Customer Reviews for

Ulysses

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

Proof of Joyce's ingenuity

What people don't understand when reading Joyce's Ulysses- is that it is not so much the plot of the book that is important but way the book is written; people claim that it's boring. It is complicated but that is what makes the book the third most researched piece of l...
What people don't understand when reading Joyce's Ulysses- is that it is not so much the plot of the book that is important but way the book is written; people claim that it's boring. It is complicated but that is what makes the book the third most researched piece of literature...right behind Shakespeare's work and the bible. That alone says a lot about the work. The complicatedness was intentional. Joyce is a genius and this proves it. How many authors can claim they've parodied the greatest figures in literature--Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, and the bible? Does anyone realize that each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, each chapter is written in a different style, each chapter's is written to follow Homer's Oddyssey?

Ulysses is not made for people who want to sit back and just read and not think. It is not made to entertain people. It is written for people who APPRECIATE LITERATURE.

posted by rnary on October 15, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Not getting it.

I've tried, but I have not been able to finish this. It's not easy reading, so it may just be that it requires longer spans of reading time than I am willing to give.

posted by TimHeckman on October 13, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    Proof of Joyce's ingenuity

    What people don't understand when reading Joyce's Ulysses- is that it is not so much the plot of the book that is important but way the book is written; people claim that it's boring. It is complicated but that is what makes the book the third most researched piece of literature...right behind Shakespeare's work and the bible. That alone says a lot about the work. The complicatedness was intentional. Joyce is a genius and this proves it. How many authors can claim they've parodied the greatest figures in literature--Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, and the bible? Does anyone realize that each chapter is written from a different character's point of view, each chapter is written in a different style, each chapter's is written to follow Homer's Oddyssey?<BR/><BR/>Ulysses is not made for people who want to sit back and just read and not think. It is not made to entertain people. It is written for people who APPRECIATE LITERATURE.

    26 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the effort

    A first reading of Ulysses can be daunting, if not downright frustrating. Take it in bite-sized chunks and keep an excellent description (such as The New Bloomsday Book by Blamires) by your side and you'll be on your way. A previous reading of The Odyssey, though useful, is by no means required, as Joyce draws on myriad sources in addition to Homer.

    Subsequent readings will come much more easily and reveal a mastery of the language that cannot be compared to any other book or author. Once you get the hang of it, you'll realize it isn't nearly as opaque (or pretentious) as it's made out to be. It's actually laugh out loud funny in many places.

    Even better, find an audio version of the book or read it aloud (especially the Penelope chapter -- the last in the book). It's a book to be heard as well as read.

    Also, there are DVDs of a walking tour of Joyce's Dublin that I found enormously useful in adding context to the book -- the city is itself a character.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2008

    Beware of the Perfection.

    This IS the greatest and best book ever written, but casual readers beware, it is also the most difficult to read book ever written.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2004

    well, what is there to say?

    This IS a great novel--probably the high-water mark of the art form. Brilliant by any measure, it caries so many layers of meaning that one feels like Krishna's mother, when she saw all the universe in her son's open mouth.... Tenzing--I strongly suggest you consult one of the excellent works that break down some of the stickier themes in Ulysses. My favorites are Joseph Campbell's Mythic Worlds Modern Words (which has an amazing section on that very weird word, CONTRASMAGNIFICANJEWELBANGTANTIABILITY, along with much else); and Blamire's wonderful Bloomsday Book, which I think came out in a revised edition a few years back.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2008

    Not getting it.

