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1. A Summer of Faulkner: As I Lay
2. Collected Stories of William Faulkner
3. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected
4. Light in August (The Corrected
5. As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical
6. A Fable
7. The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected
8. The Reivers
9. William Faulkner : Novels 1930-1935
10. The Hamlet
11. Knight's Gambit
12. New Orleans Sketches
13. Three Famous Short Novels: Spotted
14. Selected Short Stories of William
15. Go Down, Moses
16. William Faulkner: Novels, 1957-1962:
17. William Faulkner : Novels 1936-1940
18. A Reader's Guide to William Faulkner:
19. The Portable Faulkner (Penguin
20. Mientras Agonizo / As I Lay Dying

1. A Summer of Faulkner: As I Lay Dying/The Sound and the Fury/Light in August (Oprah's Book Club)
by William Faulkner
Paperback: Pages (2005-06-03)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$13.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307275329
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The 2005 Summer Selection isavailable in an exclusive three volume boxed edition that includes aspecial reader's guide with an introduction by Oprah Winfrey.

Titles include:
As I Lay Dying
This novelis the harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across theMississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told inturns by each of the family members-including Addie herself-the novelranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Originallypublished in 1930.

The Sound and the Fury
First published in 1929,Faulkner created his "heart's darling," the beautiful and tragic CaddyCompson, whose story Faulkner told through separate monologues by herthree brothers-the idiot Benjy, the neurotic suicidal Quentin and themonstrous Jason.

Light in August
Light in August, a novelabout hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some ofFaulkner's most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove,in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower,who is plagued by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas,a desperate, mysterious drifter consumed by his mixedancestry. Originally published in 1932.

Take a seat in Oprah's Classroom and sign up for Faulkner 101 onoprah.com/bookclub. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

4-0 out of 5 stars A challenging read
A good value.Faulkner takes a while to adjust to, but a good opportunity to start in on classic American literature.

2-0 out of 5 stars Errr... not for me !
I had a hard time to finish reading this package but... finally finished reading them after reading other books in between. I am quite surprised Oprah chose these books. In my opinion, she could have chosena better books. Unless you really like challenge, I doubt you will real find time to finish reading these.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great American literature
The Oprah's Book Club is a great, inexpensive way to own these literary pearls. If you do not know what you are getting into I suggest you read first Light in August, then As I Lay Dying and finally, after bracing, The Sound and the Fury. I found the second a tad too dry and dark, but that's Faulkner. The last one is a book you will eventually reread. The first reading could be helped by the many high quality institutional web sites where this masterpiece is dissected and even rearranged for ease of approach. I am witholding a star simply because I have formed the opinion that Faulkner is, to put in mildly, racially biased or at least wrote for the racially biased. I would love to hear what Oprah thinks about this aspect of Faulkner's but I do not have the time. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Challenging and thought-provoking
These novels are not to be read for sheer pleasure, but rather for the challenge and the depth. They are not easy to read, though *Light in August* is the easiest of the three. The prose is so difficult at times that I needed to reread again and again. I had to stop and take numerous breaks because my brain got twisted around.

I strongly suggest getting research materials from a university librray if at all possible to help navigate the stories. In the end, the depth of these novels is profound and extremely rewarding. It was only after I finished them (and read a lot of extra research articles) that I truly appreciated them. These novels are definitely amazing and a great account of southern life in the early part of the 20th century (and after the civil war), and I admire Faulkner more than I ever thought I could.

If you thought James Joyce was complex, try Faulkner!

2-0 out of 5 stars O Oprah
AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

I respect what he did, but I read about 15% of this one before I got bored. I don't agree with Oprah that he's difficult. I knew exactly where he was coming from and where he wanted to go. Many relevant themes and he was a damn fine wordsmith. But it's old news to this jaded old redneck. I don't know why. I realize I just dismissed an author who deserved his Pulitzers and his Nobel Prize, in a single short paragraph, but please hold back on the hate mail.


THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner

Ditto. You hate me, don't you?


LIGHT IN AUTUMN by William Faulkner

Ditto. Hoo boy, now you want me dead.
... Read more

2. Collected Stories of William Faulkner
by William Faulkner
 Paperback: 912 Pages (1995-10-31)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679764038
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This magisterial collection of short works by Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner reminds readers of his ability to compress his epic vision into narratives as hard and wounding as bullets. Among the 42 selections in this book are such classics as "A Bear Hunt," "A Rose for Emily," Two Soldiers," and "The Brooch." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some great, some meh
This collection of Faulkner stories is a really mixed bag.I generally liked the Yoknapatawpha County stories best, and the ones that are connected (Two Soldiers and Shall Not Perish, and the Indian stories) are especially good.Some of his more famous ones like "A Rose for Emily" are actually the least interesting to me.They feel more like O. Henry trick endings and I know Faulkner has more in him.

Some of the stories are very confusing on the first read, but I think they make more sense the second time, and Faulkner at his best really should be reread.

If you want a more consistent (and connected) collection of Faulkner tales, try "Knight's Gambit" or "Go Down, Moses."

3-0 out of 5 stars Elly was my favorite
It took me 9 weeks, but I finally worked my way through each of the stories in this collection.My favorite, hands down, was Elly, which I read and re-read, read aloud to my husband, went online to look up background information, read again, made my friends read ... yeah, it was that good.Other stories here, however, were so very difficult to understand that I'm not sure I can say I actually read them, or merely read the words -one after another.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for school
Bought for a school project.Price was bit high, has a good font-typeset.
Satisfied with purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This is 900 pages of literary gold. Possibly the greatest author of the 20th century and here is a tomb of his short stories. If I were stranded some place and could only have one book, I'd be hard pressed to decide between this one and the complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading
William Faulkner (1897-1962) famously said that all novelists were failed short story writers and all short story writers were failed poets.To anyone who has tried to write fiction, I think these words make a lot of sense.However, while reading his collection of short stories, it occurred to me over and over again that the source of this quote may in fact be one of its exceptions.It goes without saying that Faulkner's novels are one of the finest bodies of work in that genre, so he was, obviously, a novelist.But with this collection of stories, it seems to me he was also a formidable short story writer.And I would challenge anyone who reads `Carcassone', the beautiful `story' that closes this immense collection, to tell me that Faulkner didn't have the poet in him as well.

This is the collection that came out in the fifties containing 42 stories, some from earlier collection and others previously unpublished in book form.They are not grouped chronologically, but rather by `subject': `The Country', `The Village', `The Wilderness', etc.I don't know why Mr. Faulkner did this, but I found it really worked to have stories of similar themes or places grouped together.

For those who haven't read Faulkner before, his writing is a dense, `stream of consciousness' style, essentially the exact opposite of his nemesis, the minimalist Ernest Hemingway.This means these stories can be hard reading in a lot of spots, as the meaning of what is happening or what Faulkner wants us to comprehend can be elusive.Some sections or whole stories will need to be read again until the meaning becomes clear, or clearer.Luckily the other trait of Faulkner's is his perfect rhythm, almost like a galloping horse at times, which pulls us through the stories and makes us want to read them again and again.

All of these stories are good, but my favorites had to be the haunting `A Rose for Emily' and `That Evening Sun'.`Lo!', `Artist at Home', and `The Brooch' were also favorites of mine.But really, the guy had me from the first line of `Barn Burning': "The store in which the Justice of the Peace's court was sitting smelled of cheese."This book is for anyone who cares at all about literature.Any exploration of twentieth century American literature is virtually worthless without a dip into the ocean that is William Faulkner.
... Read more

3. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text (Modern Library)
by William Faulkner
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2000-11-28)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375504524
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One of William Faulkner's finest novels, As I Lay Dying was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner's imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark.

This edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Noel Polk.Amazon.com Review
Faulkner's distinctive narrative structures--the uses ofmultiple points of view and the inner psychological voices of thecharacters--in one of its most successful incarnations here in AsI Lay Dying. In the story, the members of the Bundren family musttake the body of Addie, matriarch of the family, to the town whereAddie wanted to be buried. Along the way, we listen to each of themembers on the macabre pilgrimage, while Faulkner heaps upon themvarious flavors of disaster. Contains the famous chapter completingthe equation about mothers and fish--you'll see. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (212)

4-0 out of 5 stars Insight
The 1949 Nobel Prize for literature winner wrote this novel in 6 weeks and it was published in 1930. It's written in "stream of consciousness" style by 15 different narators. Its dark and depressing and emotionally thick, but well worth pulling yourself through. What struck me is Faulkners ability to make you sincerely attached to the characters, even though they aren't so likeable and there are many of them. Sometimes you find yourself thinking "He wouldn't have said that!" But maybe he would, maybe Darl, a poor, young, uneducated southern-america country boy, would really use the word soporific and think so philosophically about time and space ("It is as though the space between us were time: an irrevocable quality. It is as though time, no longer running straight before us in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, the distance being the doubling accretion of the thread an not the interval between." Darl pg 133-4ish). Faulkner knows his characters and he knows how to make you shift your view of them. I will definitely be reading more!

4-0 out of 5 stars Où dans l'Enfer sont les Mouches ?
This always has been, perhaps always will be, my favorite Faulkner work. I doubt that I will ever compose anything remotely as good as this book myself, and yet here I am giving it less than five stars. I was captivated by both its plot and its characters in high school thirty-odd years ago, my opinion of it only increased in college, and the very fact that Faulkner wrote the thing while working as the night-shift supervisor of a power plant served, and still serves, as a powerful inspiration for me to keep writing even though I could not, and probably never can, give up my own night job.

As Richard Marius (another favorite author of mine) once observed, "The most powerful image in _As I Lay Dying_ is the stench of Addie's body, the horror that it causes as the coffin-laden wagon moves through the countryside. This is an image from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance--the memento mori--for no matter what glory and grandeur we ascend, we ultimately become food for worms...So here Faulkner delivers a delicious ultimate symbol of the writer's calling, a poor white crowd of family members carrying a rotting and stinking corpse across a rainsoaked landscape and affronting the entire community. The rituals of religion require us to pretty up the corpse, to make it look "natural," which is to say "asleep," and to get it into the ground or the fires of cremation before it begins to stink and to remind us all of the animal nature of our being and the inevitability of our mortality. Many people in Faulkner's novels find themselves in various stages of denial. The greatest denial of all is the denial of death, the denial of the kind of beings that we truly are. And the community is outraged because its illusions are thrown in its face and shattered in a cloud of stench (Marius, _Reading Faulkner_, 64-70)."

I agree with this implicitly. And I've read the book several times since school, simply for pleasure. It was only at my most recent reading that the question started to nag: if Faulkner was attempting allegory here, a mere extension of a medieval memento mori, why did he make the pictures of both the Bundren family, and of the rotting corpse in the casket in the wagon, as realistic as he did? But, if he was truly trying to make things realistic, WHERE ARE THE FLIES? The book is set in a hot, rainy, humid summer in rural Mississippi. As Cash Bundren commented to Dr. Peabody about his mother's corpse, "Hit was gettin' right noticeable." And there are buzzards aplenty all along the road from the bridge to Mottson and then to Jefferson. So why leave out the one critter in the animal kingdom that would have taken notice of the "noticeable" even before the buzzards did...unless Faulkner KNEW that his inclusion of flies would render his whole proposition of the plot impossible? It would have been bad enough, in real life, to have dealt merely with the horseflies that would have plagued the team pulling the wagon. A piece of carrion as big as a human body would have drawn a cloud of flies that would have made it practically impossible even to get near the wagon, let alone ride on it. So was the omission merely that, a lapse of memory, or a literary necessity?

And finally, the question that plagues me worst of all: why am I the only &*$% fool that seems to have noticed?

1-0 out of 5 stars Awful dialect
This book is perhaps useful as a linguistic reference point for a particular dialect of English, but is nearly without worth as a piece of literature. It's a weak con, but serves as a useful "Emperor's New Clothes" style test for membership in the society of folks who pretend to find meaning it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Something to do with Substantial Sandwiches
If a sandwich was created from the pages of literature's best, it would be a sizeable feast that nobody--except those with the biggest of mouths--would be able to bite without a knife's assistance.The literary sandwich would be difficult to chew and even harder to swallow.But how satisfying it would be with its fresh lettuce, its delicious tomatoes.And if every copy of AS I LAY DYING was torn and made into a sandwich, I do dare to say there would be little difference between it and former one mentioned.For in Faulkner's brilliant novel, nearly every pleasure literature provides is present.It is a difficult work, but one that rewards careful readers.

