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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 (416 )
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4.4 (321 )
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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

    Say something about yourself!

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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

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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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

    "There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

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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
  •  
    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

    I tend to prefer classic fiction, historical nonfiction and short stories. I work in communications and spend most of my time with words. :)

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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
  •  
    C. Rudder USA 06-24-15
    C. Rudder USA 06-24-15 Member Since 2011

    Political Scientist

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    "Confusing at first, but well worth the effort."

    Absolutely superb. I especially recommend this book to those who have exiled themselves from the South and to those who want to understand that region better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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