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James Joyce (1882-1941), an Irish poet and novelist, was one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century. His works include Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Terence Brown (introduction and notes) is an emeritus fellow of Trinity College Dublin.
A contender for the finest short story collection ever written, the lyrical beauty of Joyce's writing is enhanced on audio. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Frank and Malachy McCourt and 13 Irish actors bring Joyce's short stories to life in this well-produced audiobook. None of the readers employ a thick accent in the narrative portions, but for dialogue they let their imitative talents shine and their Irish lilts bloom. Brendan Coyle and Charles Keating, reading "A Little Cloud" and "Grace" respectively, give such wonderful expression to the idiosyncrasies of every individual voice that the listener is never confused even when numerous men are talking. Joyce wrote only sparingly in actual dialect, but most of the readers interpret his intentions freely and successfully. Fionnula Flanagan is perfect reading "A Mother," her voice shifting easily between prim and proper tones and fiery indignation punctuated with little sighs. It helps that Joyce's writing is so masterful that when Flanagan and the two other actresses read the three stories that revolve around women, their words sound utterly natural. Not all the performances are on the same level-Stephen Rea's cold, somber voice is apt for the meditative beginning and ending sections of the collection's most famous story, "The Dead," but too flat for the central description of a lively party. This audiobook creates the atmosphere of a fireside storytelling session that will hold any listener in rapt attention. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"In Dubliners, Joyce's first attempt to register in language and fictive form the protean complexities of the 'reality of experience, ' he learns the paradoxical lesson that only through the most rigorous economy, only by concentrating on the minutest of particulars, can he have any hope of engaging with the immensity of the world."-from the Introduction "Joyce renews our apprehension of reality, strengthens our sympathy with our fellow creatures, and leaves us in awe before the mystery of created things." -Atlantic Monthly "It is in the prose of Dubliners that we first hear the authentic rhythms of Joyce the poet...Dubliners is, in a very real sense, the foundation of Joyce's art. In shaping its stories, he developed that mastery of naturalistic detail and symbolic design which is the hallmark of his mature fiction." -Robert Scholes and A. Walton Litz, authors of Dubliners: Text and Criticism With an Introduction by John Kelly