What contributes to AS I LAY DYING'S difficulty is how steeped it is in the abstract.Bringing symbolism to the foreground is a choice writers with less skill would suffer from.But Faulkner is able to successfully build a story--a touching one, too--out of metaphors and symbols.True: one can ignore the literary elements.Really, though, doing so would be eating the spaghetti with no sauce, drinking the soup with no noodles.I cannot develop any personal views on many of the most powerful symbols for the fear of spoiling one or two of the myriad surprises in the novel.However, do pay attention: the Bundren's journey to Jefferson is not all about death and it is not, like Darl says, a single person's journey."It takes two people to make you," he says, "and one people to die."Honey-worded but not correct as the narrative proves.

The most important theme in the book is the meaningless of words.Vardaman, Addie and Darl all obsess over words.Vardaman has trouble dealing with death and the state of existence.Almost manically, he transforms his mother into a fish: "My mother is a fish."And why isn't she?If she is not alive, then what is she?Darl too thinks through such problems, but being older and more pensive, his solutions are more complex; they involve both philological and philosophical ideas.Really, Darl's character reads like an amateur philosopher--wise enough to ponder, but not wise enough to form a substantial notion.Finally, Addie's character: all that needs to be said about her is the last sentence.It proves right all three of the characters who wonder how the abstract and is able to be properly represented by a group of letters.

Of course, if one gazes long enough, the eyes will find a flaw.One does not need to peer for a while before finding faults in AS I LAY DYING.As the narrative is split into a multitude of point of views, perhaps too many, it is challenging to wholly grasp what is occurring, especially because Faulkner and his characters do not try to aid your efforts.Many times, the reader is left to interpret what was only whispered, not yelled.The novel, then, is frustrating to read.It is far worse, however, that one of the novel's strong points is dulled the more one flips its pages: its beautiful phrases.If Vardaman had only once said his mother was a fish, if Darl only once reflected on existence in peculiar ways, had only once told Jewel his mother was a horse, the instances would be memorable.Alas they happen so often, they become platitudinous.

Yet, even with its flaws, it is a book that any interested in literature cannot skip.As most great books, it is better writing an analysis than a review.I have done what I could and hope to have convinced you that AS I LAY DYING must be read

1-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's Practical Joke
I don't like this book. I am not going to provide a lengthy explanation, because all of you who rated this 5 stars will just condemn me as a moron, and all of you who don't like this book will only agree with what I have to say.

I agreed with most of the one and two star ratings (beyond the argument that it was "confusing"), and did not feel obligated to write a review other than to hopefully lower the overall rating of this novel.

... Read more

4. Light in August (The Corrected Text)
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 512 Pages (1990-10-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679732268
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Joe Christmas does not know whether he is black or white. Faulkner makes of Joe's tragedy a powerful indictment of racism; at the same time Joe's life is a study of the divided self and becomes a symbol of 20th century man. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (83)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty accessible for Faulkner - this is a novel well worth reading
This is my third Faulkner novel (The Sound and Fury and As I Lay Dying being the other two) and it's easily the most accessible. Faulkner has a reputation for writing novels that are difficult to read.It's a lot of work, but for fans of the author, it's worth the effort.Anyone interested in `testing the Faulkner waters', should consider Light in August a good place to start.It is about as conventional a novel as I suspect Faulkner ever wrote (I've only read three so I'm hardly an expert on the subject).

But a `conventional' Faulkner novel is still pretty unconventional.Perspectives are continuously shifting from one character to another, but at least in this novel, Faulkner makes it clear whose perspective it is at any given time.In a number of cases a new character is introduced for the sole purpose of having a portion of the story told through their eyes, often never to be mentioned again.The story is told in a non-liner fashion but at least Faulkner makes it clear when the story is shifting from the present, to the recent past, to a long ago memory (this isn't the case in all of Faulkner's work - sometimes you're on your own in trying to determine not only who's perspective it is, but when in time the events are occurring). One of the interesting things that Faulkner does well is to tell overlapping versions of an incident from more than one perspective (and they don't always match, making the `truth' as uncertain as it is in real life).Faulkner seems intrigued by the idea of looking at events from different angles and showing the reader different 'realities' depending upon the point-of-view and this is something that, as a reader, fascinates me.

Some readers might find it strange that the second to last chapter focuses on Hightower's memories of his grandfather in the Civil War and his demeaning death, his wife's infidelity, and his own religious fervor and fall from grace.This might seem like a strange time (so close to the end of the novel) to delve into the past and provide a detailed history of a character that we've already spent considerable time with, but I think this chapter is of great importance to Faulkner and what he is trying to say in Light in August.The Civil War's influence permeates all aspects of life in the south and provides context to the racial prejudice experienced by Joe Christmas in the novel.While the issue of racial prejudice is explored in the novel, I think Faulkner also had something to say about the relationships between men and women and the distortion of religion.These themes are also featured prominently in Hightower's reminiscing.This chapter is arguably the most important in the novel because it articulates so much of what Faulkner has to say.

I enjoyed Light in August.It has a surprisingly `active' plot with a lot going on in the present day story which (almost) makes it a bit of a page-turner (well ok, calling it a page-turner may be an exaggeration - but it is a compelling story).There are multiple engaging characters to connect with and I like that they are fully realized and flawed - even unlikeable.The characters in Light in August are all outsiders.The prose is extraordinary and poetic at times. Of the three Faulkner novels I've read, I rank this one in the middle.Like many people, I struggled with The Sound and the Fury and while I caught glimpses of brilliance in it, my overall reaction was lukewarm (I should probably re-read it to see if my opinion changes with a second reading).As I Lay Dying on the other hand really got under my skin and I was mesmerized by it.Light in August was not nearly as obscure as Fury but it didn't resonate with me the way Dying did.

Faulkner isn't for everyone.He's intentionally abstruse. His novels are demanding and can be bleak and difficult to read.But if you are willing to wade through them though, they can be very rewarding.If you are interested in reading something by Faulkner, this is probably the best place to start.Light in August is one of his most accessible novels, but it's also a very good one. I'll be moving on to Absalom Absalom next.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice!
Great book, a page-turner. Faulkner is one of the greatest literary writers of the world, and Light in August is proof of that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great purchase!
The book was in great condition considering it was used and it did not take long for me to receive it in the mail. I was very pleased with my purchase, it was very inexpensive and way cheaper than it would have been to buy it from a local book store. I bought this book for my literature course but I ended up really liking the book. This was an interesting novel due to the time period in which it describes.

4-0 out of 5 stars light in august
I tried to re-read Faulkner's novels, Light in August, was the first one followed by Absalom, Absalom and The Sound and The Fury.
Faulkner's work is so well known that there is hardly anything one can add to all the critiques expressed.
I find though that one has to have a lot of patience to plow thru those novels,despite the best of good will, the novels are a bit dated after all. It may well be that television and movies spoiled
ones attention span for Faulkner's meticulous descriptions.Or one simply has no interest in books one read for school and college.At any rate for me it was not a fruitful endeavor.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece by a Nobel Prize winner in literature

"For all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for the greatness of our classics." --Ralph Ellison
(Note: This quote is taken from the product page for this version of "Light in August." It led me in the direction this review takes.)

Light in August. Somewhere recently I read that Faulkner heard his wife use that line to describe the light in August in Mississippi where they lived (Oxford, not far from the border with Tennessee). Her line was the catalyst to this novel, not about race, but about "the nature of man," his striving for "that continuity of moral purpose." A third source for this review is Jung's collective unconscious. That "light in August" is a common denominator for Southerners, who instantaneously envision that "slice" of light, that particular way the light bends in August. That same light (enlightenment or the lack thereof) also wreaks havoc in the Southern collective unconscious concerning race, not as prejudice, but as a fact of history. I, too, a Southerner, see this light, archetypically and symbolically, in my mind's eye.

As a master writer and thinker, William Faulkner took all these elements: that slant of "light," the concept of race, and moral purpose and wove them into a masterly novel about Man.

Take the characters' names. Those alone should signal to the careful reader that a writer of intentionality is at work. Let's begin with Lena Grove. Faulkner named his house in Oxford, Rowan Oak. The word "rowan" is in reference to the rowan tree, which originated in Ireland and has safety and protection as its legend. A rowan is part of a grove. Thus, Lena Grove is a source of power, and in her case, self-protection. She has strength on the basis of her own identity. A single, unwed mother-to-be makes her way from Alabama to Mississippi on foot to find the father of her baby. After all, he promised to return to her. Instead, she comes to claim him. The power of a grove.

Who is this young man, this n'er-do-well who audaciously leaves her? Why, his name is Lucas Burch, one tree to her grove, but it's a twisted tree, burch, instead of birch. The man who does fall in love with the solidness of Lena's demeanor and self-confidence is Byron Bunch, a solitary man who has been living and working in town for four years now. His life is bunched up, he is unable to untangle, unravel, but just exists in a wad until the powerful Lena Grove "unbunches" him or perhaps bunches him more.

Byron's friend, Rev. Hightower, does what his name implies--he lives in a "high tower" of his own making, like Bunch does in the sawmill. What Faulkner does is imbue all his characters with a history. We learn Hightower wanted to be a preacher early on, but the Civil War caught him. Afterwards, he marries (another vivid character) and takes her away to this town where he wants to have his "calling." Each is a pawn to the other in the game of life. Hightower crashes fairly early on to join the dust of the world, but lives an isolated life in the window of his house (like a high tower), as Byron does. Faulkner makes sure the reader understands this by making Hightower into an obese, pallid creature, as if he does not live, but is a statue. The fact that these two self-isolated men, one intelligent and educated, the other intelligent and very common in his beliefs, befriend each other is inevitable.

There are two sets of highly cruel, fundamentalist men in the novel:Doc Hines (think of your rear-end) and
Mr. McEachern (each to his own). Both are adult males who interact with Joe Christmas, the central figure, the source of that "light" that slants on Mississippi. Left on orphanage steps on Christmas Day (thus his name) and named Joseph (get it?), Joe Christmas becomes one of the most controversial figures in American literature. He is the child of an unwed white girl, herself the daughter of a fundamental, racist preacher. She tries, as do many tightly controlled girls, to fight for freedom, for breath, for life through "love." The boy is a circus worker, perhaps Mexican, perhaps part Negro.

It is at this point that the reader must understand the laws at the time. (Understanding does not connote condonning.) Jim Crow laws of the South stated that anyone born with any part lineage with Negro blood was deemed legally Negro. Thus, Joe Christmas, for all visual identity purposes, was White (the legal term at the time), yet that ambiguous paternity factor rendered him black (yes, Faulkner uses the n word as a document of history, whether his intention or not). To Doc Hines, the preacher, later "doctor," the baby was a n-word, therefore he was unworthy to live. Doc wanted him "gone," and finally wanted him "dead." This history of the South does, indeed, stink, but, nevertheless, it remains history. Faulkner records it in all its detritus.

Later, McEachern, another fundamentalist bible thumper, adopted the boy when he was five years old and trained, or tried to train, him as another fundamentalist. Joe resisted forced religion, even unto beatings. Some critics make Joe into a Christ figure, but after my recent reading, I can no longer follow this line of thought. However, I will present one parallel. Public religious figures of the day of both Jesus Christ and Joe Christmas wanted to eliminate each from the earth, each for different reasons, but both out of hate and ignorance, nonetheless.

I have read of the charge of Faulkner as racist in other reviews. However, as Ralph Ellison points out, Faulkner is concerned with moral purpose much more than racism. Each of the two most racist characters in the novel suffer the consequences of their hate. Hines becomes a virulent, scorned, occasional blathering idiot by novel's end, while McEachern's own excessive hatred causes his own murder.

Faulkner is also accused of being a misogynist. The wives of each fundamentalist are wooden creatures with limited access to freedom, with each wife taking it passively and secretly. Again, history is part of this story in that women had limited rights during the America of the early 1900's, with African Americans even less, including the right to life if caught in particular circumstances. Does history make those actions right? What an absurd question. But Faulkner faithfully documented the America of his time.

Two women in the novel do have power, one legally and one by chance. Joanna Burden--my gosh, but these names are so obvious--is the other central figure in the novel. She is a free woman, who inherits a legacy and never marries, thus never losing her rights to ownership--to her land, her name, and herself. As a foreigner to the South--her ancestors hailed from New Hampshire--she does not inherit that blight of racism that comes with being Southern. Black people are ones she helps with her money and legal advice. She, ahem, embraces Joe's Negro-ness. Their coming together is both perverse and beautiful: perverse in their approach to each other, yet beautiful in their acceptance of each other. Of course, such a relationship in such a time is doomed.

