This is a master of the human psyche tells the stories of a number of different of human characters, many of which each of us has met in other incarnations. Faulkner gives us insights into what moves them. No explanations, however, as there aren't any. The discrepancy between their dreams and their reality brings to life many of my own memories. The least active character is at the same time the most realistic about what is happening around and to her.
The reader is absolutely exceptional in portraying the different characters, their emotions and "southernness". This performance is a pleasure to listen too just to hear Will Paton read Faulkner.
To praise this masterpiece by the great Faulkner would only be repeating what has already been said countless times. As a writer myself I can't understand how a man could write this good and not go mad.
What I really want to comment on is the narrator, Will Patton. This is the finest narration I have ever heard. His voice brings alive the cadence and richness of Faulkner's style. He has the southern voice, but none of the farcical tone that a lesser reader imitating a southern voice might bring to it. He captures the soul of the words so that every scene plays in one's mind as if you're standing in the middle of it. Patton is a great example of how reading is an art all on its own. Actually, this is my only concern. How different is the experience of reading a novel compared to listening to it? Especially when someone as good as Patton is on the job?
I listened until 3 hours from the end and just could not stand a moment more. I found Faulkner's story depressing, unpleasant and mostly unbelievable. The timeline jumping happened without warning, and at one point, I thought I had started another book. The biblical, racial, and sexual bigotry, along with "preacherliness" of both the story and the narration, totally turned me off--so did Faulkner's creative word-play.
Apparently, I am not sophisticated enough to enjoy or appreciate this classical writer. Luckily, I have found others whom I really do enjoy.
I have always loved Faulkner's writing and have read most of his works. This reading of Light in August was masterful. Will Patton reads this very complicated text in such a way that it becomes amazingly easy to follow. For anyone familiar with the effort required to follow Faulkner's intricate and challenging prose, this will be recognized as quite an accomplishment.
The storyline detailing the experiences of Joe Christmas, from boarding school to adoption to adulthood, and his struggle to understand and cope with his heritage, vividly illustrates the difficulty and confusion of those times.
There are many beautiful passages in this one. Faulkner is a masterful writer, but there are times when he is really in his stride. No one is better then.
Will Patton is my only saving grace as I try to finish this book. I enjoy an author that is descriptive but let a scene tell it's story and not be interrupted with a description of every movement, sound and word spoken. Some of it is brilliant but mostly I'm just saying "get on with it!". The story itself is worth the history lesson but be warned it is very depressing.
All I can say is I'm so glad it's over! I had to keep repeating segments to figure out what had just been said. I'm still scratching my head! Depressing, confusing, and very little resolution. The most redeeming part of this 15+ hour road trip was the narrator was very, very good.
Light in August caught my attention and kept it until about 3/4 the way through then it just lost me. I found the story to be very interesting and enjoyed the characters but too much rambling on with the characters and their backgrounds that you start to lose interest in the story at hand. At one point I thought I missed the ending and another story started. I made it to the end, although I almost stopped listening about 3/4 through.
I chose Faulkner's book because I wanted to incorporate some "great American literature" into my audiobook habit. Unfortunately, it became obvious that great literature doesn't always make a great audiobook. No doubt the greatness is there, but by the end of the book it grew ponderous, not satisfying like for instance Bryce Courtenay or even Jeff Lindsay.
This was an excellent reading of an incredible book. I had not read this book before and was wary of listening to it on tape, but I was wrong. Patton did an incredible job. And the story is so amazing. So beautiful and classically American.
Definitely a classic, characterization is very rich in detail. Narration is superb. I didn't read Faulkner in college or high school, and I'm not sure it could be appreciated by someone in High School. Midway through the book I did some research on Faulkner and on the book which helped considerably. It is amazing to me that this was written in the 1930's, which sheds light on why the author's work wasn't appreciated in his life time--it's not pulp fiction. It is not an easy book to read or listen to. I expected the racial prejudice but was surprised by the "fire and brimstone" religious overtones, and the degree that women were denigrated by many of characters in the book. I will be digesting this for quite awhile.