Author: James Joyce
What I Think So Far: Dubliners is a collection of short stories, with a single connection between them of being set in Dublin. Joyce is better known for the weighty tomes (such as Ulysses or Finnegan’s Wake) that he wrote in later life rather than these short stories, most of which last no longer than 15 pages. There’s a distinctive charm to the stories, as if we are looking at the incidents described in person. Reading Dubliners, you feel more like a bystander or onlooker to these events rather than a simple reader due to Joyce’s excellent writing. My favourite three stories are After The Race, The Sisters and Clay.
Would I Recommend It?: Yes, but some might find the more poetic elements and long sentences of Joyce’s writing rather grating, and the sexual nature of some stories may put off the more prudish. It’s not a particularly long book, and the beauty of it is that if you are finding a story boring you can simply skip to the next one. Joyce’s writing takes you to early 20th century Dublin for 193 pages, and then you are returned to wherever you came from. It has that precious skill of making the mundane exciting, and painting a picture with words alone.
Words by Gabriel Rutherford