Dubliners Under the Line - J.R. Carpenter


Under the Line


J. R. Carpenter









A must

a joy


a classic

a short book

a defining work


an exceptional collection

a magnificent collection

a great selection


literary gems

perfect stories

very short stories


more like a series of vignettes

snapshots or sketches

coalescing into a larger picture


a descriptive account

a fascinating look

an in-depth look  


rather observational in style

depicting ordinary life

in great detail


in and around 1900

in the 1920s

in the 20th century


not so long ago

in Edwardian Dublin

a Dublin you can sit back and enjoy


portraits of people

just as deep in thought 

as any other people


regular Irish people

with all their hopes and fears

failings and beauty


their personal battles

triumphs and jarring revelations

their situations transcend time and cultures


meticuously local

at the same time



arrived on schedule

one or two pages wrinkled

but generally acceptable


a modern tone

a stepping stone

in the journey of modernism


strong scholarly apparatus

excellent footnotes

direct and clear


easy to read

easy and comfortable

easy to grasp


an enlightening read

a perfect bedtime read

a brief read before turning out the light


beautifully written

wonderful prose
every word delicious


clear observations

refreshingly clear

fresh and lively


intimate and insightful

keen and insightful

unique and real


emotive and indicative

exhilarating and humbling

astounding and fulfilling


crisp and enviable

accessible and lyrical

timeless and beautiful thoughts


an economy of language

almost poetic language

as close to poetry as prose gets


read it like poetry

start at any page

and read a few lines....


spellbinding at times

tedious at times

perplexing at times


terribly sad

apologies for being vague here

a streak of sadness


an aura of dullness

a sickness running through it

a dark element pervades each story


a dark atmosphere

wholly unwelcoming

from the depths of a weary soul




ultimately disingenuous




ultimately meaningless       


a number of references

the average reader

might not appreciate


a text filled with aporias

the language is filled with slang

and colloquial expressions


extensive use of complicated words

archaic language and Irish colloquialisms

ubiquitously-sprinkled allusions


almost nothing happens

there is hardly any suspense

no meaningful message


not compelling enough for me

to consider it worth inflicting on high school students

or anyone




cloth end covers


high quality

leather bound

raised spine


gold-edged pages

a generously-proportioned ribbon marker

paper that makes me want to touch it again and again


a beautiful little book

no larger than an iPhone

literally the size of my hand


I didn’t realize it was so small.

It’s pint sized.

I was expecting a regular sized book.


I didn’t know it was a used book.

I didn't care.

It’s better the second time around.


not manufactured for longevity

the binding is trashy

glued, rather than sewn


the narrative was monotone

a cheap alternative

to real dialogue        


a terrible edition

carelessly slapped together

like a workbook printed for students


slightly water-damaged with "bulbous" pages

mis-coloured, on the green-side

big splashes of blue


no page numbers

Why not?

What am I supposed to do with that?


no notes

no index

or any other critical apparatus


some stunningly good sentences

some sentences meander aimlessly

a lot of sentences don’t have any punctuation,


a cold

continuously morbid

unpleasant sense lurking behind every sentence


Not my cup of tea.

not an easy read

not a great read


work to read

quite hard work

like wading through treacle


difficult to comfortably read

difficult to read for pleasure

some difficult use of language


difficult spots

difficult to grasp

difficult to understand        


difficult to absorb    

I am a handful of hours into this work.

I don't find it difficult at all.


tiny print

gigantic pages

a number of typos


full of spelling errors

some sections are also incomprehensible

a complete waste of money


not particularly well set out on the page

annoying extra spaces between paragraphs

the letters are really small


there isn't any space between the lines

every other line contains only one word,



Looks like it was typed on a 1970s typewriter.

Pages 149-180 are completely missing

The syntax is all off.


words are often run together

incorrect words inserted

often needlessly wordy


lots of irrelevant extra words

many words were not even in the dictionary

gibberish, in fact, in parts.


horribly sized

a horribly translated copy

written in a foreign language


a strange and inaccurate translation

almost as if from a foreign language

form Chinese, maybe


Don’t buy.

Don't bother.

Do not get this edition.



No thank you.

Non serviam.



save yourself the headache



Bad scan,

totally garbeled

has nithing to do with original test


did not like

did not finish

Did I miss something?






I was quite disappointed

thoroughly disappointed

deeply disappointing


deeply unsatisfying

sad and depressing

boring and pretentious



Horribly boring.

boring AF


Oh, so boring!

so utterly boring

soooooooo boring


sooo not what I expected!

unanimously disliked by my book club

boring enough to force me to close the book


there wasn’t much to get excited about

same old

same old


too samey

too antiquated

for me to wrap my mind around


no real conclusions

leaving me with many questions   

no easy answers


Who am to judge?

I am not a good reader

I'm not clever enough


The Dead is my favourite

The Dead is missing

Why publish a book and leave out the best story?


a sorry excuse for what is generally called a book

Find a different publisher

who isn't cheating you


i ended up reading the paper copy

that i'd checked out

from the library


got it for the kid

a birthday gift

my mum was happy with it


an aunt reported that she enjoyed it

Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it.

Unfortunately, I’m not that brave.


I liked it with reservations

I was intimidated

I did not refer to dictionary


I got about ten pages in and said, "Bugger this!"

I'm unlikely to delve much deeper

I probably won't read any more


I hate this book with a passion.

I. Hate. James. Joyce.

James Joyce is rolling in his grave.


a glaring error in the thirteenth word

of the very first story

signals that it is not a trustworthy edition


when I came across the phrase 'video games'

in the second story

I knew for sure that someone has been playing games


my teenager

buying on my account

was completely taken in by this version


I'm not a huge fan

This must be a scam

I am asking for my £2.28 back.


The crooks who foisted this monstrosity on the public

robbed me of $4.

Don't let it happen to you...


I ordered this book to take with me on vacation.

I put off reading this book until retirement.

I should have read it earlier.


I loan out my copy of the book frequently.

I bought this new edition  

and it makes much more sense!


What?!? This doesn’t even make sense!!

I understand it!

Loooooove it.


I wanted to love it finally but just couldn't.

I just couldn't read on any further!

I couldn’t be happier!