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The Unvanquished: The Corrected Text Paperback – October 29, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Set in Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction, THE UNVANQUISHED focuses on the Sartoris family, who, with their code of personal responsibility and courage, stand for the best of the Old South's traditions.

About the Author

William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in 1897 and raised in Oxford, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. One of the towering figures of American literature, he is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, and As I Lay Dying, among many other remarkable books. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950 and France’s Legion of Honor in 1951. He died in 1962. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (October 29, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679736522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679736523
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 89 people found the following review helpful By M. E. on July 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book, in my opinion, is the best introduction to Faulkner possible where the reader has a chance to become accustomed to the sentence structure (to some extent: the longest sentence in The Unvanquished doesn't seem to run for even a page, making this quite simplistic by Faulknerian standards) without having to worry about an overly confused plot. Although there are parts where the reader will have to back up and read a passage over, it is far more straightforward than others of Faulkner's works.
This story chronicles the growth of Bayard Sartoris from the child who thinks war is a game (even though it isn't all that far from him) and can't imagine the consequences when he plays his games a little too close to the Yankees (Ambuscade) into a man who, when faced with the tragedy of his father's demise, must make this decision: who lives by the sword shall die by it--is it time to change the Southern tradition of bloodshed?
It is also the story of the South as it undergoes its most severe upheaval in its history: the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the effect on its people.
In my opinion, the best way to get acquainted with Faulkner is to begin with The Unvanquished. Once you're done with that, I suggest Intruder in the Dust. Be warned, though, that the latter isn't nearly as simple as The Unvanquished and there is a sentence that (if I recall correctly) runs for five or six pages (or more, but I'm not entirely sure). The good thing, at least, is that you can get used to the confusing syntax while the plot is still reasonably clear: what is clearer than a murder mystery and story of racial injustice (which, as the reader will gather from The Unvanquished, is one of the themes with which Faulkner is concerned in almost all his works)?
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ginneyd on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you haven't read any of Faulkner's works, this is a good place to begin. The Sartoris family lives through Faulkner's books. The plot centers on the familiy's personal experiences in the South during the Civil War. History comes alive on the pages of The Unvanquished, and the reader gains a better understanding of the Confederate viewpoint by witnessing the southern struggle to survive the destruction of their homes, families, and way of life. I heartily recommend this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Luis M. Luque on May 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you've never read a Faulkner novel, this is the perfect place to get your feet wet. I did exactly the opposite, starting with THE SOUND AND THE FURY, AS I LAY DYING and ABSALOM, ABSALOM! Had I read this first, I might have been more accustomed to Faulkner's difficulties (i.e. using pronouns to keep the reader guessing, frequent repetition of key phrases, his habitual use of images and symbols, frequent allusions to the Bible, occasional use of obscure vocabulary, the provision of minimal context to action -- especially early on, lengthy sentences and italic text to indicate a character's interior monologue) and not had to struggle so much when reading his masterpieces.

The characters and stories here (and please, read THE UNVANQUISHED as a collection of short stories told chronologically, rather than as a novel) are more simple and fun than his novels. And perhaps that's because he was taking a break from his most serious and difficult work and needed money and a vacation from ABSALOM, ABSALOM! The stories here progress in Faulknerian difficulty, the amount of Southern Gothic tragedy they depict, and the complexity and intricacy of the plots as the book goes along. By the time you're finished reading it, you're ready for SANCTUARY, THE WILD PALMS or LIGHT IN AUGUST.

But to dismiss THE UNVANQUISHED as a lesser work somehow, because the stories are more accessable, is to make a big mistake. The stories are teeming with beautiful prose and haunting storytelling, and they have a great deal to reveal about what the South endured during and immediately after the Civil War and about the mindset of Southerners at the time and for a long time afterward.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
There is a particular "French connection" with this novel, and there is an overall connection between the French people and William Faulkner, and none of the other reviewers have raised this matter. It was the subject of a recent article in "The Guardian," which said that he was the second favorite French author, beating Flaubert, Stendhal, Baudelaire, de Beauvoir, Camus and Celine. Only Marcel Proust was ranked ahead of him. Faulkner spent only a very limited period in France, once during the 20's, and once in 1945 when he worked with the film director, Renoir. Apparently the peasant revolt in the Vendee, led by the clerics, against the forces of the French revolution, resonated with his feelings about the "lost cause" of the South's fight in the American Civil War. For some reason, certainly not evident to me, he entitled the chapter concerning Bayard and Ringo's (who was apparently named after the French victory at Marengo) hunt for Grumby as "Vendee." Furthering some of the inexplicable possible connections on this matter, in Honore de Balzac's great novel on the Vendee revolt, entitled "Les Chouans," the first chapter is "Ambuscade," the same name that Faulkner used for the first chapter in this book. Mere coincidence?

Aside from French connections, the style and content in Faulkner's novels continues to dazzle, and "The Unvanquished" is no exception. The chapters are set during the Civil War, starting with the fall of Vicksburg, through the 10 year period of Reconstruction following the war. The setting is the familiar, to Faulkner readers, Yoknapatawpha County, in northwestern Mississippi.
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