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Go Down, Moses, Vol. 1: Typescripts and Miscellaneous Typescript Pages (William Faulkner Manuscripts, No. 16) Hardcover – December 1, 1987


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Hardcover, December 1, 1987
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Garland Publishing, Inc. (December 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082406822X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824068226
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,427,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity, [Faulkner’s works] are without equal in our time and country.” —Robert Penn Warren
 
“He is the greatest artist the South has produced. . . . Indeed, through his many novels and short stories, Faulkner fights out the moral problem which was repressed after the nineteenth century [yet] 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 greatness of our classics.” —Ralph Ellison --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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.
K.S.Ziegler
I think this narrative is as fine as any for demonstrating Faulkner's unusual narrative style and flowing, stream-of-consciousness language.
D. Anderson
Most of these changes are for the good, some not - but in all cases, man's struggle to keep up with the change is both heroic and tragic.
Ira Slomowitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 102 people found the following review helpful By D. Anderson on December 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first bought "Go Down, Moses" for an undergraduate course in American Literature, read "The Bear" as required, and quickly forgot about the rest of the book. This Thanksgiving I picked it up again as a replacement for my usual airport-bookstore holiday reading. Thank goodness! Nothing like some heavy-duty race and environmental issues to spice up your turkey and stuffing.
Faulkner has always been a pleasant read for me, because I find it quite challenging. "Go Down, Moses" is no exception. In particular, the genealogy of the McCaslin-Edmonds-Beauchamp family causes no end of confusion. You will encounter characters named McCaslin Edmonds, Carothers McCaslin, Carothers McCaslin Edmonds, etc... (I found drawing a family tree helped me immensely)! Furthermore, the narrative is hardly linear; characters jump around in space and time, tell stories of other peoples' experiences in the midst of their own reminiscences, and in general relate their tales in a manner that will keep you constantly flipping back and forth through the book. That being said, I happen to *enjoy* books like this, where the reader is not a passive recipient of information but actively engaged in the process of determining plot, characters, and truth. I like this style because it reminds me of how we construct narratives in our own minds. We go off on tangents, we ramble endlessly before returning suddenly to our original subject, we remember things as they occur to us more often than we do in chronological order. Faulkner is more psychologist than novelist: he puts us inside the minds of his characters and lets them tell the story for themselves. If you want a clear-cut, action-driven story instead of a thoughtful and intimate history, Faulkner is not for you.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read Go Down Moses in 1996 before taking a trip to Mississippi. I had never read Faulkner before and had only one criterion for picking a book of his: it had to take place in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County. I picked this one off the library shelf.
For any non-southern American whose sole exposure to what happened there was from history books, this should forever shatter the pat preconceptions and simplistic black and white (no pun intended!) formulas they were taught.
The book plunges you into a vast panorama of ambiguities and contradictions. It was clear to me from the first paragraph that Faulkner was a genius. In the whole history of literature, he surely stands among a select few at the very pinnacle of greatness.
Go Down Moses is a tremendous struggle to get through. Some parts are straightforward and easy, but there are others that you can't hope to make literal sense of. You're bombarded by its twisted grammar. Its frantic confusion. Its endlessly unresolved sentences. But through these, Faulkner ultimately conveys the pain of history -- past and present. The emotion of that pain seems more real to him than the specific incidents it sprang from. Why else would a book begun in pre-Civil War Mississippi -- entirely skip it -- picking up again a generation later?
This book is about the South. Having read it, Faulkner walked beside me every step of the way I took through his state. But this book also has a sub-theme that should not be overlooked. Faulkner was a profound environmentalist, although sharply contrasted with how we usually think of that term. Hunters don't much fit the mold of environmentalism -- and Faulkner was an avid one of that lot. So, in that sense, along with all the sociological, he can shake you up pretty good!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
I had never read any Faulkner until I picked this off my bookshelf while browsing. Out of my wife's american literature classes has come what I feel to be one the best written books I have read in quite some time. The people are tortured, alive and very well described. The races are diagnosed in merciless precision and scrutiny, the unfortunate frustrations that plague them both. (there don't seem to be many other types of people in the stories except a few Indians) But this is art, literature the way it is supposed to be written. The language of Faulkner literally soars off the page with insight, feeling and relevance to the story. These Southern lives are mixed together, bringing forth a mulatto-rainbow mix of wonder and mystery and deep appreciation, a well developed reverence for life, its pain and people, suffering through a walk on the blessed earth. Truly great writing as compassionate as it is accurately reflecting the Southern world, post slave to this century through the eyes of a family smorgasbord of bloodlines and personalites. If you want to enjoy reading and have wondered at times why you are wasting your time on cultured pulp, this book will set you back on the right path.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By MZ on February 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is undeniably one of the greatest novels I have ever read. Never would I have made it past the fifth page if it hadn't been 1) required reading for an undergrad course in college; 2) for the help of the almighty Cliff Notes. Actually, this is one book where my professor recommended everybody have the Cliff Notes. I didn't understand why until we started reading it. Then he told us to take out the Cliff Notes and turn to the family tree. Ah, yes, this helps make sense of all of those people, as well as help explain the complicated relationships between them.
I definitely think this book would be great for group discussion. A dedicated individual could no doubt garner symbolism, themes, and the basic plot on his or her own. But the story is so complex, I think you get a lot more out of it in a group, where the ideas can be shared and brainstormed.
Whatever the case, I recommend reading this book. Faulkner's look at the people and their environment of the South is amazing, and it is one of those books that you will find is often alluded to in other works. Spectacular book.
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