Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Faulkner's SOLDIERS' PAY foreshadows his evolving style., April 3, 1999
This review is from: Soldiers' Pay (Paperback)
In his first novel, SOLDIERS' PAY, Faulkner deals with the aftermath of World War I to illustrate the disillusionment that war inexorably brings to combtants and non-combatants alike. Whether is is the war to end all wars, the war to save humanity, the forgotten war, or the immoral war, no one who survives escapes unscathed. The narrative is more straightforward, with fewer digressions, than that of most of Faulker's later novels; but it is still difficult to follow at times. Using the shattered life of a wounded and dying war veteran as the vehicle, Faulkner weaves the lives of his characers into a revealing tapestry. In the arras he depicts fear, despair and denial; sexuality, frustration, and fulfillment; pettiness and compassion; love and hate--a range of emotions to which all mankind is subject. While many of his descriptions seem strained and burdensome, others present a blinding insight into the foibles and failings of our neighbors and of ourselves. Likewise, to the modern reader, some of the moral values and motivations of his characters may be arcane; yet, as a whole, the universal standards of human behavior still apply. All in all, I would say that if you are a fan of Faulkner, give this book a try. It hasn't the power of THE SOUND AND THE FURY or ABSALOM, ABSALOM! nor the delightful comedy of THE REIVERS, but it does give the reader a glimpse into the evolution of Faulkner's inimitable style.
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3.9 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
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