I am a college professor and professional actor, director and playwright. The peformance of the book is as important to me as the writing.
Amazing novel, no wonder Faulkner is such a highly respected writer of the highest caliber. I loved everything about this novel, great performance by Will Patton, a compelling and involving story, and the writing...OMG dense, complex, rich, potent, intellectually challenging. This book restored my faith in American writing.
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. C.S. Lewis
I am a lifelong fan of Faulkner, but this is one work I have never read. While it has many of the style traits I love in Faulkner; the sharp, hard focus on the subject of race and the angst of the main character leaves me dry.
"Light in August" is an admirable work, and I read it to close a gap in my Faulkner reading history. But unlike "Intruder in the Dust" and "The Reivers," each of which I've read several times, I'll never read "Light in August" again.
I've only heard the audio, but it was excellent. The characters were formed in my mind the same as when I read a good book.
The future being born in a specific act in the past.
The different characters's voices supported the text. His reading voice was never distracting and was pleasant to hear for several hours.
I don't understand this question.
At first I looked for a main character or plot, but then relaxed and just trusted the author to, eventually, reveal a theme and connect the lives. I felt that I was living in the times and among the people, following threads of different lives. Faulkner's observation and description of people's actions revealed underlying currents that control people and create "truths" where there is only reaction to embedded beliefs at work. The book treats racism and religion and sexual rules of conduct directly when one, or all, surface to take over; then things settle again into routine. It was as though Faulkner was walking next to me, revealing society and letting me learn to search out and examine my own underlying currents, but never directly pointing out or judging. He respects the reader's intelligence. Faulkner is truly a master writer.
The author does a great job of telling the story through the thoughts and deeds of various characters.
Christmas and his foster father's trip to town and visit to the cafe where Christmas meets the waitress that will change his life.
The reader did an excellent job with each character's "voice". Listening to this book was very enjoyable and I found myself really getting into the story. There were several times I went back to listen to a part a second time just to pay closer attention to the language used. Though this book was written decades ago I think its theme of how race and family influence our lives is still important today.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
Faulkner’s classic tell of race and class in the south during the 1930s in a sweeping story with compelling characters that capture the emotions and competing beliefs and challenges of the times. It is truly a two act work with the first being a story of unfilled homes and dreams as a young pregnant Lena Grove searches for the lost love of her life and the second is charged with racism as Joe Christmas struggles with his race identity in a prejudice society. A very thought invoking read on race and classicism relevant to its time as well as today.
I don't know why I am surprised when I listen to a classic and its good, A Light in August does not disappoint. While the story is really good its the writing that's amazing...The phrases were simply but beautifully written. I did have re-listen a few times to keep the premise but I was working while listening and tend to lose track.
Will Patton is amazing! I listened to him narrate Alas! Babylon and now this. I believe his is my new favorite narrator.
I will be reading to more of William Faulkner now.
I don't write book reports.
I had a hard time getting through "Light in August" because this is my first introduction at reading anything from William Faulkner. Maybe a bit too heavy to handle for a first timer. I don't disagree that Faulkner has good skills in writing and should appreciate his books more.
I was talking to my past English teacher in high school that I was listening to "Light in August" and my teacher suggested that I should have a different approach at reading this book. I imagined myself sitting in front of a village store or at a park, just chilling and have all of the time in the world to just listen to their stories, like Forrest Gump and the bus stop. I happened to agree with my teacher that his approach to this book. It is the way to go because it helped me to understand the plot better.
This is not my favorite book. I found it to be very redundant and boring and most of the characters are ignorant. I also have very little interest in slavery or the South. It's not because that I don't like history, but I'm not a fan of the era. Maybe because I've read so little and seen so much on the screen.
If my high school teacher gave us this assignment back then, I would had been lost and kept referring to the SparkNotes. As for the performance of Will Patton, I didn't liked his pace of storytelling. I don't blame him or the author, but I should had read something else to get my ears familiarize of Faulkner.
Thanks teacher for the suggestion. Your suggestion at listening to this book worked, but I was ready to walk away from the conversation. I wasn't a good listener in class either.
Faulkner can be tough to read, though I don’t think this book is particularly challenging. I would start with Light in August if you were going to read/listen to Faulkner for the first time. It’s a well-crafted story from start to finish, where the words dance off the pages, leaving you in awe of Faulkner’s ability to stitch them together to create a pallet of delightful imagery and sound, which transports you to this realm, like it or not. Will Patton is a master at his craft; I’m talking high-level master, well beyond first or second degree. I couldn’t stop myself from telling others about his voicing, his accents, because I couldn’t believe it was one person reading this book aloud, which he does with grace and impeccable timing. This is a must listen! Highly, highly recommended!
First, let me say that Will Patton is a fantastic narrator. I chose Light in August out of all the 87 books I hadn't yet read on the Modern Library 100 Best Novels list purely because Patton narrates it (his reading of Deliverance is to die for).
I am disinterested in Faulkner, and I haven't read any of his other novels, but Light in August did not wow me. It had great small-town dramatic potential, but where Richard Russo is stunning, Faulkner is merely very skilled. I did not mind the slow pace or the convoluted, almost Modernist arrangement of the chapters, but I like a plodding drama to pay off at the end (again, Empire Falls comes to mind), and I felt like the juice here wasn't really worth the squeeze.
On the other hand, if you ever need reminding as to exactly how depraved, racist, overzealous, idiotic, and generally backwards we could be in the Jim Crow era of the American South, this is the novel for you.
Love the narrator, and I might try another Faulkner book, but I'd have to read the reviews really carefully.
No, I love historical fiction. It might turn me off other Faulkner books though.
This book is unbelievably slow. I'm about halfway through, only still listening to it because I don't have another Audible credit yet.
It begins with the story of a young Southern girl who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, and runs off to be with the baby's father. However, the girl is soon dropped from the story entirely (I assume we will meet her again later), and the book picks up another storyline, of a young black man named Christmas, who can pass for white. He's incredibly unlikeable, as are most of the characters. It is rare for me to read a book in which I can't identify with or admire a single character, but here we are.
Moreover, Faulkner's writing style (at least in this book, I'm not familiar with his other writing) is slow and repetitive. (I'm making this up, but here's an example): "She combed her hair, combed her hair with the comb she had bought at the general store with a grubby nickel, combed her hair every night before bed." Yuck. Reminds me of The Old Man and the Sea, very tiresome and simplistic.
The narrator is clearly talented, and I like him very much - just wish he were reading something better.