    I've tried, but I have not been able to finish this. It's not easy reading, so it may just be that it requires longer spans of reading time than I am willing to give.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Do not get the New Century Books edition

    It is not formatted at all, just blocks of text and dialogue with no spacing between. It's already a tough read without trying to figure what is being narrated and what the characters are saying. Do not buy the New Century Books edition. This was my first e-book purchase and I am totally disappointed. I am obviously going to have to spend more time previewing copies if just anyone can publish an e-book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2000

    Huge, puzzling, fantastic

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2000

    New insights bloom with each read

    I have to confess to being torn concerning this book labeled by many as the best of the 20th Century. I can appreciate the achievement: paralleling Homer with each chapter while employing just about every literary device available is to be commended. Bloom is truly a creation fit for modern literature. On the other hand, I get the feeling Joyce is toying with me as I read, flaunting his genius. Perhaps he has licence to do so. When a book is able to generate such potent responses, it is great. Several readings are needed to appreciate this book. My professor in Joyce seminar poured over this book for years and found new insights each time. The Cliff's Notes to Ulysses are not very good. For a better reading aid, opt for the Bloomsday Book instead (yes, you will need an aid of some sort).

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    Do not buy this book -- there are errors in text

    While skimming this book a few minutes after buying it, I found two errors in the text: a misspelled word on one page and a paragraph accidentally repeated on another. A line-by-line comparison would probably find many more.

    This kind of sloppiness might be acceptable in some cheap digital reprints, but not in a book like Ulysses, whose precise wording is an important part of its meaning. Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble offers multiple versions of Ulysses for the Nook but tells you nothing about how they were prepared, so the other versions might be just as bad. But definitely don't buy this one.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2005

    20th century best novel

    It is the best novel but also the most demanding one. In order to properly read it it took me four months and a course in Columbia University but every single minute I´ve spend with it couldnt be more intense and fruitfull. It takes a lot of work but the reward is inmense. Now I'm reading finnegans wake and each page is so full with connections, references, etc.. that it will take me at least 4 or 5 months, I can wait!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2004

    A Book for Healthy Minds Only

    Carl Jung 'diagnosed' this book as 'schizoid,' and it's a fact that Joyce's daughter Lucia had the disease schizophrenia. I studied this disordered work fifteen years ago as a senior in college, and two years later I had my initial episode of the dreaded mental illness schizophrenia. I believe that my illness would have happened anyway - but, just in case, I would strongly caution those who are already diagnosed away from not only _Ulysses_ but also _Finnegan_ and anything by Ezra Pound (especially _The Cantos_). I love the fact that Joyce rips anti-Semitism to shreds in _Ulysses_, but the schizoid language in places is just too much for me and I suppose others like me to handle. If you do get an overdose of Joyce, a pretty down-to-earth antidote is Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2002

    Well worth the initial confusion

    Ulysees can be a bit inaccessible at times but well worth the initial confusion. Perhaps the finest work of modernist literature I have read, Joyce's stream of consciousness technique is often imitated but has never been equaled. I WOULD however, suggest reading Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man BEFORE tackling this difficult work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    My son and I are reading Joyces' Ulysses.  Superb experience!  O

    My son and I are reading Joyces' Ulysses.  Superb experience!  Oct 15, 2008 review is spot-on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 14, 2012

    Tour de Force

    I read this book twice, and it still stands out in my mind as the most creative use of English in the history of the language. Taking the plot of a classic work is not unique, the way it was executed in this book was. Ulysses doesn't explore any of the great secrets of life. It doesn't seek to take on some great social issue. It is just a great work of art. It is difficult to understand, but with such an ambitious work this is no surprise. Any fan of English literature needs to read this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Bad

    Extremely bad edition. No desire to read after looking at it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Not worth reading

    I in good faith tried to read this book and did. What I encountered was nonsensical rambling. What's great about this book is beyond me. Just another in a series of overrated books that pretentious snobs will drool over while other people who look for literary value and a good story will throw the book in the fireplace to get some worth out fo it.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    Mediocre

    The story is boring and not very exciting. The audiobook feels rushed, like there's a race to finish. The authors commentary at the end is especially nauseating, he goes on and on about how great his book is and how much everybody loves it. There are so many really great books out there I wouldn't waste my time on this one.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Hannah

    Hi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Destinee

    Hey g ill form a band with u

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Jellal to adain

    He killed them

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