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Light in August | [William Faulkner]

Light in August

An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.
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Publisher's Summary

Sweepstakes Offer - Will Patton's actual recording script can be yours, complete with autograph by the Audie Award-winning narrator himself! Get Light in August now to automatically enter for your chance to win.

No purchase necessary. Some rules and restrictions apply. Click here for complete rules.

Audible is pleased to present Light in August, by Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner.

An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.

Audie Award-winning narrator Will Patton lends his voice to Light in August. Patton has narrated works by Ernest Hemingway, Don DeLillo, Pat Conroy, Denis Johson, Larry McMurtry, and James Lee Burke, and brings to this performance a keen understanding of Faulkner, an authentic feel for the South, and a virtuoso narrator's touch.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Light in August, you'll get exclusive bonus audio added to your library - an interview with James Lee Burke about William Faulkner, conducted by James Atlas.

©1954, 1976 William Faulkner (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1676 )
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  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 09-30-14
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 09-30-14 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

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    "The Sweet, Caustic Syrup of the South"

    I can see from some of the reviews that this book is heavy going for a lot of readers. And it is heavy going, no question about it. It's bleak and relentless but there are flashes of gold so pure and true that I felt not only was it worth it, but that without the darkness, the flashes of light would not have shone so brightly.

    The language... oh, if you love poetic language and rich, fertile descriptions, this book is so linguistically erotic there were times when I felt almost embarrassed to be listening to it in a public place.

    I can't believe it took me so long to get around to reading/listening to this. I'm so glad I did.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-08-13
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-08-13 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accessible to others; not to me."

    Not to personalize here, but I went to Vanderbilt, majored in English Lit, and read a number of Southern authors. Nonetheless, to say that this book is slow is an understatement. Molasses is quick by comparison. You need to be really into style in order to appreciate Faulkner, and frankly, I got over that in the late sixties. There may be a plot here, but I couldn't find it. I do really like the sound of Will Patton's voice, and have enjoyed a number of books that he has read. But, not this one.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 01-23-14
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Not my cup of tea"
    Would you try another book from William Faulkner and/or Will Patton?

    I would not be interested in reading another Faulkner book however I thought Will Patton did good job of narrating.


    What was most disappointing about William Faulkner’s story?

    The overly descriptive nature of Faulkner's work is lost on me. I find myself daydreaming or getting lost on what he was describing or talking about. I really hated reading this book but I kept reading in hopes that it would have some redeeming ending. Not.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 10-31-13
    Gypsy Wife Back on Boogie Street 10-31-13 Member Since 2007

    Gypsy Wife

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    "I give up!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not even Will Patton's mesmerizing voice could save this slow, bleak story. I can't finish it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something with a plot.


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    Everything. I could listen to him read a pizza menu.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Light in August?

    The scenes between the first page and the last page.


    Any additional comments?

    Just because a book is a classic doesn't make it good to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 10-07-13
    Brenda 10-07-13
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    "Sorry, Oprah, but this book is a decided failure."

    I'm sorry, Oprah but I absolutely hated this book - I actually didn't finish it, although I lasted over half way,hoping against hope for an improvement. In my opinion, the narration is very poor. Every word is read soooo sloowwly, the accents are terrible and the book just doesn't have any clear storyline. Sorry but no good things to say here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul winter park, FL, United States 09-27-13
    Paul winter park, FL, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing view into life 100 years ago."
    What made the experience of listening to Light in August the most enjoyable?

    The vocabulary of the author. I understood the intent of each sentence, but marvelled at the literary level of the written word. Not something you would here in everyday life now.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The depth of the characters and how they converged in life


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    The pace, the vocal manipulation and tonal flexibility in converying each character


    If you could take any character from Light in August out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    pass on that one


    Any additional comments?

    Very insightful of human value and perspective from this era.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-11-13
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-11-13 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sort of a dark nativity story twist"

    It's hard to describe just what the structure of this book is. Characters we think are central disappear for long stretches. Characters we think are peripheral come to have major roles. The central plot line appears to lead nowhere. I am left with the sense that the real plot lies outside of what is reported in the book, and can only be inferred from the general shapes outlined therein. Faulkner is probably the most successful experimental writer of the 20th century. One of the few where we feel the experimental elements serve the function of the story instead of the other way around. In this book, it is the fragmented way of telling the story, and the sense of an overarching purpose that cannot be directly stated. Nowadays, the fragmented chronology has become so common that we may not appreciate how revolutionary Faulkner's work really was. One thing Faulkner is always good at is at expressing the ambiguity in a character's words or actions. Rather than simply say what a gesture means, he will leave you with a multitude of interpretations just as you are left in real life wondering what a gesture truly meant. Just as our own gestures mean more than can be neatly summed up in a tidy soundbite explanation.

    It's not giving anything away to say that there are numerous allusions to the nativity story in this book, though it can be easy to forget as the story twists away in different directions. It's a very dark twisted version of the nativity story all the same. I think the underlying meaning of the book lies somewhere in the contemplation of its elements as they relate to that archetypal story.

    Will Patton does a terrific job of keeping all the characters straight and of evoking the period and the people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-22-13
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 04-22-13 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a good reintroduction to Faulkner"

    I read William Faulkner or at least tried to read him in my 20's. I never really thought much about him after that until audible offered up this book as part of its Audible Modern Vanguard classic selections. The plot seemed interesting and I liked that it was narrated by actor Will Patton, who also narrates the James Lee Burke novels I enjoy, and since he's from the south where this book takes place, he had the southern accents down to a T.

    This is a thought provoking book that touches on several different topics. Since it's set in Mississippi in the 1930's, it is a timepiece novel looking at that era, post Civil War but where racism still existed even all those years later. But it also touches on the hopes and dreams of people who are just trying to get by in life. It touches on the effects our parents and even out grandparents have on our lives. Did we lead the lives our parents wanted us to or did we stay true to ourselves and lead the lives we wanted to? Was it possible to do both? How did our grandparents effect the lives of their children and how then did that get passed down onto us? Many of us rebel and strike off on our own but as we get older we sometimes think that we are leading the life we were supposed to and now we've gone full circle.

    Faulkner touches on all these issues in this book. Yes, it's a novel of the deep south in the 1930's but it is also universally timeless. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would when starting out. Read it slow and think about it, as i said, it's thought provoking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 11-16-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to follow in Audio format"

    If you miss a few seconds, you will have transitioned in time and point of view and be lost. His writing is beautiful, difficult topics placed in a cruel world... if I was to read again, would do in book form. Performance was great, the story thought provoking but it didn't work for me as an audio book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. H. H. 10-08-12
    D. H. H. 10-08-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Suffering from visions meeting with reality"

    This is a master of the human psyche tells the stories of a number of different of human characters, many of which each of us has met in other incarnations. Faulkner gives us insights into what moves them. No explanations, however, as there aren't any. The discrepancy between their dreams and their reality brings to life many of my own memories. The least active character is at the same time the most realistic about what is happening around and to her.
    The reader is absolutely exceptional in portraying the different characters, their emotions and "southernness". This performance is a pleasure to listen too just to hear Will Paton read Faulkner.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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