Penny's Reviews > A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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's review
Apr 02, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: try-again-later
Read in April, 2007

I am three quarters of the way through this book, and I've just decided to bail out.

I have Irish Catholic heritage, so the early part of the book was mildly interesting because I could relate to the quasi-gnosticism of the priests in the boys' school.

Later on I stuck with it because I kept thinking that, eventually, there had to be some flesh-and-blood characters that I'd care about, some relationships between people (or even some realistic conversations), a tiny bit of action taking place outside of the protagonist's head...

As I was dozing on the bus today while the reader's voice droned in my headphones, I realized that I wasn't going to get any of those things.

I'm sure if I were taking a literature class and studying this book with some supporting material and guided discussion, I would appreciate it more, and maybe understand why it made the RH "best books of the 20th century" list. When it's just me, myself, and the online Cliff's Notes, though, it's really not my kind of novel.
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05/19/2016 marked as: try-again-later

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, the guy is definitely talented but as soon as that scene on the beach happened, it got really weird. LOL!

Eric Bruen That scene on the beach is when it all came together, when he's running, suddenly carefree, and now realizing his release from the dogma of the church and school and society in general; that's when the toil of the heavy language as a reader is finally rewarded. What a joyous moment and a relief that was, the boy finally figured it out and became the man, the artist, the individual he was finally free to be. Sorry you didn't feel that. I struggled through this book but the final third really made me so glad for the experience

BarbaraW I think this book is lauded by literary snobs because they rejoice in his difficult prose. I'm afraid to try any of his other works but maybe they have more of a complete plot. I NEED s plot. Ha

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