by Michael James Fallon
James Joyce’s 1922 classic, Ulysses, has been acclaimed as one of the greatest novels in the English language. Author Michael Fallon is a recently retired San Jose State University professor who has crafted a new, abridged version for the books Ulysses centennial: Ulysses Abridged ~ A Shorter Journey through James Joyce’s Masterpiece.
Radical at that time for its modernist construction, stream of consciousness narrative, Ulysses calls to some readers like the sirens of Homer’s Odyssey upon which it is modeled. However, many others find it daunting due to its length and composition or its unvarnished exploration of sexuality. For me, this once controversial book seems rather tame compared with a lot of modern popular books and films.
For those who have yearned to read Ulysses, but were put off by its length and complexity, here is an accessible version of the masterpiece that will give you the flavor, nuance, wit, and passion of the original. Fallon’s Ulysses Abridged is akin to a half marathon versus a full one – readers can honestly say, ‘Yes, I know Ulysses.’ As such, it is an excellent way to introduce Joyce and his epic novel to the general readership without having them resort to ‘study guides.’