Moral purpose? What could Faulkner be saying through this relationship? Out of the context of history, it could have been extraordinary (if indeed it isn't already!), but in context, it must suffer the way of any mixed race relationship of the time. However, the very fact of ambiguity of Joe's racial makeup, allows no one to know what Joe could have been, certainly not Joe himself, not Joanna (although she tries), not the reader, and not even Faulkner, for he, too, is part of history.

The second woman of power? But she has no man, no home, you might say. No? Just wait, she will, whether it is Bunch or someone else.

So, is Faulkner racist? Allow me the space for one section of Faulkner's acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature:

"I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

Can a man who writes such thought be racist? Not a chance. Instead, what such a writer can do, is show us what is unacceptable so that we can change it, not just about race, but to show all those wonderful things that man can exhibit if only allowed.

... Read more

5. As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical Editions)
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-12-04)
-- used & new: US$11.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393931382
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Long been recognized not only as one of William Faulkner’s greatest works, but also as the most accessible of his major novels.This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1985 corrected text and is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations.

“Backgrounds and Contexts” is divided into three sections, each of which includes a concise introduction by Michael Gorra that carefully frames the issues presented, with particular attention to As I Lay Dying’s place in Faulkner’s literary life. “Contemporary Reception” reprints American, English, and French reviews by Clifton Fadiman, Henry Nash Smith, Edwin Muir, and Maurice Coindreau, among others, along with Valery Larbaud’s never-before-translated preface to the first French edition of the novel. “The Writer and His Work” examines Faulkner’s claim to have written the novel in six weeks without changing a word. It includes his comments on the book’s composition along with his later thoughts on and changing opinions of it, sample pages from the manuscript, his Nobel Prize address, and the little-known short story in which he first used the title. “Cultural Context” reprints an essay by Carson McCullers and an excerpt from James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men along with other materials that address questions of Southern Agrarianism and the Southern grotesque.

“Criticism” begins with the editor’s introduction to As I Lay Dying’s critical history and scholarly reception. Eleven major essays are provided by Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Calvin Bedient, André Bleikasten, Eric Sundquist, Stephen M. Ross, Doreen Fowler, Patrick O’Donnell, Richard Gray, John Limon, and Donald M. Kartiganer.

A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are also included.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Paperback Edition Yet Released
Norton Critical Editions are often hit or miss affairs, but in this instance their execution was perfect.I shan't comment on the novel--if you're even considering it, you know it's a classic and on the short list of great American--not to mention, modern--novels ever written.What this edition does is make explicit why: it contains a series of Faulkner's commentaries on the novel from a lecture series at the University of Virginia; some excellent essays on the work by the likes of Stephen M. Ross, Cleanth Brooks, and a phenomenal formalist criticism by Eric Sundquist; as well as copious goodies interspersed, like a commentary on Faulkner's writing method and a few reprints of the novel's original drafts, both typed and handwritten.With a well written intro by Michael Gorra and a $7 (!) price tag, this is the copy to get if you're considering a little trip with the Bundrens.

EDIT: In the seven days since I posted this, Amazon has raised the price to ~14, which makes it somewhat less of a steal.I'd still recommend it, however, to anyone interested in this work as well as a thorough guide to its various nuances.

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite
One of the best books I've ever read.Mercilessly funny.A former viewer is exactly right that this is Cohn brothers territory, though I don't think it would translate easily to the screen.

5-0 out of 5 stars As I Lay Dying--Critical Edition
Faulkner is not for everyone, I think anyone who has ever read a single page of his writing can
agree to that. Stream of consciousness dictates to the point of distraction, characters contradict
themselves, and you almost break out in a sweat as atmospherically he's nothing but pure Mississippi.
But, he's fascinating with his use of language, and, amazingly, his stories move
forward. The trials and heartache involved in seeking to transport Addie Bundren to her desired
resting place in death are so haunting that the book is nearly impossible to forget.
The newly released Norton Critical Edition is a great help in putting it all together.
There are explanatory footnotes included in the text, along with a fine introduction and critical
essays at the back.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Cohen Brothers Need to Get on This.
From the backwoods of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi comes this tale of a bumbling family based on an apocryphal story. Tragic, ridiculous, and humorous. The transportation of a dead mother proves to be the straw that breaks the camels back. Anse Bundren tries to lead his prideful and confused family of all ages toward a noble destination. And like I said, Cohen Bros and B.B. Thornton, ASAP. As for the literature, stylistically liberating, Southern Gothic. Check the wiki then see what all the fuss is about or re-read and make some sense out of it. ... Read more

6. A Fable
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 384 Pages (1977-12-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394724135
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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An allegorical story of World War I set in the trenches in France and dealing ostensibly with a mutiny in a French regiment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Underrated Faulkner
For some reason, this book gets slogged off as "unreadable" and even irrelevant in the Faulkner canon. I don't get it. Faulkner is almost ALWAYS difficult, his novels usually closer to puzzles than straight narratives. Why has this book been singled out as the height of his obtuseness? If anything, it's an even MORE lucid book than some of the agreed upon Faulkner classics. It's also a brilliant, provocative, dense, and haunting meditation on war and religion and duty and ethics and whatever else W.F. could cram into 500 pages. It's not a perfect book - there are perhaps some too-abstract and off-putting sections (particularly the long background summary of the Old General). But this book is mostly filled with some of the greatest writing of this great writer's career. Another thing: this is NOT a "re-telling of the Christ story in WWI." To think of the book in such terms would be an absurd oversimplification. Yes, that ancient tale plays a major part in this one, and there are parallels drawn throughout, but the Christ story is only one element of this epic fever-dream. This totally unique novel is more like a supernatural/philosophical detective story than a religious parable. If you love Faulkner for more than just the trappings of his Southern landscapes, you MUST read this book. It goes without saying that anybody interested in simple and fluid prose need not bother with Faulkner in the first place -criticizing Faulkner for being "confusing" is like accusing Homer for being "poetic." I don't care how smart you are: you will be confused by Faulkner. But confusion can be beautiful, and human, and even transform into the best kind of enlightenment.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes
I'll start this review by saying that I don't pretend to be a literary critic but am simply an avid reader.This is my second Faulkner novel having read The Sound and The Fury twice many years ago.This won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize which has been done only a few other times.I had high expectations as I think so highly of The Sound and The Fury and Faulkner is clearly one of the great twentieth century authors.

I was also fascinated by the topic of the Christ analogy in World War I.Finally, Faulkner considers A Fable to be his masterpiece.

I was prepared to reread where necessary and I was prepared for a difficult book.

Despite all this, I truly hated this novel.It is an extremely dense novel where absolutely nothing is spoon fed to the reader.Every day that I read this I found to be an immense chore.I love reading but could only stand to read A Fable at a pace of around 20 pages per day.While reading it, I described it to friends as sapping my will to read.

In the end, I consider it a noble failure.Perhaps only a great writer like Faulkner is ambitious enough to fail so completely.Despite reading the entire book and even rereading large chunks of it, I found it completely unenjoyable.

As far as describing the plot, I'll simply quote the Wikipedia entry which is a good summary.POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING: Though the ending is no surprise, it is described in the following entry.
A Fable is a novel written in 1954 by the American author William Faulkner, which won him both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award in 1955. Despite these recognitions, however, the novel received mixed critical reviews and a reputation as one of Faulkner's lesser works.[1] The author, on the other hand, spent over a decade and tremendous effort on A Fable, and considered it his masterpiece when it was completed.

Historically, it can be seen as a precursor to Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

The book takes place in France during World War I and stretches through the course of one week. It tells the stories of "Corporal Zsettslani", who is representative of Jesus. The Corporal orders 3,000 troops to disobey orders to attack in the brutally repetitive trench warfare. In return, the Germans do not attack, and the war is simply stopped when the soldiers realize that it takes two sides to fight a war. The Generalissimo has the corporal arrested and executed; he is representative of leaders who use war solely to make themselves stronger (he invites the German general over to discuss how to start the war again). Before he has him shot, the Generalissimo tries to convince the Corporal that war can never be stopped because it is the essence of humanity.
Obviously several people consider this to be a masterpiece and I certainly don't see that as a ridiculous opinion.I simply couldn't warm to it at all and I assure you that I enjoy difficult but rewarding fiction.

I read a blog entry by someone who read all the Pulitzer winners in a five year period.I'm paraphrasing but they described A Fable as the one that almost sunk them.

Masterpiece to some but noble failure to me.

3-0 out of 5 stars An Extreme Dose of Faulkner
A Fable is Faulkner's thinly disguised allegory of Christ's story in the guise of a mutiny on the Western Front in World War One.In this sense the novel mirrors some of Faulkner's short stories about the Great War.His writing about that conflict had a great deal of grounded verisimilitude.But A Fable contains much of extraneous matter, is a difficult and dense read, and comes in very long 437 pages.This is Faulkner doing all of his tricks.The long, long sentence, the page long paragraph, the dense and tedious plot all but submerged in an ocean of language.Faulkner's work is never for everyone.For A Fable this may be doubly true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faukner Being Faulkner
You don't read Faulkner as much as you work your way through Faulkner; at least that's my experience. The sentences are often over a page long, the punctuation is highly arbitrary, the spelling is suspect, the words are frequently archaic or unfamiliar (sometimes almost unheard of), the concepts are convoluted, the stories are never straight-forward, and it is often hard to know who he is even talking about at various points.He makes references to literature, myths, the Bible and other things without attempting to hint what he is talking about. This book is Faulkner at his most obtuse and bizarre, and best!.All of this can be very off-putting, but this is just Faulkner being Faulkner!

Why in the world should anyone even read this book? Good question! If you love Faulkner, by all means read it. If you are unfamiliar with Faulkner, give it a shot, but beware! He did win a Pulitzer Prize for the book in 1954, so it is supposed to be good - maybe that's one reason. You're curious about one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, a Nobel Prize winner for literature - that's another good reason.

I really like Faulkner. I've read 6 or 7 of his major works over my lifetime and am never failed to be fascinated by him. (My Faulkner favorite is 'A Light in August', which is also one of my all-time favorites of any book by any author.) I have no idea how his mind can generate the kind moods and slants on things that it does, and I actually like not knowing where he is going. I am fascinated by his use of the language, the crackling dialogue, his exquisitely passionate and elongated style, as well as his brilliant dry humor. Although I am NOT in love with his existentialist outlook, I confess it can make for great stories, some of which are very tall stories as well.

'A Fable' is about WWI, instead of his usual subject, the Old South. Surprisingly, it takes place in France for the most part instead of Mississippi, although an intriguing flash-back takes place in the South.It is about a heroic individual attempt to bring WWI to end by peaceful means. There is a lot of potent Christian symbolism embedded in the story. (Faulkner, I believe, was very familiar with the Bible even though he probably was not a believer.)

Bottom line is that I thought this was a great book, but cannot vouch for its readability. I can only say that, in my opinion, Faulkner being Faulkner is worth the considerable effort if you are willing to go there.

1-0 out of 5 stars A FABLE by William Faulkner
I read where Faulkner is sometimes referred to as the American Shakespeare. After reading A Fable, that is true if you want to use Shakespeare's "Much Ado about Nothing" to describe Faulkner's Pultizer Prize winning book. Who really needs a 600 + sentence while his stream of consciousness writing results in the reader becoming unconscious. The last 100 pages of the book wasn't bad, but it is hard to believe that it won the Pultizer. Earl Holden ... Read more

7. The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Text
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 326 Pages (1990-10)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$3.99
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Asin: 0679732241
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1929, Faulkner created his "heart's darling," the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story Faulkner told through separate monologues by her three brothers--the idiot Benjy, the neurotic suicidal Quentin and the monstrous Jason.Amazon.com Review
The ostensible subject of The Sound and the Fury is the dissolutionof the Compsons, one of those august old Mississippi families that fell on hard times and wild eccentricity after the Civil War. But in fact what WilliamFaulkner is really after in his legendary novel is the kaleidoscope ofconsciousness--the overwrought mind caught in the act of thought. His rich,dark, scandal-ridden story of squandered fortune, incest (in thought if not in deed), madness, congenitalbrain damage, theft, illegitimacy, and stoic endurance is told in theinterior voices of three Compson brothers: first Benjy, the "idiot" man-child who blurs together three decades of inchoate sensations as he stalks thefringes of the family's former pasture; next Quentin, torturing himselfbrilliantly, obsessively over Caddy's lost virginity and his own failure torecover the family's honor as he wanders around the seedy fringes ofBoston; and finally Jason, heartless, shrewd, sneaking, nursing a perpetualsense of injury and outrage against his outrageous family.

