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Dock

Dubliners - James Joyce

When I bought and read Ulysses many years ago I knew nothing about the book apart from the fact that it was considered a ‘classic’. I didn’t get it. I went into it thinking it was going to be a straight forward novel which for those of you who have attempted it will know it isn’t. I felt comforted when on a literary tour of Dublin a few years ago the very well-read and knowledgeable Irishman who was our tour guide stated that he himself considered Ulysses to be, and I quote: “A load of shite”. So once bitten twice shy when it came to JJ’s books. I never went near anything of Joyce’s again up until a week ago.

In the last month in The Irish Post newspaper the author Joseph O’ Connor did four weekly articles on the various merits of Joyce’s Dubliners. From the enthusiasm in his articles it was apparent that Dubliners was a far cry from the zany off the wall word circus of Ulysses so I thought I’d give it a go, and it wasn’t much of a gamble at £1.89 for the kindle edition.

Approx 160 pages it is made up of fifteen short stories. Some are that short I would say they were more glimpses of lives rather than stories. The setting is turn of the last century Dublin (you have probably worked that bit out yourself from the title like). Each story has one main character, and all of them are from different walks of life. Each story is excellently written and Joyce is both economical and very poetic with his writing. His stories cover most of the human emotional rollercoaster that we all go through.

The main thing that struck me as somebody who has visited Dublin a couple of times is that James Joyce uses the city as not just the backdrop for his characters, but as a living breathing organism that is as much a part of each of the stories as the characters or plot. I’m not sure but I’m guessing that Joyce wanted to depict each story as simultaneously happening as they are all set in the autumn and winter. The reader gets a feel for the environment as much as the people portrayed. The final and longest story called ‘The Dead’ is a master class in short story telling. Your humble reviewer has been writing short stories since last year and by reading Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ I can honestly say that it’s the standard I would one day like to achieve. Total perfection of the craft IMHO.

For those of you who may have only seen the Dublin of Temple Bar and O’Connell Street Dubliners is a meander through a Dublin that many parts of are still there to see for those who like to get off the beaten track when visiting a city. The word classic gets banded about a lot, but the term is fitting when describing this collection. Dublin for £1.89. You can’t even get it that cheap with Ryanair. 10/10
Grind

I thought Ulysses was mostly useless, but may try the Dubliners.

Dock has that much power over me.  
Dock

Grind wrote:
I thought Ulysses was mostly useless, but may try the Dubliners.

Dock has that much power over me.  


I'm dead powerful me. Not to be messed with and should always be listened to and obeyed.

















































































































Can somebody tell the above to Mrs. D as I'm too frightened n' that.
Dock

And Dock Dog. Tell him as well.
Grind

I'm somewhere between the toaster and the Keurig coffee machine in the overall scheme of things.

* And I'm only above the coffee maker because I'm the only one who drinks the stuff.

** Eat Kona, bitch.

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