A Fable (Vintage International) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0307946775
ISBN-10: 0307946770
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Midair
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

An allegorical story of World War I set in the trenches in France and dealing ostensibly with a mutiny in a French regiment.

About the Author

William Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American novelist and short-story writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1949. He is recognized as one of the greatest American writers. His masterpieces include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, The Hamlet, and The Reivers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1038 KB
  • Print Length: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 18, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 18, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHYSJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I must agree that, at times, the experience of reading _A Fable_ is much like feeling one's way through a very dark tunnel. However, there is indeed a light at the end of that tunnel; as with many of Faulkner's works, the individual stories that make up the novel dont come together until the last hundred or so pages. It takes a very patient reader to glean the important details from the beginning and middle of the novel, and to remember those details when they emerge again later in the book. One must also be fairly well-acquainted with Christ's passion in order for a true understanding of the correlation to reveal itself (which, in many places, it didn't for me). Contrary to the book's selling-points, Faulkner is not merely retyping the Christ story in _A Fable_. He's updating a myth (or "fable," if you will), and using his narration to describe humanity's condition in mid-century (cf. many paragraphs w/ 1950 Nobel Prize speech). This is a long, tedious, and fanatically detailled narrative, but a great novel that pays off with a terrific closing 50 pages for the patient reader. Both the new and the acquainted should be prepared for Faulkner at his most brilliant and difficult.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
William Faulkner considers A Fable his masterpiece. It won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1955 (one of only a handful of books to win both in the same year). These accolades, however, have not led to widespread acclaim or longevity for the novel, and for years it was relegated to afterthought status, deemed "minor" Faulkner, and available only as a cheap, hard to read paperback or as a part of an expensive anthology.

As Faulkner is my favorite writer, and as I am, by nature, a completist, I read A Fable (a library copy that was easier to read than the pulp paperback) a few years back, despite the warnings that it was difficult - even impossible -to read, despite the cautions that slogging through it was not worth the effort...and I loved it.

Now that Vintage International has re-released it (along with most of Faulkner's other novels) in a beautiful new paperback edition, I decided to reread it, apprehensive that I might have overestimated the novel's strengths, having been 26 when I first read it - but I had not. If anything, I found the novel even more brilliant and illuminating on second reading.

This is not your typical Faulkner (as another reviewer pointed out) but it is far from "minor" Faulkner. This book is, at times, difficult, but what Faulkner isn't? - and who would even consider reading any Faulkner if they didn't want to be challenged? And, when compared to some of his other masterworks (The Sound and the Fury or Absalom, Absalom! for example) it is actually a quick, surprisingly easy read.

A Fable has much in common with the aforementioned Absalom, Absalom! in that it focuses more on the human condition and the various aspects of human nature than on character-driven narrative.
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Format: Paperback
At nine o'clock one morning in the spring of 1918, a regiment of the French army - every man below the rank of sergeant - refuses to take part in a futile assault on the German position. Strangely, the German line opposite fails to take advantage of the situation with a counter-attack, and by noon that day no shots are fired along the entire French line. By three o'clock in the afternoon, the entire western front has fallen silent. It emerges that a saintly French corporal, together with his twelve apostles, has been making the rounds of the Allied forces (and apparently the German forces too) spreading by word and deed a gospel of non-violence and universal brotherhood. The troops, it seems, have understood that they can stop the killing simply by laying down their arms. Naturally, this is anathema to the military hierarchies on both sides, who (tipped off by the Judas among the disciples) are already making covert plans to resume hostilities. The generals, after all, have a living to make and a war to run.

"A Fable" is an allegorical novel about the conflicting impulses that exist within each one of us. The French corporal represents man's impulse towards unconditional love and brotherhood; or, to put it another way, he's the "champion of an esoteric realm of man's baseless hopes and his infinite capacity - no: passion - for unfact". Like Jesus, the corporal holds out the light of selfless love to humanity, but he's doomed to suffer the consequences. For within every man, too, lives the desire to get on in the world, an egotism which produces conflict, wars and armies.
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This is a very challenging, but rewarding read. Faulkner, in his usual way, creates a world that presents serious philosophical and religious themes in an attempt to make us all think deeply about our moral life on earth He drives to the raw bone in his exploration of our human nature and presents a dialectic that transcends time and historical period. So if you are expecting a novel about WWI, you will be disappointed. My favorite part of the novel, ironically, is the chapter that seemingly is misplaced because it does not take place in WWI ---- the chapter about the race horse. What a powerful part of the novel---- unforgetable! And the link to the rest of the novel is unique, penetrating and transcendent. It really made me think about the choices we have in life. I am not sure if this is Faulkner's best work, as I am a huge fan of As I Lay Dying and Absalom Absalom, but it is definitely worth the read and worth the time. Don't give up, just keep reading and it will begin to pull you deep into your soul and pose profound questions that each and everyone of us must answer for ourselves. In that sense, it is a very deeply religious novel. If only going to church could be as cleansing as reading this book. Stay the course -- the last 100 pages will leave you pondering your humanity in a way you have never done before.
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