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Absalom, Absalom! Audiobook

Absalom, Absalom!

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Publisher's Summary

Absalom, Absalom! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.

Sutpen was a man, Faulker said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him". His tragedy left its impress not only on his contemporaries but also on men who came after, men like Quentin Compson, haunted even into the 20th century by Sutpen's legacy of ruthlessness and singleminded disregard for the human community.

©1986 Jill Faulkner Summers; ©1993 Books on Tape, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (434 )
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4.4 (338 )
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Performance
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  •  
    sgonk New York, NY USA 03-21-16
    sgonk New York, NY USA 03-21-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Great Southern Novel"

    Maybe The Great American Novel.

    (Of course more than one Faulkner book could conceivably be called either one--Greatest American/Greatest Southern novel).

    An incredible story of a southern man's rise and fall. The story is clearly an allegory for the South itself (and, by extension, America?).

    Faulkner's writing style is light-years ahead of its time. The actual story being told could be done in a chapter. In fact, each chapter tells the same story from different perspectives, with new details. The perspectives and details often contradict each other. The details are sometimes explicitly made up.

    This layered, recursive process demonstrates the construction of human knowledge, making this fiction "real."

    Gardner's narration is wonderful. He doesn't necessarily change his accent from character to character except that it is always clear when a Southerner is speaking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 01-09-15
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 01-09-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WHO'S TRUTH"

    Truth is fungible and ephemeral. It rests in the minds of the beholder and disappears in the light of history.

    So many interpretations; so little time; “Absalom, Absalom!” is a masterpiece of literature for its phrasing, for its human exploration, and for its maddening reinvention of itself. If one of the criteria of literary success is a book’s nagging temptation to be re-read, “Absalom, Absalom!” deserves a Nobel Prize for literature (which Faulkner wins in 1949).

    In the beginning, a reader is cast into confusion by a woman’s rant about Thomas Sutpen, a man she cohabitates with, nearly marries, and despises. Faulkner’s prose is all that keeps one trudging through this diatribe of discontent. Confusion reigns for several pages until a dim light of understanding reveals Thomas Sutpen as a driven, ill-educated, and poor Virginian that migrates to Mississippi with a plan, i.e. a plan to become wealthy, respected, and immortal; like a King of Jerusalem.

    This is no easy read but it consumes one’s attention and helps one understand amoral behavior, slavery, discrimination and how they lead to inhumanity and destruction.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 04-28-14
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    "Really difficult to follow in audible version"

    This novel is heavy, nearly indigestible.

    I find it rather challenging to absorb, while driving (where I listen most), all the import of sentences filled with words that stretch the lexicon of even a Hahvahd literature professor. So, I purchased both the text and audible versions to listen to some and go back through. This proved too time-consuming.

    If I were learned enough, perhaps I'd have enjoyed it enough to give it 5 stars. On the other hand, were I a true redneck I wouldn't have picked it up and certainly would have chunked it after Chapter 1.

    If you purchase this, be sure to carry a pocket-sized dictionary for quick, easy and frequent reference.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Stone 08-27-13
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    "My First Dive into Faulkner"
    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Grover Gardener wins awards for a reason - his narration is pitch perfect, he emotes the sense of place and character flawlessly. I am a real fan.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent read of a classic Faulkner work. It will not be my last

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 'n Austin 11-16-17
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    "Not my favorite Faulkner novel"

    This is a remarkable, intricate story, but I think that Faulkner asked for a bit too much patience from readers. This was picked by literature experts as the best southern novel of all time, but it is not my favorite Faulkner novel. I did think it warranted 4 stars because of the story, but I think Light in August, Intruder in the Dust, and As I Lay Dying are better books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 02-26-17
    Laura 02-26-17
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    "They found a perfect reader"

    This is my favorite book by Faulkner because it is so atmospheric and rich - though it confused the heck out of me when I first encountered it as a kid :) Let's just say the narrative voice has its own style and the story loops around a bit.

    This reader does a fantastic job on a difficult text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L.B. 09-17-16
    L.B. 09-17-16
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    "Exceptional Narration"

    Absalom, Absalom! is one of my favorite books, and I've read it half a dozen times. I thought it would be interesting to experience the twisting, rhapsodic passages read aloud, and it was more enjoyable than I could've even imagined. The characterizations and pace were thrilling, and as soon as I finish writing this review, I intend to see if this narrator has recorded any other Faulkner so I can tuck into another title.

    I should say (though maybe this goes without saying?) that you need to have read this book before diving into the audio version. If not, you'll most likely find yourself lost fairly quickly. I'd venture to say the same for most of Faulkner's body of work.

