Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James Joyce

Free US/UK Kindle Classic
I am going to reach back to a former review to suggest one of my favorite books.  It has the added attraction of now being available free to UK readers.  It was formerly a couple of pounds.  I hope that is going to be a trend!
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a 1916 novel by James Joyce. (US Edition)  (UK Edition)   It features Stephen Dedalus, who also appears in Ulysses - a very difficult, but rewarding, book.

I love Portrait.  It is a very readable story about an Irish boy and his Catholic upbringing.  It is a semi-autobiographical novel of Joyce's own childhood.  But it was not novelistic enough for some of his family who wished to disown him.

Here is a taste:

"On each of the seven days of the week he further prayed that one of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost might descend upon his soul and drive out of it day by day the seven deadly sins which had defiled it in the past; and he prayed for each gift on its appointed day, confident that it would descend upon him, though it seemed strange to him at times that wisdom and understanding and knowledge were so distinct in their nature that each should be prayed for apart from the others."

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is to Ulysses, what The Hobbit is to The Lord of the Rings.

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