Listening to books makes my mundane tasks so much more palatable.
This was the first Faulkner novel I attempted to read/listen since high school (when I thought I'd never read Faulkner again). With that said, I found this audiobook to be really excellent, and I plan to buy more of Faulkner's books. The reader was crisp, clear, and fit the book perfectly. Warning: this story/ plot line may be difficult to follow. If one is unfamiliar with the story, I recommend consulting some sort of plot chronology because it makes the listening experience a lot more enjoyable. (google University of Virginia and Absolom)
I was nervous to read Faulkner having always heard how difficult his novels were. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease at which I was able to handle Absalom, Absalom! I give full credit for that to the excellent interpretation of Mr. Gardner. I never had trouble following the thoughts or complicated storyline of Faulkner's masterpiece. I now believe he is a MUST READ.
This book was a difficult but great read. Faulkner makes use of an interesting technique by jumping back and forth between the past and the present with many of the characters. By doing this he creates a patchwork of small bits of information that eventually come together as a whole piece. Although this creates a very unique read it also becomes hard to keep all the facts straight, but if you stick through to the end you will not be let down.
PS: The second time through is better
For me having this book read to me as I read along w/ an actual book in hand made this book much easier to comprehend. I tried first to read the book, and then just listening to the audio book~I needed to do both. The more you listened, the easier this story was to follow. You get pulled in by the author and the narrator.
It is hard to say which of Faulkner's works is my favorite, but Absalom, Absalom! certainly ranks in the top three. Grover Gardner is wonderful as the narrator, too. Faulkner, of course, is not an easy read, but with time one can begin to understand the "flow" of Faulkner's writing. I think this Audible presentation is an excellent way to capture Faulkner's wonderful poetic voice. Highly recommended!
I love Faulkner, and had tried to get through reading this book three times, all without success. The writing, while beautiful, is just so dense, and takes so much concentration to understand, that I plain ran out of steam each time. But I decided to give the audio book a try. My thinking was that maybe a narrator would interpret the writing, and give me a boost in understanding it all.
Unlike most of my plans and schemes, this one worked to perfection! Grover Gardner did a flat-out incredible job narrating. His tones, his inflections, his interpretations, were uniformly superb. With his help, the novel became comprehensible. I wasn't even aware when he hit the infamous 1300-plus-word sentence, it was all so smooth.
And what a novel! I hadn't known beforehand that this book is held in such esteem by Faulknerians, but it is, and justly so. It is breathtaking in scope and execution, nearly on a par with The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. And praise doesn't come higher than that.
Thank you, Grover Gardner, thank you Audible!
This is my favorite William Faulkner book and one of my favorite books generally. I have read it myself and now as an audio. Narration is almost perfect, the book is masterful. The story keeps turning and turning and the fable reinvents itself as you get new perspectives and more details. Even having read it several years before, I had waited long enough to get the shock from the surprises, especially the last one. Its awesome. Spellbinding. If you love long sentences, this book is heaven. It feels like one long single sentence and thought. And it is something of an allegory for the South itself on the whole, but you can take it as just a good story of hard characters too. There are no other books like this, though it clearly inspired in part the good Watson legend by Peter Mathiesen, peaking with "Bone by Bone" which I also recommend. If you want more of this.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Truth is fungible and ephemeral. It rests in the minds of the beholder and disappears in the light of history.
So many interpretations; so little time; “Absalom, Absalom!” is a masterpiece of literature for its phrasing, for its human exploration, and for its maddening reinvention of itself. If one of the criteria of literary success is a book’s nagging temptation to be re-read, “Absalom, Absalom!” deserves a Nobel Prize for literature (which Faulkner wins in 1949).
In the beginning, a reader is cast into confusion by a woman’s rant about Thomas Sutpen, a man she cohabitates with, nearly marries, and despises. Faulkner’s prose is all that keeps one trudging through this diatribe of discontent. Confusion reigns for several pages until a dim light of understanding reveals Thomas Sutpen as a driven, ill-educated, and poor Virginian that migrates to Mississippi with a plan, i.e. a plan to become wealthy, respected, and immortal; like a King of Jerusalem.
This is no easy read but it consumes one’s attention and helps one understand amoral behavior, slavery, discrimination and how they lead to inhumanity and destruction.