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"I am not too shy to talk about myself."
Nov. 7, 2013
Every story in the collection is written with a light, subtle touch. Many of them stay with me -- particularly "Eveline," "Counterparts," and "The Dead." Joyce's endings are strange--they often feel abrupt. But I think it's because he's telling a different sort of story. The plot isn't centered so much in events as in the feelings and thoughts that pass through the characters. The endings (and every part of the narrative) come in response to those internal motions. I confess that some of the stories go over my head. I'm sure that I don't understand what's going on in "Ivy Day for the Committee Room," for example. Joyce is generally a writer who needs to be studied, and to be read with a lot of background knowledge. I haven't done so with Dubliners. Still, there's plenty to like here. The overall tone of the collection is one of incredible love for people.
Dec. 26, 2013
The vision of this book is breathtaking, but the narrative is jerky and awkward at times. Chapters 4-7 were the height, in my opinion. The transcendence of the concepts made what had come before worth the opacity and confusion. But characters get dropped and left behind, and I found the end deeply unsatisfying -- a real disappointment after all that had come before. The book is a glorious attempt, and I respect and am awed by what the author was trying to do, but I think it's held back from true greatness by a key bit of incoherence.
Dec. 26, 2013
Little Brother
This book is so near-future and plausible that, at times, it was almost too scary to read.
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