If Benjy's section is the most daringly experimental, Jason's is the most harrowing. "Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say," he begins, lacinginto Caddy's illegitimate daughter, and then proceeds to hurl mud at blacks,Jews, his sacred Compson ancestors, his glamorous, promiscuous sister, his doomed brother Quentin, his ailing mother, and the long-suffering black servant Dilseywho holds the family together by sheer force of character.

Notoriously "difficult," The Sound and the Fury is actually one of Faulkner's more accessible works once you get past the abrupt, unannounced time shifts--and certainly the most powerful emotionally. Everything is here: the complex equilibrium of pre-civil rights race relations; the conflict between Yankee capitalism and Southern agrarian values; ameditation on time, consciousness, and Western philosophy. And all of it is renderedin prose so gorgeous it can take your breath away. Here, for instance, Quentinrecalls an autumnal encounter back home with the old black possum hunter Uncle Louis:

And we'd sit in the dry leaves that whispered a little with the slow respiration of our waiting and with the slow breathing of the earth and thewindless October, the rank smell of the lantern fouling the brittle air, listening to the dogs and to the echo of Louis' voice dying away.He neverraised it, yet on a still night we have heard it from our front porch. When he called the dogs in he sounded just like the horn he carried slung on hisshoulder and never used, but clearer, mellower, as though his voice were a part of darkness and silence, coiling out of it, coiling into it again.WhoOoooo.WhoOoooo.WhoOooooooooooooooo.
What Faulkner has created is a modernist epic in which characters assume the stature of gods and the primal family events resonate like myths. It isThe Sound and the Fury that secures his place in what Edmund Wilsoncalled "the full-dressed post-Flaubert group of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust."--David Laskin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (218)

5-0 out of 5 stars The original dysfunctional modern American family narrative
Of all the novels that I have read, The Sound and the Fury is closest to what I would consider to be my personal favorite. It is a very complex novel that is not for those who want a quick read, but it is a very rewarding reading experience that will not soon leave you. Despite its complexity, this novel proves to be one of the greatest and most poignant exercises in character development I have read. The reason that this novel is difficult is that it attempts to convey the nuances of human consciousness, just as James Joyce did with Ulysses; however, this novel is much more accessible than Ulysses. This novel is ultimately an examination of human perspective. Each of the novel's first person narrators has limitations in perspective: Benjy is mentally handicapped and possesses no concept of time, Quentin is highly neurotic and depressive, and Jason's vision is clouded by his indignation, with the specter of their sister (the memorable, individualistic Caddy Compson) serving as their shared obsession.

This novel, like many of Faulkner's works, is interested in the indomitablenature of the past in one's life. These characters are all haunted by their memories and nostalgia, finding it impossible to escape. As this is true in some sense for most people, the reader will be able to identify with this harrowing concept. Through all the novel's pathos, Faulkner's dark sense of humor shines through. One receives much with this novel: an excellent experimentation in narrative, a highly memorable cast of characters, a haunting modern tragedy, and a novel that is often very funny. This is one of those novels that reveals more and rewards with each rereading. It has become a clichéd expression at this point, but when I come back to this novel, I feel as though I am returning to friends.

2-0 out of 5 stars BORING AND CONFUSING
I enjoy reading just about anything, so I figured I would give Faulkner a try. Somehow, I had managed to escape reading this one all the way through college and in book clubs with my friends.Other reviewers have basically laid out the plot and characters, but to me the chapters with the Benjy section, then Quentin, then Jason, followed by Caddy (whom I enjoyed) were boring and never-ending. Caddy "searches for the truth and reality of any situation."I must confess that I didn't understand a lot of the symbolism in the novel, nor I did care to or worry about the whole thing. So I went to Cliffs Notes for some help (don't tell the college literature professors), to speed up the painful process. Maybe in another 30-40 years, I'll try another Faulkner novel. Jason's "success in life is due to the fact that he feels no love for anyone..." which was similar to how I felt about this book. No love, fellow readers.

1-0 out of 5 stars Please
I enjoy reading the masters and their classic books.But anybook that I have to stop reading so that I can reference the internet to understand what is happening is no classic in my opinion.This was my first Faulkner book, and if the rest are written anything like this, it will be my last.You just shouldn't need to have a college professor explaining a book to you to be able to enjoy it.Most people reviews I've read say the first chapter is the hardest.But I found myself reading through most of the second chapter as fast as I could just to try to get past it also.If I wasn't so intent on reading all the great classics, I would have put this book down after the first half hour of reading and never picked it back up.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not his Best
I loved As I Lay Dying and his other works. The stream of consciousness narration and time shifts don't bother me. The fact that several charachters have the same name is fine as is the unsympathetic nature of some of the characters. He uses dialect more skillfully than any other author. In his other books he uses these techniques to create vivid imagery of the south and of his characters.

My problem was that to me, the story itself is unmomentous as the title would have you believe. For example, following a man on his last day of life was a great concept but Faulkner doesn't make you like him before that nor does he give him much motivation to commit the deed (I'm trying to avoid using spoilers). Benjy is great and the first chapter told much of the story, but it was downhill after that. Caddy was the most sympathetic character to me, but she is judged as immoral (in the context of that period in time, but still). After putting the effort into reading to the end I was angry that this was all there was to it after all the hype.

Faulkner's presentation of human interpretation of time was perhaps the best aspect of the book. If life is sound and fury told by an idiot signifying nothing where was the sound and fury in the story?

5-0 out of 5 stars intense reading experience
My review is mostly for my fellow frustrated but aspiring Faulker readers who, like me, have unsuccesfully tried to read this book multiple times. I finally gave in and sought help through various study guide resources, and I must say that I was not only able to read and understand but also enjoy and appreciate the important place of this book in the American literautre.It was not easy--particularly the first chapter which is most disorienting.I read the first chapter 3 times--first read, then read with the study guide and read again.Once I got used to the format, and to some characters or things that can be indicators of time frame, and by the 2nd chapter, it was relatively easy to follow the story line, and then I was able to really enjoy the mastery of the author.So if you feel annoyed in the beginning, like I was, hang in there, you will feel annoyed and amazed later, then eventually amazed. (I hope) I felt that every character, everything and every sentence was meticulously placed and written by the author to serve its purpose, and represent multiple perspectives on the Southern culture.Each character brings different aspects of human nature, self-pity, cynicism, conflicted feelings about order and disorder, purity and vengence etc. (sometimes reminded me of paychoanalytical structure of id, ego and superego) As much as I was annoyed in the beginning by the confusing streams of consciousness, in the end, I appreciated the author's choice as I understood how essential and central the subjective perceptions/experiences of time by the characters themselves are to the entire story. I am so glad that I can now say that "The Sound and the Fury" is an amazing and absorbing read for me! ... Read more

8. The Reivers
by William Faulkner
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$7.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679741925
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This grand misadventure is the story of three unlikely thieves, or reivers: 11-year-old Lucius Priest and two of his family's retainers. In 1905, these three set out from Mississippi for Memphis in a stolen motorcar. The astonishing and complicated results reveal Faulkner as a master of the picaresque. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner can be funny.
William Faulkner is known for grim scenes and family fractures of the post Civil War and early twentieth century South.His work has usually presented disfunctional working families, out of touch fallen elite types, people indifferent to the black families who work for them However, in the Reivers, Faulkner's last novel written about two months before his death, we take a bouncing trip with an eleven year old boy, a family black servant who is the brains of the group, and a bumble-headed oaf. The trip, in the boy's grandfather's car (lifted for the occasion) gives the boy a view of a different world, gambling, a house of prostitution, horse racing and horse race fixing. All ends on a positive note, for the boy a real life wakening--the novel is a sort of southern bildungsroman--and a happy (unusual for Faulkner) ending for almost all characters concerned. [jscreighton@yahoo.comfix my e-mail]

5-0 out of 5 stars The complexity of Faulkner in a straight forward novel
William Faulkner is one of my all time favorite authors, one who I greatly admire and love. His writing always seems fluid in its movement from paper to mind, giving up such a full picture of what is going on. The Reivers is yet another novel that draws you in and makes you feel as though you are right there with Lucius, Boon and Ned as their adventures lead them to Memphis.

All, of course, did not go as planned. Lucius Priest, an eleven year old boy, is persuaded by Boon, a character we've seen in other Faulkner novels (such as Go Down, Moses), to "borrow" Lucius' grandfather's car. Eventually the star of the book, Ned McCaslin, is discovered and the adventure soon took a decidedly different direction.

The Reivers is a great comic, picaresque novel that is one of Faulkner's easier novels to read. This does not distract from the novel and, in a way, lends the story its credibility. At times we see the naive and ignorant young Lucius, then we meet the older narrator Lucius. Boon the mastermind, only to be usurped by Ned. The morals and the justice of the story all come together nicely by the end.

Faulkner is one to be admired, and I have yet to pick up one of his novels and not be impressed. Although some find his novels too complex or confusing, this one is a much easier read and allows the reader to enjoy the complexity of Faulkner in a much more straight forward manner.

5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great comic adventure!
Faulkner's "The Reivers" is a great comic adventure about the early days of automobiles, when it was rare to see one.The story is about a misadventure that a young boy, and two of his father's employees get into when they 'borrow' his grandfather's car for a joyride from rural Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
The Faulkner I've previously read explores mans' imperfections and failures.This book celebrates them.The story is told from the perspective of a young boy, and his sentence structure and punctuation takes getting used to, but it's worth it.The book is beautifully and joyfully written.

3-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's last novel
Although I had read Faulkner's other major works, I only just recently got around to completing this novel. As students of Faulkner know, this book is not--nor did its author intend it to be--a major work of literature. For those just beginning to read Faulkner, it will prove much more accessible than the classic texts (like The Sound and the Fury), and it will introduce them to some of the author's characters and themes--but it won't introduce them to important elements of his Modernist technique.

The novel has a great deal of charm, however, and I will take this opportunity to suggest that it be assigned as summer reading (do they still do that?) for students in about 10th grade. It's a coming-of-age story that has to do with responsibility. At the end the grandfather says to Lucius following the boy's adventure in Memphis: "A gentleman can live through anything. He faces anything. A gentleman accepts the responsibility of his actions and bears the burden of their consequences, even when he did not himself instigate them but only acquiesced to them, didn't say No though he knew he should" (p. 302). ... Read more

9. William Faulkner : Novels 1930-1935 : As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, Pylon (Library of America)
by William Faulkner
Hardcover: 1056 Pages (1985-12-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$18.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940450267
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Between 1930 and 1935, William Faulkner came into full possession of the genius and creativity that made him America's greatest writer of the twentieth century. "As I Lay Dying" is a dark comedy, full of horror and compassion, of a rural Mississippi family bearing the corpse of their matriarch to burial in town. "Sanctuary," a violent novel of sex and social class that moves from Mississippi back roads to the flesh-pots of Memphis, features a sadistic gangster named Popeye and a debutante with an affinity for evil. "Light in August," a near-religious vision of the hopeful stubbornness of ordinary life, is perhaps Faulkner's most moving work. "Pylon," a tale of barnstorming aviators, examines the bonds of loyalty and desire among three men and a woman. All are presented in restored texts as part of The Library of America's new, authoritative edition of Faulker's complete works. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Bargain
This Faulkner set comes in a fantastic clothback edition with dust jacket.There's little else in the text - no commentary, no criticism, no class notes.The stories are presented in their entirety.It's well worth the money for a true Faulkner fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Price, quick delivery
Excellent price compared to Amazon's list price.Thank you Amazon for providing this internal competition!

5-0 out of 5 stars Old Drunk Mellifluous
Faulkner has a savage and beautiful voice, if you can call it his voice: it's like some linguistic force comes from nowhere and overwhelms his stories and takes them to places that the novel-form never went before.His writing is wildly modern yet full of ancient, mythic resonances - the Bible, the Greeks - which creates a very large sense of time and history in his work.Events traumatize, ripple across history.At his best (As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom! Absalom!), Faulkner is difficult but fascinating, worth our patient reading efforts.He invents new ways of writing for a modernizing world that needs some way to keep contact with the past and the dead, and this is both taxing and exhilarating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to Faulkner
I am currently reading Sound and the Fury and it is not an easy read.Fortunately, I started out with this volume and read Sanctuary.If you want to get into Faulkner this is an excellent place to start.It is a great story, shocking though it may be, and gives a good idea of what's to come if you want to delve deeper into WF.Next I read Light in August which may be one of his best.Faulkner is a genius at creating characters and then going into the details of their psyche.Every now and then he gets a little over-indulgent in his wordsmithing but always seems to bring it back home before going too far afield.

