Sunday, 1 July 2012


I bought James Joyce's Ulysses in a charity shop about a year ago, fully intending to read what some call a literary classic. Got about half way through chapter 1 and had to give up - it sapped my will to live.

What with Bloomsday a few weeks ago, I thought I'd have a go at watching a film adaptation - at least it would provide a synopsis in an hour and a half. It transpired that only one film adaptation was ever made, as many thought the book unfilmable (I found it unreadable). I watched it yesterday - and fell asleep just over half way through.

Literary classic it may be, but I found it interminably turgid and totally devoid of a coherent plot. Am I missing something, or is it just that it is in fact unfilmable?


Paula RC said...

I'm the same as you, Bill. Telling myself I must read the Classics if I'm going to write a classic novel, but my God! I want to write a book that everyone would want to read.
I tried reading 'Viginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse' and like you I couldn't read it. In a book called '1001 Books you must read before you Die' it said that 'To the lighthouse'is a kind of Ghost Story in which Woolf explores death.
So I thought maybe I would have better luck listening to it as an audio book while I'm cooking or ironing, but no I still had to switch it off. I'm afraid it's one book I shall have to go to my grave without fully understanding it. Maybe if I meet Ms Woolf in my next life she can explain it to me.

Paula RC said...

P.s Please Bill, if you have time maybe you could drop by my blog and follow the link there to 'You're Booked' site which has posted my prize winning short story on.

I would be very interested in your thoughts on my writing. Thank you