Molly Bloom's Soliloquy: From Ulysses

Molly Bloom's Soliloquy: From Ulysses

by James Joyce, Marcella Riordan

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
Narrator Marcella Riordan turns in a virtuoso performance of the famous final chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses, in which Molly Bloom—wife of the book’s protagonist—reminisces about her relationship with her husband. Bloom’s monologue is one of the most emotive and sexually charged passages in the book and this audio edition proves compelling. The extended soliloquy is an intimidating text to narrate, but Riordan is more than up to the task. She brings Molly—and her long, stream-of-consciousness speech—to life, hitting a variety of emotions (everything from indignation and lust to romantic nostalgia) as she traces her thoughts as they wander through her memories. (May)
Library Journal
This duo bring June 16, 1904, to joyous life. At nine hours, AudioGO's full-cast production covers roughly half of the Dublin wanderings of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom from "Stately, plump Buck Mulligan" to the final "Yes." The emphasis is on the book's opening chapters, which set up the action and establish the characters' personalities and motivations. The narrators and assorted readers adroitly apply the proper voices and levels of brogue to match the characters; Bloom and Dedalus are clear-voiced and educated, while the trio of pub-goers accompanying "the Citizen" in a particularly effective act are pure shanty Irish. Molly Bloom's monolog is delivered in the appropriately leisurely pace of a woman accustomed to long hours in bed—usually with the company of men other than her husband. Naxos offers Molly's soliloquy unabridged, giving listeners a luscious earful of the full breadth of Joyce's stream-of-consciousness writing. While her husband is more the intellectual, Molly is the embodiment of the physical, casually discussing her bodily functions—usually conducted in private—while even indulging in a few (one clearly can understand why this shocked in 1922). Molly is pure sensuality; her thoughts focus on the sex she's had, is having now, and hopes to have in the future. Narrator Marcella Riordan quickens the pace a tad and adds singing to her presentation of Molly's inner thoughts. VERDICT Hearing Ulysses read aloud reinforces its literary merit while proving how much fun it is rather than a high-brow slog, as Joyce's bawdy sense of humor shines through. Though a joy, AudioGO's abridgment makes the story's flow jumpy, so the program serves best as a refresher for those familiar with the text. Naxos's Molly is solid for students, Joyce heads, and anyone who enjoys fine literature. Whether your taste runs to walking the streets with Bloom and Dedalus or slipping between the sheets with Molly, this duo has it all.—Mike Rogers, Library Journal

Product Details

Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

One of the 20th century's greatest writers, James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882, and his native city is at the heart of his best-known books: Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and the short story collection Dubliners. His flowing, sometimes musical, often challenging prose has provoked and inspired generations of readers. He died in 1941.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 2, 1882
Date of Death:
January 13, 1941
Place of Birth:
Dublin, Ireland
Place of Death:
Zurich, Switzerland
B.A., University College, Dublin, 1902

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