Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flawed but brilliant, 5 April 2007
This review is from: Lie Down In Darkness (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
First novels are always interesting I think, and this is no exception. The prose is meandering and beautiful, though always well pitched. Styron is a master of the written word and hits exactly the right note again and again.

Arguably, some of the devices used to paint a picture of the Loftis family are manipulative and simplistic. One of Loftis and Helen's daughters, Maudie, is simple minded and she is therefore an ideal canditate for the love Helen who is religious, doting and a martyr. Then there is Peyton. Maudie's polar opposite, beautiful, precocious and challenging, she inspires the love of her weak, flawed and complex father and the hatred of her mother. In a union of two such divergent characters, it would be amazing if there wasn't conflict in the event of such contrasting offspring and the use of such extremes is not subtle. However, Styron fully makes up for this with the complexity of his characterisation and the use of lots of subtle detail. The genius is that Styron himself never takes the moral highground. The reader must be the judge.

In the last section we are given a stream of consciousness narration by Peyton of her last hours before suicide. It is some of the most beautiful and haunting prose I have read, and it is the believable product of a terminally damaged mind. Her obsession with such details as a clock and the birds that seem to be following her around are rendered in disturbing and believable detail. There are obvious nods to the characters of Quentin and Cady in The Sound and the Fury and it is hard not to see this novel as unashamedly derivative. Rather than being a criticism, I would say that in Lie Down in Darkness pays beautiful hommage to Faulkner and at times he even surpasses him. Though this lacks the taughtness and polish of his later novels, I think it is his masterpiece.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars desperate and abysmal, 7 Nov 2005
By 
stephen j smith (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lie Down in Darkness (Hardcover)
Incredibly well written; anguish and pitiful, futile and petty people in this claustrophic record of the history of a family disaster.
Told with love and bitterness this is an unhappy story. Not for the overly optimistic. Styron has a gift for spreading characters out, showing their best, worst and mundane moments. An intimate relationship where too much faith is likely to be punished.
The whole world crushed into one house (or crushed out). Original and expert.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Lie Down In Darkness (Vintage Classics)
Lie Down In Darkness (Vintage Classics) by William Styron (Paperback - 3 Aug 2000)
£9.99
Usually dispatched within 1 to 4 weeks
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews