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Absalom, Absalom! (Modern Library College Editions) Paperback – April 1, 1966
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From the Inside Flap
This edition is set from the first American edition of 1936 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.
More About the Author
Rejected by the US military in 1915, he joined the Canadian flyers with the RAF, but was still in training when the war ended. Returning home, he studied at the University of Mississippi and visited Europe briefly in 1925.
His first poem was published in The New Republic in 1919. His first book of verse and early novels followed, but his major work began with the publication of The Sound and the Fury in 1929. As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936) and The Wild Palms (1939) are the key works of his great creative period leading up to Intruder in the Dust (1948). During the 1930s, he worked in Hollywood on film scripts, notably The Blue Lamp, co-written with Raymond Chandler.
William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize for The Reivers just before his death in July 1962.
Top Customer Reviews
The book told through three interconnected narratives tells the life story of Thomas Sutpen. The story parallels the rise of the Old South. The narratives are not straight forward and present a constant challenge to the reader. But if the reader does not close the book in despair the rewards are great indeed.
The mood of the storytelling alone is worth the price of admission here. The long flowing sentences are marvels and testaments to Faulker's skill as a writer. The narrative drive makes reading the book almost like reading Greek tragedy. We gets views of Sutpens life from several townspeople and also across generations.
This is the first book that I've read in a long time that made me feel like I had accomplished something when I finished it. You don't so much read this novel as you become lost in it. Jump in get your feet wet and prepare for some of the most intense Southern gothic that you are ever likely to read.
On the other hand, I have to say, by no means did I actually enjoy the process of reading Absalom, Absalom!. The Sound and the Fury, Light in August--those I actually got pleasure out of reading. Absalom, Absalom!, I did not. I won't deny that there is some brilliant writing on display here, the sort of thing that makes you pump your fist and shout "yeah! Go William!" (c'mon, I know I'm not the only one--'fess up), but more often than not, the prose just seems convoluted and tangled, for no other reason than that the man wanted to display his virtuosity. More often than not, this does not work, and sometimes it actively damages the novel. Regard, for instance, the following passage:
"...because I had learned nothing of love, not even parents' love--that fond dear constant violation of privacy, that stulification of the burgeoning and incorrigible I which is the meed and due of all mammalian meat, became not mistress, not beloved, but more than even love; I became all polymath love's androgynous advocate (117)
Yes indeed: polymath love's androgynous advocate. Faulkner would seem to be going for the 'bad prog rock lyrics' effect here. Even if you can figure out what this is supposed to mean, the fact remains: it looks damned silly, a clear case of complexity for complexity's sake. Sometimes less is more, Bill.
So no, slogging my way through three hundred pages of this stuff was not an enjoyable task. And yet, for some reason, it really does stick with you, as previously noted. I'm still not sure I'd recommend it, though.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are a fan of southern gothic this book is for you. When you read William Faulkner you will be spun into his web of beautiful words and vivid characters who are alive off the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by d stambul: word lover
This is a dense, complex book. While some may dismiss Faulkner's prose as too abstruse, to me it is sheer poetry, even if I do not always (or immediately) follow the logic and need... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
It may be a great work of art but the sentence length, conditional phrasing and multiple plot and character switches make it work - period!Published 2 months ago by George B. Upton
I found the language of this book so hard to get into, the prose is unlike anything else I've ever read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ella
My souls never sleep after they ask me to read this book for the fourth time.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer