Ulysses takes us on the journey of two men, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, through an hour-by-hour account of their lives for one day. These men cross paths in a series of coincidental events and listeners learn how interconnected they are even though they are not friends.
Dedalus, a teacher, is dissatisfied with life. He spends the morning avoiding mocking friends, listening to a mundane lecture from his superior on life, and walking alone while reflecting on his younger self. Bloom, at the same time, is discovering his wife's affair (although he is having one of his own under a pseudonym), and pursuing an unsuccessful attempt at getting an advertisement ran for a client. Bloom feels like an outsider amongst acquaintances and reminisces on a time when things between he and his wife were good and happy.
Dedalus and Bloom continue to be in the same place at the same time throughout the novel as the story continues into themes of xenophobia, the quest for paternity, heroism in compassion, and many other of life's questions. Ulysses was written to mimic The Odyssey by Homer in a modern day retelling of the poem and has many parallels between the characters and plot events making the novel an epic adventure through two very ordinary lives.
©2016 A.R.N. Publications (P)2016 A.R.N. Publications
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James Joyce is known for his intricate attention to detail within his works, and Ulysses is definitely no exception. Ulysses follows the story of two men, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, taking the reader through an hour-by-hour account of each of their lives. This modern heroic quest shows readers know how connected people’s lives can be, even if they are not acquaintances.
When discussing Irish and British literature, Ulysses is a work of literature that should always be included on the discussion. Though at times, it can be dense and difficult to work through because of the many allusions woven through the text, once you get through it, you feel a sense of accomplishment. Ulysses not only shows the interconnectedness of humanity, but it also shows the interconnectedness of English literature.
Phillipe Duquenoy, the narrator of the audio book, has a delightful accent that embraces the reader, and helps with the difficultly of the text. Not only is his English accent a delight to listen to but it greatly contributes to the overall theme and setting of the novel itself. When trying to tackle Ulysses, the audio book might be the best route to follow, as it is less difficult to get lost in the massive amounts of detail provided on a page to page read.
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