There are some books that have, over the years, become classics.
One such book is Ulysses, authored by James Joyce.
The book was first published in the book form in 1922 and therefore it has been around for almost 100 years now. It is often referred to as a controversial book.
However, there is no denying the fact that when great works of classics are talked about, Ulysses will also be one such book. In this article, we will try to find the answer to the question should you read “Ulysses.”
Everyone should read “Ulysses” because this book conveys universal values that are relevant up until today. Moreover, “Ulysses” will educate you and make you laugh.
I will identify 5 big reasons why one should make it a point to read Ulysses. Apart from the reasons for reading the book, we also will find some common answers to some common questions, especially those emanating from first-time readers.
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5 great reasons why people love Ulysses
Here are five main reasons for reading this book.
1. It is a comedy
Though there could be many views as far as the literary allusions of “Ulysses” is concerned, there is no doubt that there are quite a few light moments as far as the book is concerned.
Of course there is some serious stuff that makes up the entire book, but at the same time, the author has ensured that there is a reasonable amount of comedy built into the book.
Whether it is the structure and the various happenings around Homer, or about the references to masturbation and various other such jokes, it has many moments that will make you feel like laughing your heart out.
2. The narrative is easy to grasp
This is one more reason why many people love this book.
Unlike many classics where the readers may have to spend hours understanding the basic theme and the important characters surrounding the theme, this is not the case with Ulysses.
If you are able to spare a few minutes and go through the first three chapters of this classic work from James Joyce, you will surely be able to get a grasp of the overall theme and the narrative around which the book has been built.
This will certainly increase your overall liking for the book and you would like to complete it as soon as possible.
3. It is much more than a novel
Many people make the mistake of judging this book as a novel.
Let me make it clear here that you will not be able to enjoy the book as a novel. It is not like any old novel that you may come across.
Ulysses is much more than that. It has many enigmas and puzzles that are intricately interwoven around the characters and the overall theme and structure of the book.
It for sure will keep students and professors busy for quite a bit of time as they try to unravel the puzzles and enigmas that abound in this book. This also could be a big reason why classic book enthusiasts will find the Ulysses a fantastic book to read and fathom.
4. It is a book that talks about life
Yes, there are reasons to believe that many people may find this point a bit hackneyed.
All books and classics do talk about life in some form or other. So, what is so special about this book many people may ask?
It is a book that looks at life from many angles and tries to break free from the strict norms and ways of life that were a part of human life as they existed some 100 years ago.
This struggle between the old and the yearning to enter the new world is a fantastic depiction of the life that makes it so very special and unique.
5. Don’t miss the last line
Yes, there are many critical evaluators of this book who have quite a bit to say as far as the last lines of Ulysses is concerned.
Hence, this also could be one of the main reasons why it is considered to be a must-read classical book.
However, a word of caution. I would advise readers to stay away from the desire to read the last line first.
You will miss out on the various other enjoyable features if you do so. You must read the book logically and assimilate what Ulysses wants to convey. The last line, will then certainly make an extremely interesting and memorable reading.
Is Ulysses hard to read?
Ulysses is often referred to as a hard-to-read book.
However, if you really get into the book and read the first few chapters, you will have many reasons to believe that it is certainly an easy-to-read book.
However, there is no denying the fact that the book is intricate on one level. But even beginners will find it quite interesting if they are aware of the theme and the subject matter that Ulysses is trying to deal with.
How long does it take to read Ulysses?
There is no doubt that Ulysses is a huge book and it does require quite a bit of patience and commitment to read the book.
If you are keen on reading the book continuously with minimal breaks, it should take you somewhere around 16 hours and 58 minutes to complete the book. This is at an average reading speed of around 250 words per minute.
However, it would be better to re-read the book at least four to five times with breaks in between if you really want to grasp the theme that surrounds Ulysses.
To sum up, Ulysses is one of a kind of book and it has courted controversies because of sensitive topics and subject matters it has chosen to deal with.
The book may have had some reasons for being considered controversial at the time period in which it was written. However, as society has moved and evolved, there is no doubt that there are more reasons to read and enjoy Ulysses rather than staying away from it.