Another one of the rare books that I had to read for school that I also greatly enjoyed, and the class discussions of the stories made me love them even more. I can see what people are talking about when they praise Joyce for the universality found in his work, as well as that essence of what it means to be human that runs deeply through his stories. On a personal level I love stories that are abrupt, that start from no where and end without a great resolution that instead makes the reader think and question what they read and what's going to happen next based on that. This book succeeded in all those aspects. It was only "Ivy Day in the Committee Room" that stumped me and made me feel totally lost, mainly because the subject of politics and all the subtle subtext was totally lost on me. Otherwise this was a fantastic collection of stories that succeeded in showing the truly dirty underbelly that can be found in every city in the world, whether in the past or present. I loved the unpolished nature of the writing and that feeling like I was in a dark corner going through dirty laundry. It's the kind of feeling that makes you feel both enlightened and indecent and I fell in love with it.