Faulkner is the green tea of literature.He's a great story teller but still a bit of an aquired taste.Once you get into his work, though, you'll definitely want more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the best from one of the South's best writers ...
Faulkner is, without a doubt, one of the South's best writers, and re-reading this collection of novels after many years affirms that belief for me.He was a master of words and I wish we had more Faulkner novels to feast on.Almost no one can measure up to him! ... Read more

10. The Hamlet
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 432 Pages (1991-10-29)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679736530
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately plantation. Flem Snopes -- wily, energetic, a man of shady origins -- quickly comes to dominate the town and its people with his cunning and guile. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Faulkner's Masterpieces
"The Hamlet" is one of Faulkner's later works, and it belongs to his so-called "Snopes Trilogy." It deals with travails of the Snopes family, first introduced in "The Unvanquished." Various parts of the book can be read as independent stories, and some have even been published as such. The book, like most other Faulkner works, is highly literally and can be challenging to read if you are not used to Faulkner's narrative style. It is also characterized with rich language that verges on poetic. The language and the narrative fall short of the stream-of-consciousness style of many of the Faulkner's best known masterpieces, but not by much.

The book's many characters go through significant personal transformations, and in the process leave a mark on the community that they live in. The psychological insight into various individual psyches and the analysis of their drives and motivations is nothing short of phenomenal. This novel is an impressive work of art, and as such it needs to be appreciated slowly and deliberately. It is certainly not a quick read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner returns to greatness.
It is as if Faulkner used up his store of creative energy after completing Absalom, Absalom.He was productive during the four years following the publication of this masterpiece, but the two novels published, The Unvanquished and the Wild Palms, were but mediocre efforts that did little to enhance his reputation.With the 1940 publication of The Hamlet, Faulkner once again claimed his position as America's finest writer.The germ of this novel can be traced back as far as 1927 to a short story entitled "Spotted Horses" which was incorporated into the novel in Book 4.In fact, a total of four Faulkner short stories made their way into the novel at different points, but to label The Hamlet as simply a collection of previously written short stories is to miss both the uniformity of the novel and a chance to experience Faulkner's creative mind at work.If the reader takes the time to compare the original of the incorporated short stories ("Spotted Horses", "Lizards in Jamshyd's Courtyard", "Fool About a Horse", and "The Hound") with the rewritten versions that made their way into the novel, that person can only marvel at Faulkner's ability to revise previous work into a new art form that has only a limited kinship with the original - the same kind of artistic genius that inspired Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Although Faulkner had introduced the character of Flem Snopes in a short story of the early 30s, as well as including various members of the Snopes family in previous novels, it was in The Hamlet that the author gave his full energies to the story of the rise of Flem from sharecropper cabin to stately mansion, and the slow but inexorable infiltration of other members of the Snopes family into Yoknapatawpha society.The book is divided into four episodes in which Faulkner, using both comedy and tragedy, plumbs the depths of human emotion, from passion to implacable inhumanity, and in so doing creates some of his most enduring characters.The Snopes family is seen, collectively, by the good citizens of Frenchman's Bend as insane, unsanitary, immoral and unscupulous - all traits shared by the good citizens of Frenchman's Bend in one degree or another - and as a group of outsiders defiling the established order.But when Faulkner considers each of the Snopes tribe individually, these stereotypes are ameliorated and that member is detached from the rest of the family.Each of the Snopes considered demonstrates admirable traits: Eck is seen as honest and hard working; the idiot Ike is seen, in a perverse way, as loyal and sympathetic; even the murderer, Mink, has his noble qualities.Only Flem is devoid of any good qualities.He is depicted as emotionless, rapacious and isolated from his fellow man; and although he is eventually successful in achieving his aims, it is clear that Faulkner has little use for such individuals.

But with Faulkner (when he is at his best), it is just as important how the story is told as the story told.And in this work he is at his best.Two episodes deserve particular attention: the obsession of the school teacher, Labove, for Eula Varner, his thirteen year old pupil; and the affair between the idiot, Ike, and the cow.Both episodes are concerned with obsession, but in the former it is obsession predominated by passion while with the Ike episode, it is obsession produced by idealized love.Faulkner's style in both episodes border on rhetorical perfection.Eula is described as "the supreme primal uterus" who "tranquilly abrogates the whole long sum of human thinking and suffering which is called knowledge, education, wisdom, at once supremely unchaste and inviolable."The description of Ike's love for the cow could just probably contain some of the very best prose that Faulkner ever wrote.Using a style that is almost luminous, the author is able to transform a story of bestiality into a moving testament on human love, while Ike is made into a truly sympathetic character, one who confuses the concept of love, and loses the distinction between female animal and human female.

Faulkner was eventually to expand the story of the Snopes into a trilogy, with The Town and The Mansion being published in the late 1950s.But these other novels were only an unremarkable conclusion to what he began with The Hamlet, arguably the last great book that he wrote.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ah, the romance
For all its attempts to elucidate the economic and social structures that led to the decline of the south, this book is best in its portrayal and critique of romance.The section introducing Eula Varner as an object of desire is one of the most compelling before the opening passages of Lolita (forgive me twice):

her entire appearance suggested some symbology out of the old Dionysic times--honey in sunlight and bursting grapes, the writhen bleeding of the crushed fecundated vine beneath the hard rapacious trampling goat-hoof.

I mean, come on, passages like that just make you feel ashamed of the shallowness of your own emotions, vocuabulary, and existence.Oh, and that intensity goes on for almost 20 pages.

****SPOILER ALERT (Sort of)****
And if that gets you revved up, the book escalates the language and shifts to another starcrossed couple, an idiot ward of Flem, Ike, and a neighbor's wandering cow.Here's Ike trying to soothe the spooked cow:

trying to tell her how this violent viloation of her maiden't delicacy is no shame, since such is the very iron imperishable warp of the fabric of love.

The book is worth reading for those two sections.Much of the rest drags.It's filled with stories that Faulkner finds humorous and they are set to the laugh track of Ratliff who is constantly telling the reader what they should find humorous.It's about as effective as Jim smirking into the camera throughout the 3rd season of The Office to let the audience know what a delightful practical joke he's just played.

In all, this is worthwhile, but this falls in the middle of an incredible period of Faulkner's career, and even when you're reading it you come across huge passages that remind you how disappointed you are in him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Surreally Stunning
Frenchmen's Bend, Yoknapatawpha County--a land so familiar and yet so distant that it could be some wide-encompassing foreign country; not merely a fictionalized South.Faulkner's cadence, description, and narrative that travels dreamily from one place and character to another I found to be initially off-putting, but as I feel under his spell and the colors, and people of the world he wove out of the rough-hewn broadcloth sack, a sack built of a small town, in a place that exists on the outskirts of reality, normalcy; I found myself ensnared, as the residents of Frenchmen's Bend are caught in the snare of Flem Snopes--a man who would, who does, talk the Devil out of the possession of his immortal soul. To travel into the peculiar and yet seemingly real Frenchmen's Bend is to be lost within a surreally stunning place.

5-0 out of 5 stars READ THIS GREAT BOOK
Faulkner assembled much of THE HAMLET from short stories, where his themes were courtship, lust, love, and obsession or where the average person succumbs to greed or foolishness and is victimized in business.

Take the subject of love. In THE HAMLET, Faulkner examines obsessive and unrequited love through his characters Labove (an achiever obsessed with untouchable beauty) and Ike Snopes (a retarded man in love with a cow); ambivalent love through the experience of Mink Snopes (a vicious murder) and Jack Houston (a guilty widower); and loveless marriage through the lives of Eula Varner and Mrs. Armstid, who are at the top and bottom of social hierarchy. Each of these characters is unique and fully realized. Yet each suffers from cruel variations of a single force.

Not to be a pedant: But Robert Penn Warren described THE HAMLET as: "...a sequence of contrasting or paralleling stories" where Faulkner's "...movement was not linear but spiral, passing over the same point again and again, but at different altitudes." This is exactly right.

At the same time, THE HAMLET is about Faulkner's writing. Here's one quick example, with this great author writing about the weather. "It was a gray day, of the color and texture of iron, one of those windless days of a plastic rigidity too dead to make or release snow even, in which even light did not alter but seemed to appear complete out of nothing at dawn and would expire into darkness without gradation." Great isn't it?

Even so, I was surprised by one aspect of THE HAMLET. It is: terrible things happen to all the characters. This even includes Flem Snopes who is a winner in the male world of business but surely locked in a loveless marriage. Yet despite their cruel fates, Faulkner's amazing characters persevere. As he said when accepting his Nobel: "When the last ding-dong of doom has clanged, ...there will still be one more sound: ...a puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this...."READ THIS GREAT BOOK

... Read more

11. Knight's Gambit
by William Faulkner
Mass Market Paperback: 256 Pages (1978-09-12)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394727290
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Gavin Stevens, the wise student of crime and folkways of Mississippi's Yoknapatawpha county, plays the major role in these six stories of violence. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's mystery stories
This book is a collection of five short stories and one novella, all involving mysteries unraveled by Gavin Stevens, the county attorney of Yoknapatawpha County.The stories follow Gavin Stevens's life and career, from his first criminal trial right out of law school in the story Tomorrow to his late-in-life marriage in Knight's Gambit.

With one exception, the stories in this collection are lighter fare than most of Faulkner's works. The exception is Tomorrow which is, by far, the best story in this book and ranks with the finest of Faulkner's fiction.Unlike most of the stories, it is not a murder mystery.Rather, Gavin Stevens tries to understand the reasons behind the lone hold-out juror's refusal to vote to acquit a defendant.Stevens's investigation takes him forty miles and back where he interviews the juror's neighbors and former employer.He pieces together twenty years of the juror's heartbreaking life story which he sums up in the phrase "the lowly and the invincible of the earth - to endure and endure and then endure, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow."

Hand Upon the Waters is another fine story, not because of the mystery but because of the character of the murder victim.When the story opens, Lonnie Grinnup is already dead.The reader learns about him through the reactions of the community and the recollections of Gavin Stevens. Lonnie was the last of his family and was feeble-minded.He lived in a fortified canvas tent beside a river and showed up at neighbors' houses when nights got too cold.Like the biblical parable of the widow who gave her last coin to help people poorer than herself, Lonnie used all that God gave him.He took in a deaf and mentally-disabled orphan whom no one else wanted and raised him as his son or little brother.I desperately wanted the story to end in justice and retribution.

In the title novella, Gavin Stevens tries to stay one step ahead of someone who is planning a murder.The novella involves a chess motif of a knight double-checking a queen and a castle.Figuring out the chess parallel turned out to be more of a challenge than the mystery itself.

Faulkner was not a lawyer and his courtroom passages aren't always convincing.Nonetheless, there is much human appeal to these stories.There is some evidence that Faulkner based the character of Gavin Stevens on himself, particularly in regard to Gavin's understated romance in Knight's Gambit.Those who are familiar with Faulkner's biography may recognize Estelle Faulkner in Mrs. Harriss of Knight's Gambit.

5-0 out of 5 stars Knight's Gambit
These short stories were nice for reading when I didn't have time to sit down and read an entire book. All of them gave insight to the times and thoughts of the South in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

5-0 out of 5 stars William Faulkner's Best Ever
I have long been a fan of William Faulkner and have read everything he wrote, but in my opinion, this collection of short stories is him at his very best. The story "Tomorrow" alone is worth the price of the book and more.You feel every emotion of the characters in it.However, this is true of most of Faulkner's works.If you saw the movie and liked it, you will love the story.The movie falls far short of the story.
Ann Roberts

4-0 out of 5 stars Southern Mystery and more
These are stories about Gavin Stevens, county attorney or Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.Some are well written crime mysteries, while other's look at a more general human mystery."Smoke" has Stevens employing a theatrical device as clever as Sherlock Holmes (in Scandal in Bohemia) to illicit an end to the mystery.Monk contains deductions about the "moron" Monk, and what he could or could not do. The characterizations of the minor characters are all well done.

