Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2004
CD ISBN 978–962–634–309–8 $149.98 Twenty-two CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
It is an imposing enough task to attempt a quality unabridged recording of James Joyce’s ULYSSES. Add to that the aim to provide the listener with 18 smoothly segued musical transitions consisting of songs and opera excerpts mentioned in the novel; a booklet with a track-by-track commentary, introduction, and explanatory essays; and finally a CD-ROM packed with further supplements (Web links, booklists, interviews with the performers, sound files of Joyce reading excerpts, and more)--and you have as ambitious and rewarding an audio production as any that exists, an audio experience that truly deserves to be cherished. Joyce’s celebrated novel follows Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom as they travel in Dublin on June 16, 1904. Joyce’s inspiration was THE ODYSSEY and the fullness of humanity he recognized in Odysseus, whose adventures he obliquely recreates in the wanderings of Bloom. Following along with the novel while listening to the discs reveals the enormous care that director Roger Marsh and reader Jim Norton lavish on the project. Their orchestrated performance is a work of love and respect for Joyce and his experimental, poetic, funny, musical epic book. Jim Norton has a wonderfully rich and friendly voice, appreciative of the humor and cadences of the text and even of the onomatopoetic textual noises of cat purrs, door creaks, and print-press groans: “Everything speaks in its own way.” His performance turns a challenging book into an inviting, even a hypnotic, one. Marcella Riordan satisfyingly performs the dialogue of Molly Bloom, including the 24,000-word unpunctuated stream-of-consciousness passage that concludes the novel. Readers of ULYSSES have long been encouraged to read out loud the more difficult sections for added comprehension and enjoyment of the language. Now, thanks to Naxos, the entire book is available in a performance to savor. It is safe to say that anyone wanting to experience the preeminent work of modern fiction has in this package the perfect audio companion. G.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award 2005 Audie Award Finalist © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 05]
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