the white snow are both symbols of hope and progression. Christmas is usually associated with the birth of Jesus Christ and therefore hope. The white snow means cleanliness of the old, which would be progression. This is a novel meant to help you understand the Irish culture in the 1900's. It also will help you experience the feeling of oppression and dominance the Irish people had. Through the characters in the book you'll be able to see life from different perspectives, having always present the pressure of the twentieth century in Ireland, which is the main theme of the book.
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Dubliners
Dubliners by James Joyce (Hardcover - Nov. 26 1991)
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