Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Restored Finnegans Wake” as Want to Read:
The Restored Finnegans Wake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Restored Finnegans Wake

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  10,070 Ratings  ·  736 Reviews
Finnegans Wake is the most bookish of all books. John Bishop has described it as 'the single most intentionally crafted literary artefact that our culture has produced'. In its original format, however, the book has been beset by numerous imperfections occasioned by the confusion of its seventeen-year composition. Only today, by restoring to our view the author's intention ...more
Hardcover, Restored Edition, 523 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Penguin Classics (first published May 4th 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
MJ Nicholls
Let me explain the five-star rating. When I was teenager I was ludicrously shy. I was the son and heir of a shyness that was criminally vulgar. My all-conquering shyness kept Morrissey in gold-plated ormolu swans for eight years. Any contact with human beings made me mumble in horror and scuttle off to lurk in dark corners. But I developed this automatic writing technique in school to ease my mounting stress whenever teachers were poaching victims to answer questions, perform presentations or ge ...more
Finnegans Wake is Joyce’s masterpiece, the culmination of his life’s work, the apex of his art, the tremendous final achievement of the 20th century’s greatest prose stylist. To ignore Joyce’s masterpiece is to miss out on one of a handful of great events in literary history. Dubliners anticipated A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A Portrait of the Artist… anticipated Ulysses, Ulysses anticipated Finnegans Wake. Joyce’s individual works are particularly momentous set side by side, as the ...more
Jun 08, 2017 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Inextricable, inexpugnable, intraducible, interminable, indescifrable, ilegible, insufrible, inabarcable, inescrutable, inexorable, insostenible, inaccesible, impenetrable, impredecible, inalcanzable, inasequible, incomprensible, incongruente, intimidante, inaceptable, intragable, insoportable, invulnerable, indefinible, inexplicable, imposible.

Estos son algunos de los adjetivos calificativos que podrían aplicarse perfectamente a este obra de arte colosal.
Si con Ulises James Joyce había llegado
The Slalom of Joyledge

Howto scaledown this Beschova finntail
This filletov beginnings that sings of all endings,
This pest of a pal in jest
And bad cess to you, Joyking
For the reeding is tufftuff
But the prize is the laffing
Tho low in the belly
It sores with the learning
Of finnglish and jinglish
Pigeon linguish and djoytisch

Ten stories tall
And twenty the deepings
some to the writeoff
And Moore to the leftings
Finn’s houseful of hawsers
And hods and their spilling
Give Humpty his tallwall
And role in all f
"Wipe your glosses with what you know."


I tend never to retread the same book twice. I finish a novel or a book, digest it, then move on. Having just finished 'Finnegans Wake' I'm not sure that approach is even possible. This is a book that is simply impossible to really finish. Yes, I read from the beginning to end. Yes, I listened to it while reading. Yes, I spoke sentences out loud. Yes, I shouted words. Yes, I underlined phrases that tickled and rhymes that ringed. But, I feel like I've scrat
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 14, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Looks daunting, unintelligible and incomprehensible at first. However, read it aloud and with open mind and the meaning might come down on you. I said "might" because no matter how much thinking I put on some of the paragraphs or lines, some meanings seemed so obscure and I had no choice but to let them stay that way.

Still I found this book amazing. It is one of its kind. What amazed me really was its play of words. Unmatched. Never seen before. Close to it so far is Anthony Burgess's Clockwork
Nicholas Karpuk
Mar 29, 2009 Nicholas Karpuk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: surrendered
This is not a fair score, I'll admit it right up front. This book affirms my reasoning for reading the first few pages of a book before buying it. This I bought because I've been trying to read more classics, but my experience has shown me that classics shouldn't be exempted from the first few page practice.

Here's the second paragraph of the book:

"Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passen-core rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthmus of Europe Minor t
Oh James, you crazy fucking Irishman.

