[[caption-width-right:280:A more accurate title, many will find]]

->''"Despite these obstacles, readers and commentators have reached a broad consensus about the book's central cast of characters and, to a lesser degree, its plot."''
-->-- TheOtherWiki on ''Finnegans Wake''

''Finnegans Wake''[[note]]The lack of apostophe is deliberate. If you want rigidly accurate grammar and spelling, this is definitely not the book for you.[[/note]] is a 1939 novel written by Creator/JamesJoyce. It took him 17 years to write, and may take nearly as long to read, as it is completely written in an idiosyncratic, made-up language that vaguely resembles English spoken with a thick Irish brogue (although it contains elements, usually obscure puns, from over 60 world languages).

Critics and scholars disagree about a lot about this book, but most agree that it portrays a man's dream, and that it's full of complex, layered allusions and jokes. Arguments still rage as to whether it has a plot.

Some people have suggested that reading it out loud is the easiest way to understand it, but if you attempt this feat, TV Tropes [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope disclaims all responsibility]] for any long-term effects on your throat, vocal chords, or sanity.

If you would like to read a description written in the same style as the book, see the ''[[SelfDemonstrating.FinnegansWake self demonstrating page]]''.
!!''Finnegans Wake'' contains examples of these tropes:

* AllJustADream: A common EpilepticTree, possibly supported by WordOfGod. Not to mention the word "wake" can mean either a funeral ceremony or [[CaptainObvious waking up]].
* AnachronicOrder: Doesn't really have a beginning, [[NoEnding doesn't have an ending either]]. Not to mention the "story" jumps back and forth through many stages of history. There's a good chance any given historical event or person prior to 1939 has been mentioned in the ''Wake.''
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: HCE represents the landscape of Dublin, Anna Livia [[note]]from ''Abhainn na Life''[[/note]] the river Liffey, Issy takes the form of clouds and light rain.
* ArcNumber: 1132 appears repeatedly, both as a date and in various addresses. [[note]]AD 1132 saw the defilement of a nunnery at Kildare, particularly marked by the rape of the abbess; the man who ordered the attack, Dermot mac Murrough, did so as a move to make the abbess unfit for her office and force her removal in favor of a kinswoman of his own. Mac Murrough's lust for power caused a great deal of internal strife, and it was he who, some thirty-seven years later, offered an allegiance with the Normans which became the second (after the Vikings came in in the 9th century) of many long and humiliating occupations of Ireland. James Joyce, like many, traced Ireland's history of oppression, treachery, and sectarian strife firmly back to the rape of the abbess of Kildare.[[/note]]
* ArcWords: more like Arc Cadences, really. Many phrases throughout the book -- such as "Buckley shot the Russian general", "hitherandthithering waters of. Night", "Earwicker", and of course "Finnegans wake" itself -- reoccur in highly modified forms, so that often only the broad rhythm survives. The effect is like that of variations in a musical theme.
* AuthorAvatar: To a certain degree, HCE does represent Joyce; but he also represents many other things as well. Shem the Penman can also be seen as a stand-in for Joyce, and is used frequently by Joyce to view himself critically.
* BeastFable: "The Mookse and the Gripes" and "The Ondt and the Gracehoper" are two quite fun examples.
* BilingualBonus: More like ''Nonalingual'' Bonus. As the HurricaneOfPuns entry below states, you'd have to be fairly knowledgeable in nine different languages (not including English) to even understand more than half the jokes.
* BookEnds: as well as the opening/closing sentence fragments, the characters Mutt and Jute from chapter one show up again in the final chapter (as Muta and Juva) to discuss the sunrise and celebrate HCE waking up.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Shem and Shaun towards Issy.
* CallBack: In the penultimate chapter, ALP comforts Shaun after he has a nightmare about "phanthares in the room", mirroring Haines' nightmares about a panther in {{Ulysses}}. The book is also full of hidden references to Bloom and Stephen's experiences in the earlier books, and even several passages fully rewritten in "Wakese".
* EvilCounterpart: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mug_Ruith Magrath]] and his wife [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith Lily]] Kinsella to Earwicker and Anna Livia.
* FootnoteFever: Many scholarly editions of the book. They also appear in the schoolbook chapter (2.2), representing Issy's commentary on the material ([[MindScrew not that it helps the reader much]])
