Rating: 1 out of 5.

The fact that the author is dead makes me feel less guilty about rating ‘The Dead’ by James Joyce terribly. Because, ugh, it was such a torturous read. Despite being less than 100 pages long, it reads like a never ending pedantic performance.

Set during Christmas-time, the story unfolds in Dublin at the home of two ladies who host an annual dance that’s considered a ‘great affair’ and attended by all those who them. So the first few pages are about the hustle and bustle in their house, the ushering in of guests, the giggles of gossip and merrymaking. I tried really hard to muster interest in the little gathering and their antics, emotions, but alas, that wasn’t to be.

The main protagonist is Gabriel, a married man who is quite pompous and well… boring really. The social setting, courtesies, small talk were boring and James Joyce’s little twist in the story might have been novel for the time when the story came out, but not anymore. Some critics believe this to be a great piece of fiction, but I don’t think it has aged well at all.

It’s a 1/5 from me.

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