These vivid portraits of the author's native city weave a tapestry of Dublin and its people, yet also poignantly mourn the decline of Irish culture and civilization. Published in 1914, the collection was decried by some as obscene, but Joyce saw the work as "a chapter in the moral history" of Ireland. The stories present a vision of Dublin's claustrophobia and psychological paralysis, but the work's heaviness is balanced by an eccentric assortment of characters and the author's dry, often unexpected humor. Donal Donnelly narrates all 15 masterful stories, including "The Dead", "Araby", "The Boarding House", and "Eveline."
Narrator Donal Donnelly seems to slip on his tweed coat and walk into the Irish mist, so spot-on is his delivery of Joyce's homage to his hometown. Donnelly shifts from character to character with ease and brings a playful attitude to all the stories. An overarching claustrophobic tone, appropriate to the works, is offset by Donnelly's portrayals of the colorful characters. As the stories unfold, Donnelly uses his ample narration techniques to become a pleasing guide for this journey of exploration.
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Good reading, but muffled sound
- Tad Davis