*Dubliners was actually written way before those other two books, so maybe the more accurate scenario would be that the literary genius KILLED the zombie and stole HIS identity, then wrote the smart and interesting things.
The book is a collection of short stories about middle class Irish life in the early 20th century. Super Smart Guys Who Have Careers Invested in Saying Nice Things About James Joyce say the stories concern the "stagnation and paralysis" of aforementioned life BUT THIS IS CODE for: these stories? THEY ARE THE BORINGEST.
A boy skips school with a friend and meets a creepy old man and then decides he doesn't really like his friend. A guy doesn't have an affair with a nice lady he meets and then she dies years later and he's like, huh. Etc, etc, etc. Oh, but with alcohol. I'm probably spoiled by Raymond Carver, who writes short stories that are all "here is this snippet of everyday life ISN'T IT HEARTBREAKING/ FASCINATING" whereas Joyce's collection here is all "here is a snippet of everyday life, fancy some toast?"
On the plus side, this has lit a fire under my hiney to finally go read Ulysses, which I hear is a work of operatic genius THIS BIG. I would like to see the difference.
Anywoot, one star out of your mom for all the yawns.