Dubliners … a review
The only Irish author I can claim to have read extensively is Oscar Wilde. At the end of this month, I might be travelling to Dublin for work and so I thought, as part of the Classics Challenge, why not James Joyce? I have always associated Joyce with Ulysses and the size of it has been off-putting. I have also been under the mistaken impression that all of his works are long.
I was wrong. Even at the bookstore, I was surprised by the thinness of this book. ‘Practically a novella…’ I thought to myself. Wrong again! As it turns out, Dubliners is a book of short stories… major Joyce ignorance.
It is a delightful read. Enthused by the short story dip in and out aspect, I delved into it with gusto. The stories are like walking down the city streets. It is a mix of all the caricatures that you would see on city streets – the jilted lover, the reluctant wife, the whore, and the saint. The stories, themselves, cover the entire gamut of emotions. The style of writing reminded me of Dickens, but without the ramblings. The plot delves in straight to the point and does business.
Dublin is brought out through its residents, isn’t that lovely? I was transported to the Irish country capital even before I got there. I would thoroughly recommend this book as a quick but meaningful read. And ths has definitely made me want to read more of his works. I am looking forward to Dublin.
2015 was a bad year for my reading. I picked up many books that I abandoned because I did not enjoy them. And then I just didn’t pick books up many months of the year. I tried to make up for it in Nov and Dec but that didn’t go very well either. That’s all going to have to change.
One of the things I’ve never done before is a Reading challenge. I’ve signed up for one this year, hosted by You, Me and a Cup of Tea. It is a Classics challenge, which will be nice as I really enjoy reading them. We’ll see…
Do you sign up to ‘challenges’?
Long term Goal
I do not make new year resolutions; I do not believe in them. when I want to get something done, I get it done! So, since my blog has recently turned three, this is as good a time as any to make a resolution.
I read a lot of Classics as a child, I read the abridged versions initially; and later on in life I read the unabridged versions in full. Somewhere along my reading journey, other genres of books took over. There was fantasy, crime, magic realism, historical, philosophical and all sorts of other ‘phases’ of my reading life.
Last year, when V gifted me a Kindle, and I found scores and scores of Classics for free, two of the biggest problems were instantly solved. Those of weight and price! I re-read a few books and it reminded me of how much I loved reading Classics. So this is a list of 36, picked from The Big Book List, that I hope to read in the next three (hopefully) or four (realistically) years. I have been meaning to read some of these books for the longest time, and until I put this down and make it real, I’m not going to end up reading them. So here goes…
- Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart
- Allende, Isabel: The House of the Spirits
- Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Aristophanes: Lysistrata
- Arnow, Harriette: The Dollmaker
- Borges, Jorge Luis: Ficciones
- Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451
- Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights
- Camus, Albert: Stranger
- Chekov, Anton: Cherry Orchard
- Dickens, Charles: The Old Curiousity Shop
- Dostoevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
- Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
- Eco, Umberto: The Name of the Rose
- Eliot, T.S.: The Waste Land
- Joyce, James: Finnegans Wake
- Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
- Marlowe, Christopher: Doctor Faustus
- Mishima, Yukio: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
- Morrison, Toni: Jazz
- Nabokov, Vladimir: Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
- Nietzsche, Friedrich: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
- Scott, Sir Walter: Lady of the Lake
- Scott, Sir Walter: Waverly
- Shikibu, Murasaki: The Tale of Genji
- Spark, Muriel: Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
- Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath
- Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina
- Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace
- Trollope, Anthony: The Warden
- Twain, Mark: A Tramp Abroad
- Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass
- Williams, Tennessee: A Streetcar Named Desire
- Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse
- Yeats, William Butler: Irish Faerie Tales
Happy Birthday, L. Frank Baum!
That magical tale about Dorothy, her shoes, the land of Oz.
The witches too! I really really want to see the musical sometime, M says it’s reputed to be brilliant.
I read this novel when I was but a wide eyed child. And I have always loved witches since! I know, not a very childlike thing, but then, I was never a ‘regular’ predictable child.
We digress… a beautiful tale that I feel should be read out to children between the age of 7 and 10.
What do you think? Do you recommend any of his other books?