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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (13,857 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Joyce Narrator: Cathy Dobson Publisher: Red Door Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2015 ISBN: bo6y
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Often hailed as the finest short story ever written in the English language, James Joyce’s “The Dead” tells the story of a young woman who hears a familiar song unexpectedly at a Christmas party. The melody brings memories of a long-dead lover flooding back to her. Joyce’s description of the multilayered situation, characters, and atmosphere are unsurpassed. The reader is drawn into the stifling world of Dublin society with its aspirations, pretensions, repressive morals, and furtively enjoyed freedoms. Beautiful and evocative.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 2/20/2014

    " The Dead is the only short story (practically a novella) I've read that reduced me to tears, and it still has the power to do it (as does the brilliant John Huston film adaptation). The last few pages are amongst the most moving I've ever read, and it makes the story more powerful when you re-read it. I've still not got round to Ulysses or (gulp) Finnegans Wake, but this is an incredible piece of writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 stew | 2/19/2014

    " "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jake | 2/17/2014

    " Quite simply the best short story ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Proustitute | 2/12/2014

    " "Why is it that words like these seem to me so dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/10/2014

    " Beautiful and depressing. The quintessential Joyce, in other words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ignas | 2/8/2014

    " Goodness gracious, I am lost for words. A must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merrideth | 2/4/2014

    " It was a bit too descriptive in some places, but the story itself was thoughtfully done. I love the character of Gabriel because he's such a clueless man. The poetic ending is beautifully done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 2/4/2014

    " The first time I've read Joyce outside of the classroom. Read it online at Bibliomania. Just beautiful and heartbreaking. I feel like there might have been more to say, but it just sort of ends. In a way, I'm glad, because of just how intense and heartbreaking it is, but I also feel like maybe there is more to say. I will definitely be reading more by him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 2/1/2014

    " Beautiful and depressing. The quintessential Joyce, in other words. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maggie | 2/1/2014

    " james joyce just doesn't seem to do it for me; doesn't capture my interest; a well written story, of course; but i just don't seem to care. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen | 1/26/2014

    " My favorite work by Joyce. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma Weine | 1/21/2014

    " I just don't enjoy Joyce much. I didn't ten years ago when I couldn't make it through Ulysses, or five years ago when the significance of the Portrait was lost on me, and again today when I thought that maybe a short story of his would suit me better and so read The Dead. I'm very aware its been called a True Masterpiece, and the best short story ever written, but I didn't LOVE it that much and the Epiphany Style of his didn't make it any better for me. I shed no tears, I made no plans to re-read it every New Year, but I will read it again because there were beautiful sentences and turns of phrase as well as very clever character illustration. As for being the best ever however, I guess it's just not my cup of tea. P.S. I heard you all GASP in horror just then! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shane Vanoosterhout | 1/19/2014

    " It becomes more beautiful each time I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly J. | 1/15/2014

    " I really didn't like it much til the final few pages. That was lovely and could've been a short story all on it's own. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Winonah | 1/9/2014

    " No story I've read used sensory experiences to build up to what happens in the mind as well as this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Talai | 1/8/2014

    " This is a short story by Joyce and worth the 2 hours it took me to read it. I'm sure most of you had to read it in school (which is why I am reading it now.) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen | 1/4/2014

    " I do not accept this story. I am sorry. English professors can love it all they want and I will still be horrifyingly disappointed each time I read it. P.S. The symbolism is lame, not intriguing, Dr. Shigley. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ange | 12/31/2013

    " Just listened to an audio book. Reader had an Irish accent. Haven't read Joyce before. Still not sure what I think. Found it interesting, if not entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melville House Publishing | 12/31/2013

    " This beautifully packaged series of classic novellas includes the works of Anton Chekhov, Colette, Henry James, Herman Melville, and Leo Tolstoy. These collectible editions are the first single-volume publications of these classic tales, offering a closer look at this underappreciated literary form and providing a fresh take on the world's most celebrated authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Oxford | 12/24/2013