I am tempted to leave my "review" of the Wake (as it is commonly known) as just that one thought. It just about sums up the thought-process of every person who has ever read the Wake (and depending on the person it could be meant positively or negatively). But I decided that I would try to "review" this novel, for some strange unknown reason.

What can you say about Finnegans Wake? No, really. What can you say?

It is: astonishing, astounding, baffling, bamboozl
Kelly McCubbin
Nov 20, 2007 Kelly McCubbin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The easiest book in the world... seriously. With scholars unable to ever reach consensus on what the book is or how it should be read or even if it actually has value, you can simply ignore them. Your opinions are just as valid. Add to this the wads of cultural ephemera that Joyce has packed the book with and you find yourself in the rare position to occasionally be BETTER qualified to interpret parts of the text than academics.
Try this, get some friends together, pop the cork on a few bottles o
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Was bin you? ::
Ein luger ; faelscher ; Father of ; flibber flabber ; Miss MacLeader ; desimulate ; hazug ; trick a her stir ; leogere ; false wit ; phonitical ; cheet a puma ; con ; equal vadar ; story hearer ; promotorcross ; mensoganto ; rascal ; hṛṣi ; hyper cryter ; Hair Pseudo ; mwongo ; path and logical ; dish o nest and storter ; libel and label ; not a squarestraight shooter ; counterfèting ; defamé ; calumniacator ; ;

Porce? Vava Varoom? Howso? ::
I say I confirm I assert I am truthtosa
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
Prelured to a Nocturnal Pleasure

"It isn't a matter of submitting uncritically to a difficult work; it's about trusting that the artist knows what he/she is doing, even if you don't apprehend it right away. Just keep reading: even the most difficult novel will eventually make some sense, and if you realise you've missed things, you can always go back for a second try if still curious...some people like a challenge...some people are open to new, initially puzzling experiences...": Steven Moore

Paul Bryant
Apr 24, 2010 Paul Bryant marked it as assorted-rants-about-stuff  ·  review of another edition
Stealing an idea from Manny's review, here's part of the (British) Highway Code if it was written by James Joyce any time during the last 17 years of his life. This is the section called


Swarn and inform other roadusers aminxt that nombre of evelings, including pedestrigirls and jumbleboys (see 'and twinglings of twitchbells in rondel’ section twoozle para fleeph), of your inbended actions. You should have a kelchy chose and clayblade and at all times make prayses to the three of clu
Apr 22, 2010 Manny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The other day we saw The Ghost, the rather fine new movie by Polanski. Ewan McGregor plays a ghostwriter, who's been brought in to fix up the memoirs of a British ex-Prime Minister who absolutely isn't Tony Blair. He's given the manuscript, and groans in pain.

"That bad?" asks the woman who isn't Cherie Blair.

"Well it's got all the words," says McGregor. "They're just not in the right order."

This suggested to me the following simple experiment with Finnegans Wake, one of the greatest etc etc in t
Oct 21, 2007 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Curious Types, Mystics, Academics, Small Children, People w/Psychosis, Students, and Drug Addicts
Shelves: favorites, modernist
Many people find this book perplexing, but I find it’s something like a magic hat crossed with a hall of mirrors. You can pull almost anything out of it, but usually you'll get a twisted reflection of your own ideas, obsessions, or hidden fantasies. Perhaps that's the cause for perplexion, but I think its good to dig all that stuff up.
I love this book for its tangled etymologies, and the way these pieces of words delve so deeply into a common mystical, lingual history that spans nations and cul
Leo Robertson
Why you will read Finnegans Wake:

The short of it is this: have a think about all your greatest achievements, the accomplishments you’re most proud of. What they have in common is hard work and originality. Read Finnegans Wake. Fine, you know what? If you’re even in this review for the short term, chances are you won’t read it. If anyone’s still interested, please let me convince you further.

