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As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical Editions) [Paperback]

William Faulkner , Michael Gorra
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Jan 2010 0393931382 978-0393931389
First published in 1930, "As I Lay Dying" has long been recognised not only as one of William Faulkner's greatest works, but also as the most accessible of his major novels. This edition is based on the 1985 corrected text and is accompanied by annotations.

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As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical Editions) + The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (19 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393931382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393931389
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 417,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A masterpiece of dark humour" (Daily Express)

"The greatest American writers of the last century were William Faulkner and Saul Bellow...As I Lay Dying and The Adventures of Augie March: it's hard to think of two better novels written in this country in any century" (Philip Roth Observer)

"One of America's greatest writers" (The Times)

"A beautiful novel" (Independent)

"By universal consent of critics and common readers, Faulkner is now recognised as the strongest American novelist of the century, clearly surpassing (Ernest) Hemingway and (Scott) Fitzgerald, and standing as an equal in the sequence that includes Hawthorne, Melville, Mark Twain and Henry James . . . As I Lay Dying may be the most original novel ever written by an American" (Harold Bloom) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Brilliant and compelling - one is constrained to follow to the end' Spectator --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and revelatory 10 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a compelling novel, as well as a literary masterpiece.
The death of Addie Bundren in the country, and the desparately hard and bitter journey to bury her in the town of Jefferson, is told primarily through the voices of her husband and five children. The force of the novel comes through the narrative structure - by employing the different voices of his characters, Faulkner paints a vivid picture of the time, the country and, particularly powerfully, the hostilities and bonds within the family.
The plot is delicately unravelled and wholly satisfying. Any reader - with a passion for reading - will find this book gripping and profoundly affecting.
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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrim's Progress to the Promised Land 5 Sep 2004
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Faulkner's great accomplishment in this novel is to use the most modern fiction techniques to create a timeless allegory that we would probably not accept in a different style. His other great achievement is to leave so much space in the story for us to participate in adding meaning. You have to pay attention to even notice what is going on, and then you can provide a variety of interpretations. This novel will never be the same for any two readers. It is a stunning accomplishment, as a result.
The story begins as Addie Bundren lays dying, fanned by her daughter, while her son makes her coffin. With her husband and five children, we make her acquaintance by learning about their actions and characters. Only once does she have a role as a narrator, and then, quite late in the story.
Her husband, Anse, has promised her that he will bury her with her family. Because of tremendous rains, the river has risen, knocking out bridges and making passage difficult. Despite this, the family perseveres in taking her unembalmed body to the intended burial site. Along the way, there are many mishaps and the family is burdened in many ways by keeping this promise. As the burial comes closer, new elements of the story are exposed and develop that totally recast what you have thought was going on.
The story is a difficult one to read. So read this book when you have time to pay close attention and study the text word by word. Let me explain the difficulties you will encounter. First, the voices in the book use a Southern patois that will be unfamiliar to most. This is the language of the rural poor in the 1930s, which few have heard. Second, the exposition is mostly through thoughts, often expressed in fragmentary form, rather than through action and a smooth narrative.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most exciting book I've read in years 21 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a truly exceptional book. Faulkner takes the fragmentary narrative approach of 'The Sound and The Fury' to its logical conclusion in this astonishing book, in which we see through the eyes of virtually every character. The most strikingly modern approach to charcterisation I've ever read, and this in a novel published in 1930! I think it is Faulkner's best work.
If you want a novel that will rejuvenate your love of literature, then read this book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why are you laughing Darl? 28 Aug 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"As I Lay Dying" is hard work. The plot; the last journey of Addie Bundren as her rotting corpse is carted through the Deep South to be buried with her family; is told by several narrators. These are her children, her husband, her neighbours and even people who are not involved very much with the plot. This tennis-match narration is made even harder by the fact that the narrators are often insane (one central narrator is eventually incarsarated in a lunatic assylum), simple-minded or withholding information from the reader. Due to this large tracts of the plot are obscure. Moreover the stream-of-consciousness narration, often filled with cubist or surrealist imagery, makes some passages unreadable (at one point a narrator comes out with a 14-line sentance). Yet despite this, AILD is The Great American Novel. Stick with it & its very rewarding. It is a dark, bleak epic, rich with the lore of the Deep South & underpinned by threads of black humour. Seeing the novel's events from a kalidoscopic viewpoint is (albeit unrealistic as some of the language is too poetic for traditional rednecks) also appropriate in contributing to the novels' themes of the tricks of awareness & self-identity. A beautiful novel, written with genius.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Persevere, it's worth it! 24 Jun 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This powerful and relatively brief novel, written from many different viewpoints, is about the tribulations of an American family before and following the death of the mother. (I would strongly suggest that any reader first consults notes from a literature course - I found a great online set of notes -- in order to understand as much as possible from a first reading.) I like this novel better than The Sound and the Fury. But was it an enjoyable read? No, in the sense that it was hard work. And was it worth while putting in the effort? Yes, most emphatically, and there is some wonderful writing here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 7 Mar 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's been some time since reading a novel that struck me so, what with the characters so varied in age and perspective but ultimately cursed with the same limited empathy for those around them. William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying is a story about a woman, Addie Bundren, who is dying and is told through the thoughts of those that surround her; her husband, her children, her neighbours, people who liver further off and those whom meet the Bundren family as they carry the dead body of the mother and wife to its destination in Jefferson.

