People who claim that Finnegans Wake is nonsense, or is a joke, or is unreadable, either have not read the book or are idiots. Or both. Okay, Paulo Coehlo is an idiot, and he was only talking about Ulysses, another brilliant novel by James Joyce. Finnegans Wake is a great novel.
There is no way to meaningfully describe the experience of reading Finnegans Wake, especially the experience of finishing the book, of the last chapter’s absolute magic and beauty and terrible, dreadful sorrow. You could, I suppose, read just the last chapter, but that wouldn’t do, because you need all of what comes before to make full sense of the revelations of Anna’s letter in defense of her husband and her monologue to that sleeping husband. “You will tell me some time if I can believe its all” and “How you said how you’d give me the keys of me heart. And we’d be married till delth to uspart. And though dev do espart. O mine! Only, no, now it’s me who’s got to give” and “I could have stayed up there for always only. It’s something fails us. First we feel. Then we fall. And let her rain now if she likes. Gently or strongly as she likes. Anyway let her rain for my time is come. I done me best when I was let.” Oh, Annie. A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun.