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The Sound And The Fury (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

William Faulkner
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Jan 1995 Vintage Classics

With an introduction by Richard Hughes

Ever since the first furore was created on its publication in 1929, The Sound and the Fury has been considered one of the key novels of this century. Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives, The Sound and the Fury explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness. At its heart this is a novel about lovelessness - 'only an idiot has no grief; only a fool would forget it. What else is there in this world sharp enough to stick to your guts?'

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (19 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099475014
  • ISBN-13: 978-8129109248
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"One of the most important works of American literature this century" (Observer)

"Faulkner has inexhaustible invention, powerful imagination, and he writes like an angel" (Arnold Bennett)

"For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterisation, humour and tragic intensity [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country" (Robert Penn Warren)

"Its unlike anything else in literature... The experience of reading it seemed closer to the experience of life than anything provided by a neatly contrived story line... After the war I read all I could of William Faulkner, and he continued to present some unique and, it seemed to me, valid way of looking at life" (Nicholas Mosley Guardian)

"Not only was the book a kind of beginning for me, but that it endured still, it moved me deeply and remains "the damndest book I ever read"" (Niall Williams Sunday Times)

Book Description

A towering, intense novel of family from the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literarture.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging book that's worth the effort 31 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Not for the beach, this one. But certainly worth ploughing through if you want to stretch your brain and think about life and death and consciousness. Most people will dismiss this book in the first few pages - it is notoriously difficult to get to grips with, and actually requires two readings before it starts to make any sense. But, as a reflection on the incomprehensible nature of life, that's not bad. Most of us make little or no sense of our three score years and ten; in relative terms The Sound & the Fury is a breeze! This is a tragic story, and all the more so for the choked narrative voice of the dead. The repression in these pages is countered by the rebellious and almost unpunctuated text, and the contrast is stunning. It soon dawns on you - as a reader who is impatient at the challenge to traditional literature - that we're all victims of a man-made environment, and by social mores that cripple and destroy our souls. Faulkner's novel is not, by any stretch, the most enjoyable or entertaining that you will ever read. But it is certainly one of the most brave, and I would recommend it highly if you want to confront your own demons.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid Preconceptions 1 Dec 2002
Faulkner is often regarded as a "difficult" novelist, and this book is indeed a densely dilineated, complex tome. It is also, however, incredibly straighforward. It is one of those texts that you just have to go with. Too many readers approach this book with trepidation, because they have been told they are not going to understand it. Turn loose of your preconceptions about fiction and about narrative, and you will be amply rewarded.
Faulkner, along with Joyce, was a master of stream-of-consciousness narrative, and this is his masterpiece in that regard. To appreciate such a technique, you must as the Beatles exhorted, "turn off your mind, relax and go downstream." Go with the flow, no matter you noxious that sounds these days. If you let yourself think for a while as Benjie does, the whole patchwork makes perfect sense.
This is a family novel, more than anything else, but it is obviously not about the Waltons. Faulkner made a career out of delineating the disfunction of not only Southern families, but of the South itself in the era following its ignominious Civil War defeat and surrender . The whole social structure broke down from within, and though no apologist, Faulkner was enough of a realist to depict the society in all its infirm decline.
Southern revisionists can come along and deny its accuracy, but for a true picture of ther region in the first half of the 20th century, Faulkner is more accurate than any social historian.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure genius 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This book revolutionized the way I looked at writing. The idea of writing some of the chapters from the point of view of a person who cannot even speak and who is about on the brain level of a baby is absolutely brilliant to me, as is the fact that Caddy's voice is never clearly known; instead, only her brothers, Benjy, Quentin, and Jason lead the narrations, opening up the forum for so many possibilities of who Caddy really is and what the nature of her sexuality is as it moves from her to her daughter Quentin. The idea of Benjy, running up and down the fence screaming for Caddy, will be with me for the rest of my life and will creep in every time I try to write a page of my own. The title is one of the most perfect I've ever encountered, taken, of course, from Shakespeare: "Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The structure of loss 9 April 2005
"The sound and the Fury" is difficult. It can be confusing. Many essays are devoted to whether the difficulty is justified, but it is important to remember that it was not Faulkner's intention for this book to be difficult.
When interviewed about this book he explained the book's structure in terms of his attempt to try to capture Caddy's story without removing the intensity and bile from its telling by reducing her to explaining herself. This is why there are four narrative voices, each time Faulkner tried a different voice to tell his tale, and each time in his own words "failed". This is not a reflection of the skills of Faulkner as an author - the book is exceptionally well written, but rather probably has its roots in the reductive nature of language, which Faulkner found failed to capture the image he wished to pen. An appendix was added to the book in later editions and Faulkner suggested that this should be read first, as it explains the plot, the four narratives then serve to elucidate and add colour to the bare facts provided in this short "obituary" as Faulkner termed it.
Returning to the book. This is, i feel, Faulkner's most ambitious novel, and if he claimed to have failed in his telling of it, it does not show, this book is emotionally draining and moving in not only the story that is unveils, but also in the manner of its unveiling. There must be few who can fail to be moved by the pithy second narration, with its disjointed syntax which tells of its own despair, or not feel pity in the simplicity of the first.
thematically, this book is huge, covering sin, death, love, greed, envy, power.... life!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fine. Take a bow. Great condition and on time.
Published 15 days ago by john Mazzella
1.0 out of 5 stars Obscure, confused and lost for all time
What ever William Faulker was trying to communicate, has become totaly lost in the obscure format and out-dated language. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Richard J. George
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
It is a tragedy that Faulkner is not read more widely these days; there really ought to be no need, by now, to explain why his books deserve to be read by all who love great... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brooklyn Bridge
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book
although written in the 1920s this is a very modern style novel. Faulkner is a creative and compelling writer, able to conjure up the raw life style of people in the deep south of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by lizzie
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult Reading
I bought this book because I like American novels but hadn't read Faulkner before. I found it a difficult read and I don't know whether I like it or not at the moment. Read more
Published 7 months ago by CB
5.0 out of 5 stars A+++++
Great condition and arrived safe and sound. Haven't read it yet. I will read it. I am sure it will be great.
Published 8 months ago by icanshout
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece...
...which brings a new meaning to the word "masterpiece" itself! This is one of those books which makes you feel "I already miss it" when you reach the end. Read more
Published 10 months ago by N. Spano
3.0 out of 5 stars I would have put this down, had it not been necessary to read it.
I am in my third year of studying English Literature at university. This novel is on my reading list. 'The Sound and the Fury' was, for me, a bit too "high art" for my liking. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - though challenging at the start
The opening of the book is challenging, and I think most readers will have to struggle through it. But persevere, because the book becomes more friendly and easier to follow from... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by Mr Witters
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful - this work has got The South a bad name
I must be odd or poorly-educated (or both) for I cannot for the life of me see how William Faulkner could have won on merit a Nobel Prize for literature nor two Pulitzer Prizes. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2011 by Geoffrey Woollard
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