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

Read Book* *Different edition

Ulysses

by
3.73  ·  Rating details ·  111,921 ratings  ·  6,849 reviews
Loosely based on the Odyssey, this landmark of modern literature follows ordinary Dubliners in 1904. Capturing a single day in the life of Dubliner Leopold Bloom, his friends Buck Mulligan and Stephen Dedalus, his wife Molly, and a scintillating cast of supporting characters, Joyce pushes Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. Captivating experimental ...more
Paperback, Unabridged, 783 pages
Published 1990 by Vintage (first published February 2nd 1922)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ulysses, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rene Quezada You can and should read the Shmoop Summaries of each episode after reading the episode. Understand, and accept that you will not understand…moreYou can and should read the Shmoop Summaries of each episode after reading the episode. Understand, and accept that you will not understand everything, most, or maybe even half of the text on your first reading. The Shmoop summaries are fantastic, concise, and simplify everything into the normal linear narrative style that Joyce worked so hard to avoid and reject. They're written as bullet points. Also read each episode individually, and if you can take a break in between, each episode is written in slightly or even vastly different style which makes the novel more freeform jazz than it does verse-chorus-verse pop song.

Here you go... Start Here:

http://www.shmoop.com/ulysses-joyce/e...(less)
Deepak Pitaliya Genius? No doubt about it.
Arrogant? Don't know.
Difficult to follow SOMETIMES? Surely you are joking, it is difficult to follow most of the times.
You…more
Genius? No doubt about it.
Arrogant? Don't know.
Difficult to follow SOMETIMES? Surely you are joking, it is difficult to follow most of the times.
You are enjoying it: Good to hear that.
So different? Completely agree with you.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  111,921 ratings  ·  6,849 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Ulysses
Petra-X
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
5 stars because it's a work of genius, so everyone says.

4 stars because it has so many deep literary and classical references that to say one understood the book, is like saying one is very well educated.

3 stars because the words, strung together in a stream-of-consciousness mellifluous, onomatopoeic way, read just beautifully.

2 stars because it was boring as hell. I just couldn't care less about the characters, I just wanted them to get on with whatever they were doing and have Joyce interfere
...more
Jimmy
Apr 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
I Can't do it, It fell in my toilet and didn't dry well, and I'm accepting it as an act of god. I decided against burning it, and just threw it out.
Yes, I am a horrible person.
Ike
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Life is too short to read Ulysses.
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: joyce, novels
Each chapter is rated out of ten for difficulty, obscenity, general mindblowing brilliance and beauty of language.

Note : if you're after my short course bluffer's guide to ulysses, here it is :

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

But now... the real thing.


*******************

1. Telemachus. Difficulty : 0
Obscenity: 0
General mindblowing brilliance : 8
Beauty of language : 7
Stephen the morose ex-student isn't enjoying life. Lots of brittle dialogue, mainly from motormouth blasphemer Buck
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I have read Ulysses at least three or four times (and once with Gilbert Stuart's authorised translation) and always found unsounded depths that I had not suspected. Every chapter introduces new narrative techniques, new perspectives and characters, and new voices. This is a book that definitely requires some homework to fully appreciate. I would recommend the aforementioned Gilbert Stuart commentary and biography, the Frank Budgen criticism, and especially the classic Richard Ellman biography. ...more
Mir
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: celtic
Sometimes reading a Great Work of Literature is like drinking fine French wine, say an aged Burgundy or Mersault. Everyone tells you how amazing it is, and on an intellectual level you can appreciate the brilliance, the subtlety, the refinement. But really it is too refined. It is unapproachable, it is aloof, it doesn't go with that
ketchupy burger you're having for dinner. You're not enjoying it.

But then you read the label more closely and realize that although it tastes just like a fine
...more
Kenny
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
Ulysses ~~ James Joyce


1

I have never had so many starts, false starts, and restarts with a novel in my entire life. But it was worth every effort made to read this amazing book.

My Goodreads friend, zxvasdf, once said to me, "You'll always be far from finishing, even when you finish it. I don't think anyone can really appreciate Joyce's work in its entirety if they're not Joyce
...more
Emily May
I did it. I finished it. And it was everything everyone said it would be: difficult, infuriating, brilliant, insane, genius, painful, etc. You get the idea, I'm sure. I can't even rate it. How do you rate a book that left you wide-eyed with awe at the author's brilliance, yet simultaneously made you want to bring him back to life just so you could kill him?
s.penkevich
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Just read it!
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Ben Linus
Often considered one of the greatest novel of the 20th century, James Joyces masterpiece, Ulysses, is both a feat and feast of sheer literary brilliance. Reimagining Homers epic poem The Odyssey as the travels and trials of an everyday man through the crowded streets and pubs of Dublin, Joyce weaves strikingly versatile prose styles and varying perspectives to encompass the whole of life within the hours of a single standard day, June 16th, 1904. This day, dubbed Bloomsday, is celebrated with ...more
Barry Pierce
How do you read Ulysses? Well you begin on page one and you read all the words until it's finished.