    " The ending The Dead is some of the best prose writing ever put to paper. Absolutely amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/23/2013

    " What happens when a story lives up to its reputation? You know it's a classic. Something about the discourse of snow just makes me ache---and it's Joyce, after all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sahar N | 12/22/2013

    " Long is the time for some bruises to heal,and may be they never will. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 12/6/2013

    " If you give this under 3 stars, you should just die, honestly. Fuck opinions, this is genius, plain and simple "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Simonetti | 12/4/2013

    " This is not something I enjoyed, despite the good press. I could not get into the writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tonia | 12/3/2013

    " Read it. They writing style is one you'll remember a long, long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 11/28/2013

    " I read this last summer while in Italy. It was a cool afternoon and the light was just right. I finished it, set it down, thought about it for about fifteen minutes and picked it right back up again. One of the best works of fiction out there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zuly | 11/27/2013

    " Quick read, interesting, a bit depressing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 11/26/2013

    " This is a beautiful elegant short story if Christmas; a time and a place gone. One of his best "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Theresa | 11/18/2013

    " If you are going to read only one James Joyce novel, this is the one. It's more accessible than "Ulysses" or even "Portrait of the Artist as Young Man". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat | 11/15/2013

    " Without a doubt, the best fucking short story I've ever read. It starts slow, with some boring party, and just builds and builds until it breaks your heart and heals it at the same time. READ IT! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 11/11/2013

    " Lovely story - atmospheric, nostalgic, quietly emotional. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 10/20/2013

    " 'One by one, they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.' "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maggie | 10/20/2013

    " james joyce just doesn't seem to do it for me; doesn't capture my interest; a well written story, of course; but i just don't seem to care. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ignas | 10/13/2013

    " Goodness gracious, I am lost for words. A must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Hughes | 10/6/2013

    " the end is worth five stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 9/12/2013

    " Perhaps the most beautiful ending to a story I've ever read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 8/14/2013

    " This novella is supposedly a masterpiece of shorter fiction. There is almost no action, everything is based on subtext and the character relations. It's pretty boring and a bit depressing near the end, but not so depressing that it ruins your day. Just sort of, 'meh'. Not sure what the big deal is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 7/24/2013

    " This is a beautiful elegant short story if Christmas; a time and a place gone. One of his best "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabriel Sommer | 7/15/2013

    " A wonderful short story that describes various relationships and interactions during a party. Joyce's voice and clean prose illustrate such a powerful and deep setting that creates the story and the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merrideth | 7/9/2013

    " It was a bit too descriptive in some places, but the story itself was thoughtfully done. I love the character of Gabriel because he's such a clueless man. The poetic ending is beautifully done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maddie | 7/5/2013

    " Read junior year AP English, kinda forgot about it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Winonah | 6/25/2013

    " No story I've read used sensory experiences to build up to what happens in the mind as well as this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maria Atchison | 4/21/2013

    " Very slow throughout in character development and flow, but the end makes it all count. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 4/11/2013

    " A novella that actually made sense to the common reader. Some truly great thoughts that linger after surprise "epiphany" ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryant | 4/6/2013

    " Snowfall and heart break. A theme to which I am accustomed. Great short by, in my opinion, one of the last centuries best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Whitcomb | 3/31/2013

    " Gorgeous writing and a wonderful example of how something simple, told with honest and extremely specific detail, can rattle the soul. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Simonetti | 3/2/2013

    " This is not something I enjoyed, despite the good press. I could not get into the writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linds | 2/27/2013

    " this is one of my favorite short stories...lovely lovely "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Oxford | 2/17/2013

    " The ending The Dead is some of the best prose writing ever put to paper. Absolutely amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon Johnson | 2/17/2013

    " Really, *the* perfect short story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly J. | 1/22/2013

    " I really didn't like it much til the final few pages. That was lovely and could've been a short story all on it's own. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlyn | 1/11/2013

