Top 100 Novels of All Time List
Bookmark and Share

The Best 100 Lists HomeBest 100 Novels Main PageVote for Your Favorite NovelsContact UsBest 100 Novels BlogBest 100 Novels Forum


by James Joyce 

Review of Ulysses by James Joyce

Get Ulysses Audiobook now from Ulysses (Unabridged)

AudioBooks bar

       I've now read 46 of the books on this list and I'd rather kill myself  than open it again. I'm also not interested in meeting any people who liked this " work of art ". I'm pretty sure they're lying to be presumed to be above us all! I'll never get those 20 ( it seemed like 2000 ) days back again.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by Schwaybe

AudioBooks bar

       This was both one the best and worst books I've ever read. Every page is filled with literary genius for any wishing to decipher it, and while that is an amazing feat for an author to achieve, it is also one of my least favorite things about the book. When you read a book, you want to know all the little details, but when there are so many you may find your mind has wondered and that you didn't take in the last ten pages. In the end though, despite the good couple of years and various attempts it took for myself to get through - it was definately a worthy read deserving of its spot on the list. I can imagine how much the comments about it confuse readers into wondering whether or not they would acctualy enjoy reading it, and it all depends on your mental capacity. If you can't take the time to sit back and consider the philosophy and psychology of something for hours at a time, then this is not the book for you - unless you (like myself) enjoy the challenge of it. It will leave you feeling extremely accomplished and excrutiatingly enlightend.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by Melissa

AudioBooks bar

       Yes I read it. I can sum up my feelings on the book by saying if James Joyce were alive today he'd have a lifetime prescription for Ridlin. What is defined by this work as "stream of conscious" we call attention deficit disorder. He may very well be the poster boy for A.D.D. My heavens what a boring book. My personal library is over 400 volumns so I'm not a neophyte when it comes to literature. Sorry, I can't agree with it being on the list never mind how often it hits number one.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by John T

AudioBooks bar

       Twentieth Century literature as we know it started in 1922 with the publication of Ulysses in Paris.  While it would take an additional decade for the book to reach American shores due to alleged obscenity and heresy it  contains all the elements of "modernist" prose as we know it and its influencence can be most strongly felt in the slew of imitators that sprung up in its wake.  Faulker and Woolf all the way up through Pynchon and David Foster Wallace owe a fairly-apparent debt to Joyce, especially the Joyce of Ulysses, as oppossed to the Joyce of A Portrait, a fine novel in its own respects both nothing as revolutionary or unexpected as the book that followed.

       Let's get this out of the way first:  Ulysses is difficult.  Let's get this out of the way next:  Ulysses has passionate lovers and haters.  Include me in the former category, and as such the following review may be considered biased or subjective but then again what reviews are not and that is just the nature of things.  The detractors of this book find it pointless or "narritive-less", by which they of course refer to the sprawling, unfocused anti-plot that follows a group of Dubliners, cheif among them Mr. Leopold Bloom, moderatley unseccessful advertising canvasser and cuckolded beta-male, and Mr. Stephen Dedalus (of A Portrait fame) a budding writer and thinker haunted by visions of Catholic guilt and familial specters.  And that is basically the whole novel except of course it is so much more, elevated by Joyce's brazen (and frequently humorous) narrative experiments.  The Oxen and the Sun (Book 14) traces the evolution of the English language while depicting a scene of carousing and merriment at a local maternity ward, a situation inherently funny and made all the more so by the outrageous behavior of the charchters and narrative ingenuity, while simultaneously allowing for prolonged digressions on the nature of birth and life and parentage and religion, the dichotomy of which paints a good portrait of the type of book Ulysses sets out to be.  Book 15 (Circe) is written entirely in stage-play format a platform not typically condicive to the types of hallucinatory interludes we encounter in the section, detailing such topics as Bloom's imagined rise and imminent fall as a political archetype, his lurid and uprorious S&M fantasies, and his trail and punishment in a scathing parody of the legal system and all its trappings and prejudiced witnesses. In book 17, Ithaca, we are privy to an extended question and answer section as could be found in a scentific textbook or manual, complete with all manner of erudite and scientifically correct analysis of processes and natural phenomena.

       In Ulysses, Joyce uses the most inovative techniques to describe some of the most mundane activities imaginable, subsequently elevating the activities described and impressing us all with the work of a writer at the top of his game. This is a must-read (not an easy-read) for anyone who loves language, writing and the "jocoserious" manipulation of everything else in between.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by Zaviar Wun

AudioBooks bar

       I have just recently finished reading Ulysses and needless to say I was awe-struck.  The book is hands down the most difficult book i have ever read and it seems that I failed to grasp more than half of the intended ideas presented throughout the novel.  Yet, the parts that were imparted on me left me speech-less.  The prowess that Joyce shows in his bold brandishing of the english language is truly breath -taking in my humble opinion.  This novel is at the top of my list and it virtually stands alone.  For example, Joyce uses an entire episode (Oxen of the Sun) as a description of the gestation process of the english language from medieval prose to "modern" slang.  It also goes without saying that Molly's soliloquy in the last episode (Penelope) is simply to die for.  The entire plot centers around a single day in Dublin and some have suggested that it is less about Leopold, Molly, or Stephan as it is about Dublin itself.  Whatever the intended subject, it is evident that Joyce succeded in analyzing nearly every aspect of the city and its residents through this retelling of an ancient classic.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by Anonymous


       I know I'm not supposed to say this but I'll come right out with it.  I flat out didn't like Ulysses.  Perhaps I just didn't get it or something, but best I could tell its about nothing.  Thats right nothing at all.  I've seen the book on pretty much every list like this that I've ever looked at so I figured it must be worth a read.  A reviewer talked about ties to Homers Odyssey and praised the genious of Joyce.  I tried to read it and just couldn't get through it.  About 6 months later I read another review talking about how Ulysses had the best ending of any book ever written.  Finally I sat down and read it.  Not all in one sitting obviously.  To be kind I'll say that I was unimpressed.

Ulysses by James Joyce was reviewed by Honest Abe


If you've read Ulysses by James Joyce please feel free to add your own review.  Any contributions are welcome.

Review button for Ulysses by James Joyce