Michael Chabon, Pulitzer-prize winning author, wrote a big article for The New York Review of Books on why
May 07, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our Wake Reading Group, which is full of all sorts of helpful odds 'n sods:

Ay Hell[p]-full Qwroat from Jamesy

"[A]nyone who reads the history of the three centuries that precede the coming of the English must have a strong stomach, because the internecine strife, and the conflicts with the Danes and the Norwegians, the black foreigners and the white foreigners, as they were called, follow each other so continuously and ferociously that they make this en
David Lentz
Jun 11, 2011 David Lentz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Tim Finnegan’s Wake"
by David B. Lentz

When God reeled in good auld Tim Finnegan,
And looked into his green Irish peepers,
Said He, “Now, what was I thinkin’?
Poor lad, he ain’t one of the keepers.”

To hell Tim descended without any fear,
To the devil, whom not much is lost on,
Said he, “I’m sure you’ll be comfortable here,
Among all your old friends from South Boston.”

Tim’s jokes night and day caused Satan to swear,
As migraines crept behind blood red eyelids,
“An eternity with you is just too much
Jun 17, 2011 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-modernism, yuck
In What Is Art? Tolstoy unleashes criticism on all things artistic, sparing no one. His main argument is that art--whether literature, paintings, music, or drama--should be accessible to everyone. He says anything that the common man cannot understand or that does not represent the common man is actually a form of war on the common man. All art must teach; all art must be accessible; all art must tell the common man's story. Else, it is not art but an elitist manipulation--a dangerous one, at th ...more
Did I finish reading The Restored Finnegans Wake? Nope. I read this one. Am I going to finish The Restored Finnegans Wake? Yep. I pick up the Wake at odd moments invisibly lapsing between other moments, and flip to random pages, and one would be surprised how detailed one's recollections can be of specific passages within this vortext. This thing only grows and expands and whirls about its own gyre, creating itself always while I look away, for weeks at a time it sits there generating itself sil ...more
Dec 20, 2012 Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A sort of triumph, a sort of failure.

It's impossible to rate, really, but it's not remotely like anything else in English literature so in that way it's certainly impressive.

On one hand it's outrageously pretentious. But even if you want to hate it, there's no denying you can get enormous enjoyment from going through some of the passages here. A sentence can be read in as much detail as some entire books. You can reread the whole thing and it'll be completely different. Some bits are very funny,
Ed Smiley
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

Fourth time through! The date is set to the date I read the final word "the".

(Read twice before and a third time selected passages.)

This is my favorite book of all time. Admittedly it is challenging, but what it does is sim
-- "He spillyspilled the javagroundsdowndown down on the dillyportportmanteau dallyrig and spiedeyed the bigbuggered werdybirdys tome and glazed himself cataractous and craniallyabled himself away along the ruttedroad to the pubbubbly where Evesapples temptation restor'd his senseandsensibility."
-- Evan Gilling, from a never-to-be written opus

That is my answer to Finnegans Wake -- a book I've sampled and thereupon decided to not spend further precious minutes of my fleeting life on.

Before I say
Nick Black
Major life admission: I've never actually finished this book. Let me explain.

I first came across Joyce in the spring of 1996. When "Araby" was assigned for an evening's BritLit homework, I was fifteen and still playing Final Fantasy Legend on my Gameboy from that Christmas ; up until that MARTA ride home, The Catcher in the Rye had seemed the most meaningful and personally evocative thing around. The last line almost blinded me:

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and de
Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
“Fabulous Pub Fare”

Australians all let us read Joyce!
Though we are liter’y,
We dread the trouble and the toil.
He’s not our cup of tea.
His works abound unread on shelves
In bookstores everywhere.
It’s time we tried Finnegan’s Wake,
Dubliners and Ulysses.
In Joyceful ways, then, let’s consume
This fabulous pub fare!