    " I don't think I really "got" this one, but I enjoyed it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emma | 10/21/2012

    " Review upcoming. For now: read this today to celebrate Bloomsday but did not experience it as the best short fiction piece at all "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 9/29/2012

    " Beautiful and depressing. The quintessential Joyce, in other words. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 5/17/2012

    " "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 4/9/2012

    " I read James Joyce's The Dead every month, or at least every other month. It's great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 3/2/2012

    " Absolutely amazing. I never thought I would like James Joyce, but I studied The Dead in an undergrad class for an entire quarter, and I am blown away by it every time I read it. It's worth it for the characters, the sadness, and especially, the last few pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina Pasko | 2/29/2012

    " I'd like to know what this story is really about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 2/23/2012

    " Intensely psychological and shockingly emotionally real-feeling. Horribly sad in that dull, caged-in feeling of real life, rather than overblown fictional tragedy. A short read, but, at least for me, a difficult one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 stew | 2/18/2012

    " "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aziz | 1/8/2012

    " Favourite story from James Joyce's 'Dubliners'. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denya | 1/3/2012

    " Read this for class. I wasn't sure where it was going for a long time, but I did like the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sahar N | 10/14/2011

    " Long is the time for some bruises to heal,and may be they never will. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 10/12/2011

    " good descriptions of setting, characters were pretty flat "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 9/7/2011

    " Great stuff!! Such accurate portrayal of outer life and suppressed inner turmoil... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Winonah | 8/28/2011

    " No story I've read used sensory experiences to build up to what happens in the mind as well as this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tonia | 7/6/2011

    " Read it. They writing style is one you'll remember a long, long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Foley | 6/29/2011

    " An absolute masterwork by one of the greatest artists in prose. Don't stop here. Read Dubliners at least. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sahar N | 6/28/2011

    " Long is the time for some bruises to heal,and may be they never will. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deepti | 5/13/2011

    " Joyce's simple stories keep one gripped. Wonderful collection and a great introduction to Joyce. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ori | 5/13/2011

    " Reading this was like reading something that I could have understood if I had been alive in or just after while Joyce was alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 patrycja | 5/12/2011

    " This is collection of short stories, which I've found more tolerable to read than other Joyce works. Still, all places, emotions and names of the characters are repetitive. Not to mention how sad, unhappy and frustrated are all people in those stories. It's rather depressing. Good for one read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ridhwan | 5/12/2011

    " Kisah-kisah 'dear dirty Dublin' yang santai dan tenang. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Willeke | 5/12/2011

    " Needless to say, I am very biased when it comes to books set in Ireland, and in particular in Dublin... but Joyce is Joyce and a brilliant author who deserves to be in the top 3 of Ireland's best authors ever! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adil | 5/8/2011

    " These short stories are off the hook! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 5/6/2011

    " Great collection of stories, all of them were good--Eveline and The Dead were absolutely amazing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brett | 4/30/2011

    " Joyce's writing is so good, but this honestly could have been about five stories less. I look forward to reading his novels in the near future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sean | 4/29/2011

    " the ways in which both the social interactions of daily life are portrayed as well as the human psyche of the participants were both excellent and original. The stories themselves were sometimes a bit dry for my taste, but the imagery was brilliant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 samuel | 4/23/2011

    " nice short stories about dubliners. as you might guess. like the public house scenes, and the lack of reliance on plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/21/2011

    " The Dead, The Sisters and Araby are great! The rest are so-so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 4/18/2011

    " Although there are no plots to speak of, the characters are clearly described. Joyce is able to transport you to that time and place through dialogue and description.

    "

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About the Author
Author James Joyce

James Joyce (1882–1941) was an Irish expatriate writer, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses and its highly controversial successor Finnegans Wake, as well as the short-story collection Dubliners and the semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

About the Narrator

Cathy Dobson is the author of Planet Germany and a narrator of audiobooks.