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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  128,334 ratings  ·  6,235 reviews
'When you think that Dublin has been a capital for thousands of years,' James Joyce once wrote his brother, 'that it is the 'second' city of the British Empire . . . that it is nearly three times as big as Venice, it seems strange that no artist has given it to the world.'

In Dubliners, completed when Joyce was only twenty-five, we are given a definitive group portrait. It
Paperback, Penguin Classics (US/CAN), 317 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published June 1914)
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Colleen I just read it for the first time. It struck me that Mahony seemed to have an understanding of how lecherous the old man was and walked off right away…moreI just read it for the first time. It struck me that Mahony seemed to have an understanding of how lecherous the old man was and walked off right away. The other kid stayed with him and endured his weird monologues even though he felt uncomfortable. I thought Joyce was trying to paint two different types of people: someone who suffers in silence and endures abuse compared with someone who decides to leave a situation as soon as it gets sketchy. (less)
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Sean Barrs
Life is full of missed opportunities and hard decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to actually do. Dubliners creates an image of an ever movie city, of an ever moving exchange of people who experience the reality of life. And that’s the whole point: realism. Not everything goes well, not everything is perfectly constructed. Life is random and unpredictable. If we’re not careful it may escape from us entirely.

There are two types of stories in Dubliners. The first, and by far the m
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dubliners, James Joyce

In his stories, Joyce combines heterogeneous elements. Poetic mysticism is expressed in a naturalistic way. They pay attention to sound and melody for illustration. In their works, they always use humor and irony and references to myths and holy books. If the reader can grasp all these mysteries, he will be glad that he may not be able to read any other work.

Joyce is a language engineer before he became a writer. Joyce's particular view of language, and the word, as the c
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was James Joyce the greatest English language writer in modern times?

I don’t know, maybe, but Dubliners helps to make his case.

Brilliant in it’s subtle, realistic way.

Fifteen stories that paint a portrait of Dublin at the turn of last century. "The Dead" is the final story and the most poignant and powerful but several stand out as exceptional, and they are all good.

“Counterparts” is a disturbing close up look at the old drunken Irish family stereotype that fails to be humorous. “A Mother” t
Jim Fonseca
Dubliners is a collection of short stories published in 1914. The concluding story is “The Dead,” which has been cited as “the best short story ever written.” You can see that on GR’s entry for the story.

We are told in a brief introduction that Joyce was a pioneer in popularizing the structure of the modern short story as focused on “a fleeting but decisive episode.” Elsewhere I’ve read of the focus of the modern short story described as “the moment.”


Many of the stories are very short - only f

Before embarking towards my maiden Joyce read, I prepared myself to pour in as much effort required on my part to understand Dubliners. I didn’t assume them to be incomprehensible or distant, but an anxiety akin to meeting a known stranger for the first time was definitely present. The said anxiety shortly materialized into a much-awaited prospect after reading the opening story and finally transformed into a confident and gentle companion who led me through the sepia streets of an unassuming ci


This is a collection of short stories. Or are they one single long story? “A Portrait of the City as an Old and Stultifying Enclave.”?

This story fashions a kaleidoscopic vision of Dublin in the early 1900s. This is a city enclosed in a gray cylinder that a hand turns periodically and new scenes are conjured up for the contemplation of a single (male) eye. The same components reappear, falling in different places playing different relationships with each other; some others disappear forever o
James Joyce once said; "If Dublin suddenly disappeared from the Earth it could be reconstructed out of my book Ulysses". I have never been to Dublin so I have no idea what it's like today, but through Joyce's writings I have a sense of what it was like in the early 20th century. It’s not so much that he describes the physical city, but his descriptions of its establishments, its social and political atmosphere, and especially its people, is so detailed and complete that the physical picture just ...more
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was put off by reading James Joyce because I was scared of reading him — that I wouldn’t understand a damn thing he said although I knew he was a brilliant writer…one for the ages. I think it was ‘Ulysses’ that scared me off, and I made a massive generalization (if I don’t understand that book, I won’t understand anything by Joyce). My mistake.

