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The Ulysses Man

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Martin James is a true Canadian. Born overseas, he is beset by trials and tribulations while growing up. Against the odds, he escapes from his violence-wracked homeland only to find everything he holds dear in North America jeopardized as he tries to keep his personal and professional life intact.

A modern-day Ulysses, Martin faces the quintessential question of the displac
Paperback, First Edition, 440 pages
Published October 10th 2011 by Blue Denim Press Inc. (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jun 01, 2019 marked it as started-and-not-finished
By way of explanation, I usually greatly like this author's work, and had found this one engrossing in the beginning. However, I quit the read after running into a very graphic description of child sexual abuse. I realize that the author's intention is to discourage this kind of abuse and make readers aware of how damaging it is, not to promote it; I've read other books, such as LeAnn Neal Reilly's Saint Sebastian's Head, which take on that theme, and I recognize that it's a serious issue which ...more
Waheed Rabbani
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Waheed Rabbani from and Advance Review Copy

Shane Joseph has done it again! In his latest novel, The Ulysses Man, he has not only penned a blockbuster plot but also managed to again foreshadow the theme of a new novel by another bestselling author. Close to the publication of his previous novel, After the Flood—a futuristic tale of the world following a cataclysmic event—another novel, The Year of the Flood, with a similar premise was brought out by a notable author, Margaret Atwood.
Ronald Mackay
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Ulysses Man is more, much more, than “another immigrant novel” as the author modestly refers to it in his acknowledgements. The typical immigrant novel assumes the act of immigration is that of the protagonist, somehow a-historical and virtually unique. However, Shane Joseph tells the story of Martin James, the protagonist and the “Ulysses Man” of the title, against the shadow of a little-known historical background—the thousands of years of invasion, conquest, colonisation, revolution, civi ...more
Michael Boxall
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Every immigrant is first an emigrant, and the process of uprooting from one’s native country leaves an empty place in the heart. Over time it hurts less. But it’s always there, like the gap left by a newly-extracted tooth, irresistible to the probing tongue. Hence the immigrant’s perpetual question: where, really, is home?
Martin James, the central character in Shane Joseph’s The Ulysses Man, is as much a refugee as an immigrant, driven from his native Sri Lanka by the apparent impossibility of
Ursula Pflug
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Refugees and migrants are everywhere in the news these days—9,000 minors fled Honduras in 2015 so far. Daily we are confronted by stories of young Syrians escaping war by overcrowded boat across the Mediterranean, a journey that has cost the lives of thousands. As we in privileged nations in Europe and North America struggle to come to terms with the human rights issues involved we need to remember that people, if they are desperate enough, will find ways in spite of the risks. Shane Joseph’s no ...more
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shane Joseph’s “The Ulysses Man” follows Martin James from his childhood in the turmoil of Sri Lanka through many years of his adult life there and in Canada as he relentlessly pursues a better life. It’s a rollercoaster story of successes and failures, personally and professionally, as he struggles to find a place he can call home in all the manifestations of that term. “The Ulysses Man” is a compelling and emotionally engaging story told by a skilled author who does not shy away from the unple ...more
Clarissa S
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Comparable to the English Patient. Provides indepth insight into the experience of new immigrants of English ancestry through the eyes of Burghers.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Martin James is an immigrant story, but more than that it is a life-affirming tale.

His early years in Sri Lanka were dismal, at times horrific, as he and his family suffered through a marginalized existence as colonial Burghers. Tough to read.

When he gets to Canada, where he adjusts surprisingly well, he still has problems, just different ones.

Often referred to as the "Ulysses Man," because he just keeps coming back, Martin believes that there is no other choice but to come back. Inspiring.

Sharon Crawford
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: to all: immigrants and those who are not.
Shelves: finished-reading
In The Ulysses Man, Shane Joseph uses the analogy of the wanderings of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey with his main character, Martin James’ wanderings to find home. Therein lies the crux of Joseph’s novel. Everyone – immigrant, native-country person, constant traveler is on a journey to find their home, whether physical, emotional and spiritual. The Ulysses Man so eloquently narrates this theme and its ups and downs, because with each of Martin James’ situations the reader can identify personally. ...more
Paul Patterson
Oct 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

Shane Josephs’ recent novel The Ulysses Man enables the reader to respond to their place of origin, recognize it for the first time and conclude that home is not geographically or culturally determined. Home is a given place of acceptance and love, a resting place, where the soul is refreshed for its journey of discovery.

Martin James recognize
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Turning what began as a collection of short stories into a novel is no mean feat. With Ulysses Man, Shane Joseph has not only accomplished the seemingly impossible, but finessed it so finely that the reader doesn’t even notice.
The success of the book lies in the unwavering determination of the principle character, Martin to make it no matter what stage in life he finds himself in, or what circumstances he has been tossed into. The canvass is huge: early life in civil-worn torn Sri Lanka, Fightin
Karen Cole
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shane Joseph's latest novel Ulysses Man is filled with suspense. The reader follows the hero back and forth between Sri Lanka and Canada. Will Martin James escape his troubled family in chaotic Colombo? Will his illegal entry into Canada be foiled? Will he learn to fit into a completely different culture? Will he win the beautiful, rich Virginia? Will their marriage survive her depression and his infidelity?

These and other questions keep the tightly woven plot moving along, and the reader turnin

I liked The Ulysses Man, the novel that Shane Joseph has written to sustain his identity in Canada. Readers get a close look at the Sri Lankan environment where the author grew up as well as his struggles to settle in Canada. His journeys, setbacks, and quest for identity mirror the mythical hero Ulysses' adventures. I had no idea that Shane knew so much about investing in real estate, something I also dabbled into in the late 80s. The cover is striking with the shoe shining as if a Sri Lankan b
Keith Wijesuriya
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just finished this book and released a load of pent up emotions that had welled up inside. Hugely insightful of life in a former colony, Shane's imagery of life in Lanka rings true. I walked away liking to believe that the unsaid would describe a happier, contented time in James' life. He deserves it.

One of those books where you feel the mud between your toes and the grass beneath your feet while lost in the pages. An adequate amount of pathos without dwelling too much on the miseries of life. A
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Steve Gillick's review of The Ulysses Man 1 3 Aug 16, 2012 08:30PM  
Shane Joseph is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, Canada. He began writing as a teenager living in Sri Lanka and has never stopped. Redemption in Paradise, his first novel, was published in 2004 and his first short story collection, Fringe Dwellers, in 2008. His novel, After the Flood, a dystopian epic set in the aftermath of global warming, was released in November 2009, and ...more

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