Or, you can just be Irish.

I think that's the secret.

I've just finished Ulysses for the second time and I cannot recall any other book that's just as fun as Ulysses is. People will often call the novel difficult and challenging but that's a reading I just cannot abide by. I don't find Ulysses to be a particularly difficult novel to read. I actually struggle a lot more with other modernist writers,
...more
Sean Barrs
I have left this book unrated because I simply cannot rate it. I cannot review it either or try to criticise it. Instead, Ive decided to share my experience with something I cannot define.

But first, heres what James Joyce had to say about it:

'Ive put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and thats the only way of insuring ones immortality.

The accuracy of this statement balances out the sheer arrogance of Joyces
...more
Dan
Mar 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
Good books should participate in a "conversation" with each other, and with us when we read them. I made the mistake of inviting Joyce - via Ulysses - to join my literary conversation. He's not much of a conversationalist. He mostly just sat in a corner mumbling incoherently to himself. Every once in a while he'd quote - or try to ridicule - something he'd read somewhere, but that's not really conversation is it? More like namedropping.

Buried within Joyce's verbosity is something similar to a
...more
Lyn
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The singer asked the crowd - "how many of your have read James Joyce?"

He had just sang Whiskey in the Jar and was queuing up to sing Finnegan's Wake, he was setting the stage for his next song. A few hands went up, mine among them. We were in The Merry Ploughman's Pub in South Dublin and the crowd was having a good time, singing and drinking Guiness from pint glasses.

"Now, how many understood what you read?" The crowd laughed and half as many hands stayed up and I realized my extended arm
...more
Matt
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
as a bloke with an english degree, i guess i'm supposed to extol all thing joycian and gladly turn myself self over to the church of joye. after all, that's what english grads do, right? we revel in our snobbery and gloat about having read 'gravity's rainbow' and 'ulysses' start to finish.

well, i may be in the minority when i say i didn't care for this book at all. i get that it's a complex book with innumerable references to greek mythology, heavy allegories, dense poetry wacky structures, and
...more
WILLIAM2
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, fiction, 20-ce
NOTES:
1. Reading this so late, so long after its lessons have been absorbed and modified and abandoned and resurrected (see Will Self's Umbrella), I can't imagine what it was like for a first-time reader in 1922-23. For those who both loved and hated it, it must have been a hydrogen bomb of a book. The classicists must have been fit for tying. The hubris of rewriting Homer. The classicists must have been apoplectic!

2. In the Hades/Graveyard section (6), Leopold Bloom considers the enormity of
...more
Fionnuala
Reviewed in August 2012

This review is my attempt to reclaim Ulysses from the Joyce specialists and prove that it can have universal reader appeal. My edition was a simple paperback without notes or glossary but containing a preface which I intend to read after I've written my review. I'll probably look at other reviews too as, frankly, I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms from the world of this novel.

The word 'novel' seems inappropriate to describe Ulysses but at the same time, the word might have
...more
Kalliope




Silly little kalliope, the spirally-kalliope, who had thought about entering the Labyrinth in the past but just stood outside looking at its entrance. For years. Luckily for her, the real Kalliope, the Grand, the Muse, springing out of GR where she has been dwelling in the recent past, took pity on her and after visiting the gods of literature and seeking their acceptance, decided to assist the spirally and guide her through the imposing Labyrinth.

As the Grand Kalliope-the-Muse thought that
...more
MJ Nicholls
First, about the haste. This book is a page-turner. Forget Stephen King. Joyce is the man you read in bed, furiously tongue-fingering the pages to see what seminal modernist technique he invents, masters, inverts, spins on its head like a circus freak with a whirligig in his bonce. The first five episodes set the pace perfectly, setting the reader up for the all-singing all-dancing feats of outrageous showboating that follow in the remaining thirteen chapters, each adding a few Jenga blocks to ...more
Seemita
description

Some works are not written; they are lived. The authors write not with ink, but with breaths. Every breath that finds its way in, sucks in a piece of the world and releases it into the authors being, letting it permeate, gauge, prod, absorb and contemplate, and packages it like a farewell gift onto the back of the breath being puffed out. And since the saga of this breath-taking game continues for a few years till the red starts blinking, we get a work that resembles distilled crystals, found at
...more
Alex
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: farters and fartees
You shouldn't read this. Almost no one should read this. People get mad when I say that. (Some people. Almost no one actually.) They think I'm dissing the book and I'm not, or at least not at that moment, although I don't particularly like it and I'm going to dis it soon. I'm not saying it's not a brilliant book though. If nothing else, it's definitely a brilliant book. I'm just saying almost no one should read it.

The reason is that it's the most difficult book in the canon: it's the K2 of
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ulysses, James Joyce
Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety in Paris by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, Joyce's 40th birthday. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature and has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement". According to Declan Kiberd, "Before Joyce, no writer of
...more
Greta
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A novel to keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant- James Joyce.

In Ulysses we follow one day, from morning to evening, in the life of Leopold Bloom in Dublin,1904. Parallel Stephen Dedalus is introduced, whom Bloom encounters several times over the course of the day, until they ultimately find together.

