Welcome back to another edition of Teen Book Talk. Today we are discussing a classic novel, Dubliners.

**Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Yuvraj (UV) M., Grade 11, Teen Reviewer

dublinersTitle: Dubliners

Author: James Joyce

Medium/Format: Book

Year of Publication: 1914

Target Audience: Young adult to adult

Rating:  1 star for initial glance, 4 stars if read thoughtfully multiple times

Considering how this is on the Dublin Library’s Facebook [and blog], I could not resist myself to including Dubliners by James Joyce. However, for people looking for a quick read, Dubliners is a terrible choice. But for those readers that are thoughtful and enjoy a challenge, Dubliners is a fantastic collection of stories that portray a message of the meaning of life. The book is comprised of fifteen stories which symbolize a child walking through life in Dublin, Ireland. The first three symbolize childhood while the next four symbolize adolescence. Adult life is described by the next four stories while the last four illustrate social life leading to death. Not each paragraph, not each sentence, but each word in every story is selected carefully to develop the thoughts behind the various plots. The titles themselves reveal the superstitions present in Dublin to allow readers to grasp the paramount theme surrounding the stories. For example, The Sisters is the first story in Dubliners, obviously alluding to the three fates. Joyce presents the idea that our destinies are planned out from birth, which is why we have the theme of fate beginning the novel. Joyce uses various techniques including foreshadowing, puns, and allusions to depict a seemingly tangible image in front of the audience by using a plethora of details. Despite the abundance of sensory information the audience is able to detect, Joyce also includes a translucent veil by means of the limited narration to keep the audience from ever being omniscient of the situation. This book receives one star for initial glance, because Joyce creates a story that is seemingly meaningless, symbolizing how life in itself is meaningless from a superficial perspective. However, if you look back on life, or in this case, read the book more carefully, you will find that there is more to it. Joyce opens a window of interpretation such that the reader is not only entertained, but that he/she receives a better conceptualization and understanding of what life exactly is, which is why Dubliners receives four stars. It does not receive the fifth star because it is not a book that I personally would enjoy reading again. The book in a sense hurts your brain a little because it presents so many themes in each sentence that your brain struggles to connect the dots. But for readers who love challenges and have a relatively strong literary mindset, you will find that this book deserves more than five stars.

Citation: Joyce, James. Dubliners. London: Grant Richards, 1914. Print.

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