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"For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity, [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country". (Robert Penn Warren)
Yes. If you love diving into the twisted mind of writer like Poe and Faulkner you will love this twisted tell.
Spoiler alert ... I don't like that Darl was used as a scapegoat to end the story. It is as if Faulkner just got tired of the characters and abruptly ended the story with out tying up loose ends.
The Narrators give a different voice to each character allowing the reader to follow the story more easily.
Yes. I would love to read what happens to Darl and Dewey Dale after mamma is buried
"From this, he took a lesson: value the original, fragile, and rough. That's the art." Holland Carter on the art of Henri Mattisse
I grew up in Mississippi in the 1970s and 80s. I knew of people like the Bundrens.
If you haven't read this book, the Bundrens are a family (a dad, 4 brothers and a sister) taking their mom (alive for a small part of the book) to be buried about 20 miles away in Jefferson (her wish). Problem is, the river has just flooded (timely here in lower Alabama) and the bridges are out.
They must deal with flood (crossing a flooded river), fire, mental health and other bodily issues (to say more is to give a spoiler) on their way by wagon to bury Moma.
It is told from the perspectives of each member of the family and friends and a hypocritical preacherman. Parts of it are hilarious and parts are downright sad. The father reminds me of why it is so hard to break free of the interrelated chains of family and poverty and, to a certain degree, ignorance.
I give the performance 3 stars for the narrated voice of Vardaman (the character who is still a kid) and, because of his age, he views his mother's death through warped eyes (e.g., "My mother is a fish"). Probably as a coping mechanism and partly because of the trauma of losing a mom and living with a father like Anse Bundren. The narrator, on the other hand, portrayed Vardaman as an idiot.
Warning: Do NOT watch James Franco's movie prior to reading the book. Watching the father for even part of that movie will likely disgust you to the point you cannot read further. Contrary to Franco, apparently, I never took from Faulkner's book that he intended dad to be viewed as mentally disabled.
If you're looking at Faulkner then you hopefully know what you're getting into. This, along with Unvanquished are probably good intros with this starting to get into the stream of consciousness and convoluted structures without being too much. this is a great idea to have the rotating narrators by different readers, however they should have gone a step further and used enough to cover all the voices distinctly with no repeats. there are a couple of narrators who read more than one voice/character and some voices are not as individual as they need to be, and a couple times a reader's sections come back to back and the voices run too similar, enough that i lost track of who was speaking a couple times. still a good rendition.
this book single-handedly turned me off to anything written by faulkner.
i was forced to read this for a college lit class and it was a complete struggle from start to finish. at the recommendation of a fellow student, i downloaded the audiobook in the hopes of understanding the story a bit more. on that note, the audio quality is fantastic and it really helps that each character has a different voice.
as for the story: i get that faulkner was going for the whole stream of consciousness angle, but the characters were hard to follow, hard to get to know and hard to care about. having the prof lay out the storyline helped a bit and i can see how the plot could be interesting if the writing style had been set up differently. i was just unable to get beyond the surface of this book on my own. maybe it's too many years of fluffy chick lit or just a general apathy for the class i was taking and the professor who taught it, but if i never have to hear of faulkner again, it will be too soon.
Once you've heard it the first time, you "get" it the second time. Very confusing to try to understand the relationship of the characters.
If you are a fan of William Faulkner you will enjoy this…
The reading captures the southern way of speaking in such a way that makes the surface of the Faulkner story somehow even more rich…
The ending. This was a challenge and I felt like giving up at times, but the last act was satisfying.
They sounded exactly like you'd expect the characters to sound. I'm not from the South, though, so I can't vouch for the authenticity.
I got angry at times listening to this. It was hard to know what was going on. Frankly, I benefited a lot by consulting SparkNotes. I was close to throwing in the towel on this, but, well, I kinda wanted to say I've read a few Faulkners, so I kept at it. It was a good decision because the characters and the story grew on me.
I've listened to many audiobooks, this was definitely one of the more challenging ones. Had to hit the rewind button quite often.
A Must Read!
What can you say besides "Faulkner at his best". A great novel of life and love and tragedy.
Three words cannot do it justice
I liked Faulkner's compassion for characters to whom many people who read literary wouldn't give much more than the time of day. I also liked Faulkner's originality and his ability to make local matters universal.
I can think of a coupler of recent English novels that owe a debt to As I Lay Dying: The Hide by Barry Unsworth and Last Orders by Graham Swift, which was made into a movie with some good acting in it. Faulkner influenced Carson McCullers and numerous other Americans, including Paul Harding, who recently won a Pulitzer Prize for Tinkers. As for predecessors, how about The Spoon River Anthology.
This is the first time I've heard this team. I thought they read clearly and with expressiveness.
Parts of it made me laugh. No tears here.
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