Tag Archives: James Joyce

Day 21 – Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished)

Take the book away and put me out of my misery

Take the book away and put me out of my misery

Short post from me tonight, partly because it’s been a long day and partly because even just writing about this book makes me feel tired and grumpy.

Let me introduce Ulysses by James Joyce, as my DNF book that I let people think I’ve read in full. In my defence I read a good chunk of it, erm, just not all of it. I even answered an exam question in my degree on the parts of the book I had read! Let’s just say, it was a good job I got on with the American Modernists better than Mister Joyce when it came to passing that course.

So, why didn’t I get through this? *shakes head and shrugs* I kind of just hated it. Stream of conscious writing I got on OK with: To the Lighthouse was fine and I actually would rate As I Lay Dying as one of my favourite ‘classic’ novels. Some of it was the subject matter – I really didn’t care for any of the characters much, so putting you inside their heads, to view their innermost thoughts first hand was never going to improve things. And it was a long slog, of people I didn’t like, not doing much and in some sections, very little punctuation.

All in all, I can appreciate what Joyce was trying to do and in he did achieve a realism in the writing – it was just realism to the point I really didn’t want to read it.