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by James Joyce

Analysis: Steaminess Rating

Exactly how steamy is this story?


Like any truly good PG movie, there are plenty of references to sex to keep mature audiences giggling without making the innocent blush. You can read "An Encounter" without really knowing that the "queer old josser" is a potential child molester. Stories like "The Boarding House" and "Two Gallants" hinge on sexual encounters, but Joyce has a way of alluding to sex while really focusing on everything that happens before and after it. "A Little Cloud" refers to immorality, "A Painful Case" speaks directly about sex, and "The Dead" mentions Gabriel's "lust," but there's nothing graphic here.

That's not true of almost any other work by Joyce. In that sense, the guy's a lot like Bob Saget, who starred as the dorky and lovable family man of PG-level shows like Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos, and then disgusted an entire nation with his R-rated sexual crudeness as a stand-up comedian. This is Full House. For the real show, check out Ulysses.

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