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This is James Joyce fired out of a cannon. An impressive demonstration of narrative athleticism by the talented John Lee does not compensate for a lengthy difficult listen and lack of nuance. It may possibly have been compressed in post production on the other hand to squeeze it into a certain time frame in which case they should de-compress it and re-publish. The nuance might bloom once it has air. 60% speed should do it. Then you might have a great audio.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
The reading is magnificent. Through the crowded pages and episodes of literally hundreds of characters, the narrator, John Lee, manages to catch in all their tones, quirks, and color the distinct voices of each. His inflection, pitch, and cadence is clear and deadly accurate. Not only are the rolling rhythms of Joyce's prose maintained with uncanny naturalness--thoughts are recognizable as such (not merely rendered as captioned overlays) and the tones, timbres, moods, and motives of the enormous flood of speech are rendered in as richly and varied accents as they would if one were walking the streets of Dublin.
From heavy Latinate meditations to the onomatopoeic replication of linotype machines in the newspaper office and the raucous imitation of a gramophone recording of a deceased grandfather, Lee's renderings are palpably believable as both the realities they represent and, more importantly, as empathetic interpretations of the individual hearts and minds they issue from.
I was first a bit wary of the lower cost and ratings of this version compared with the nearly tripled price of the most reviewed recording (who knows what they were thinking), but after listening to the provided sample of its long stretches of rushed and flattened monotone and hokey interpolated music recordings, I moved on to find this gem. It does what Joyce's greatest gift does--bring the full panorama of humanity to life purely through language.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
John Lee has done an excellent job in reading this great book.
There were a few minor errors in the pronounciation of placenames (e.g Killiny pron as 'Kill-in-ey' instead of ''Kill-ine-ey') but they would only be obvious to an Irish person and in no way does it detract from the enjoyment of John's very fine narration.
This audio-book is ideal for the 'Ulysses' novice (but be sure to read some of the many guides to the novel also - you don't set out to climb Mount Everest without doing some homework) as well as for those of us who already love it. It is a marvelous, witty, life-enhancing, enjoyable work and this comes through in this excellent audio version.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I have just finished this epic novel by James Joyce and whilst it was a marathon, I have achieved another goal in my must read (or listen to) list of great books. I don't pretend to understand all of this complex work (in fact I would say 50% of it was most incomprehensible to me) but what I did understand I enjoyed immensely. John Lee is a magnificent narrator and the book is read in a most ear pleasing manner. My only criticism is that being born in Dublin myself, I noticed a lot of incorrect pronunciations of both Street and Place names but this was only a minor irk. For all those people who have always wanted to read Ulysses, this is the way to do it.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
My expectations were high for this book based on several online literary reviews, but the narration is extremely hard to follow and the character voices employed are indistinguishable from each other. The end result has been that you simply cannot figure out what the story is about!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful