Get on board to read Ulysses in 80 days

Posted on: 31 May 2023

The online club, the brainchild of Prof. Cliona O'Farrelly, runs from June 1 to August 19, dividing James Joyce's epic novel into 80 daily chunks of 6 to 8 pages.

Ulysses is for everyone is the message from immunologist Professor Cliona O' Farrelly who teamed up with Dublin Bus driver (and regular Ulysses reader) Kevin Anderson and a gaggle of other James Joyce enthusiasts to launch the 2023 version Ulysses in 80 summer book club.  

The online club, running from June 1 to August 19, divides James Joyce's epic novel into 80 daily chunks of 6 to 8 pages.  

The underlying idea is to democratise James Joyce’s sometimes challenging writing for everyone who would like to give it a try.  

A group of people reading books in front of a double decker bus

Follow along to read this epic classic in 80 days on Twitter (@Ulyssesin80), Instagram (ulysses80bookclub) and Facebook (Ulysses80 at Sweny's). 

This is the second year of Ulysses in 80. 

The brainchild of Prof Cliona O’Farrelly, its launch was backed by a steering group including Zoe Patterson who is doing a PhD on 'Community Reading of Ulysses ' with Prof. Sam Slote, TCD's Joycean expert'. Dr Carl Vogel of Trinity's School of Computer Science and PJ Murphy of Sweny’s Pharmacy (where the hero of Ulysses Leopold Bloom famously purchased a bar of lemon soap). 

Prof. O’Farrelly said :  “We had so much fun reading and re-reading Ulysses together last year and chatting about it online that we just had to try it again. We want to bring this incredible book to all those people who thought they never had the interest, time or patience to read it. Ulysses is for everyone - even if we never finish it....”   

People reading books on the bus 

The initiative will work as follows: at 7am on each day, a message will be posted on the dedicated website and social media as well as emailed to members who have signed up on the website, giving the first words and the last words of the section to be read that day, together with the line numbers (from the Gutenberg Press edition).  The relevant page numbers of several printed editions will also be posted on our website. Members can be listeners as well as, or instead of, readers if a podcast version of Ulysses is preferred. TikTok fans are encouraged to take part as well. 

Book club members will be invited to contribute their thoughts, comments and insights - and maybe even dance moves - about the day’s section using the hashtag #Ulyssesin80.   

By Bloomsday (which marks the date in 1904 when the novel is set) on June 16th, 2022, readers will have reached the middle of its 8th “episode”, Lestrygonians, and will be ‘in’ Davy Byrne’s Pub in time for Leopold Bloom’s famous lunch of a Gorgonzola sandwich with a glass of Burgundy.  The last episode, [number 18, ‘Penelope’], Molly Bloom’s eight-sentence soliloquy, will be read over ten days in August.   

Media Contact:

Catherine O’Mahony | Media Relations |