Leopold Bloom

Leopold Bloom (Milo O'Shea) in the 1967's movie of Ulysses

Leopold Bloom is the protagonist of the story and the Irish everyman, a thirty-eight-year-old Jewish
...more
Manny
(Geneva, late 2012. Plainpalais market, a riotous display of phallic vegetables, ill-smelling cheese and trash literature. THE REVIEWER and his GIRLFRIEND walk through the stalls hand in hand. Polyglot conversations around them.)

THE REVIEWER: Now here's a significant quote.
"My methods are new and are causing surprise
To make the blind see I throw dust in their eyes."

STANISLAW LEM: Mogę to rozwinąć.
MICHAEL KANDEL: I can give you more details on that.

SWEDISH SHOPPER: Hej! Jag kommer ifrån
...more
Renato Magalhães Rocha
Like Odysseus was aided by his fellow men and gods on his quest to return to Ithaca after twenty years of absence, I, who feared so much tackling Ulysses all by myself, for its complexity amounted a reputation as big and powerful as the Trojan horse, I received great help from my fellow companionship from the Odysseus to Ulysses reading group, who contributed with information, different interpretations and perspectives - which without I might have failed at finishing - and that undoubtedly ...more
Bram
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2010
I wanted to start out discussing the baggage that comes with reading this book and the challenge of attempting to reach a verdict on its quality in out-of-5-star form, let alone that of trying to write a coherent response. But unfortunately, Ive already covered that intro ground with another review. But where I succeeded in not becoming a slobbering fanboy or prickish contrarian on that occasion, I have here, much to my own surprise, failed. During the early episodes of the book I felt like I ...more
Amalia Gkavea
Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.

16 June 1904. Leopold Bloom wanders the streets and places of Dublin. Around him, everything becomes a dream, a menace, an opportunity, a disappointment, a wrath. His mind filled with thoughts of Molly Bloom, his own (very different) Penelope. His path crosses with the heroes of his own Irish Odyssey. Is he
...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1995
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Leopold Bloom, A Man For All Time: "Ulysses" by James Joyce



I started off thinking Ulysses was a pile of incoherent drivel, even though I'd never got past the first page. At 20 I would sit in the uni bar getting pissed and slagging off literary types and lecturers who mentioned it (some of them were pretentious posers; some of them weren't). At 30 I decided to put up or shut up by actually reading it so that I could explain why it was
...more
Jenn(ifer)
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: sadists

Are you ready for it? Are you sure? Okay, well here it is!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuULcV...

I finished Ulysses! It took Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay 7 weeks to climb to the top of Mt. Everest. It took me 5 weeks to conquer Mt. Ulysses. After I finished, I threw the book on the table, ran out the door, down Kelly Drive, through the art museum circle, ran up the stairs, started punching at the air and raised my fists in victory!! And the world reJoyced!

Okay, so I didnt really do
...more
Matthew Appleton
Now, I have a lot to say. Firstly, my reading of this book has been a secret. I say secret like anyone cared anyway. I didnt take it out with me, I didnt put it on Goodreads and I told none of my reader friends. I read it in bed late into the night and early in the morning.

I actually started Ulysses to get over heartbreak. I read in a book once about a man who had his heart broken so he translated the whole of Don Quixote to take his mind off things. As a four year relationship of mine ended and
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
100 Words in Search of a Precis (For Those of Us Who Prefer the Short Form of Stimulation)

Ulysses is a snapshot of one days life, with us watching from our couch as if we were watching the Simpsons.

Its meaning is a creative joint venture between author and reader and, equally likely, other readers.

Bloom sees sex as procreation and a continuation of himself, his journey, his culture, his legacy into the future.

Ultimately, "Ulysses" is Joyce's gift to his wife, Nora, the mother of his son
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Catching up on Cl...: Tomás's "Oddysey to Ulysses" Challenge 4 38 Oct 22, 2020 02:23PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: April {2020} Discussion -- ULYSSES by James Joyce 8 112 May 22, 2020 11:15PM  
What Does This Book Mean 4 40 Apr 25, 2020 10:18PM  
Old Books, New Re...: August 2019 - Ulysses Part Two 10 39 Aug 26, 2019 07:42PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses
  • Ulysses Annotated
  • James Joyce's Ulysses: A Study
  • Gravity's Rainbow
  • War and Peace
  • The Sound and the Fury
  • Moby-Dick or, the Whale
  • Swann's Way
  • James Joyce
  • Joyce's Ulysses
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses
  • V.
  • Pale Fire
  • Sim, Eu Digo Sim — Uma Visita Guiada ao Ulysses de James Joyce
  • Infinite Jest
  • In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
See similar books…
6,478 followers
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 ...more

Related Articles

While some tales are old as time, every so often a writer comes along with a fresh take that can make us see a familiar story in a completely...
294 likes · 58 comments
129 trivia questions
9 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.” 2230 likes
“History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” 1034 likes
More quotes…