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As I Lay Dying - Book Club Edition Paperback – January 1, 1985


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Paperback, January 1, 1985
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books / Random House (1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067973225X
  • ASIN: B002CKYN8G
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark on May 22, 2011
I've just finished As I Lay Dying today and it was a pretty good book, not perfect but worth the time and effort. I've read some of the other reviewer's comments about how tough it is to understand the dialect, but it wasn't tough for me because I had grandparents who actually spoke how Faulkner wrote it. That obstacle was overcome. The story had to be pieced together to form the whole and it was way more fluid than say, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. The characters were tragic country folk whose trials and tribulations were predictable with a father like Anse.

I'm not going to give the story away, but I will say that if you get confused to re-read because the book is not that big and quick to read once you get rolling. This was my second book by Faulkner that I have read. The previously mentioned The Sound and the Fury was much tougher and made As I Lay Dying much easier. Start here if you decide to read Faulkner; you will know soon if you want to read anymore of his works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Boulware on March 5, 2014
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If you have ever read Faulkner you know it is not easy. This book truly takes a different mindset. you have to wrap you head around the each chapter and really think about what ;you are reading. It is not a beach read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike London on August 30, 2013
[Throughout the years, I have written a number of reviews that have never been published online on Amazon. These writings comprise two types of reviews: unfinished reviews, abandoned during various stages of composition, and completed reviews that for life reasons were never posted. Of the later type, I wrote an extended treatsie on William Faulkner modernist classic, "As I Lay Dying". Now for the first time ever, over a decade after it was initially written, I am publishing that review, written in July, 2000. Mike London 8-30-2013]

In "As I Lay Dying", William Faulkner paints a portrait of a very disturbed family set in his mythical country Yoknapatawpha County. The central character of the novel, Addie Bundren, demands the greatest scrutiny, because everything that happens to the family members is more or less a direct result of her. Each family member takes part in the journey to Jefferson to bury Addie's body, each for various reasons. Addie had a specific reason for this journey, making Anse promise he would bury her with her people, and we will see if her plans worked as she so desired. After she has been adequately examined, we will move onto the other family members. These include her sons Jewel, Vardaman, and Darl; her daughter Dewey Dell; her husband Anse.

Faulkner employed a stylistic instrument called `stream-of-consciousness' in this work. He is largely credited for its use in literature. There are fifty-nine sections, ranging from a single sentence (the infamous "My mother is a fish) to seven pages. Each section introduces a different narrator. Darl dominates the novel with nineteen of his own. Addie does not appear untill a little over halfway, acting as the center of a bicycle wheel that all the spokes flow into.
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This novel has some of the most interesting characters, and intricate, complicated relationships between said characters that I have ever read. Having tried to read The Sound and The Fury a year ago, and failing pretty miserably to grasp it, I didn't know how I would take to As I Lay Dying. I don't know if it's easier to read, or if I've just gotten better at reading, but I absolutely loved this book. When I had the time, I could not stop reading. It's somehow, despite it's jumbled, and sometimes chaotic way of giving you information, a real page turner. The story is memorable, but the characters, their unique perspectives, and their arcs are what make the novel one for the ages. Faulkner, in some notes in the back of the book, is quoted as saying something along the lines of how he wanted As I Lay Dying to make or break his legacy in writing forever, whether he ever chose to write another word again--and I think he accomplished what he set out. And luckily, he wrote more after. I'm excited about reading his other works, I'm excited about trying The Sound and The Fury again soon, and I'm excited about revisiting this one in the years to come.
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One of my favorite American works. While it can take a little while to get into the book, each chapter is from a different character's perspective, if you will allow yourself to continue reading until you are tracking with the story it delivers one of the most unsettling endings to any book I have ever read. The characters are excellently developed and the writing is tailored to each character's realistic manner of speaking and/or thinking. Great book!
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This is a beautiful but difficult, sometimes harsh story line, well written by a old master.
The story line is difficult to piece together as the language is very difficult to interpret.
Faulkner was from this area and had a beautiful way to express the story.
People may differ somewhat in its interpretation.
I read this for a local book club selection which we then discussed.
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By Ryanne on November 22, 2013
A slow start, but momentum keeps building through the whole book and has you racing towards the end. There's a lot to untangle, but it's one of the most fantastic examples of classic literature that I've read.
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