For those who approach James Joyce with fear and trembling, this warmhearted biographical reminiscence by Mary and Padraic Colum should do much to ease the strain. Friends of Joyce and literary figures closely attached to the Irish renaissance, the Colums share their rememberings of Joyce from the early Dublin days when he, a penniless young student, amazed literary Ireland with his deliberate, aloof brilliance, through his troubled years of self-imposed exile when he alternated between hedonism and despair. Unique, paradoxical, difficult, Joyce's is the story of a man who ruled with absolute authority over some of the greatest minds of his day, but could never quite manipulate his or his children's personal destiny. For the serious Joyce scholar, there is little in this account of academic interest, nor would the general reader with no particular curiosity in regard to Joyce find this informal narrative adequate as biography. But for those to whom Joyce is an old literary friend, these comfortable rememberings, rich in familiarity, understanding and respect, will prove a welcome addition to the Joyce repertoire.