Steven's Reviews > A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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's review
Aug 02, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: 1001, irish-blood
Read in August, 2007

This is another book that read quickly in my recent stroll through some of the classics. The story is about an Irish youth named Stephen who becomes a lapsed Catholic and has some issues with women. Talk about a story that hits close to home. Joyce is an undisputed part of the pantheon, but I find a lot of his sentences extremely difficult to slog thorough. Although I really enjoyed this book, I think I may have wanted something a bit more. The references to Catholicism and Stephen’s struggles to be better and pious were excellent and I think Chapter Three and its references to hell is some of the best ever written on the subject. Further, I loved the fact that seeing an attractive girl swimming completely shocked Stephen out of his righteous worldview. Indeed, the passages highlighting Stephen’s struggles as he treated women as idolized creatures and not as real human beings were also some of the best. All in all, a classic well worth the read. I wish I knew why some place Joyce so high on the canon, but those might just be my issues and not his.

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