Dubliners (Naxos Edition)

  • by James Joyce
  • Narrated by Jim Norton
  • 6 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

James Joyce's Dubliners is a collection of short stories about the lives of the people of Dublin around the turn of the century. Each story describes a small but significant moment of crisis or revelation in the life of a particular Dubliner, sympathetically but always with stark honesty. Many of the characters are desperate to escape the confines of their humdrum lives, though those that have the opportunity to do so seem unable to take it. This book holds none of the difficulties of Joyce's later novels, such as Ulysses, yet in its way it is just as radical. These stories introduce us to the city which fed Joyce's entire creative output, and to many of the characters who made it such a well of literary inspiration.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An approachable Joyce

James Joyce is an author I have struggled with all of my life. I struggled with Finnegans Wake and Ulysses and gave up time and time again. In reading/listening to Michael Drout’s Approaches to Literature (Modern Scholar Part II), he recommends Dubliners over and over again so I had to try it.

Did I mention that all my life I have struggled with the short story form? They’re kind of like miniatures: miniature dogs... miniature ceramic tea cups... you know, they’re just not for everyone. I dare say this book is not for everyone either. But for me it was the best of Joyce and the best of the short story.

Nothing exciting here really; just a beautiful collection of words, elegantly assembled, eloquently delivered and all tied together with a lovely little ditty of a tune between parts. Author, narration and musical production all come together in perfection.
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- Robert

Good reading, a little slow

This is probably the best-produced version of Dubliners on Audible. Naxos does its customary magic with the incidental music: carefully-selected songs set each story apart; sometimes the song echoes the theme of the story; sometimes it's the actual music referred to in the story. The effect, from an atmospheric standpoint, is great. Jim Norton has a great voice too, deep and timbre-y. My only problem is that he's a bit on the quiet, subdued side, even when Joyce seems to be calling for a more raucous delivery. This is true at least of the narration; dialogue is captured here with great energy and a wide variety of voices.

The stories themselves are wonderful. I never liked "Dubliners" much until I made up my mind to listen to them; and after listening to four different versions now, I've discovered a wondeful thematic unity across all the stories, an almost cyclical development of images and situations. (Just to take the most obvious example, the book begins with a story about two sisters and ends with a story about two sisters.) There's a great deal of sly humor and good will as well. If you decide to listen to "Dubliners," do yourself a favor and listen to all of them, in order.

The stories usually end on an oddly discordant note, without a clear resolution; they take some time to get used to. That's one reason why the musical interludes on this recording are so important and so effective.
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- Tad

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-10-2005
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks