Customer Reviews for

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

A Great Insight into the Mind of a Youth in Conflict with his Upbringing

This James Joyce's most personal novel written about one man's impressionable childhood and follows him through to his college years as he comes to a greater understanding of individualism and intellectulal freedom and throws off the limitations of his catholic upbringi...
This James Joyce's most personal novel written about one man's impressionable childhood and follows him through to his college years as he comes to a greater understanding of individualism and intellectulal freedom and throws off the limitations of his catholic upbringing. The novel is a masterpiece of writing style that defies time and place and becomes a book of everlasting, and everpresent importance. The book is written in a stream of conscience style (somewhat similar to Dostoevsky but more so) that can at times be difficult to follow. This is certainly not your typical beach reading, or grocery line novel. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a terribly moving novel, but it must be read with great patience, and presence of mind. You have to be willing to work for it to feel the true and indescribable force of this novel. The novel is required reading for any serious reader.

posted by Anonymous on December 8, 1999

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

boring!

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is ranked by the Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the twentieth century. I have no idea why. I just found it to be extremely boring. The book is the semi-autobiographical coming of age of Stephen Deda...
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is ranked by the Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the twentieth century. I have no idea why. I just found it to be extremely boring. The book is the semi-autobiographical coming of age of Stephen Dedalus, the alter ego of James Joyce. From his questions and anxiety over the roles of women and his dealings with them to his on-again-off-again struggles with religion, A Portrait of the Artist...just didn't keep my interest. It's not a bad story really but I just did not dig the prose. I haven't given up on James Joyce yet but I really hope his other books won't put me to sleep.

posted by songcatchers on November 12, 2009

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not a fan

    The style of writing was really interesting, though I'm not sure if I completely liked it or not. The subject matter wasn't interesting to me at all. If you can get through two-thirds of the book then the prose is rather beautiful and philosophical. I only skimmed through it, though, as I could not bring myself to keep reading the two-thirds of it that were completely boring. By the time I got to the interesting parts I really didn't know what was going on in the story, only that the prose was fantastic and the main character had undergone a transformation from an obedient boy to a philosopher in his own right.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2005

    for some more than others...

    I did not find this book to be very enjoyable. Although Joyce certainly deserves recognition for his stylistic achievements, his plot leaves much to be wanted. There were more references to religion than I felt necessary and the characters were not at all likeable. That said, this is probably a more enjoyable work of fiction for readers who can relate to the character's need to become more than who he is.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Great Gift

    This was an old favorite and recently purchased as a graduation gift.

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    We are introduced to the character Stephen as a young boy as he

    We are introduced to the character Stephen as a young boy as he grows to manhood.  Stephen is sometimes strange, smart, brave and shy.   Emphasis on the strange most of the time.




    This is a book I almost wish I had read it for a class so there would be a discussion and I would understand it better.   




    I am not sure how Joyce considers this young man an artist because he is inches away from becoming a priest.  Unless this is suppose to be Joyce’s story.  The first chapter is gibberish to me and I almost didn’t go past it. But  I did and it got better. Although as soon as it got better and I understood what Stephen was talking about he would on OCD rant about pretty much on anything like hell, authors, philosophy …




    I know a lot of people dislike this book and sadly I am one of them. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2003

    Narcissistic Prose

    James Joyce's Portrait is a self-centered, boring and difficult book to grasp. His flailing ideas that the reader should have to work for the book--in order to understand and appreciate it etc etc is absurd. Literature is for pleasure and joy. I don't think many people want to read a book in order to struggle and feel pain. Portrait is written about a seemingly regular, boring young man: Stephen Dedalus. It is only Joyce's language that manages to bring this hum-drum character to life. I can't believe we are expected to revel in Stephen's epipahanies and feel interest in his mundane life. The fact that Joyce would try to pawn this off an a semi autibiography is absurd. Perhaps he is trying to show how intrinsically boring and ordinary he is...in that case, I don't want to have to read through his life. The book is written lazily, especially the end, where Stephen and Joyce simultaneously prattle on. Beautiful language, terrible read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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