    Bottom Line:
    If you enjoy day tripping through the dusty, gothic mythos of Yoknapatawpha County, you'll be sucked into this recording immediately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed B Columbus, Georgia 06-08-16
    Jed B Columbus, Georgia 06-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "All the voices "

    I forgive Faulkner his racism now. I see that he not only speaks for the old Confederacy as her chief apologist, but also speaks to her and prophesies against her. Faulkner is hard to listen to in audio format because of those wonderful tangled sentences that go on for miles. But the narrator does an excellent job of differentiating each character, and you can see that the author really meant to be heard, not just read.

    Maybe only a true believer can criticize. Faulkner gives full voice to those caught in the culture of trafficking in human labor, while still honoring the great ruined charade of Southern chivalry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tobias 10-02-15
    Tobias 10-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Engrossing performance of an incredible novel"
    If you could sum up Absalom, Absalom! in three words, what would they be?

    Dark, foreboding, mysterious


    What other book might you compare Absalom, Absalom! to and why?

    One Hundred Years of Solitude


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Engaged different accents to make them recognizable and distinct without drawing too much attention to it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I almost did on one long car ride


    Any additional comments?

    First Faulkner book I've read since high school and the first time I felt I really appreciated one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Carrollton, GA, United States 07-02-15
    Amazon Customer Carrollton, GA, United States 07-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "this "must read" might be better to be read."

    struggled to finish. very confusing. at the end, I still wasn't sure who Quinton was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Larissa
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "not for everyone"

    I wish I could give more stars for the book. Since at one point in history the work was rewarded by Nobel Prize. And I really wanted to read (to listen) to it. and I tried. for few hours. I realy tried hard to grasp the storyline. and I failed. Because its impossible to put a completed thought in a centence 3 pages (5min.) long. The narator's voice contributed to unpleasant listening. It may be southern accent, but it sounds more like one of bravade-propaganda of news readers on TV in 60s.

    Well, it's like Picasso in art, not for everyone. Faulkner in literature, not for everyone either.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Curran
    Staplehurst, United Kingdom
    4/6/12
    Overall
    "amply rewarding"

    As noted by other reviewers, "Absalom Absalom" does require some effort on the part of the listener; it might be worth having a printed copy to refer to in order to keep track of the rich complexities of the plot and the narrative voices (I referred to an online study guide as I had no copy of the book). But Grover Gardner's masterly reading enables the listener not only to make sense of the text, but to revel in the wonderfully full, almost poetic cadences of language so rich as to be almost musical. The listening in itself was a pleasure.

    As for the book as a novel, it has so much to discover : themes of race, gender, American history, prejudice, equality, sexual morality to name but a few; a structure so clever as to be an object of satisfaction in itself, especially combined with the complex interweaving of the time patterns; a magnificently Gothic atmosphere, especially the last scene, the forcefulness of which can rival any other.

    I am grateful to previous reviewers for recommending a book which otherwise I would never have discovered, and to Grover Garner to bringing alive this remarkable novel from a powerful author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Raman
    Trivandrum, India
    10/27/11
    Overall
    "Making sense of a difficult masterpiece"

    It seems Faulmner's Absalom, Absalom holds the world record for the longest sentence ever written. So that is how difficult this work gets. I twice gave up reading the print edition. But this audio recording by Grover Gardner, I listened mesmerized. The long winding incomprehensible sentences suddenly turned poetic. It was like mist lifting to reveal the beautiful scenery behind. I have read few thrillers so engrossed. So that is it then the recording has made a thriller out of an unreadable classic. It doesn't get better than that.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Leopold
    Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
    8/15/10
    Overall
    "wonderful"

    Absalom is a difficult book and whether you read or listen there will be long passages where you just want to cry 'get on with it' and yet as the book goes on this is all necessary and the repetition and endless looking at the same thing from a slightly different angle brings you further in than most any of book... normally I would say read the book first then listen to it but actually in this case sit back, listen, don't worry if parts don't make sense, don't worry about seeming repetition and glory in hearing this novel read in a southern accent!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tomas Puidokas
    UK
    10/6/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "Well..."

    you like it or you don't. the work of messmeraising genius, narrated by narration god.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BookWorm
    9/17/16
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    "Fascinating author, great reader "

    This is a story told from many points of view, of quite a few narrators, each of them knowing only certain part of it and trying to figure out the rest. As the story unfolds more details and layers are being revealed. Time shifts and quasi poetic language can be off putting but don't give up, there will be that point when you'll start comprehending and it will become clearer. Faulkner is an author like no other, with his unique style and motifs, recognisable yet different in every novel, difficult but rewarding in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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