Ulysses by James Joyce

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Ulysses has the effect at once of making everything else look brassy. Since I have read it, the texture of other novelists seems intolerably loose and careless...
-The New Republic


Regarded as the zenith of modernist fiction, James Joyce's masterpiece continues to attract, enthrall and baffle critics as it manages to fit religion, death, culture, politics metaphysics, epistemology, and the history of human progress into a single day. Joyce structured his revolutionary novel to mirror the Greek myth, emphasizing the wandering quest "back home" undertaken by his protagonist on a summer day in Dublin. Layered, heady and often irreverently comical, Ulysses remains unparalleled.


About James Joyce

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Irish novelist and poet James Joyce is widely recognized as one of the greatest writers of the modernist avant-garde period, although this recognition did not come until long after his death. In writings such as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and his classic Ulysses, Joyce experimented with the use of language, extensively employed techniques like stream-of-consciousness and inner monologue, and pushed the boundaries of propriety with his explicit content. James Joyce died on January 13, 1941 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Published November 1, 2000 by Modern Library. 783 pages
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Critic reviews for Ulysses
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

The New Republic

Reviewed by EDMUND WILSON on Jul 05 2015

Ulysses has the effect at once of making everything else look brassy. Since I have read it, the texture of other novelists seems intolerably loose and careless...

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The New York Review of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Ellmann on Oct 25 1984

Admirers of the book will wish to have the splendid new edition, but need not expect to find it a new work. Ulysses has been given a commendably high polish and some of its small perfections recovered.

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The Atlantic

Above average
Reviewed by BEN W. HEINEMAN JR. on Nov 29 2010

What I found was two novels: a deeply humanistic one which brilliantly and beautifully captures the life of a day in Dublin primarily through three main characters; and a second, highly literary one of surpassing complexity and, without careful study, limited accessibility...So, Joyce's Ulysses is still a very hard read.

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Kansas City Public Library

Above average
Reviewed by Bernard Norcott-Mahany on Jun 15 2012

In the case of Ulysses, Joyce is doing more than telling the story of one day in the life of an ordinary (and somewhat underachieving) man. He is presenting us with all sorts of ways of thinking...ways of categorizing information and analyzing the world around us...

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Brothers Judd

Below average
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Jan 28 2014

But last night I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that Ulysses is the greatest hoax of the century...Surely, Joyce must have realized that Ulysses was the inevitable & fitting conclusion to the Romantic Age...Ulysses is the culmination of this trend--a novel that could only be read, understood or enjoyed by its author. Spare yourself.

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