Book Of The Month

December's book is Dubliners by James Joyce, and in particular the wonderful Christmas story, The Dead.

Our December book of the month is Dubliners by James Joyce - in particular that wonderful Christmas story The Dead: the longest in the collection, almost a novella. Set on the Feast of the Epiphany, It captures many of the elements of what we have come to see as a traditional Christmas: the company; the food; the sing-song and the irritation.

Published in 1914, it is still described by some as the finest short story ever written. Very little happens and what does takes place under the surface, mainly in the thoughts and preoccupations of the central character, Gabriel Conroy, a teacher and reviewer of books. And yet the writing is so beautiful, it draws the reader in and keeps them there.

Joyce introduces topical concerns of the day as Miss Ivors, an Irish Nationalist accuses Gabriel of being a West Briton as her writes the the Unionist newspaper, The Daily Express. The descriptions of the table laden with food, the turn of phrase, the familiar place names and landmarks make this a fitting story to be read by Dubliners this Christmas wherever they may find themselves.

“His soul swooned softly 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.”

James Joyce, The Dead

We invite you to read or re-read this book and share your thoughts with us below or online using #OCOBclub

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Each month we select a ‘Book of the Month’ be it new literature, classic chapters, fun, irreverant, thought-provoking or educational, the only stable, is it‘s loved! Why not suggest a favourite for next month?

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