Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dubliners by James Joyce

Not Stuffy At All
Review by The Mole

I have to admit to being caught out by Joyce. Well, it's a 'classic' isn't it? I am like many readers who are wary of the classics. Don't they belong in the classroom and are stuffy and boring?

I am being challenged by Maryom to try more of the 'classics' so this was an ideal opportunity. And I was extremely surprised. The stories are not huge 'twists in the tail' but nor are they dull and boring. They are stories that contain a 'slice of life' but when I knew how a story was to end Joyce managed to shake it about and the ending is not what I expected. Short enough to read 1 or 2 at a coffee break they are remarkably true to life and enjoyable.

Although written about Ireland over a hundred years ago, the language is still totally readable although there are some interesting turns of phrase in it - amusing ones quite often.

The Sisters - a story of a young boy very moved by the death of an old priest - someone he has has been told to keep away from.

An Encounter - two boys play truant from school and meet someone.

Araby - a young boys infatuation with a girl he tries to please.

Eveline - My particular favourite is of a young girl, oppressed by her family duties and runs away to meet her boyfriend who will take her to Buenos Ayres away from it all.

Stories of ambitions and family life and love. These stories are as real today as they were then, and although controversial at the time, today they are just fun reads.

Penguin seem to have renamed their 'modern classics' to 'English library' and hopefully that will attract more readers to these books and people can get back to enjoying these stories that the classroom has managed to give a 'stuffy' reputation to.

I am assured that Joyce gets 'weirder' in his later writings and his last book 'Finnegan's Wake' ends with the the word 'The'. Now Maryom hasn't read that one so there's a challenge!

Publisher - Penguin Books
Genre - Adult Fiction, Short Stories

Buy Dubliners (Penguin English Library) from Amazon

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