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It seems that there are a number of people listening to this book that don't understand the nature of James Joyce. He is dense and complex; one does not simply listen while commuting or you would crash your car. You could easily keep hitting the rewind button and hearing a new thought each time. The narrator might go a bit fast, but he is incredibly rewarding and conveys the nuance of the language well. Currently $1.00 on audible, this is a tremendously valuable work for very cheap.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A geat rendition that delivers the nuances of the language and brings the Dublin tone to life
This is the second Audible "fail" I have experienced. The voice sounds like a robot.