The stories "Tomorrow" and "Knights Gambit" go beyond conventional crime detection.Knights Gambit, the longest piece, unfolds around a chessboard, and is more complicated.With Faulkner's elaborate sentence structure, I had trouble following some of this story.. perhaps a little too mysterious.

4-0 out of 5 stars Modernist Murders
Readers familiar with William Faulkner - and those who are not averse to unconventional sentences - will enjoy this collection of detective stories featuring Gavin Stevens as county attorney in small town Mississippi, and his young nephew Charles as assistant.Stevens, an intriguing character who translates the Bible into Greek and plays chess with his nephew, is an interesting mix of the traditional European detective and a southern gentleman who can communicate and empathize with the local townspeople.

As well as crime solving, these stories also offer a unique and vivid portrait of the South of the forties that Faulkner captures through his characteristically tactile and vernacular use of language and shifting narrative perspective.The impoverished farmers that persist, ageless and enduring, the occasional urban outsider or foreigner, and the rich landowner of mysterious circumstances, are some of the characters that populate these stories.Tradition, inheritance, and the looming presence of war shape Faulkner's candid and non-sensational rendering of this microcosm and his tacit exploration of time and mortality. ... Read more

12. New Orleans Sketches
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 139 Pages (2002-05-22)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$19.75
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Asin: 1578064716
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In 1925 William Faulkner began his professional writing career in earnest while living in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He had published a volume of poetry (The Marble Faun), had written a few book reviews, and had contributed sketches to the University of Mississippi student newspaper. He had served a stint in the Royal Canadian Air Corps and while working in a New Haven bookstore had become acquainted with the wife of the writer Sherwood Anderson.

In his first six months in New Orleans, where the Andersons were living, Faulkner made his initial foray into serious fiction writing. Here in one volume are the pieces he wrote while in the French Quarter. These were published locally in the Times-Picayune and in the Double Dealer, a "little magazine" based in New Orleans.

New Orleans Sketches broadcasts seeds that would take root in later works. In their themes and motifs these sketches and stories foreshadow the intense personal vision and style that would characterize Faulkner's mature fiction. As his sketches take on parallels with Christian liturgy and as they portray such characters as an idiot boy similar to Benjy Compson, they reveal evidence of his early literary sophistication.

In praise of New Orleans Sketches Alfred Kazin wrote in the New York Times Book Review that "the interesting thing for us now, who can see in this book the outline of the writer Faulkner was to become, is that before he had published his first novel he had already determined certain main themes in his work."

In his trail-blazing introduction Carvel Collins, often called "Faulkner's best-informed critic," illuminates the period when the sketches were written as the time that Faulkner was making the transition from poet to novelist.

"For the reader of Faulkner," Paul Engle wrote in the Chicago Tribune, "the book is indispensable. Its brilliant introduction . . . is full both of helpful information . . . and of fine insights." "We gain something more than a glimpse of the mind of a young genius asserting his power against a partially indifferent environment," states the Book Exchange (London). "The long introduction . . . must rank as a major literary contribution to our knowledge of an outstanding writer: perhaps the greatest of our times."

Carvel Collins (1912-1990), one of the foremost authorities on Faulkner's life and works, served on the faculties of Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Swarthmore College, and the University of Notre Dame, where he was the first to teach a course devoted to Faulkner's writing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars New Orleans Sketches
This isn't a REAL review just a suggestion for all those fellow Faulkner fans out there who may not have come across this book, a collection of some of his first published writing for the New Orleans newspaper. This book is a jewel and puts Faulkner fans on alert that wonderful writing is coming down the road. It shows to me that he was born a great writer. He wasn't merely developing his talent. He was born this way. I'm an old lady and have loved Faulkner for years but I never heard of this book until recently.Beginning writers have so much to learn from him and those who don't write and have no plans to but love to read will find Faulkner in a special, wonderful category all by himself. And this book is a wonderful place to begin an exploration of this great writer.

2-0 out of 5 stars A collection of some of Faulkner's earliest prose.
This collection of short prose pieces was originally published in the _New Orleans Time Picayune_ in 1925; however, I'm not sure that Faulkner would be entirely pleased that they have been re-exposed to the light of day. The writing is rough, even amateurish, and the story lines of the piecesare often trite and stock.But in spite of the general weakness of thewritings, there are thematic elements and character types in the piecesthat would reappear in Faulkner's mature writings.What is absolutelyamazing is that just two years after the publication of these mediocrewritings, Faulkner had published two novels and was deeply involved in thecreation of his masterpiece, _The Sound and the Fury_. ... Read more

13. Three Famous Short Novels: Spotted Horses / Old Man / The Bear
by William Faulkner
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1958-02-12)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$2.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394701496
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Three different ways to approach Faulkner, each of them representative of his work as a whole. Includes "Spotted Horses," "Old Man," and his famous "The Bear." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Spotted Horses - Rough Draft
Apparently there are three versions of the story Spotted Horses.

I'm new to Faulkner, and to English literature in general, so you must bear with me. When I read this version of Spotted Horses, I was like, WTF is this?!? Is this the GAW (Great American Writer) that everyone is talking about. He got the Nobel Prize for that?!

It was painful to get through, and I rewarded myself with a nice raisin danish for getting through all 70 pages. The language, is at times, impenetrable and disjointed. It's incredibly difficult to keep track of all the characters, the narrator, or to preen out what messages Faulkner was trying to convey.

Then I read some commentary about this piece. The commentary said that there are 6 parts to the story, whereas I noticed only 3. Only then I picked up a different Faulkner collection and realized that there is a completely different version of the story out there. It's cut down to 20 pages, and reads as clearly as a fairy tale, narrated by what I imagine to be a very authentic southern voice. Confusion is wholeheartedly avoided and the work reads very harmoniously. The stylization is excellent.

I realized that the first version of Spotted Horses must be some kind of a rough draft or experimentation. The 20 page version is the crystallized product that completed it's transformation into the butterfly from whatever ugly caterpillar it once was.

I'm giving this book 3 stars just for the Spotted Horses version, and no apparent explanation for why this version is there, and the 20 pager is absent.

2-0 out of 5 stars Three Short Novels in good condition
Faulkner's writing style is frustrating. I am not a fan of the run on sentences and omission of punctuation. I read one of the three novels and found it pretty boring and difficult to get into.

3-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner
I had never read Faulkner so this book gave me a review of his work.I was not impressed. The book did what I bought it for though and you don't know unless you try, so no regrets.

5-0 out of 5 stars the bear is magnificent
This is an excellent collection of three short novels. Spotted Horses is a long chapter fromThe Hamlet and probably doesnt belong here because it is too short but it is entertaining and well concewived on every level and The oldf manone half of the noveL If I Forget Thee Jerusalem is an excellent adventure story with very good characterization of the title character an escaped convict.It is The Bear that makes the collection It is long enough to stand alone and is one of Faulkner's best works .The descriptions of nature are amazing as are all the characterizations and the characters meditations on the great bear they are huntingwho is ravaging livestock because man has invaded his environment. It is an excellent work of literature and Faulkners technique which can be overblown and undermining at times being style forstyles sake is at the top of his form here

5-0 out of 5 stars Purchased for school
I purchased this book for my son as required by his teacher. I am assuming it is a four star book, but I have not read it. ... Read more

14. Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner (Modern Library)
by William Faulkner
Hardcover: 336 Pages (1993-05-18)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$11.12
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Asin: 0679424784
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT SET OF CLASSICS
This is a great set of classics that I intend to read again. It is from this prolific novelist that we have a countering view that the American good ol' days of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in the South, were actually not so desirable after all.

It is by reflecting upon this perspective that I found "A Rose for Emily", "Barn Burning" and "Dry September" to be the most memorable stories. These particular three had a sequence of developments that focused and reflected upon ugly truths that were hidden behind public veneers of "Southern niceties". In essence, the outcomes were essentially America's fictional and somewhat factual answer to the rampant pornography throughout England during what was regarded as the pristine Victorian Era.

Also, Faulkner had an uncanny way of depicting how societies with unwritten rules of proper mannerisms would be unraveled thanks to a bullying, uncouth citizen or family. His writing style was that of using actions and events that set the transition from what each person was like at the surface to what he or she was really like all along and how those around him or her would be affected in the aftermath.

If you are interested in stories about how a person, individually, might have either gotten along or contrasted with the norms and tones of an immediate culture, especially in rural America, Faulkner is the ideal author. And again, this is an excellent collection for those who want to start reading Faulkner. A slight word of warning: some of you might find it shocking that there were troubles and prejudices that set parts of America on edge, especially if most of your exposure to U.S. History has been largely sanitized.

As a recommendation, if you enjoy the stories but find some of the terms unfamiliar or the endings ambiguous, I suggest purchasing William Faulkner A to Z as a reading companion.

5-0 out of 5 stars A life cannot be complete without Faulkner--
Since reading "A Rose for Emily" as a boy, I have been hooked on Faulkner.I kept a worn out copy on hand to show to my teachers who accused me of using run-on sentences (some of his sentences took an entire page.) He is a true master and when I feel homesick, after being too long in some foreign country, I read a Faulkner story and remember the South where I grew up.

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."--W. Faulkner

"Faulkner is the greatest artist the South has produced."
--Ralph Ellison

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatness of the long- distance runner
Just as most athletes excel in one particular event, so many writers find their greatest work in one genre , primarily. Faulkner is an impressive storyteller but the work he is most remembered for is his long- distance works, his novels, "The Sound and the Fury" " Light in August" "Absalom, Absalom" among others.
The stories here nonetheless provide a real sense of Faulkner as a writer. The unmistakeable Faulkner style with its complex and Latinate sentences , its cumulative enveloping rhythm, its penetration of the inner lives of its characters, in grotesque and often extreme relationships, including those in which there is often real violence, is here in these stories.
Among the stories in this collection are "A Rose for Emily" " Dry September" "That Evening Sun""Lo" "Red Leaves".
Turnabout" .
I would say to truly know Faulkner at his best and fullest it is necessary to read the novels. But the stories too give the feeling and flavor of this great American master's work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection
This is a great collection for someone who hasn't read much Faulkner. Everyone needs to have at least read "A Rose For Emily" and "Red Leaves."

Faulkner scares readers.Before I read, re-read and loved "Light in August," I had tried books like "Absalom, Absalom" and "The Sound and The Fury" countless times only to get bogged down in the convoluted grammar and personal symbolism as well as the dialogue.For some reason, when I was ready to really read and concentrate, it was certainly not easy, but it was a great, distinct pleasure....one that has stayed with me. Faulkner is, as novelist and essayist Ralph Ellison calls him, "...the greatest artist the South has produced."

This Modern Library compilation of some of Faulkner's short stories is a perfect place to start to read this author, or to keep returning for his keen insights into the heart and nature of the Southerners he created from the Southerners he knew.There are thirteen stories here and they include one of Faulkner's most famous, "A Rose For Emily" a tale of great love and, perhaps, necrophilia.My personal favorite, depressingly sad though it is, is "Dry September" which tells of the extreme violence not only of small town whites to blacks but of whites to whites.Every one of these superb stories is a gem, masterfully written.Most were intended for magazines and so are much more straight forward and "simple" than the novels.

My only complaint and it is with Modern Library, is that, except in two cases, we are not told when Faulkner wrote the stories nor when they were published.Even so, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. ... Read more

15. Go Down, Moses
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 365 Pages (1990-11)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679732179
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Faulkner examines the changing relationship of black to white and of man to the land, and weaves a complex work that is rich in understanding of the human condition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars My own experience of reading Faulkner Confusion and mythic significance
This is a book which I know to be far greater than I myself experienced it as. Faulkner is difficult in both his language and the complicated situations he presents. But it is clear from the outset he is a 'large writer' one who is telling a story not only about characters and lives but about larger themes, including man's relation to land and nature, family history and regional history, the relation between black and white people in America. The longest story here 'The Bear' is one which I read first many years ago. I did not understand it fully then but felt its power. Faulkner creates characters who have a kind of legendary dimension like Sam Fathers in this story. He also creates frequently characters who have a kind of heroic defiance, a kind of undefeatable pride. In his great Nobel Speech Faulkner spoke about those human qualities, courage and sacrifice and compassion which make life worth living and storytelling worthwwhile.When one reads a Faulkner story one feels one is somehow in the midst of life which is larger than the ordinary life of most stories, life which does have a mythic dimension.
I cannot say that I in this reading understood these stories very well, or enjoyed them to the fullest degree. There was too much confusion and difficulty for that. But all the while I felt myself in the presence of Literature of writing which is of true significance, literature which is giving Life a dimension it does not ordinarily have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's most accesible work
While it may sound like torture to some, I've read William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses something in the neighborhood of 20 times. It's a novel I come back to every nine months or so. Every reading uncovers some new detail or clue that I managed to miss. My first copy is filled with margin notes - I had to buy another just to have a readable edition.

