The intellectual and religio-philosophical awakening of young Stephen Dedalus as he begins to question and rebel against the Catholic and Irish conventions with which he has been raised. He finally leaves for abroad to pursue his ambitions as an artist. The work is an early example of some of Joyce's modernist techniques that would later be represented in a more developed manner by Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The novel, which has had a "huge influence on novelists across the world", was ranked by Modern Library as the third greatest English-language novel of the 20th century.
Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
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The narrator brought the text to life with voice modulation and enthusiasm. The narrator makes reading along a pleasure.
"I love the beginning with the little boy."
I first read this book forty years ago. Recently, I realized that all I remembered of it was "auntie's skirts." (They are at eye level for the little tot following around after the grownups.) Now after carefully listening to the audio a few weeks ago, I remember the little boy getting hurt and then quickly turning his attention to something to eat. I was reminded of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales, so endearing in its cuteness.
But there isn't much interest for me in Steven Daedalus as a grown man. Is this Daedalus also a builder of a maze? The maze of ideas he attempts to find his way through is boring, especially since we know that the real artist rejected those ideas and the city where he encountered them and vowed never to return to the provincial city of Dublin. I think it is reasonable for the reader to skip over some of the religious ramblings, for we get it! And surely more creativity will follow!
As for the narration, I was willing to wade my way through the Irish brogue to experience the novel in a more authentic manner, but that may be masochistic.
"it is a well written book."
it is James Joyce so you.know it is well written. The story did not really connect with me but that doesn't mean it is bad. I just had a difficult time connecting with the characters.
"Magnificence and Grandeur; Poetic Communiqués"
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, written by: James Joyce and narrated by: Michael Orenstein, tells the tale of the metamorphosis of boy to man; catholic to agnostic, and then confirmed as an all-out atheist – on family, religion and finally the structures of life. From an admiring child to a skeptic son. This is the story of growing up in 20th century impressionistic society. The story is not just told and heard but rather permeates your sole and moves your understanding of human existence. If you have a hankering to read this magnificent work of art; don’t unless you have a good understanding of catholic literature, mythic literature and western literature – because Stephen Dedalus has, and he will rely on those learnings to guide you through the novel. The title tells it all; life made Joyce into a artist. Just a small hint, Dedalus, or rather “Daedalus” was a skillful craftsman and artist in Greek mythology and his importance in myth is a key to Stephan Dedalus’ maturation as a man.
James Joyce,is not an easy read. His writing style is a stream of conciousness put down on the page and as such, will jump rather than transition from one concept to the next. You must sit and listen carefully to each litany of words he throws at you. You are not only being told a story in prose but enchanted into a state of thinking akin to the realm of poetry. In fact, the story is not very enthralling. Yet, every sentence speaks to you in words that enable your mind to drift in contemplation. Yes, it is a magnificent study, but no it is not light reading. Do not take it up unless you are ready to yield to a serious study into the concept of child to man. Believer to one who sees it all; or at least thinks he does.
We start with Stephen Dedalus as a boy, in an Irish household, then onto boarding school, where other personalities become dominant factors in one’s life, then university and its ability to open windows, and then to men in men’s company. Of course, we also get glimpses of what effect womanhood and its elegant frequencies have upon a man. Most of all though, without ever taking the subject up directly, we see Stephen develop into a literary artist. By the way, If you intend to read Ulysses, then A Portrait is a necessary first read.
If you have the time, patience and prior learning do yourself a favor and enjoy one of western civilization’s most influential novels.
"Great writer I am Sure"
Slower narration with much less accent.
Too fast, to thick accent, no emphasis.
I didn't finish the book.
"Boring and terrible narration"
Just terrible. Disjointed. Wordy. Dated. The last religious rant is just too much for me, I am dumping this. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!!
IF you choose to try the audiobook, do NOT pick the one narrated by Michael Orenstein. The narration is also terrible. I did listen to the sample before purchasing it; I certainly made a mistake.
I do not dump that many books, but this I just cannot stand.
"Narrator reads too fast"
Obviously this is one of the great modern novels. However, this narrator speed reads like the guy who used to do the FedEx commercials. Stick with the Donal Donnelly reading.
"I regret purchasing this audiobook!"
A better quality of the narration could have made this book into a 5 star listening experience.
I don't think so! It's not enjoyable to listen to this audio.M.Orenstein reads to fast and it's hard to follow and not very pleasant.
"Wrong voice for MY head"
I started to read "A Portrait of the Artist..." in my late teens, knowing it to be a "classic," but found it stylistically unappealing to me at the time. It had become part of my (61-year-old female) "bucket list," and appealed to me out from the Audible catalogue. Alas, the stylized Brogue of the narrator's voice interfered with the mulitiplicity of literary associations I might have had, and the author's adolescent male anguishes stemming from his Catholic upbringing could not resonate in my Russophilic soul.
Stephen Daedalus, or course.
I fear I am not likely to be a reader of works he might record.
I've been tiptoeing around "Ulysses" for most of my adult life, and fearing "Finnegan's Wake" ever since to coincided with the early bout of insanity chronicled in Sylvia Plath's "Bell Jar."
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