As I was browsing I stumbled across a review I did for Finnegans Wake, on Amazon, after downloading the Penguin edition.
Here it is for anyone interested....
"Well, first, this particular edition. Begins on the very first page by telling us that Joyce was the oldest often (sic) children. Is this a typo, or are Penguin getting into the spirit of the book? Anyway, whatever, this is certainly the best book I have never read. I have managed the first page or two, but the reality is that I enjoy books ABOUT Finnegans Wake rather than actually attempting to wend my way through it. One book about it informed me that each sentence, even each single word, could be seen as a microcosm of the entire text, so in that context why actually read it all. "riverrun" is enough. Then again, the word play is very enjoyable and the ABC of the book, and a Lexicon, offer endless interest and much humour. Apparently Joyce was heard by his wife late into many a night as he laughed aloud at his own jokes, setting his traps for the future literary critics to decipher, writing yet another un-understandable book that the long suffering Nora Barnacle wished was more "understandable" and thus, perhaps, more of a cash cow. But as I grow older I see more clearly that understanding life is a terrible trap - as thoughts, words and beliefs congeal and enclose the mind in circles of self-justification as the inevitable end approaches. But what end? The end of Finnegans Wake (not that I have ever reached it) takes us back to the beginning. As Joyce said about Ulysses as he faced the obscenity trials, "if Ulysses is unfit to read, then life is unfit to live". So life is to be lived rather than "understood". And Molly Bloom, in Ulysses, ends her monologue with a beautiful "Yes". Learning about Finnegans Wake, from various books, does help me to live, hopefully with compassion and not a little gratitude. Not least for the life and writings of James Joyce himself who gave us this last wonderful book with eyes that just might have reduced many others to night, darkness and despair. So buy a copy, if not to read it, then to have it on your bookshelf to impress the neighbours.
Absintheminded? Absent, mind drifting? Forgetful? Drunk? Or just a joke, all things, or nothing. Dig deep or skim the surface."
As a update, I have now reached further into the book and yes, it really does have some good laughs. The wordplay is constantly entertaining.