Yeah, me too. I haven't given up, if you were wondering, but even with the annotations, my reaction is mostly WTF?!?!?
I had trouble believing anyone would put herself through this riddle-wrapped-in-a-literary-Easter-egg-hunt monster if she didn't have to. Students, sure. Anyone just reading for pleasure? Nope.
But I guess I was wrong. There's at least one person on the planet who genuinely loves this book: Frank Delaney. He loves it so much that he's doing a podcast on it. He started in 2010, and now the podcast, called Re:Joyce, has 303 five-minute episodes. (It's up to chapter eight so far, and he does one new episode per week.) The amazing thing is that Delaney actually manages to make Ulysses seem fun. His enthusiasm is catching, and the book doesn't seem so intimidating when broken down into bite-sized pieces.
You can check it out here.
I still have one third of the book to go, plus a few hundred pages of annotations. I figure it'll take me at least a month or two, because I need to read some normal stuff on the side to keep my head from imploding.
I appreciate Ulysses as an intellectual exercise, but that's as far as it goes. There's a beautiful bit of description here and there, a few bits that made me laugh, and I do enjoy hunting for obscure references, but I just can't connect to the story on an emotional level. What about you guys? Did you honestly enjoy reading Ulysses? Why? Tell me in the comments.