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Ulysses

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  85,960 Ratings  ·  5,042 Reviews
The most famous day in literature is June 16, 1904, when a certain Mr. Leopold Bloom of Dublin eats a kidney for breakfast, attends a funeral, admires a girl on the beach, contemplates his wife’s imminent adultery, and, late at night, befriends a drunken young poet in the city’s red-light district.

Ulysses has been labeled dirty, blasphemous & unreadable. In a 1933 cour
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Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1922)
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Petra Eggs
May 08, 2011 Petra Eggs rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jimmy
Apr 07, 2008 Jimmy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 Ike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Life is too short to read Ulysses.
Paul Bryant
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 Mull
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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. T ...more
Fernando
Nov 15, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"He puesto tantos enigmas y puzzles que van a mantener ocupados a los catedráticos durante siglos debatiendo sobre lo que yo quería decir, y esta es la única manera de asegurarme la inmortalidad." James Joyce

Un tour-de-force literario. No tengo otra manera de describir el proceso de lectura que me deparó el Ulises. Ha sido la prueba más dura, compleja y reveladora a la que me sometí con un libro, pero a la vez, una magnífica experiencia que nunca olvidaré. Me siento orgulloso de haber leído todo
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Miriam
Aug 17, 2008 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 burgund
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s.penkevich
Sep 24, 2011 s.penkevich 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 Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, is both a feat and feast of sheer literary brilliance. Reimagining Homer’s 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 wit ...more
Bookdragon Sean
I have left this book unrated because I simply cannot rate it. I cannot review it either or try to criticise it. Instead, I’ve decided to share my experience with something I cannot define.

But first, here’s what James Joyce had to say about it:

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

The accuracy of this statement balances out the sheer arrogance of Joyce’s as
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Dan Porter
Mar 28, 2009 Dan Porter 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 pl
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Matt
Jan 14, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Lyn
Aug 01, 2011 Lyn 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 wave
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William1
Mar 24, 2011 William1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 20-ce, ireland
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 de
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Fionnuala
Reviewed in August 2012

This review is my attempt to reclaim Ulysses from the academics. 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 been invented specifically to describe it. Everything abou
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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 Spir
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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 author’s 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 a
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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 pushe ...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 t ...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?
Bram
Jan 20, 2010 Bram 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, I’ve 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
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 Bollestad
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Hadrian
Oct 05, 2013 Hadrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, fiction
Yes, yes, we've all heard the hype and sniping. Ulysses is one of the greatest books ever written, it is a masturbatory piece of tripe, it is a triumph of modernism and the culmination of Irish literature, it's an unintelligible prank on literature professors, and so on. You can read the other reviews here or volumes of critical analysis elsewhere.

So this is the very first time I have read Ulysses to its completion. I tried once as a pockmarked adolescent and quit in the chapter composed almost
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Stephen M
Sep 24, 2011 Stephen M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alien Anthropologists Who Want to Learn About the English Language
Recommended to Stephen M by: EG
On Not Reviewing this Book

*this review has a lot of swearing in it and for that I apologize. drinking requires apologies*

I have about thirty pages, front and back, of notes on this book, I swear. My intentions for the review were epic in proportion: multiple Ian-Graye style headings, a dissertation level of analysis, and a wealth of puns scattered throughout.

But of course, books leave their impact in complex and frustrating ways and initially, any semblance of a review was far too intimidating.
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Jenn(ifer)
Feb 15, 2012 Jenn(ifer) 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 didn’t really do
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Ian "Marvin" Grayejoy
100 Words in Search of a Precis (For Those of Us Who Prefer the Short Form of Stimulation)

“Ulysses” is a snapshot of one day’s 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 (Ge
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M.
Oct 26, 2016 M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5 aya yaklaşan okuma sürecimin sonuna geldim. Bir nevi rahatladığımı hissettim aslında. Zira başlarda çok güçlük çektim. Kitabın kendine has tarzı, dili, konusu başlı başına yorucu üstelik hacmi de fazla; insanı ümitsizliğe sevk edebiliyor. Bu esnada etrafımdaki insanlar benim zorluk çektiğimi görünce kimi zaman;
"Belki de bu kitap orjinal dili için güzeldir" dediler. Bazen bu fikri benimsediğim zamanlar oldu. Buna rağmen benim okuma şevkinden vaz geçmemem Nevzat Erkmen sayesindedir. Böylesine gü
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Ahmed
May 29, 2015 Ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
انا بحب الرواية دي من ساعة ما شوفت صورة لمارلين مونرو وهي بتقرأها , وأنا بحب مارلين بصراحة فحبيت اللي بتقرأه :



لكن وأنا بقرأ الرواية دي كان شكلي عامل كدا :



ت.إس.إليوت في معرض حديثه عن هذه الرواية بيقول:

عن طريق استخدام الأسطورة و استغلال التوازي المستمر بين المعاصرة والقِدَم , يتبع السيد جويس طريقة يجب على الآخرين تقليده فيها ... و هي ببساطة طريقة للتحكم والتنظيم و إضفاء شكل و أهمية على مشهد العبث و الفوضى الطاغي الذي يمثله التاريخ المعاصر

لو قُدر لنص أدبي أن يقدس , لكانت عوليس هي الرواية المختارة
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Forrest
Nov 25, 2016 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I've discovered about myself from reading Ulysses:

1. I am good for only one "major" read in a year. I had set out wanting to read this and Proust this year. Alas, I was only able to make it through Ulysses.

2. It's okay to have another along to help you out the first time through. In this case, it was Blamire's The New Bloomsday Book.

3. I realize that Joyce was, indeed, a literary genius. I can see why some writers would quit writing after reading Ulysses, as he is a master of the written w
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Edward
Jan 06, 2017 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was in my late teens I purchased a copy of Ulysses on the advice of some acquaintance (now forgotten) who assured me that it was the pinnacle of literary achievement; that it was the greatest novel ever written. For many years that copy has languished on the shelf, its pages gradually yellowing between pristine covers and intact spine. Occasionally, when browsing the shelves I would retrieve it and examine the picture on the cover - an incredibly drab monochrome image of some bridges refl ...more
Emilian Kasemi


“You should approach Joyce's Ulysses as the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.”
William Faulkner


Joyce considered writing a hard work and not just a form of expression. You can compare the complexity of his work to that sought by architects, in the structures of cathedrals. But an author, some people may say, can not and should not write exclusively for the world of artists, but must base his work solidly in reality. And it's exactly what Joyce wanted to do, thin
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  • The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses
  • Ulysses Annotated
  • James Joyce
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: 4th Movement (A Dance to the Music of Time, #10-12)
  • The Way of All Flesh
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  • Remembrance of Things Past: Volume III - The Captive, The Fugitive, & Time Regained
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  • Re Joyce
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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
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