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Publisher's Summary

Golden Globe winning actor and Dublin native Colin Farrell revisits his home country with a moving, authentic performance of one of Irish icon James Joyce’s masterworks, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The quintessential coming-of-age story follows Stephen Dedalus as he matures in an era marked by budding Irish nationalism and intensely conservative Catholicism. From infancy to adulthood, Stephen struggles to find his place, flitting between periods of guilt-ridden fanatical religious obsession and hedonistic exploration. But even as he is pulled in every direction by family, flesh, faith, and nation, Stephen longs for something seemingly forbidden–the life of an artist.

Joyce’s first work to experiment with stream of consciousness style—a technique that he and his contemporaries developed—A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man evokes both the pains and complexities of growing up and the furious optimism that accompanies youth. Pulling from events from his own past, Joyce weaves a semi-autobiographical recount of life in nineteenth century Ireland, crafting a narrative that is at once tender and sharply satirical. When combined with Farrell’s gentle brogue, Joyce’s tale soars, as much a portrait of the artist as it is a portrait of Ireland itself. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Colin Farrell's narration of this classic certainly does not disappoint. James Joyce's prose often seems like it was written to be narrated because of its natural musicality and cadence.... Farrell's emphatic, lilting voice follows Stephen's mind into the nooks and crannies of consciousness. His vocal characterizations are distinct and effective, especially his loud, bold portrayal of Simon Dedalus, Stephen's father, a striking contrast to the sensitive, soft-spoken son. Yet Farrell captures the many facets of Stephen's thoughts and emotions, which run the gamut from boldness to meekness. Farrell's ability to handle such a variety of emotions in creating Stephen's voice makes this relatively short audiobook a success." (AudioFile Magazine)

"In Farrell's reading...the great set pieces of the book - the violently argumentative Christmas dinner scene, the harrowing sermon on hell...are delivered with admirable coolness and restraint." (The New York Times Book Review)

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What listeners say about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

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Excellent Narration for a Titan of Modernism

This is a wonderful reading by Colin Farrel that captures the complex language of the scholarly and Irish vernacular with vigour and aplomb.

There are sections of this novel that require intense and focused reading (particularly the philosophical ideas of the aesthetic in the first half of chapter 5) and offer a powerful discourse into the nature of art, beauty and how we relate to them. Overall, Stephen Dardalus’ character arc is a rewarding coming of age story but personally, I found the spiritual tussle in Ch.3-4 to be a grind.

A book that I am glad that I have read but not one that I would revisit for fun. Although, I will revisit the first half of chapter 5 entry be say with a more critical eye.

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  • Lynn A. D.
  • 14-09-2019

very well performed

This story was very well performed in wonderful Irish accents, and captured the mood and emotions of the characters. A young man struggles with his faith and purpose in life, struggling with sin, and yet speaking with his friends in philosophical and thought-provoking conversations.

9 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 29-01-2019

Bitterly disappointed

I'm a huge fan of Joyce and when I saw this version by Colin Farrell I thought "well done Audible for matching this great book with an Irish reader". Unfortunately it didn't turn out as well as it should have. The reading was very one dimensional and with very little attention given to characterization. For example, Stephens father, who is a larger than life bombastic Cork man was portrayed as a very flat man with a Dublin accent. Time after time the text was misinterpreted giving the impression that the reader didn't understand what he was reading.
I can't help thinking that if Joyce was around today then this version wounldn't meet with his approval.

113 people found this helpful

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  • Joanie
  • 25-02-2019

Thank Goodness for Mr Farrell

I honestly can't say that I enjoyed this book, I found it very drawn out and monotonous to say the least.
I'm sure that James Joyce was a brilliant writer, and if anything his attention to detail is astonishing!
But this particular book was just not for me, I listened to the end more out of respect and with a small flicker of hope that maybe, just maybe it will end better than it began, but alas it did not.....the only thing or I should I say the only one that kept me listening was Colin....Well done Mr Farrell, well done in deed, maybe try something a little lighter next time though, maybe something along the lines of Joy Ellis or Patricia Gibney?

56 people found this helpful

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  • M. Michaud
  • 21-02-2019

Loved it.

