Ulysses Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ulysses

Joyce's masterpiece describes the events of a single day -- June 16, 1904 (the day Joyce met his future wife, so you might call it the longest Hallmark card in history) -- in the life of two primary characters, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus (with a significant offstage role played by Bloom's wife Molly, who only takes center stage in the final chapter), in Dublin. The book plays with the English language and narrative forms like almost no other has, using older historical styles, imitating music, going to all dialogue, then all interior monologue, then Socratic Q&A. It's a lot to tackle without benefit of explanatory texts or a school course to help the reader along, but it has been done.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

The events of one day, detailed from 8:00am until the early morning hours of the next day. This book has three main characters, each having their own section of the book. Unless the reader has an extensive knowledge of... everything... a large annotations book will almost certainly be neccessary. This book was chosen as the best book of the century by a panel from the Modern Library.
The review of this Book prepared by Mike Bauer

This was voted the best book in the English language in the twentieth century. It's very basic plot is cataloging a normal day (16 June 1904) in Dublin, Ireland, following the exploits of the three main characters: Stephen Dedalus (protagonist of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a nineteen year-old ex-Catholic and literary genius), Leopold Bloom (a small-time, Jewish businessman), and Molly Bloom (Leopold's wife, a singer, who is cheating on him with another small-time businessman named Blazes Boylan). Probably one of the most complicated books ever written, the story parallels Homer's The Odyssey, and touches on every theme that exists, as well as explores every literary style that exists. At times, it has extremely lude and graphic sexual content and very foul language. The book is a masterwork, quite possibly the greatest book ever written, and is a phenomenal celebration of the mind, body and spirit.
The review of this Book prepared by David J. Peterson

Chapter Analysis of Ulysses

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Irish Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   Vagia talk!    -   Weiner talk! Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Ulysses

James Joyce Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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