Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
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.
Will Patton did a really good job on this. I just didn't like many of the characters and when Christmas started beating a horse on the head, I gave up.
I wanted to like this, and to learn about the South from it. But I guess I have to just finally admit to myself that I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate "great literature". What I love and long for is a good story, well-told. This offering was so full of cruelty, hatefulness, anger, irrationality, and stunted, ugly human characters that I was left reeling, feeling sick at heart. For me there was no redeeming quality, at all, except that I have learned to strictly avoid Faulkner for the rest of my life! I would warn all sensitive souls away from this one.
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.
To this reviewer, Faulkner, like Mark Twain, is an acquired taste. “Light in August” is considered by Modern Library, in their 1998 list, to be one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; “Time” magazine suggests the same thing in 1923 and 2005.
“Abasalom, Abasalom” is William Faulkner’s vision of the South. It is an interesting book but it gnaws at one’s sense of completeness, both in the society being described and the fate of its characters. Faulkner describes early 20th century prejudice with characters that are largely unforgivable and unlikable. All women are characterized as dissemblers, and sex objects that lure men to sin as though men have no will of their own. Religion is exclusively seen as punitive and destructive. Faulkner pictures southern life as dark with only slivers of light; maybe slivers of light in August but only one month in twelve leaves his characters mostly mired in violence, sin, and despair.
Faulkner draws attention to American societal failures in the same way his contemporary Richard Wright does in “Native Son”. However, Faulkner paints on a wider canvas; i.e. exploring the dark side of religious zealotry which has no north/south or east/west boundary. The irony of Faulkner’s wider vision is its narrow focus. Both “Light in August” and “Native Son” are difficult to read because of the brutality of their main characters but Faulkner, though more lyrical and broadly visionary, is ironically one-dimensional and less complete than Wright.
I would not be interested in reading another Faulkner book however I thought Will Patton did good job of narrating.
The overly descriptive nature of Faulkner's work is lost on me. I find myself daydreaming or getting lost on what he was describing or talking about. I really hated reading this book but I kept reading in hopes that it would have some redeeming ending. Not.
The vocabulary of the author. I understood the intent of each sentence, but marvelled at the literary level of the written word. Not something you would here in everyday life now.
The depth of the characters and how they converged in life
The pace, the vocal manipulation and tonal flexibility in converying each character
pass on that one
Very insightful of human value and perspective from this era.
I love books!
I read William Faulkner or at least tried to read him in my 20's. I never really thought much about him after that until audible offered up this book as part of its Audible Modern Vanguard classic selections. The plot seemed interesting and I liked that it was narrated by actor Will Patton, who also narrates the James Lee Burke novels I enjoy, and since he's from the south where this book takes place, he had the southern accents down to a T.
This is a thought provoking book that touches on several different topics. Since it's set in Mississippi in the 1930's, it is a timepiece novel looking at that era, post Civil War but where racism still existed even all those years later. But it also touches on the hopes and dreams of people who are just trying to get by in life. It touches on the effects our parents and even out grandparents have on our lives. Did we lead the lives our parents wanted us to or did we stay true to ourselves and lead the lives we wanted to? Was it possible to do both? How did our grandparents effect the lives of their children and how then did that get passed down onto us? Many of us rebel and strike off on our own but as we get older we sometimes think that we are leading the life we were supposed to and now we've gone full circle.
Faulkner touches on all these issues in this book. Yes, it's a novel of the deep south in the 1930's but it is also universally timeless. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would when starting out. Read it slow and think about it, as i said, it's thought provoking.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
Not to personalize here, but I went to Vanderbilt, majored in English Lit, and read a number of Southern authors. Nonetheless, to say that this book is slow is an understatement. Molasses is quick by comparison. You need to be really into style in order to appreciate Faulkner, and frankly, I got over that in the late sixties. There may be a plot here, but I couldn't find it. I do really like the sound of Will Patton's voice, and have enjoyed a number of books that he has read. But, not this one.
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?