I agree, ST, that Portrait of the Artist is the best introduction to Joyce. Better even than Dubliners. But by all means, Jazzo, once you've read Portrait, do try Ulysses. It's a masterpiece. Joyce's inventive use of the language is truly astounding. I'm not alluding just to the stream-of-consciousness technique, but to his use of words and style. There is a section (the one where Bloom visits the hospital where Mrs. Purefoy is lying in) where he starts in a sort of Ango-Saxon style, using no words with a derivation from anything other than Anglo-Saxon, then segues into a Middle English style, from there to Spencerian, then to late Elizabethan, etc., giving you a short historic tour of the English language. Then there is the part written like advertisements. Many lyrical passages, many linguistic leg-pulls and just having a good old time with language.