The debut of Ireland’s greatest author and one of the most influential voices in modern literature
It took nine years for James Joyce to find a publisher for this vivid, uncompromising, and altogether brilliant portrait of Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. Now regarded as one of the finest story collections in the English language, it contains such masterpieces as “Araby,” “Grace,” and “The Dead,” and serves as a valuable and accessible introduction to the themes that define Joyce’s later work, including the monumental Ulysses.
Elegantly interweaving a moral history of Ireland with profiles of brave, flawed, and utterly realistic individuals—many of them clearly drawn from the author’s own life—experiencing moments of profound insight, Dubliners is an essential work of art.
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Frank and Malachy McCourt and 13 Irish actors bring Joyce's short stories to life in this well-produced audiobook. None of the readers employ a thick accent in the narrative portions, but for dialogue they let their imitative talents shine and their Irish lilts bloom. Brendan Coyle and Charles Keating, reading "A Little Cloud" and "Grace" respectively, give such wonderful expression to the idiosyncrasies of every individual voice that the listener is never confused even when numerous men are talking. Joyce wrote only sparingly in actual dialect, but most of the readers interpret his intentions freely and successfully. Fionnula Flanagan is perfect reading "A Mother," her voice shifting easily between prim and proper tones and fiery indignation punctuated with little sighs. It helps that Joyce's writing is so masterful that when Flanagan and the two other actresses read the three stories that revolve around women, their words sound utterly natural. Not all the performances are on the same level Stephen Rea's cold, somber voice is apt for the meditative beginning and ending sections of the collection's most famous story, "The Dead," but too flat for the central description of a lively party. This audiobook creates the atmosphere of a fireside storytelling session that will hold any listener in rapt attention.