When it comes to Faulkner lovers, most laud over the more recognizable works, such as The Sound and Fury, Absalom, Absalom, As I Lay Dying, or The Hamlet. These are all incredible works and would most likely make the "top 10" of just about every Faulkner reader I know. But, for me, none of these match Go Down, Moses in terms of its ability to encapsulate the complexities of race, past and interculturality. However, if I'm being honest, I must acknowledge that the reason why this novel may not garner the attention of Faulkner's more recognized works is due to the fact that many don't recognize Moses as a novel.

Like my entry for #9 on the top 10, Go Down, Moses is a collection of related stories. While Faulkner always considered the collection as a novel, his publishers (against the author's wishes), originally released the work as Go Down, Moses and Other Stories. And while the "chapters" within the novel are capable of standing as independent works, the beauty is how the seven work together to form an epic centered on the life of one figure, Isaac McCaslin, who represents of all the contradictions and ambiguities of the Southern paradigm.

"Isaac McCaslin, 'Uncle Ike', past seventy and nearer eighty than he ever corroborated any more, a widower now and uncle to half a county and father to no one."

The "county" is, of course, Yoknapatawpha, the "stamp of native soil" of Faulkner's fictional Mississippi landscape. The time ranges from just prior to the Civil War to the middle part of the 20th Century in the midst of the ever-changing "New South." These movements in time are not linear, but follow a narrative consciousness, looking for clues of memory to solve a mystery of miscegenation, murder and legend.

For the work, Faulkner builds on previous novels, incorporating familiar faces (Major de Spain, Thomas Sutpen, and General Compson to name a few), further mapping out his intricate web of family histories. He weaves local hunting legend and Native American myth, Southern "cracker" culture and African American folklore, all the while underscoring, with no apology, the fallacies surrounding the racial prejudices inflicted on the culture of the South.

The work is riveting and, unlike many of Faulkner's works, which many consider too dense to be enjoyed, Go Down, Moses is accessible to most readers. For those who have been intimidated by Faulkner's prose, I believe that my #8 choice for the top 10 is a good place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's Method
This is just a side-note to those who may be considering reading the book, but are wondering about comments concerning the daunting prose and lack of a central story line:Your efforts will be rewarded. The unusual impact of this work is achieved by an unusual use of language and episode, like a digitized picture that shows a great deal of detail, then, as the point of view recedes (as when a movie camera dollies back or the lens zooms out), other detailed pictures are revealed in clusters around the original image, until, as the point of view recedes further, the clusters of images reveal a larger image.Within each of the segments of Go Down, Moses, Faulkner's restless,rolling language reveals his characters, who they are, the places and times in which they lived, and the thoughts and emotions that occupy them, and through reappearing names, events, and details, creates and further reveals relationships among the characters and events in the book's seven sections.As events and characters are referenced or revisited subsequently in different contexts, the significance of each is amplified and modified.From these interrelated patterns and overlapping "waves" of time and occurence in the seven narratives, the themes of the book emerge.The book creates understanding through a style and structure that recreates the expansion and maturation of the understanding of an individual, through patterns and occurences of similar or related experiences over time, and the discovery of formerly unseen aspects of earlier experience and events in the light of later ones.The overall experience of this will certainly be different for different readers.Through the specific, but integrated(no pun intended)characters and events, Faulkner takes you inside a place and time, and he takes you deep and makes you feel it.And what you experience is not just about the South.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ghosts of the pre-Civil War past
One of the stories of this book, "The Bear", has appeared in anthologies and has been separated out as one of Faulkner's short novels. The first part of that story, which concerns the dog Lion and the bear Old Ben, can stand alone and is (considering Faulkner) a rather straightforward, fast-paced narrative. But the second part, concerning Isaac McCaslin's coming of age as a adult and his repudiation of his heritage, gets into much deeper territory, which the other stories of this volume help illuminate.

After the first story "Was" and the first part of "The Fire and the Hearth", it was not totally clear to me whether Faulkner was not deliberately confusing the reader. There are abrupt time shifts and the genealogy of the characters is difficult to follow to say the least. But then, the character and heritage of Lucas Beauchamp comes into sharp focus and those old ghosts of the past that Faulkner is so good at conjuring arise, and it becomes clear that the complexity is not merely an artifice. Looming large as the progenitor of the McCaslin/Edmonds clan is the old patriarch Carothers McCaslin. Isaac McCaslin comes to realize what is revealed in the old ledger books: "not only the general and condoned injustice and its slow amortization but the specific tragedy which had not been condoned and could never be amortized." Old Carothers had by means of slavery ruthlessly wrested a plantation out of what had been wilderness, and left to future generations the wreckage of his own perverted values which he shared with the other looters of his time.

Hardly any more admirable is the old chief Ikkemotubbe, who sold not only the landbut also his own son, Sam Fathers, born of a slave women, to Carothers McCaslin; and engaged in other horrifying activities. The Native American traditions are not romanticized in this book, but the connection with the land in its original, untrammeled state is valued especially through the character of Sam Fathers, who becomes a mentor to young Isaac McCaslin. His sense of dignity and love of the land has a very strong influence over Isaac and leads the young man to a very different direction from his acquisitive grandfather.

I disagree that this is an excellent introduction to Faulkner. I recommend first reading LIGHT IN AUGUST, a classic work that is much more accessible, far less convoluted in its presentation of characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hard reading but rewarding
Go down Moses is certainly not a very accesible novel, but that can be said of the whole Faulkner-oeuvre.

The novel consists of several stories who are related to each other. To my opinion 'Pantaloon in Black' is not so much related to the rest, which tells the lifestory of Isaac McCaslin.

Especially the last stories were very interesting. In "The old people" Faulkner makes a good connection between man and nature especially the Sam Fathers figure is interesting. Faulkner expands on this theme in "The Bear". The notion that nature is losing in "Delta Autumn" is very strong. Together with the struggle between man and nature, Faulkner explores the relationship between black and white. This is extra complicated by the interracial McCaslin-Beauchamp connection.

What makes this book complicated is Faulkners style. I had to read several passages over and over again to understand what was going on. The complicated McCaslin family and introduction of different names (Uncle Bud an Uncle Buddy are often referred to with their official names) makes it also confusing.

It took me almost two years to read it, but nevertheless a great book and worth reading. ... Read more

16. William Faulkner: Novels, 1957-1962: The Town / The Mansion / The Reivers (Library of America)
by William Faulkner
Hardcover: 1020 Pages (1999-10-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011698
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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William Faulkner's fictional chronicle of YoknapatawphaCounty culminates in his three last novels, rich with the history andlore of the domain where he set most of his novels and stories. "TheTown" (1957), the second novel of the Snopes trilogy that began with"The Hamlet," charts the rise of the rapacious Flem Snopes and hisextravagantly extended family as they connive their way into power. In"The Mansion" (1959), the trilogy's conclusion, a wronged relativefinally destroys Flem and his dynasty. Faulkner's last novel, "TheReivers: A Reminiscence" (1962), distinctly mellower and more elegiacthan his earlier work, is a picaresque adventure that evokes the worldof childhood with a final burst of comic energy. "Novels 1957-1962,"like previous volumes in The Library of America's edition of thecomplete novels of William Faulkner, has been newly edited by textualscholar Noel Polk to establish an authoritative text, that features achronology and notes by Fau!lkner's biographer Joseph Blotner. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Price, quick delivery
Excellent price compared to Amazon's list price.Thank you Amazon for providing this internal competition!

5-0 out of 5 stars three good novels in one book
This volume of Faulkner's novels is a very good bargain. Two of the books The Town and The Mansionare part of the Snopes family trilogy. The Hamlet being the first novel. The three together tell the story of a family's grasping for wealth and power by any means and the destruction of the family by one of its own members.
The third vilume, The Reivers is a funny and entertaining story of young boys on an adventure that begins with stealing a car and go to Memphis. and find out the seamy side of life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two-thirds of an amazing trilogy
The Library of America (LOA) has done a wonderful job of publishing all of Faulkner's novels in five compact, uniform editions. Besides being handsome, beautifully typeset volumes, they contain the texts of one America's most brilliant authors in versions that are as authoritative as can reasonably be expected. All five volumes were edited by two of the foremost Faulkner scholars--Noel Polk and Joseph Blotner; and each volume contains their notes on the text and a detailed chronology of Faulkner's life (In case you ever find yourself wondering when Faulkner entered first grade, the year was 1905; he enjoyed drawing and painting.) The scholarship and care that went into the preparation of the LOA Faulkner is impeccable.

Within the LOA series, the novels are arranged chronologically (though the volumes were not released in sequence). Consequently, the present volume contains the last two novels (The Town and The Mansion) in Faulkner's great trilogy, The Snopes. To get the first (and critically proabably the best) novel in the trilogy, The ;Hamlet, you'll have to purchase William Faulkner: Novels 1936-1940 (ISBN 0-940450-55-0). Since that volume also includes Faulkner's masterpiece Absalom! Absalom!, it is worth the purchase price. In my opinion, it is impossible to overpraise The Snopes trilogy, and it is difficult to summarize its themes. Suffice it to say, the trilogy encompasses many genres (myth, folklore, legend, realism, epic) while provideing an insightful and scathing commentary on the American dream, society, and the tension between traditional values and modernity. (Faulkner's insights make Theodore Dreiser look like an entertainment Tonight! reporter.) Although The Town has been called a "weak plank between two substantial boulders," I have to confess a fondness for its depiction of the goofy and sexually naive town lawyer, Gavin Stevens (also the hero of Faulkner's Knight's Gambit short stories). I would also venture to say that readers' uncomfortability with The Town may also be a reflection of the fact that this part of the trilogy represents the "real world of the present"--not our mythic past which we nostalgically recast to flatter our self-image (The Hamlet), nor an expression of our "wildest dreams," what we expect our life to be like "when our ship comes in" (The Mansion). Most of life, in other words, is taken up not with valiant struggles and bold accomplishments, but with the pettiness of domestic life and trying to get along with others. The Town (published in 1957), therefore, can be seen as the flip side of Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, and all the other 1950s family sitcoms. Taken in that vein, I think it's a good satire and a delectable opera bouffe between two grand operas.

Daniel J. Singal in William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist (1997; Univeristy of North Carolina Press) pinpoints November 1940 as the date when Faulkner's genius and talent began to irreversibly fade. While on a camping trip Faulkner, always a heavy drinker and surely already an alcoholic for many years, suffered brain damage when he passed out while drinking. If this is true, that means all three novels collected in Novels 1957-1962 were written during the Nobel laureate's waning years. Concerning the many passages of brilliant writing in The Mansion, Singal notes that many of these had been previously published as short stories and only reworked to become part of the novel. It is hard to imagine how The Mansion could have been better (though I'm sure there is no shortage of Faulkner scholars willing to suggest some scenarios). As far as The Reivers goes, I have long recommended this novel to friends who want to read something by Faulkner but are intimidated by the structural challenges of The Sound and the Fury or Absalom! Absalom! The Reivers is a nostalgic look at the early days of Jefferson (the key town in Faulkner's invented Yoknapatawpha County) told mostly through the eyes of a young boy. The story is linear and easy to follow, and the humor is some of Faulkner's funniest and most heart-warming. If this is Faulkner at his most diminished, most American novelists writing today should be so diminished!

So buy both Novels 1936-1940 and Novels 1957-1962 and treat yourself to The Snopes trilogy. Then, after you've finished it, rent "The Long Hot Summer" and see what a mangle Hollywood made of Faulkner's richly imagined world.

