Ulysses, Volume 1

  • by James Joyce
  • Narrated by Jim Norton
  • 1 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, 16 June 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another. While Bloom's passionate wife Molly conducts yet another illicit liasion (with her concert manager), Bloom finds himself getting into arguments with drunken nationalists and wild carousing with excitable medical students, before rescuing Stephen Dedalus from a brawl and returning with him to his own basement kitchen.In the hands of Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, experienced and stimulating Joycean readers, and carefully directed by Roger Marsh, Ulysses becomes accessible as never before. It is entertaining, immediate, funny, and rich in classical, philosophical, and musical allusion.

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What the Critics Say

"As ambitious and rewarding an audio production as any that exists, an audio experience that truly deserves to be cherished....Readers of Ulysses have long been encouraged to read out loud the more difficult sections for added comprehension and enjoyment of the language. Now, thanks to Naxos, the entire book is available in a performance to savor. It is safe to say that anyone wanting to experience the preeminent work of modern fiction has in this package the perfect audio companion." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ulysses - Outstanding

I've had a copy of Ulysses on my shelf for ten years or more and have never found the time or the commitment to get to grips with it. This recording is absolutely wonderful. I listen to nearly all Audible recordings whilst driving and Ulysses has made long journeys pass in an instant. The readers bring the book and characters to life and have had me howling with laughter whilst bowling along the motorways. Clearly this is a book that you can spend a lifetime unwrapping and I begin to see why it is often cited as being the greatest novel of the 20th century. That may be true or not but it is a very fine recording. Buy it.
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- Steve

Ulysses - the ideal introduction

Ulysses can seem a daunting prospect to the reader approaching the novel for the first time. The stream of consciousness technique can seem puzzling and there is a bewildering mixture of styles. Jim Norton's superbly varied reading makes clear in episode after episode what Joyce is doing with language. Each paragraph, each sentence, each word in this reading has clearly been carefully considered and then interpreted with great dramatic skill. The general effect is that this reading provides a continually illuminating interpretation of the text which allows the novel to emerge as the great comical masterpiece and celebration of life that is.

All the varied people of Dublin on June 16th 1904 are brought vividly to life by Norton. The two principal characters Stephen Daedalus and Leopold Bloom are particularly well characterised. But even the most minor characters are convincingly rendered. Bloom's wife Molly is interpreted by Marcella Riordan - it is a very high compliment to say that on a smaller scale she matches Jim Norton's achievement.

An episode like the Cyclops brings out particularly well the illumination this reading brings to the text : the contrasts between the crude, 'one -eyed' account of the unnamed narrator, the hilarious parodies of various styles of writing inserted by Joyce, Bloom's ineffectual reasonableness, the Citizen's prejudice and egoism - all these are clear at once to the listener, whereas only the most attentive reading of the text would yield the same insight.

If anyone is approaching Ulysses the first time or has tried unsuccessfully to enter the world of Bloomsday before, this reading provides an ideal way into the novel, while those who know the novel well will find this reading constantly revealing. It is one of the rare audio books that are more enjoyable with repeated listening.
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- Francis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-02-2005
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks