I never doubted for a second that I’d finish it, because this time I vowed to read it no matter what but some of it was a chore to get through and nearly everyone I know kept referring to it as The Beast. It is rather beastly.
Part Three was my favorite part, particularly the very last episode titled, Penelope. This is an entire episode dedicated to Molly Bloom’s thoughts as she is in bed with her husband, Leopold Bloom. She recounts the early days of their marriage and the countless men she’s had affairs with. It’s a rather sad episode. Molly hasn’t lived a life of luxury and struggles with identity.
The entire book is a collection of failures and missed opportunities and puts everyone’s weaknesses front and center. As a reader, it’s easy to get lost in the gibberish and the heavy-handed use of slang but buried, deep down, there are little gems hidden here and there.
There are many reading guides available to help a reader experience Ulysses but really, you just need to dive in and experience it for yourself. This was my first complete read of the novel, but I suspect it won’t be my last. Many recommend rereading it many times to really appreciate it.
We called this a read-along, mainly for the support aspect but many had to put it down for various reasons. I don’t blame them. It’s a book that begs you to hate it with all its rambling prose and lack of plot but I feel that the last episode pulled it all together for me.
Since many have not read Ulysses, what is one classic you’ve always wanted to read but for whatever reason never did?
It’s the summer of the chunkster! A group of us decided to read Atlas Shrugged (#AtlasRAL) this summer and we have hit our last milestone which was to complete the book by August 15th. I am happy to say that I finished it a week before the deadline. Yes!
“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
— Dagny Taggart
First, a few thoughts:
- Of the three parts, this last part was my least favorite. Much of it seemed a little far-fetched and the romantic undertones were overly dramatic, in my opinion.
- In the previous parts, we have the build-up of what’s about to go down to look forward to, but in this part, we see it happen and was it just me, or was it a bit anticlimactic? Maybe because we all knew what was coming?
- THE BIG SPEECH, which is super long and everyone warned me about, was not all that long or maybe I was more into it than I thought. I had no problems with it and didn’t even skim.
- There is one character in the book, a much liked character who doesn’t fare all that well by the end of the story. This made me sad and was a little surprising.
It’s really hard for me to sum this book up because it’s so many things. While reading, your mind can’t help but ponder the ideas presented. That no one should live or produce for the good of others alone. That art, be it science, music or industry should continue on with a focus on creation, not so much what it can do for another person. Facts are facts, no matter what one hopes or desires. It all makes sense, but it’s still hard to wrap the brain around. You know?
In the end, it was a remarkable book. Much easier to read than I thought it would be. It gave me lots to think about but that romantic thread! I really could have done without it.
For those who took a leap and read it with me… Guess what guys? We are done!
Click here to read what I had to say about Part 1 and Part 2.