By Ulysses. But I finished it. I wrote a short review at Goodreads and I could write more about each and every section, but I won’t. Instead I’ll make this a quick list.

Best parts:

  • The sea toward the beginning. It was sad, but I liked how it was done.
  • Various descriptions of the soap Bloom bought at the druggist. Weird, I know, but I felt like I could smell it.
  • The last chapters. The second to last was a giant Q&A with an omniscient character that broke down the actions of Bloom and in a very Bones-like way. Weirdly enough, it was probably the first chapter I could fully understand everything going on. The last chapter was a pain in the ass because it was basically one giant, 40+ page sentence, but it was finally from Molly’s perspective. I guess by that point I was fed up of Leopold’s opinions and the way he talked/thought about his wife.

Worst:

  • The absinthe induced chapter.
  • The parts that went on and on with no purpose. So a lot of it.

Quotes I tabbed but don’t remember why:

“Pleasant evenings we had then. Molly in Citron’s basketchair.Nice to hold, cool waxen fruit, hold in the hand,lift it to the nostrils and smell the perfume. Like that, heavy, sweet, wild perfume. Always the same, year after year.” – p.60

“Quick warm sunlight came running from Berkeley Road, swiftly, in slim sandals, along the brightening footpath. Runs, she runs to meet me, a girl with gold hair on the wind.” – p.61

“Paltry funeral: coach and three carriages. It’s all the same. Pallbearers, gold reins, requiem mass, firing a volley. Pomp of death.” – p.100

“I have often thought since looking back over that strange time that it was that small act, trivial in itself, that striking of that match, that determined the whole aftercourse of both our lives.” – p.140

“There is, I feel in the words, some goad of the flesh driving him into a new passion, a darker shadow of the first, darkening even his own understanding of himself. A life fate awaits him and the two rages commingle in a whirlpool.” – p.196

“Miss Kennedy sauntered sadly from bright light, twining a loose hair behind an ear. Sauntering sadly, gold no more, she twisted twined a hair. Sadly she twined in sauntering gold hair behind a curving ear.” – p.258

“He was too young to understand. He would not believe in love, a woman’s birthright.” – p.351

Books I wanted to read immediately after (which may or may not be directly related to this book):

  • The Odyssey
  • Hamlet
  • Twelfth Night
  • The Iliad
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • a really trashy super-market romance to wash away the bad tastes left there by certain portions of this book.

In the end, I’m glad I read it. I understand and appreciate the genius behind it, but that doesn’t mean I have to love it.

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