The story is not a savage indictment of the selfishness of people, it isn't an indictment at all. Much like previously reviewed Absalom, Absalom! the characters present the faults but they cannot be condemned for them because it's a fact that everyone has them. Perfect, then, to take a quote from that novel and place it here:

"You get born and you try this and you don't know why only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don't know why either except that the strings are all in one another's way like five or six people all trying to make a rug on the same loom only each one wants to weave his own pattern into the rug; and it can't matter, you know that, or the Ones that set up the loom would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep on trying or having to keep on trying and then all of a sudden it's all over.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived in perfect condition. I read this a while ago now ...
Arrived in perfect condition. I read this a while ago now but as I recall, having never read Faulkner before, and not knowing what to expect, I originally found it quite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by SL Riley
5.0 out of 5 stars WORDS FAIL TO DO THIS BOOK JUSTICE!!!!!
AS I LAY DYING

This novel, in a nutshell, is the story of the Brunsden family's somewhat epic journey across the famed and mystical Mississippi countryside in a bid to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Greggorio!
5.0 out of 5 stars Southern Gothic Modernism - unique
First published in 1930, As I lay Dying has all the hallmarks of modernist literature including interior monologue, multiple viewpoints and stream of consciousness. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alison Porteous
5.0 out of 5 stars I hope this book is not too depressing
I really like biographies and I am looking forward to this one hoping is not going to be too depresssing. I love Faulkner so it must be good!
Published 3 months ago by lil_reviewing
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
I will admit that this is probably still my favourite Faulkner novel, and indeed what he does here is sheer genius. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Dowden
5.0 out of 5 stars Old in a very wise way
Published in 1930, As I Lay Dying is written in a language used in the southern States and is only slightly awkward for about five minutes because by then you are totally hooked. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sheila O'Hara
5.0 out of 5 stars "Seems like it aint no end to bad luck when once it starts."...
...to draw a quote from "pa," who also goes by Anse Bundren in this core novel of the oeuvre of William Faulkner. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John P. Jones III
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this
You may think me morbid but this book should be read,it gives you a different perspective on life and its end
Published 21 months ago by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkness on the edge of Town!
This is a classic of American Literature, a novel that I wouldn't have read had it not been chosen by our book club. Read more
Published on 8 April 2012 by Cassander
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Comedy and Psychological Realism, May 14, 2000
[NOTE: I am reissuing my Amazon.com reviews on Amazon.co.uk. This review was originally published on Amazon. Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2012 by Mike London
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