Reviews: Dubliners

A Fantastic Collection of Short Stories.

Joyce is one of the better known authors of the twentieth century, notable for writing the classic known as Ulysses, and the utterly batshit insane Finnegans Wake...But before them came Dubliners, a collection of short stories set in the titular city.

The stories themselves do vary in quality (e.g A Painful Case is a great read, Clay is not.) it is fascinating to go through all of them and see whatever subversive messages that Joyce was working into them. Be forewarned, they are all rather nihilistic in tone and very few of them have what could be considered happy endings. Then again that was likely Joyce's intent, he wanted to show Dublin as the centre of stagnation.

Perhaps the greatest selling point of the book is Joyce's amazing prose. The stories in the collection can give off some truly memorable lines that are beautiful to read (Perhaps most notable being the closing lines of The Dead.)

I'd recommend these stories to any fans of classical literature, though getting an annotated copy is essential to get all the references and to understand the contexts of them. Give them a read, and then maybe give Ulysses a try if you find you like them.