Tuesday, December 8, 2009

As I Lay Dying--William Faulkner

Genre: Fiction
Year Published: 1930
Pages: 267
Rating: 4
"Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file."
I began this book with trepidation. I had read The Sound and the Fury last year and found it to be one of the most difficult books I've ever read, and hardly worth the effort. But I ended up really enjoying this book. First of all, it is much easier to read--no lack of chronology, no stream-of-consciousness. There is still an abundance of unidentified pronouns, so you aren't always entirely sure who the narrator is referring to, but it all becomes clear by the end. Secondly, this book is so full of dark comedy that it is hard not to enjoy. The story is about a southern family who is transporting their dead mother's/wife's body to her hometown for burial. A series of mishaps befall them, and each character deals with their own issues, before they finally arrive. That's it. That's the plot. The story is told by many different characters in the book--mostly the family, occasionally other minor characters, and once the dead woman herself. The characters in the family, including the dead mother, are not very sympathetic--they're all a bunch of jerks, in my opinion. But their voices are clear and amusing. After reading this I think I might give Absalom! Absalom! a chance.
Book a week # 55
Date Read: 11/28/09
Challenge/s: 1% Well Read, Decades, What's in a Name, Modern Library

No comments: