This is the second volume of Faulkner's trilogy about the Snopes family, his symbol for the grasping, destructive element in the post-bellum South. Like its predecessor, The Hamlet, and its successor, The Mansion, The Town is completely self-contained, but it gains resonance from the other two.
The story of Flem Snopes' ruthless struggle to take over the town of Jefferson, Mississippi, the book is rich in typically Faulknerian episodes of humor and of profundity.
As an added bonus, when you purchase any of our Audible Modern Vanguard productions of William Faulkner's books, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview added to your library.
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©1954, 1976 William Faulkner (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
This book is a difficult text to read first because Faulkner's prose style is dense and challenging and second because the dialogue is rooted in a colloquial "back-woods" language not familiar to those of us not from ealy 20th century Mississppi. Joe Barrett levels these factors out by reading the text in a very skilled manner. I look forward to more Faulkner to be performed by Joe Barett.
In terms of the book, it is a very challenging book but worth the read because Faulkner is making some very serious commentaries on how information is received, processed, communicated and sanitized within social groups and how the importance of such "infomation processing" can be exploited and leveraged for financial gain and social status improvement. Very weighty stuff here. This is one of Faulkner's less acclaimed works (many critics have assessed it as an unsuccessful and ineffective novel) however I stongly recommend it - it gave me the sense that I had just read a book that was considered by many to be a failure however it deepened my perspective on how politics plays out in group settings, how expoitation occurs and how morality is "baselined" (and by whom it is baselined). Read this after the Hamlet and before the Mansion (both also available through Joe Barrett's narration on Audible) to experience the entire Snopes Trilogy.
Joe Barrett once again delivers a terrific rendering of Faulkner. He makes listening to Faulkner easier than reading him. This one is slightly less disjointed than The Hamlet, but it also circles back around on events, telling them from different perspectives. It is by turns funny and tragic as it traces the rise of Flem Snopes from the backwoods of Frenchman's Bend to his position as a respectable banker in Jefferson. I recommend listening to The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion as one long novel.
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