Book Club Has Been Reading the Same Difficult Book for the Last 28 Years

A California-based book club has recently finished its first reading of James Joyce’s ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, a notoriously difficult book that it started reading 28 years ago.

James Joyce once said that the demand he makes of his reader is that he “should devote his entire life to reading my works,” and some people actually took those words to heart. For example, the members of a California book club have spent the last 28 years of their lives decyphering Finnegan’s Wake page by page, in an attempt to figure out its many mysteries. This is a book so difficult to read that no one person can truly say they ‘get it’, which makes it perfect for community reading. It’s apparently written in a convoluted mix of reinvented words, puns, and allusions, referencing about 80 languages, and people can’t even agree on where the book is set or who the characters are.

Read More »