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Sanctuary: The Corrected Text Paperback – December 6, 1993

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Editorial Reviews


"A haunting study of evil triumphant" New York Times "Not a book for the fainthearted" Sunday Times "Thick with menace, desire, compulsion and despair" Los Angeles Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This product is not a traditionally bound book. Many ProQuest UMI products are black-and-white reproductions of original publications produced through the Books On Demand ® program. Alternately, this product may be a photocopy of a dissertation or it may be a collection reproduced on microfiche or microfilm if it is intended for library purchase. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (December 6, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679748148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679748144
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Foster Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
In SANCTUARY-- an ironic title if there ever was one-- we see what happens when a genius writes a potboiler. We have one terrific roller coaster ride. Faulkner said he wrote this novel to make money after the disappointing sales of THE SOUND AND THE FURY and AS I LAY DYING. About SANCTUARY, published in 1931, he wrote: "I began to think of books in terms of possible money. . . . I took a little time out, and speculated what a person in Mississippi would believe to be current trends, chose what I thought was the right answer and invented the most horrific tale I could imagine. . ." This novel was the biggest seller of all Faulkner's works during his lifetime.

We are introduced to a whole slew of unforgettable characters: Temple Drake, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a local judge; the monster Popeye; Gowan, the frat-boy drunk who "learned" to handle his alcohol while a student in Virginia; the tragic Ruby; Miss Reba, the Memphis madam; the obnoxious Senator Snopes; Horace Benbow, et al. In the hands of a lesser writer, some of these people would have become stereotypes. Instead we have a remarkable and tragic story of small town justice where a man is convicted for who is is, rather than what he is accused of doing. Horace Benbow, an attorney who reads books, is the moral center of the novel who believes that sometimes a man "might do something just because he knew it was right, necessary to the harmony of things that it be done."

Unlike many of Faulkner's more difficult works, SANCTUARY is a very straight-forward novel-- an easy but fascinating read. As always, Faulkner's language can be beautifully descriptive: "When he waked a narrow rosy pencil of sunlight fell level through the window.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on May 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
For many readers, "Sanctuary" doesn't seem to fit into Faulkner's canon. Although the prose is recognizably his, the tone and subject matter seem more appropriate to the genre of pulp fiction--closer to Hammett than to O'Connor. And, for the time it was published, it is shockingly gruesome and graphic. (Arnold Bennett said that it was a "terrible" book and "a great novel.") Once you figure out who everyone is and what's going on, however, it's an unlikely page-turner. Faulkner presents his tale not simply as a mystery but as a puzzle of characters who can barely figure out their own roles and who challenge the reader to sort out their stories

The central plot revolves around Temple Drake, a well-off, fast-living college student who gets wowed by Gowan Stevens, a handsome young alcoholic who takes her to the inaccessible estate of a backwoods bootlegger. Gowan soon passes out, and the traumatized Temple suddenly understands she is stuck in a situation from which she can't easily extract herself--and her circumstances worsen when Gowan abandons her to the gangsters and drunks bumming around the house.

Even though it was published after "As I Lay Dying," which he completed at the end of 1929, "Sanctuary" could be considered Faulkner's fifth novel rather than his sixth. Earlier that year, he sent the manuscript for "Sanctuary" to his publisher. It seems likely he had been toying with it in some form for quite a while, since at least one passage has been found in his papers with a date of 1925.

There are a number of colorful tales surrounding the history of this book's publication--some of them possibly apocryphal and probably invented by Faulkner himself. (A fuller accounting can be found in Joseph Blotner's invaluable biography of Faulkner.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Sesho on June 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
William Faulkner stands in my mind with only a few authors whose writing does not seem like writing. His novels seem more moments of real life. While I was reading "Sanctuary" you forget you are reading a book and the characters take on a virtual reality in your mind. Like all of Faulkner's books, this one is disorienting at first, simply by the author's strength of vision. The main plot revolves around Temple Drake, a coquettish college girl who likes to secretly sneak out of her college dorm to attend dances. One of her rides back from one of these dances is a boy named Gowan Stevens. He decides to stop off at an illegal moonshine operation and promptly sets about getting drunk. Temple is trapped at the house surrounded by all sorts of shady characters you would associate with such an operation. One of these is named Popeye, and trust me he is not a hero, he rapes Temple. One of the things I found slightly disturbing was the sense that Temple is a flirt and you get the sense that Faulkner felt that eventually some sex crime was going to be committed against her. She could get away with things around college boys but she fails to realize that with criminals, its a very bad move. It's the beginning of her great moral slide that was always just waiting to happen. There are other subplots going on around it. The owner of the moonshine operation is a convict and his wife supported herself through prostitution while he was in the joint, which is a source of tension between them. Horace Benbow is a lawyer who has left his wife simply because he recognizes the hollowness of his marriage. These characters are connected by the crime against Temple. The depressing thing about this novel is that noone really gets a sanctuary. The ending is not pretty. That's what makes it so powerful and so real. This book is right up there with Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky in sheer power of vision.
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