It's very beginner friendly, though you'll still want to watch some weapon tutorials to get the most out of it. Also the online works pretty well for getting together with strangers.
Getz's forum posts
@thrillhouse87: Ulysses is a very complicated and experimental book, much more so that Portrait. The stream of consciousness stuff is even more pronounced and half the time the words are in service of a pun or reference to something else rather than in service to the narrative.
The point is, Joyce was a Modernist; he wasn't interested in writing a cohesive narrative. He and the other Modernists were trying to create new types of literature and to push the boundaries of the form. As such, you can't expect it to be a pleasurable easy read. That is something most people don't have the patience to put up with (and that's not an indictment).
In fact, the first time I read Samuel Beckett, Joyces protege, I fucking hated it. But I had to read it for a class, and the more I read the more I realized the humor of it, the creativity and sharpness of it. I dunno if I can convince you to give it another shot, but I'm glad that I stuck with it.
Go check out Molloy, and if you're not laughing your ass off at the sex scene then you can put the book down with no remorse.
I always think people are lying when they say they like Joyce. I'm not saying you're lying, I'm just saying...I read a bunch of pretentious janky gibberish that you were supposed to like if you were smart, and it had his name on it. Probably the truth is you are smarter than me and have a better sense of humor, so you have a capacity to enjoy his work that I do not have.
If you read Finnegan's Wake, then don't worry no one likes that book. It's literally unreadable. He's definitely a frustrating writer, especially if you don't have a strong stomach for wild experimentation in your literature. It's not that you need to be intelligent, patient is more the word. Once you break through that wall though, man Joyce can blow your mind.
He's a lot like Monster Hunter that way
Robinson Crusoe, considered the first novel, is still an excellent read.
I don't know what your criteria for "classic" is, but most of my favorites are from the 20th century and later. Burroughs, Bukowski, Joyce and Beckett.
Course nothing beats Emerson's essays on Nature and Self-Reliance, or Thoreau's Walden.
Oscar Wilde is another favorite of mine, Salome in particular (very progressive for it's time!)
Sorry... English major over here. I'll just show myself out.