(Extract from “Proposal for a Chair in Joycean Studies”
By Professor Bruce Bloomsday,
Poet Lorikeet and Larrikin,
Department of English, Scottish and Irish Studies,
Finnegan’s Tavern Campus,
Oct 29, 2016 Crito rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
It was in the home stretch of reading this book, of all books, when I got the ol "hey whatcha reading there?" to which I responded, "uh, it's Finnegans Wake" "Finnegan's Wake huh?" "Yeah, it's about Dublin and the river that flows through it." Thinking about it later, I was surprised how such a coy simplification could at the same time be such a succinct explanation. The novel is built around this one central image of the land (husband) jutting up, the river (wife) flowing through and dividing i ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

Now I have a nice copy of this OUP (2012) edition of Finnegans Wake. And let me tell you, this is the edition you want to have. Above all you Wake novices. I really do like my The Restored Finnegans Wake, but it has no materials to assist New Finnegans, and the reset pagination makes it nearly impossible to coordinate it with any of the secondary literature. What is this OUP edition? It is an entirely newly set edition which reproduces the text of the first edition (1939) but incorporates the co
Jun 19, 2007 Charlie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lorry drivers
Since this book is an anomaly unto itself, I will review it with a true story that I made up. There's a custodian in my apartment complex i've become friendly with named Red. One day, I noticed Red eyeing me up while I sat reading my copy of Finnegan's Wake and asked him if he was familiar with it. He replied "Yes" in his kindly old Red way, and launched into a breathless, half hour criticism of Joyce as a literary thief, "Picasso of letters" he called him, convincingly accusing him of cobbling ...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Seventh printing.

And I'm going to read it. Not fake=read it like some people!!!! People who fake=read Finnegans Wake are fAke=peoples. Those kinds of people are the WORST!!!! (!)

So, I just asked a GR celebrity if Finnegans Wake is a good book and he said that's a question that can't be answered. My family's antiquarian book business is closing down in a few days. I notice that we have a lovely copy of this Joyce book, first edition, dust-jacket in great condition, which was a fair price at $5000AUD and is now $2500AUD - which as far as I can tell is a steal.

But nobody wants it. Which prompted the it a good book? Not good enough is all I can say. A
Scribble Orca
Feb 15, 2013 Scribble Orca is currently reading it
Recommended to Scribble by: Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
update: Joyce' Finnegans Wake is given very interesting treatment in Verbivoracious Festschrift Volume Three: The Syllabus

The problem with Finn Egan[apostrophedie]s Splashy Fest-o-the-Dye Inn is muchly how there is to admire and lake, and how much to make and add lyre that nary a chary chance haven't a nanobreadth's posse and abillybongabitty in all of onrushininginfinity to Die Cifre.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Catching up on Cl...: Finnegans Wake 43 55 May 23, 2017 10:04AM  
Bottom's Dream: Finnegans Wake 3 48 Sep 10, 2016 06:21AM  
Finnegans Wake Gr...: p78 - lethelulled 5 25 Aug 30, 2016 09:24AM  
Restored Finnegans Wake 5 68 Jun 01, 2016 09:34AM  
Lots of Hate on Finnegans Wake! 14 191 May 28, 2016 07:04PM  
Looking for experimental/post-modern/avant garde books... 7 30 Feb 24, 2016 06:52PM  
  • A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake: James Joyce's Masterwork Revealed
  • Studs Lonigan
  • The Fall of the Athenian Empire
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: 4th Movement (A Dance to the Music of Time, #10-12)
  • Zuleika Dobson
  • The Making of Americans
  • The Old Wives' Tale
  • Loving
  • Annotations to  Finnegans Wake
  • James Joyce
  • USA: The 42nd Parallel / 1919 / The Big Money
  • Parade's End
  • Point Counter Point
  • The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
  • George W. Bushisms: The Slate Book of Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President
  • The Wapshot Chronicle
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • My Life As Author And Editor
James Joyce, Irish novelist, noted for his experimental use of language in such works as Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce's technical innovations in the art of the novel include an extensive use of interior monologue; he used a complex network of symbolic parallels drawn from the mythology, history, and literature, and created a unique language of invented words, puns, and allusions ...more
More about James Joyce...

Share This Book

“They lived and laughed and loved and left.” 362 likes
“First we feel. Then we fall.” 117 likes
More quotes…