Finnegans Wake is not a traditional novel in the least. It's first line is the second half of the last line and so like the water cycle of the River Liffey, it recirculates back on itself. And so one cannot read the Wake from beginning to end, but rather cover to cover. And even then, it is written in a musical dreamlike language blending English with Latin with Sanskrit with French with...well, everything. There's puns within puns and double meaning quickly becomes quadruple meaning. And for any science buffs out there, the word "quark" actually comes from Finnegans Wake! Much like falling asleep, if one simply lets go and enjoys the way the words spill from the pages, it doesn't need to be understood word by word, line by line. The Wake is like a musical album; it doesn't have to be listened to song by song in order. Different chapters, different excerpts are like the hits and the favorites on the B sides and readers should feel free to skip around and enjoy the music of the writing...and humor! Never forget it is a funny book! Guides are helpful, but everyone has their own opinion and the Wake really defies all attempts at truly pinning it down. There are so many hidden gems within the text that are worth discovering; Joyce himself wrote, "a word as cunningly hidden in its maze of confused drapery as a fieldmouse in a nest of coloured ribbons". So open your mind, "nick your nightynovel", and enjoy!