|Photo from Wikipedia|
What a crazy book. It's taken me months to read as I've needed regular breaks and it's the only book I've ever read where I've needed to use Wikipedia to even understand what's happening (not a lot as it turns out). And yet, I don't hate it.
It was so difficult to read, I understood very little but I can't give it one out of 10. Of the 94 books I've read so far on the BBC Big Read Top 100, it's not my least favourite - least understood, but not my least favourite (that honour goes to On The Road by Jack Kerouac). I can't give it a high score, obviously - I almost couldn't finish. But some of the individual sentences were beautiful and made me want to re-read them over and over in awe.
Ulysses is written in 18 episodes - each in a different style. Some I hated, others I really liked. Episode 17 (Ithaca) was probably my favourite, written in the style of scientific questions and answers, but I also liked 7 (newspaper headlines), 13 (parody of romantic novellas) and 15 (play script with elaborate stage directions). To my complete surprise I also really enjoyed the final episode, Penelope, usually referred to as Molly's Soliloquy. I'd been dreading it - 42 pages with no punctuation at all (not even apostrophes) and only 8 paragraphs - but it was a masterpiece.
I can't say I'd reccommend Ulysses to anyone, but I am surprised now at how little I hate it, considering how I felt after the first three episodes!