James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Free Audiobook

ulysses cover

Note: We post­ed this find back in 2008. But, since then, we’ve found a bet­ter audio ver­sion of the text. Please find it here.

This is a book that needs no intro­duc­tion, but we will give it a short one any­way. Pub­lished in ser­i­al for­mat between 1918 and 1920, James Joyce’s Ulysses was ini­tial­ly reviled by many and banned in the US and UK until the 1930s. Today, it’s wide­ly con­sid­ered a clas­sic in mod­ernist lit­er­a­ture, and The Mod­ern Library went so far as to call it the most impor­tant Eng­lish-lan­guage nov­el pub­lished dur­ing the 20th cen­tu­ry. Although chron­i­cling one ordi­nary day in the life of Leopold Bloom in 1904 Dublin, Ulysses is no small work. It sprawls over 750 pages, using over 250,000 words, and takes over 32 hours to read aloud. Or, at least that’s how long it took the folks over at Lib­rivox. In the Blooms­day tra­di­tion, a cast of read­ers par­tic­i­pat­ed in the project, offer­ing cre­ative read­ings with “pub-like back­ground noise.” The audio files can be down­loaded as many indi­vid­ual mp3 files here, or as one big zip file here. You can also stream an excel­lent alter­na­tive ver­sion at Archive.org.

This is not the only Joycean audio that you can down­load for free. Also at Lib­rivox, you can find sev­er­al key sto­ries from Dublin­ers — includ­ing, The Sis­ters (mp3), Ara­by (mp3), Eve­line (mp3), and The Dead (mp3 in zip file).

For more free clas­sics on audio, see our col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

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