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As they stand, each one alone, you could listen to these 15 stories of life, very truly lived in Dublin around the start of the last century, for a long time, and many times, and still hear something new, even though nothing very dramatic happens, because the writing is so precise and, through TP McKenna, the speaking is so right for what James Joyce himself described as a series of epiphanies.
McKenna acted for may years at Dublin's Abbey Theatre and appeared in film versions of Ulysses and Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, and his restrained tone lends itself gently to these glimpses of moments of subtle revelation.
Only one complaint, and the meticulous Joyce mght share it, because the author himself, and he should know, said this of Dubliners, "I have written it for the most part in a style of scrupulous meanness and with the convition that he is a very bold man who dares to alter in the presentment, still more to deform, whatever he has seen and heard."
Unfortunately, some bold or, more likely, careless individual, has deformed this beautifully-spoken version of Dubliners, or at least has altered the presentment of what he has seen, so that we hear the stories in the wrong sequence. Because Joyce's scrupulousness extended to insisting that they appear in a certain order in the published version of the book.
He classed them into four aspects: Childhood (conisting of The Sisters, An Encounter and Araby); Adolescence (Eveline, After the Race, Two Gallants and The Boarding House); Maturity (A Little Cloud, Counterparts, Clay and A Painful Case): and Public Life (Ivy Day in the Committee Room, A Mother, Grace and The Dead).
There is not too much lost by the apparently random order of this audio version, but it is simply right that any rendition of Dubliners should start with the news of a death in The Sisters and should end with the beautiful reflection on last things in the longest and richest of the stories, The Dead.
49 of 50 people found this review helpful
Dubliners is an exceptional and beautiful collection of short stories. The stories are well read by T.P. McKenna. I dont know why the collection is not in the same order as the stories appear in the text. This is irritating if you want to find a particular story to listen to and Joyce makes it clear that he placed the stories in order for a reason - there is progression from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. Despite this I loved listening to these stories as they are read here and would recommend the title.
26 of 28 people found this review helpful
I very much appreciated everything about this version of Dubliners except for one thing - the stories are not in the correct order. Joyce detailed the order for the stories in his letters and every version I have seen uses that order - it has a significance in terms of coming of age. But this version uses some other method - and it's not order of composition -although it may be the order of magazine publication - I don't know. I'd be curious to know why CSA (or whomever) did this. Other than that I was delighted with McKenna's rendition and if this ordering doesn't bother you, I recommend it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I agree mostly with what has been written so far. This is the best reading, but does not preserve the intended order. Also frustrating, is that the titles of the stories come at the end of the preceding chapters, rather than at the top of the actual chapters, so navigating to the correct order is even more difficult. I assembled this list for myself, and so thought I would share it:
(1) 5 The Sisters,
(2) 9 An Encounter,
(3) 3 Araby,
(4) 8 Eveline,
(5) 6 After the Race,
(6) 10 Two Gallants,
(7) 4 The Boarding House,
(8) 11 A Little Cloud,
(9) 14 Counterparts,
(10) 15 Clay.
(11) 1 A Painful Case,
(12) 12 Ivy Day in the Committee Room,
(13) 13 A Mother,
(14) 2 Grace,
(15) 7 The Dead,
6 of 6 people found this review helpful