5-0 out of 5 stars From Work To Wealth, The Snopes Saga
It is too bad that the first novel "The Hamlet" is not included (it appears in an earlier volume of this excellent series of The Library Of America) with "The Town" and "The Mansion" in thiswonderful tale of growth and maturity of the outcast Snopes clan to aSnopes family of civic prominence. The three novels need to be read intheir order to feel the strength of uneducated and poor individualsstruggling for opportunities to better themselves, successfully, to claimthe privileges of wealth that only the aristocracy of landowners enjoy.This is thenew Yoknapatawpha County of automobiles and areoplanes. Theold wilderness of the bear hunters was long ago paved over for speed."The Reivers" is a long hearty laugh at innocence in a whorehouse. Told from a boy's viewpoint, the action is very adult and funny asadults pursue their urges for sex and gambling. The horse race is a finepiece of sustained Faulkner writing. Buy this book. It is a keeper. ... Read more

17. William Faulkner : Novels 1936-1940 : Absalom, Absalom! / The Unvanquished / If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem / The Hamlet (Library of America)
by William Faulkner
Hardcover: 1148 Pages (1990-06-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0940450550
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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These four novels show one of America's greatest writers at the height of his powers. Presented in authoritative new texts, they explore the struggles of characters in a South caught between a romantic and a tragic past and the corrupting enticements of the present. Quentin Compson and his Harvard roomate re-create the story of the insanely ambitious patriarch Thomas Sutpen--and discover that his grief, pride, and doom are the inescapable legacy of a past that is not dead. "The Unvanquished" recounts the ordeals and triumphs of the Sartoris family during and after the Civil War. In "If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem" (first published as "The Wild Palms"), paired stories tell of desperate lovers and a fleeing convict. In "The Hamlet," the outrageous scheming energy of Flem Snopes and his clan is vividly and hilariously juxtaposed with the fragile community and customs of Frenchman's bend, Mississippi. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Bargain
This Faulkner set comes in a fantastic clothback edition with dust jacket.There's little else in the text - no commentary, no criticism, no class notes.The stories are presented in their entirety.It's well worth the money for a true Faulkner fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Price, quick delivery
Excellent price compared to Amazon's list price.Thank you Amazon for providing this internal competition!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good, Good
This novel is a good read for people who love good novels.`Absalom, Absalom!' in my opinion is the best story of all the stories in `William Faulkner: Novels 1936-1940' I would recommend this collection of Faulkner novels to anyone.What's not to like?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Value on Faulkner
I agree with the previous review: Faulkner is an acquired taste. However, if you like his work and want to own some of his greatest novels without breaking the bank, this book fills the bill. It's a high-quality book. It's bound well, the paper stock is not flimsy and it holds up to reading after reading. I received mine as a graduation gift in 1997. Since then it's been read by me, some friends, family members and coworkers and it shows little wear.

These are some of Faulkner's greatest works. To own them under one cover for this price? You won't find a better deal.

5-0 out of 5 stars great deal
You probably either love Faulkner's work or you hate it.If you hate it I won't argue with you.There are good reasons why you might not like his work (talk about acquired tastes).If you love him then you can't really find a much better deal than this book."Absalom, Absalom," "If I Forget Thee Oh Jerusalem," and "The Hamlet" are some of his best work and you can get this book, which is a nice little volume in about every way, for about 2/3 of what you'd pay to get them seperately as paperbacks.I'm not overly impressed by what I've read of "The Unvanquished," and scholars seem to share my opinion, but with works as good as the other three I think a little filler is okay. ... Read more

18. A Reader's Guide to William Faulkner: The Novels (Reader's Guides)
by Edmond Loris Volpe
Paperback: 427 Pages (2003-02)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815630018
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Both clear and scholarly, this book provides an introduction to William Faulkner, his style, techniques and themes, and it offers a detailed, illuminating analysis of the nineteen novels.

Faulkner is a difficult artist. A cooperative reading of his novels can enhance the pleasure that his art affords and deepen appreciation of it. The author's aim is to reveal the greatness of Faulkner's art and the scope and profundity of his personal vision of life. The Guide is divided into three sections. The first describes the dominant patterns in the fiction, by isolating Faulkner's major themes and by analyzing his narrative techniques and style. The second section offers extensive, individual interpretations of the nineteen novels, tracing the development of Faulkner's ideas. The final section contains detailed chronologies of the difficult novels like The Sound and the Fury. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Has Its Uses
The author explains Faulkner in a direct, straightforward, "Hemingway" style, risking reductiveness but undeniably expanding the potential audience for the book. Readers entirely new to Faulkner may benefit from the general introduction as well as the interpretations (basically sound, "widely-received" readings) of individual novels. Others may understandably take a pass on the first two sections in favor of the third, which provides a breakdown of the narrative order as well as the "actual" chronology of each of the chapters in Faulkner's novels. Included are scene descriptions based on compiled evidence from the chapter as well as verbal clues that alert the reader to scene shifts in a narrator's consciousness.

A downside:Like most other commentators on Faulkner, Volpe often takes too seriously the seriousness of Faulkner.This is especially apparent in discussions of "Absalom, Absalom!"Unquestionably, it is apocalyptic, tragic, visionary narrative, but it is also supreme farce.Readers need to know that it's OK be bemused by the first chapter and to laugh out loud at the second.Critics have done a grave disservice to Faulkner by representing the novel with such unrelenting sobriety.(Reading Robert Browning's "Caliban Upon Setebos" might be the first step to a cure from much insensitivity to the playfulness of Faulkner's discourse.)

Finally, the page references to Faulkner's novels have not been updated to agree with the current Vintage editions. And the decision to ignore all of the short fiction might have been more palatable had the author not cast aesthetic judgement upon it, in effect "ranking" it beneath the novels. Faulkner's short fiction is not only of the same high order as his long narratives but is inseparable from them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tremendously Useful
The second and third sections of this book are invaluable to the serious reader or repeat teacher of Faulkner.Volpe has done all of the difficult sorting and taxonomy we are obliged to do before we can come to our own terms with a novel.Who is each narrator or character, what do the events look like in chronological order, etc. To have that kind of work done for you for such novels as "Absalom! Absalom!" and "The Sound and the Fury" is worth the price of admission.

In the second section, each novel is given a reading, and while one may not always agree entirely, they almost invariably identify all the major features and events of the novels and are often closer to very careful glossed summaries than they are argumentative.If you've read a novel, these are comprehensive enough to return to you whatever you might have forgotten.If you haven't read a novel, they function very adequately to convey the essentials.

The third section provides detailed chronologies of events for nine novels.

If you're interested in making your own sense of the novels, Volpe's meticulous work will allow you to get down to business more quickly. ... Read more

19. The Portable Faulkner (Penguin Classics)
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 688 Pages (2003-02-25)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$10.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014243728X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In prose of biblical grandeur and feverish intensity, William Faulkner reconstructed the history of the American South as a tragic legend of courage and cruelty, gallantry and greed, futile nobility and obscene crimes. No single volume better conveys the scope of Faulkner's vision than The Portable Faulkner.

Edited by Malcolm Cowley ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Floundering Fauknerite Rescued by Malcolm Cowley
I could not make order out of the Snopes Tribe. Cowley with his map of Y. County and
his order of events saved my floundering in the swamps. His actual friendship and counseling with Faulkner was the best insight I found on the dynamic writer.
Top of the list commentary! Ever, Cat

3-0 out of 5 stars Portable As Cement
When you see a book with the title "The Portable Anything", you may figure it a handy compendium, digestible in relatively short order to give you a feeling about something without running you through the gauntlet.

What you may not expect are two of the longest sentences in the American literary canon, one alone running some 35 close-set pages; double-parentheses; 100-page stream-of-consciousness narratives about bad horses and deadly bear hunts, and churning through names like Eck Snopes and Tomey's Turl. Unless maybe the book is "The Portable Faulkner", in which case what you are dealing with is not a title but an oxymoron.

There's nothing simple about Faulkner. Even ordinary things come out convoluted, like graffiti, "the gross and simple terms of his gross and simple lusts and yearnings, the gross and simple recapitulations of his gross and simple heart" as described near the beginning of that 35-page sentence in "The Jail". Forensic science is easy compared to making headway of a plot like "Old Man" or "Was". In short, Faulkner's hard to read, and Malcolm Cowley's book doesn't make him any easier by picking these three pieces and other examples of Faulkner's singularly manic density as nuggets for sampling.

For Cowley, who first put this together in 1946, the goal was to rescue Faulkner from obscurity. It seemed to work. Largely unregarded except by other notable American writers (Hemingway touted him in "Death In The Afternoon"), Faulkner emerged over the next few years as a Southern-fried combination of Poe and Hawthorne, of dreams and morality served up in the messy racial and generational gumbo of the American South. It culminated in his winning the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature, and his reputation has not only endured but prevailed ever since.

I just wish it was available in digestible form. There are some examples of a more direct and comprehensible style to be found in this book, like Faulkner's Nobel address. "A Rose For Emily" sums up Faulkner's whole view of the South as cleverly and succinctly as a "Twilight Zone" episode. There are two other fine stand-alone short stories in that vein, "A Justice" and "Red Leaves", while "That Evening Sun" and "Appendix: The Compsons" serve as a perfect prequel and postscript to "The Sound And The Fury", one of the richest and most daring novels I ever read.

I just wish Cowley had gone easy on the novel excerpts. "Dilsey," a quarter section of "The Sound And The Fury", thrusts you into the Compson saga as it is winding down, and there's little help for you if you don't know going in that the fellow named Quentin referred to here is actually a girl. Supposedly these pieces were chosen by Cowley to flesh out Faulkner's imaginary Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, though "Old Man" is set well outside county lines while the boring and pedantic "Ad Astra" occurs in France.

In a terrific introduction, Cowley describes Faulkner's writings "like wooden planks that were cut, not from a log, but a still living tree. The planks are planed and chiseled into their final shapes, but the tree itself heals over the wound and continues to grow."

Cowley's enthusiasm for Faulkner's artistic messiness is admirable and even necessary in getting the right handle on what made Faulkner great, but it doesn't make for the best of introductions. "The Portable Faulkner" works best for those who know the writer well enough not to need a "portable" version in the first place.

4-0 out of 5 stars Edges out short stories anthology
An influential collection, partly responsible for the late 1940s resurgence of interest in America's greatest author, this construction of Faulkner's narrative world is certainly no substitute for any of the novels.But it has its uses: readers who don't plan to read more than 3 of Faulkner's best novels may find some of Cowley's excerpts a reasonable consolation; Cowley's chronological ordering not only clarifies Faulkner's fictional world but exposes its organic unity; with the exception of "Barn Burning," most of the essential short fiction (including the frequently excerpted "The Bear") can be found here; the concluding commentary and genealogy which Cowley elicted from Faulkner himself is both helpful and a kind of Faulknerian literary piece in its own right.

A slight "down side" (apart from some questionable excerpting and over-emphasis on chronological at the expense of "narrative" time) is Cowley's somewhat "dated" aesthetic judgements (though at times refreshing, since the author was applying them to a "non-canonical" writer).

As for "Burn Burning," it's readily available, free of charge, on the Internet.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great introduction and companion, but use wisely
The Portable Faulkner is a wonderful intro to Faulkner, but it's just that--an introduction.It can't do whan the entirety of one of Faulkner's novels will do, and in some cases I recommend skipping a bit in the Portable Faulkner until the corresponding novel has already been read (for example, Dilsey's section of The Sound and the Fury shouldn't be read in the Portable if you haven't read The Sound and the Fury.Trust me, TSatF is a book where you don't want to read the last chapter before the first three).

Better than an introduction, the Portable Faulkner also serves as a very interesting companion to those already familiar with Faulkner--it does the great service to readers of putting Yoknapatawpha stories in chronological order, which is an interesting perspective we may not otherwise get to see.

However, above all, there are two reasons why I bought this book.

First, it includes the Compson Appendix.If you've read a copy of the Sound and the Fury that didn't include the Compson Appendix, you need this.It's something that has to be read after the Sound and the Fury to capture the whole of Faulkner's story.

Second, it includes Faulkner's Nobel acceptance speech, which is wonderful, especially as a complement to reading the books themselves, and which is very nice to have in book format like the Portable Faulkner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific introduction to Faulkner
The Portable Faulkner is THE way to be introduced to William Faulkner, arguably the best of 20th century American novelists.Cowley arranges whole work and excerpts chronological for Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County;it should be noted that Faulkner did not write his body of workchronologically.By arranging the work in this way, Cowley does us a greatservice in seeing Faulkner's great creation as an ordered whole.

Thedrawback to this work is in its goal -- to make more understandableFaulkner's creation in his mythic county.The drawback is that, by design,none of Faulkner's other work is included, such as The Fable.

ThePortable Faulkner should be viewed only as an introduction, a tantalizer. Upon seeing the greatest of the work, we can then proceed to the work inits entirety. ... Read more

20. Mientras Agonizo / As I Lay Dying (Biblioteca De Autor / Author Library) (Spanish Edition)
by William Faulkner
Paperback: 205 Pages (2005-06-30)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$12.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 8420656577
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