I remember a Goodreads friend recommended I read it, because I think I or they had read a short story collection (whose author escapes me right now), a
Adina (taking a break from literary fiction)
Another book from my project (quite successful until now) to read more classics. When I was in college and Uni I was all about contemporary literature (Marquez, Reverte, Murakami) and I missed many of the "must read" authors. I am trying to redeem myself now.

I chose the Dubliners because I knew I would never have the will and patience to finish Ulysses. I have to admit that although I understand the value of the volume and its structure, I did not like it. It bore me terribly. I fell asleep whi
Paul Bryant
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, joyce
For anyone thinking of putting James Joyce on your “must read this year” list for 2019 here are my suggestions.


1. Dubliners

Brilliantly atmospheric scraps of Irish miserablism – must read to get where JJ is coming from.

2. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Strangely – tiresome and inessential. Bangs on about religion and more Irish miserablism and a bit too much like a portrait of the author as an insufferable young genius.

3. Ulysses

The essential book out of all of these. Difficult but al

Was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin .

The stories that make up Dubliners open with death and death ends it as well. And somewhere in between there is a life. The first truancy, the first timid amorous sighs and all shades of greyness, whole stretches of the usual humdrum reality. People caught up in the daily routine, whom life was withheld.

The workers, petty crooks and freeloaders, seamstresses, scullery maids, servants, scriven
Rakhi Dalal
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joyce fans
Shelves: joyce, short-stories
Why do we wish to live this life; life, which at times seem to accompany the vague impressions we have long since been comfortable to carry along; the ideas, the choices, which have become a second nature to us. How many times do we stop and think about them? Particularly, as readers, as the ones who have been challenged, and hence in a way made aware by written word; how many times do we stop and think - life cannot always be a search, it cannot always be a constant exploration into unknown, a ...more
Dave Schaafsma
“There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to succeed you had to go away. You could do nothing in Dublin”--Joyce

"Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.”

Dubliners is,
review update – 5/15/17

The first twelve stories of Dubliners were submitted to a publisher in 1905, when Joyce was 22. They were accepted, but squeamishness on the publisher’s part kept delaying publication. Over the next three years Joyce submitted three additional stories. Finally he took the collection to a second publisher. Again it was accepted, and again it was held back. Finally, in 1914, the original publisher overcame his fears and released the volume to the public.

By now, however, Joy
Amalia Gkavea
''Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swo ...more
Reading this book is like meeting a perfect stranger at the park. The two of you sitting on a bench, they sharing their truth with you, you sharing yours with them. Just a short, yet meaningful interaction. Something with no responsibilities and no strings attached. And then, at some point, “oh, it’s two o’ clock already, I’d better be going”. And that was it. One could argue that that’s the case with all interactions in one’s life.
Joyce offers us a synthesis of people and their actions, their f
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My relationship with James Joyce has started off well and I'm excited to take on the next step: I've been wanting to read Ulysses for quite some time, and after finishing The Odyssey, I figured I'd read Dubliners as some of the characters in his short stories appear in minor roles on his longer, modernist novel.

This is a collection of fifteen short stories - and I'll keep this a short review as well - that deals with the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the beginning of the 1900's
Rajat Ubhaykar
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal."
-James Joyce

