A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  • by James Joyce
  • Narrated by Jim Norton
  • 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This fictionalized portrait of Joyce's youth is one of the most vivid accounts of the growth from childhood to adulthood. Dublin at the turn of the century provides the backdrop as Stephen Dedalus moves from town and society, towards the irrevocable decision to leave. It was the decision made by Joyce himself which resulted in the mature novels of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.


What the Critics Say

"A masterpiece of subjectivity, a fictionalized memoir, a coming-of-age prose-poem, this brilliant novella introduces Joyce's alter ego, Stephen Daedelus, the hero of Ulysses, and begins the narrative experimentation that would help change the concept of literary narrative forever." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent audio book

Not only is this a great and intensly memorable book, it is also wonderfully narrated with strong and distinct characterization. The narrator really brings the characters alive in this movingly personal portrait of the artist as a young man. Absorbing and strongly recommended!
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- J.

The Soul Struggling to Fly Free

I???d only ever read Joyce???s short story ???Araby,??? having been intimidated by the difficult reputation of his work (especially Ulysses and Finnegan???s Wake), so I was unprepared for how wonderful A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is???and how accessible.

It must partly be due to Jim Norton???s marvelous reading, so sensitive to and enhancing of the novel???s poetic rhythms and sounds, beautiful images, savory characters, and mix of comedy and tragedy. Norton, reading the base narration in an appealing and neutral English accent (to my American ear) and the dialogue in an impressively and appropriately varied range of Irish accents and personalities, helps to bring alive the cultural, personal, dramatic, and thematic meanings of every word in the novel. Many scenes have been imprinted on my mind: Stephen unfairly having his hands flogged in class and then screwing up his courage to visit the Rector about it; Stephen listening to a priest giving intense sermons on the physical and mental horrors of hell (Norton-priest had atheist me shaking my head and chuckling at the sadistic-masochistic Catholic imagination one moment and tremblingly thinking that I???d better go to confession the next); Stephen raptly watching a girl wading with her dress hiked up; Stephen talking with his friend Cranly about mothers and Catholicism???. And many more.

After finishing the audiobook, I didn???t want it to end, so started listening to it again??? I also visited a website with the text of the novel and read parts of that, realizing that Jim Norton had me understanding it just as well if not better than I would have had I read it myself.

This audiobook version of Joyce???s novel is filled with beauty, humor, sadness, love, lust, guilt, transcendence, and life. Next up: Dubliners and Ulysses read by Jim Norton!
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- Jefferson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2005
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks