The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately plantation. Flem Snopes – wily, energetic, a man of shady origins – quickly comes to dominate the town and its people with his cunning and guile.
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©1954,1976 William Faulkner (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Unlike The Sound & the Fury or Absalom, Absalom!, The Hamlet doesn't have layer upon layer of meaning (in general, at least-- however, it does have such moments..). Faulkner left very little up in the air, as opposed to the 2 books mentioned above, in which he leaves the reader with the unresolved tension of whether a certain event (ex. incest) actually happened or whether the relationship was such that the character experienced the situation in that way without it actually happening. The Hamlet is an exploration of reactions & relationships that develop in response to the Snopes family as it elbows its way into the Frenchman's Bend community.
The reading is quite good. About halfway throught the Part 2 file, there is a section which Faulkner also released as a short story called "Spotted Horses". The reader is totally in his element in this section... I'm not sure I ever was so caught up by an audiobook as in this part of the reading.
Reviewer from Utah
Great writing and story. Faulkner has created a modern myth in Yoknapatawpha County.
The narration evokes the rough beauty of rural life.
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