If you are a fan of William Faulkner you will enjoy this…
The reading captures the southern way of speaking in such a way that makes the surface of the Faulkner story somehow even more rich…
The ending. This was a challenge and I felt like giving up at times, but the last act was satisfying.
They sounded exactly like you'd expect the characters to sound. I'm not from the South, though, so I can't vouch for the authenticity.
I got angry at times listening to this. It was hard to know what was going on. Frankly, I benefited a lot by consulting SparkNotes. I was close to throwing in the towel on this, but, well, I kinda wanted to say I've read a few Faulkners, so I kept at it. It was a good decision because the characters and the story grew on me.
I've listened to many audiobooks, this was definitely one of the more challenging ones. Had to hit the rewind button quite often.
A Must Read!
What can you say besides "Faulkner at his best". A great novel of life and love and tragedy.
Three words cannot do it justice
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
I grew up in Mississippi in the 1970s and 80s. I knew of people like the Bundrens.
If you haven't read this book, the Bundrens are a family (a dad, 4 brothers and a sister) taking their mom (alive for a small part of the book) to be buried about 20 miles away in Jefferson (her wish). Problem is, the river has just flooded (timely here in lower Alabama) and the bridges are out.
They must deal with flood (crossing a flooded river), fire, mental health and other bodily issues (to say more is to give a spoiler) on their way by wagon to bury Moma.
It is told from the perspectives of each member of the family and friends and a hypocritical preacherman. Parts of it are hilarious and parts are downright sad. The father reminds me of why it is so hard to break free of the interrelated chains of family and poverty and, to a certain degree, ignorance.
I give the performance 3 stars for the narrated voice of Vardaman (the character who is still a kid) and, because of his age, he views his mother's death through warped eyes (e.g., "My mother is a fish"). Probably as a coping mechanism and partly because of the trauma of losing a mom and living with a father like Anse Bundren. The narrator, on the other hand, portrayed Vardaman as an idiot.
Warning: Do NOT watch James Franco's movie prior to reading the book. Watching the father for even part of that movie will likely disgust you to the point you cannot read further. Contrary to Franco, apparently, I never took from Faulkner's book that he intended dad to be viewed as mentally disabled.
I liked Faulkner's compassion for characters to whom many people who read literary wouldn't give much more than the time of day. I also liked Faulkner's originality and his ability to make local matters universal.
I can think of a coupler of recent English novels that owe a debt to As I Lay Dying: The Hide by Barry Unsworth and Last Orders by Graham Swift, which was made into a movie with some good acting in it. Faulkner influenced Carson McCullers and numerous other Americans, including Paul Harding, who recently won a Pulitzer Prize for Tinkers. As for predecessors, how about The Spoon River Anthology.
This is the first time I've heard this team. I thought they read clearly and with expressiveness.
Parts of it made me laugh. No tears here.
Will Patton's Light in August narration is wonderful. Someone who can do an authentic Southern accent would have been better here.
The Southern accents adopted by the narrators were rather awful and quite distracting at times as the actors struggled and missed. The actor who reads Vardaman, the little boy, does catch these sections well, however, and rendered them in a very moving way.
The novel itself is a classic of the twentieth century, and a tragicomic masterpiece.
It was near the top.
Tobacco Road, because they both deal with a poor rural southern family. However in this case the family seems to genuinely care about each other and are not starving.
Yes, I had insomnia one night and listened to the entire book
Faulkner is difficult for me to understand without a study guide. Following it with a study guide it was an enjoyable experience.
I think the prose of Faulkner's work is beautiful and could be beautifully read by the right narrator. The narrators of this particular recording drove me crazy. I couldn't listen for more than 15 minutes at a time and have finally given up on trying to finish it. I have listened to at least 100 books and this was by far the worst narration.