"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.