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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.
31 of 31 people found this review helpful
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.
52 of 53 people found this review helpful
Fantastic reading by Jim Norton. Norton is able to evoke a sense of time and place in his reading by giving each of the characters an Irish (or an English accent where appropriate) accent. The reading pace is steady and characters are brought to life in Norton's rendering of the Dubliners in this audio book.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Dubliners (Naxos Edition)?
Joyce doen't need me to spray the greatness of his writing still further. It goes without saying. But to make him as easily available as Jim Norton does takes a special talent. As with his outstanding reading, performing really, of Ulysses, he is utterly, convincingly in character in these stories. His feeling for sound, poetic motion and the nuances of personality is faultless.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful