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By Doug on 05-14-09
Excellent characterization, fine suspense
Faulkner's style is not easy, so anyone who reads him or listens to him should expect to work a bit. However, there are major rewards for the effort.
The central character in this story, a proud mixed-race man who is charged with murder and assumed to be guilty because he is Afro-american in the South many years ago, is one of the most satisfyingly depicted black male characters in all of American literature. Faulkner's expertise in drawing this man, Lucas Beauchamp, and in depicting his dialect, his speech patterns, is beyond reproach. As you listen, you will see this man in your imagination as clearly as you see yourself in a mirror.
The plot is that of a mystery being solved. Lucas sits patiently in jail as the white roughnecks in the community plot to take him out and lynch him....Lucas is patient and confident because he knows he did not murder the dead white man, and he knows a way to prove it, and he manages to set in motion certain actions that will bring the truth to light...if the actions can be completed (by two boys, one white, one black) before the lynch mob gets Lucas out of jail for the rope and gasoline party they have in mind.
You will wonder after enjoying this fine story if the author of To Kill a Mockingbird was inspired by the tale. Intruder preceded Mockingbird by several years, and the themes and story line and characters are closer to each other than I would be comfortable with had I written Mockingbird.
Intruder is one of Faulkner's most accessible books. You will not be disappointed.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Doug on 03-22-08
A true classic
This is one of my favorite books, although many do not consider it one of Faulkner's best. Faulkner was gifted with the ability to write memorable quotes of dialogue, and there are some gems here. Reading Faulkner always requires concentration, but it's worth the effort. In this story he takes a very simple plot, occurring over a very short time frame, and creates a fascinating work by exploring what the characters think about themselves and their community. One note of caution: the book is full of a few words that have become racial hot buttons. The story is set in the South in the 1950's. These words don't bother me - I'm not afraid of words, and they are true to the setting of the story - but it's something a reader who is unfamiliar with Faulkner should be aware of.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful