My first encounter with James Joyce happened to be when I was in my late teens. A friend of mine, a young priest, gave me his copy of Ulysses. He told me he loved it and I would, too. Now, James Joyce’s Ulysses is hardcore for an 18-year-old. And I hated this almost-1000-pages giant, printed on uncomfortably thin paper, at first sight. But I liked and respected my friend, and, what was more, I wanted him to respect me, too. So I took the challenge.