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Intruder in the Dust | [William Faulkner]

Intruder in the Dust

Intruder in the Dust is at once an engrossing murder mystery and an unflinching portrait of racial injustice. Set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, it is the story of Lucas Beauchamp, a black man wrongly arrested for the murder of Vinson Gowrie, a white man. Confronted by the threat of lynching, Lucas sets out to prove his innocence, aided by a white lawyer, Gavin Stephens, and his young nephew, Chick Mallison.
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Publisher's Summary

Intruder in the Dust is at once an engrossing murder mystery and an unflinching portrait of racial injustice. Set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, it is the story of Lucas Beauchamp, a black man wrongly arrested for the murder of Vinson Gowrie, a white man. Confronted by the threat of lynching, Lucas sets out to prove his innocence, aided by a white lawyer, Gavin Stephens, and his young nephew, Chick Mallison.

©1948 Random House, Inc.; Copyright renewed 1975 Jill Faulker Summers; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  •  
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 05-14-09
    Doug Columbus, NC, United States 05-14-09 Member Since 2004

    Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent characterization, fine suspense"

    Faulkner's style is not easy, so anyone who reads him or listens to him should expect to work a bit. However, there are major rewards for the effort.

    The central character in this story, a proud mixed-race man who is charged with murder and assumed to be guilty because he is Afro-american in the South many years ago, is one of the most satisfyingly depicted black male characters in all of American literature. Faulkner's expertise in drawing this man, Lucas Beauchamp, and in depicting his dialect, his speech patterns, is beyond reproach. As you listen, you will see this man in your imagination as clearly as you see yourself in a mirror.

    The plot is that of a mystery being solved. Lucas sits patiently in jail as the white roughnecks in the community plot to take him out and lynch him....Lucas is patient and confident because he knows he did not murder the dead white man, and he knows a way to prove it, and he manages to set in motion certain actions that will bring the truth to light...if the actions can be completed (by two boys, one white, one black) before the lynch mob gets Lucas out of jail for the rope and gasoline party they have in mind.

    You will wonder after enjoying this fine story if the author of To Kill a Mockingbird was inspired by the tale. Intruder preceded Mockingbird by several years, and the themes and story line and characters are closer to each other than I would be comfortable with had I written Mockingbird.

    Intruder is one of Faulkner's most accessible books. You will not be disappointed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Elizabethtown, IN, USA 03-22-08
    Doug Elizabethtown, IN, USA 03-22-08 Member Since 2006
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    "A true classic"

    This is one of my favorite books, although many do not consider it one of Faulkner's best. Faulkner was gifted with the ability to write memorable quotes of dialogue, and there are some gems here. Reading Faulkner always requires concentration, but it's worth the effort. In this story he takes a very simple plot, occurring over a very short time frame, and creates a fascinating work by exploring what the characters think about themselves and their community. One note of caution: the book is full of a few words that have become racial hot buttons. The story is set in the South in the 1950's. These words don't bother me - I'm not afraid of words, and they are true to the setting of the story - but it's something a reader who is unfamiliar with Faulkner should be aware of.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey Arvada, CO, USA 01-24-08
    Geoffrey Arvada, CO, USA 01-24-08
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    "meh"

    The story is alright, some reasonably interesting twists although the author can be a bit repetitive at times. The narrator seems to build up almost every sentence with volume and excitement to some sort of climax that really never comes. I comes off as preachy, I found my self tuning out uncle Gavin's long speeches.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bronwen Somerville, MA, United States 08-25-10
    Bronwen Somerville, MA, United States 08-25-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Not his best, but hey, it's still Faulkner."

    Scratched the classic-southern-gothic itch alright. Something about it seemed a little like a formulaic noir detective novel though. However there were some awesome scenes scattered amongst the less imaginitive stuff.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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