Dubliners is fantastic literary inspiration, it forced me to take better notice of my surroundings, of my own city, which has an untapped endless source of heartbreak, joy, turmoil and everything else to do with the human predicament. It also almost forced me to park myself anywhere and write somethi
Steven Godin
Dubliners is one of those books that simply tracks life. Joyce had written most of these stories by the age of twenty-three, he did so with the understanding and forbearance of someone much older. He often portrayed himself as sitting in judgment on his fellow Dubliners, whom he once described to a friend as the most hopeless, useless and inconsistent race of charlatans I have ever come across. Am sure he didn't mean it. What gives the stories their tremendous power is precisely their refusal to ...more
Keyo Çalî
Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories
Story of a city
while you are reading, you will feel more comfortable with the city and citizens
you will find many personalities that are interesting to you
this is a wonderful book, full of emotions.
my favorites are Araby, A Little Cloud and The Dead
The Dead
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage, short-shorts
Dubliners is a good collection to read on a quiet Sunday evening, if only to disappear from the rest of the world and into Joyce's version of Dublin, Ireland. It's also a good feeling to delve into a book that was accepted for publication in 1904, and yet, "due to puritan prudery, it got passed from fearful publisher to fearful publisher" until someone had the good sense to publish it nine years later. Thank you for the publication and for reiterating Joyce's reasons of isolation from Victorian ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of short stories/classics
Recommended to Dem by: Book club Read
A collection of 15 short stroies by James Joyce all set in Dublin and first published in 1914.
They form a naturalistic depiction of Irish Middle class sife in around Dublin in in the early years of the 20th Century.

This is my second reading of this collection and this time I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Jim Norton and his Dublin accent was excellent and he really does bring the book alive with his rich voice.

The stroies were all written when Nationalism was at its peak in Ire
Dear James Joyce,

So let's pretend you might actually receive this letter. I just experienced your short story collection. Maybe it wasn't the best choice for taking a first time walk into your imagination.

I just don't get you, man. What makes you tick? What message are you hoping that someone reading will feel right into their soul? I wanted to love Dublin like YOU love Dublin. But just nothing happened.

Because great literary men have come before you- Hardy, Tolstoy,Dostoyevsky, Steinbeck, Du
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is real life, this is the story of us! This is us.

This is a pack of stories featuring the pathetic or ordinary challenges that one might face on a daily basis, human mistakes, human feelings, human fears and desires, and basically humans. Don't expect it to be anything expect anticlimax!
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
3.5 Stars ⭐️Read for a challenge

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Paul Secor
I find Dubliners to be a perfect example of the love-hate relationship that James Joyce had with his native city.
On the negative side, there is his choice of (mostly) mean, depressing subject matter. On the positive side, there is the writing itself - pristine and done with loving care.
In the end, at least for me, love wins out.

As anyone who's read Dubliners knows, "The Dead" is a masterpiece.
Last year, the Irish Repertory Theatre did a theatrical production of "The Dead" at the American Irish
Mark André
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As powerful a commitment to the form to be found in English. The original fourteen stories should be read as a set piece: as they portray the evolution of thought from childhood to adulthood: from dogmatic belief to reasoned denial. The Dead should be viewed separately. Five-stars!
A feeling, uncompromising and superb depiction of low middle-class life in Dublin at the turn of the 20th century. I am particularly impressed by how the short stories are echoing one another.

Tremendously helpful introduction and notes by Trinity College Professor Terence Brown.

My favourite stories :

The Sisters *
An Encounter
Araby *
After the Race
Two Gallants *
The Boarding House *
A Little Cloud *
Counterparts *
A Painful Case *
Ivy Day in the Committee Room
A Mother
The Dead *

I must confess I dreaded a little to start reading something of James Joyce. I think I made the wright choice to start with 'Dubliners'. I really appreciated the stories although they are not always easy to understand. The last story for example begins with festivities for Christmas. At the end of the party the woman of the main charachter introduces herself. She descends from the staircase as in many ghoststories the ghost appears. One wonders if it's a ghost, if she's just an image that Gabrie ...more
Diane Barnes
Success is mine, for I have read the only James Joyce book I have been able to not only finish, but actually understand. Having said that, I have to admit I didn't care for the first 14 stories much, but the last and the longest "The Dead" is one of the best I've ever read. That one is a five star rating, the others merely three. I wish "The Dead" had been novel length, it invoked an atmosphere and setting I wasn't ready to leave. ...more
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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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“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” 486 likes
“But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

from “Araby”
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