The native accent made this performance especially enjoyable. Chapter 3 made me laugh out loud. This audiobook makes Joyce more accessible...at least for me.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Raffenblad
  • 29-01-2019

Finally

Colin Farrell is the perfect reader for this book. Much easier to follow the weavings of the story with his voice guiding the way.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Etzkorn Family
  • 29-06-2019

A superb listen

Colin Farrell is excellent. Daedalus jumps alive in Farrell's rendition of the Joyce classic. I couldn't press pause.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-2019

The performance let me experience more

An incredible book that touched me closely, but I am amazed at how good the performance was. Truly raised it to a new level!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Andre L. Gray
  • 05-06-2020

I JUST CAN'T FINISH IT....GAVE UP AFTER 2 HOURS!

I love classic novels but this is nearly impossible to follow! The writer is just all over place. You don't know where you are in the narrative! For example, Stephen is sick in bed in his school's infirmary then he is home with his family eating Christmas dinner then he is back at school with broken glasses. I'm trying to figure out how he got from A to B to C! I just cannot follow the story nor can I finished this book!! Colin Farrell's narration is really awesome!! But this book is too artsy for me...and boring!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brett kroncke
  • 12-05-2019

Colin Farrell is perfect for this.

pleasant and clever and well narrated. another precocious brooding youth story, Irish style. highly recommended

11 people found this helpful

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  • Henderson
  • 18-02-2019

Tough Read but I enjoyed this very much

It takes awhile to get used to Joyce's particular style, but the reading by Colin Farrell was exceptional and I very much enjoyed the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 11-03-2019

tantalising, tickling all of the senses

I really enjoyed this audio. An articulated dance with words so poetic and profound. I did think that the description of hell and damnation a bit full on, left echoes in my mind for a few days. Beautiful tone from Colin. With charm and clarity He really added to the stories capability to provoke and activate the awakened imagination, visualising nicely the presentation of this clever journey. Story Tellers at there best. thank you. x

7 people found this helpful

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  • John Tracey
  • 21-07-2019

If Only Colin Farrell had time to narrate Ulysses

A great book, fascinating following a young boy through his early education and reaching adolescence and making his own choices and decisions. The early part of the book reads as a child wrote it and becomes more eloquent as he ages and goes through change.
Colin Farrell is a natural narrator of Joyce's works and hopefully some day he has time to take on the bigger ones, very clear spoken, soothing and harsh when needs be but always at the perfect speed

6 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 11-02-2020

Perfect performance by Colin Farrell

I have several versions of Portrait of the Artist and they are all very good but I found this one by Colin Farrell the best.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Linde Schaafsma
  • 09-03-2019

Beautifully narrated

I have read the book before and loved it then. The narration adds an extra layer to it, especially as it is done by an Irishman. The female voices did make me chuckle.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Declan Hannaway
  • 04-03-2020

Struggled through it.

I never got into this audiobook at all. The story was boring from the start and it didn't get any better as it progressed.

The positive was that Colin Farrell was great at narrating this audiobook and his voice is very easy to listen to.

Perhaps the story was wasted on me, but it just wasn't my type of audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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  • ROSS JENKIN
  • 12-09-2019

A Masterpiece

Collin Farrell's performance was peerless, the story, the feeling and context of the times, and Stephen's searching was brought to life in a realistic and unpretentious manner.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen reid
  • 21-07-2019

Stunning performance by Farrell.

This a very challenging book but Farrell's performance brings it to life. The obvious struggle with his religion is the driver of all that he is . Ireland only onto recently has broken the suffocating shackles of the church ch ...

3 people found this helpful

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  • pennie carroll
  • 30-03-2021

VERY BADLY READ

JAMES JOYCE would turn in his grave if he heard the dull and monotonous way Colin Farrell has read this wonderful work. Someone has to know Joyce and be able to love the way he uses words so poetically and musicall to appreciate his genius I could not get past the first chapter I felt so depressed and bored having done an MA on Joyce at Trinity College Dubln.

A total waste of money

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-08-2020

The anguish of youth.

A joy to hear this wonderful story read by a true native Irishman, as if I am hearing it for the first time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Meggie
  • 13-06-2020

Narration at it's best.

Early into the audiobook are some background sounds, such as pages being turned. Truly wonderfull voice to listen to. and I will be more than happy to listen to any other narration by Colin Farrell. I am not too sure about the story.

2 people found this helpful

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