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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.

What Members Say

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4.2 (207 )
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4.3 (131 )
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Performance
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  •  
    pilot East Coast 01-08-09
    pilot East Coast 01-08-09 Member Since 2008

    Listening to books makes my mundane tasks so much more palatable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "A long, enjoyable listen"

    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)

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 11-16-11
    Elizabeth 11-16-11
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    "Narrator made the difficult easy."

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cox leesburg, virginia, United States 09-06-11
    cox leesburg, virginia, United States 09-06-11
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    "Awesome Book"

    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

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Lake St Louis, MO, USA 02-25-10
    Mary Lake St Louis, MO, USA 02-25-10
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    "Audio Needed"

    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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim B 06-26-12
    Tim B 06-26-12
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    "Faulkner at his finest!"
    If you could sum up Absalom, Absalom! in three words, what would they be?

    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!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul A Wood 02-11-11
    Paul A Wood 02-11-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Faulkner's best"

    A terrific novel -- one of the finest written in America. And as a Southerner I have to salute the narrator. His accents weren't bad.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas New Rochelle, NY, USA 02-27-08
    Douglas New Rochelle, NY, USA 02-27-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Not easy to read..."

    A difficult listen. Faulkner is never easy but always enjoyable. Your efforts will be well worth it.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Davenport, NE, United States 08-27-13
    Harold Davenport, NE, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2005
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    "My First Dive into Faulkner"
    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Grover Gardener wins awards for a reason - his narration is pitch perfect, he emotes the sense of place and character flawlessly. I am a real fan.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent read of a classic Faulkner work. It will not be my last

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  • Showing: 1-10 of 18 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Raman
    Trivandrum, India
    10/27/11
    Overall
    "Making sense of a difficult masterpiece"

    It seems Faulmner's Absalom, Absalom holds the world record for the longest sentence ever written. So that is how difficult this work gets. I twice gave up reading the print edition. But this audio recording by Grover Gardner, I listened mesmerized. The long winding incomprehensible sentences suddenly turned poetic. It was like mist lifting to reveal the beautiful scenery behind. I have read few thrillers so engrossed. So that is it then the recording has made a thriller out of an unreadable classic. It doesn't get better than that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leopold
    Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
    8/15/10
    Overall
    "wonderful"

    Absalom is a difficult book and whether you read or listen there will be long passages where you just want to cry 'get on with it' and yet as the book goes on this is all necessary and the repetition and endless looking at the same thing from a slightly different angle brings you further in than most any of book... normally I would say read the book first then listen to it but actually in this case sit back, listen, don't worry if parts don't make sense, don't worry about seeming repetition and glory in hearing this novel read in a southern accent!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Larissa
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "not for everyone"

    I wish I could give more stars for the book. Since at one point in history the work was rewarded by Nobel Prize. And I really wanted to read (to listen) to it. and I tried. for few hours. I realy tried hard to grasp the storyline. and I failed. Because its impossible to put a completed thought in a centence 3 pages (5min.) long. The narator's voice contributed to unpleasant listening. It may be southern accent, but it sounds more like one of bravade-propaganda of news readers on TV in 60s.

    Well, it's like Picasso in art, not for everyone. Faulkner in literature, not for everyone either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Curran
    Staplehurst, United Kingdom
    4/6/12
    Overall
    "amply rewarding"

    As noted by other reviewers, "Absalom Absalom" does require some effort on the part of the listener; it might be worth having a printed copy to refer to in order to keep track of the rich complexities of the plot and the narrative voices (I referred to an online study guide as I had no copy of the book). But Grover Gardner's masterly reading enables the listener not only to make sense of the text, but to revel in the wonderfully full, almost poetic cadences of language so rich as to be almost musical. The listening in itself was a pleasure.

    As for the book as a novel, it has so much to discover : themes of race, gender, American history, prejudice, equality, sexual morality to name but a few; a structure so clever as to be an object of satisfaction in itself, especially combined with the complex interweaving of the time patterns; a magnificently Gothic atmosphere, especially the last scene, the forcefulness of which can rival any other.

    I am grateful to previous reviewers for recommending a book which otherwise I would never have discovered, and to Grover Garner to bringing alive this remarkable novel from a powerful author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

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