The Mansion tells of Mink Snopes, whose archaic sense of honor brings about the downfall of his cousin Flem. "For all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man," noted Ralph Ellison. "Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for the greatness of our classics."
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©1959 William Faulkner (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Faulkner is unavoidably challenging so having geat narration like this is spectacular. It helps also to have read (or be familiar with) the context of Faulkner's fictional county in Mississippi to appreciate how the "Snopes clan" fits into his conception of both the old world values of the South (pre-Civil War) and the values imposed on this region through the effects of modernity (national unity, automobiles, planes, cold war, post reconstrution in the South, etc.). The novels within this trilogy contain perspectives (through plot and characterization) articulating that the Snopes clan had a predominent role in eroding the old world values of the South; however these assumptions are also challenged and subverted and deconstructed, thereby challenging the reader to reconsider what moral judgments are founded on in the first place. I should also say that sections of this novel are absolutely hilarious. Good Faulkner. In addition to this review, see my commentay on Faulkner's "The Town".
I'm not sure why the performance rating on this book is so low. This is a wonderfully performed book, and kept my enthralled despite the fact that I'd already read the book. Mr. Barrett's interpretation of the characters is brilliant and his intonation and inflection make for a very entertaining read. He really brings the characters to life. If you have not read the first two books in the trilogy, this book will not make any sense to you. You owe it to yourself to listen to The Hamlet and The Town before you listen to and comment on this book.
Joe Barrett does a fantastic job. He does make a couple of regional mispronunciations: Cairo is pronounced like "kay-ro" not "ki-ro" and there were a couple of other ones, but no big deal.
The funniest tragedy you've ever seen!
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