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Absalom, Absalom! | [William Faulkner]

Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.
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Publisher's Summary

Absalom, Absalom! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.

Sutpen was a man, Faulker said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him". His tragedy left its impress not only on his contemporaries but also on men who came after, men like Quentin Compson, haunted even into the 20th century by Sutpen's legacy of ruthlessness and singleminded disregard for the human community.

©1986 Jill Faulkner Summers; ©1993 Books on Tape, Inc.

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  •  
    David Atlanta, GA, United States 01-14-13
    David Atlanta, GA, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Not Faulkner's best work"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Faulkner was notorious for going on a binge when he finished a novel. This book reads like he started drinking heavily from page one. I have read most of his works and this book (next to the Fable) is one of my least favorites. I decide to listen to it, in hopes that it would fall anew to me on listening ears. Unfortunately that was not the case. Faulkner is the master of the stream of consciousness writing that seems to be popular now, but this story was too disjunctive and difficult to follow. The flashback parts of the story make it difficult to tell where you are in space with the timeline. I would certainly not recommend it for bedtime reading. It takes way too much concentration to read casually.


    Would you be willing to try another book from William Faulkner? Why or why not?

    I have read most of his work, and will continue to revisit his better works. His best book in my opinion is Intruder in the Dust.


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Rosa


    Do you think Absalom, Absalom! needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not likely since Faulkner is dead. Anyway, most of his books intertwined the stories of many families in Yoknapatawpha county. To me that is his brilliance. Every time I read one of his works, I can see another story intersecting with it at some point.


    Any additional comments?

    I love Audible. I love to read and there are too many books in the world and too little time. Audible has given me the chance to listen to books while I workout or dive my car.
    Thanks Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 11-03-12
    Edward 11-03-12 Member Since 2003

    ed_b

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    "Outstanding All Around"

    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!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew Bountiful, UT, United States 07-14-12
    andrew Bountiful, UT, United States 07-14-12
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    "One of my favorites"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Schoene 04-18-15
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    "Challenging and rewarding"

    Faulkner's exploration of human nature, of the civil war south and all of the prejudices, the taboos, the struggles for acceptance give the reader today, 150 years after the war ended, an understanding of it all that no other writer has or could ever provide.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmie United States 03-30-15
    Jimmie United States 03-30-15
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    "Dirty Secrets"

    Tells the racial interactions of the plantation South. Mixed bloods having to decide what their identity is. Captured by Faulkner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Blaine, WA, United States 03-25-15
    Amazon Customer Blaine, WA, United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2013

    douglasrayd

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    "Amazing story & narration"

    An epic story, poetic narrative, stream of consciousness, describing the rise & tragic fall of a family & culture. A masterpiece. The reader, Grover Gardner, has a deep resonant voice. He brings the characters to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Inverness, FL 01-04-15
    Amazon Customer Inverness, FL 01-04-15 Member Since 2013
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    "He carries you away."

    Between Faulkner's way with words and Grover Gardner's speaking them, it was a mesmerizing experience. Nothing could tear me away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Herrington 01-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Classic book, okay Narrator"

    The book is a classic for a reason.
    This audiobook though is unlikely to become one. The narrator is only subpar. He is an okay reader, but he doesn't differentiate between the characters particularly well, which makes it difficult to tell who is currently telling the story.
    I also wouldn't recommend listening if you aren't already familiar with the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Indian Springs, AL, United States 06-12-14
    Linda Indian Springs, AL, United States 06-12-14
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    "Other reviews are spot on"

    This is your typical hard to read Faulkner. If you haven't read a Faulkner novel, you need to try. He uses half page long sentences. His novels are not like his short stories. Some novels like Light in August are not difficult to follow but quite a few are rough but that makes Faulkner who he is. The narrator was amazing. I cannot imagine his ability to keep up his flowing cadence, long sentence after long sentence. No narrator will ever compare on a Faulkner read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie 06-01-14
    Stephanie 06-01-14
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    "I liked Sound and the Fury better."
    Would you listen to Absalom, Absalom! again? Why?

    Maybe after a year or so.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Absalom, Absalom!?

    Suicide murder at the end.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Grover Gardner?

    Yes, I think he's good, but his voice is hard and constant in this one, and the story line is repeated over and over with a little more info with each chapter.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How the South was won, and then Lost.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is good, but it wasn't as good as the Sound and the Fury. You start to get burned out on the same town of Jefferson, and the same characters, with a different slant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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