* GenreBusting: To the point where TheOtherWiki, which is usually very good at finagling a book into a particular genre, simply gives its genre as ''sui generis''.[[note]]That's "one of a kind" for those unfamiliar with the expression.[[/note]] Of course, the first sentence of the article identifies it as "a work of [[SurrealHumor comic fiction]]" as well.
* GuideDangIt: [[RunningGag A rare non-video game usage of the trope,]] as the richness of references used in ''Finnegans Wake'' need to be listed and referenced in a separate volume which will typically be about as massive as the text itself.
* HerCodenameWasMarySue: HCE, as noted above; plus a number of the minor characters are based on his acquaintances.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Almost '''''every single word of the book''''' is a wordplay of some sort, or part of a wordplay. And Joyce didn't limit the puns to English, either -- by some official estimates, he crammed words from about '''''sixty separate languages''''' into the book, and you would have to know at least ''nine'' different languages other than English (including Latin, Greek, and especially Gaelic) to get half of the jokes.
* IHaveManyNames: Most everyone, thanks to the shifting dream-like writing.
* InterruptedByTheEnd: The novel ends in mid-sentence, with the words "''A way a lone a last a loved a long the''" implying that the ''real'' story is just about to begin.
** I.e. recirculation back to the first page, which continues the sentence interrupted on the last page.
* KangarooCourt: the chaotic trial of Festy King.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: More like loads and loads of ''names.'' There are hundreds of name changes throughout the book, although a popular interpretation is that there is a set number of abstract characters that these names are supposed to represent.
* LongList: Used frequently.
* MindScrew: No shit, Sherlock.
** TheWalrusWasPaul
* {{Neologism}}
* NoEnding: Take a look at the first and last 'sentence'.
* NoPlotNoProblem
* ParentalIncest: HCE with his daughter Issy.
* PatterSong: ''The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly''[[note]] from ''perce-oreille'', French for "earwig" [[/note]] has elements of this and WordSaladLyrics.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: So full of them that you'll reach the same level of comprehension if you tried to achieve osmotic pressure by holding the book in your hands.
* PolarOppositeTwins: Shaun and Shem, although to a far lesser degree this is true of most of the main characters.
* {{Portmanteau}}: Just as an example, the word listed below under WrittenSoundEffect is made up from the words for "thunder" in ten different languages.
* ResetButton: If you notice the [[spoiler: ''first'' sentence of the novel and compare it to the ''last,'' you can see that the last one can continue the first sentence, this starting the cycle once again.]]
* RuleOfSymbolism: Extensive, if cryptic, references to Myth/CelticMythology, the Phoenix Park Murders of 1882, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and Myth/EgyptianMythology, among many many others.
* SelfDeprecation: HCE's "[[Literature/{{Ulysses}} usylessly unreadable blue book of Eccles]]"
* ShadowArchetype: Twins Shaun and Shem are each other's shadows; it's also possible that alternate name pairs like "Jerry and Kevin" indicate a higher order of shadowing.
* ShoutOut: Not in, but from the book, we have three. "Quark" was borrowed from here to name the subatomic particle. JosephCampbell also first saw the word "monomyth" in its pages, and GeorgeRRMartin named a castle in Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire after the first word, "riverrun".
** The title of the book comes from an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nl7axmO4A24 Irish ballad]] that can itself be rather hard to understand.
* ShownTheirWork: And ''how!''
* SpeechImpediment: HCE's stutter, usually over his guilt at his sexual indiscretions, is one of his distinguishing characteristics.
* SpookySeance: Shaun (or Yawn) is subjected to one by the Four Masters. They put him to sleep on [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_of_Uisneach the Hill of Uisneach]], afflict him with nightmares, and channel the spirit of HCE and his many incarnations through him.
* [[ThoseTwoGuys Those Four Guys]]: the Four Masters/Evangelists, who always travel together, appear to be seeking out HCE and serve as judges in his trial, spy on Tristan and Iseult, and generally try to impose order and fixity on the book.
* WorldOfPun: Every sentence.
* WrittenSoundEffect: The ten thunderclaps strewn across the book, the first one being on page one.[[note]]Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk![[/note]]