Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golf Ball as a Symbol of Circles Within Circles
Before commenting on the content and value of the book, let me warn that this is one of the most difficult to understand and appreciate of all American novels. Several factors combine to create that difficulty. First, one of the narrators is a person with mental deficiencies. Second, the first section uses an unusual flashback technique that cannot be understood very...
Published on 18 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is better than the Novel
I wanted to read the novel for two reasons: first, it was ranked No.6 in the "100 Best Books" list recently published by Random House; and second because, like Faulkner who was raised in Mississippi in the first quarter of this century, I was raised there in the second quarter, and was anxious to know how Faulkner treated with the condition of the rural...
Published on 24 Aug 1998


Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golf Ball as a Symbol of Circles Within Circles, 18 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
Before commenting on the content and value of the book, let me warn that this is one of the most difficult to understand and appreciate of all American novels. Several factors combine to create that difficulty. First, one of the narrators is a person with mental deficiencies. Second, the first section uses an unusual flashback technique that cannot be understood very clearly until you have read the whole book (perhaps more than once). Third, Faulkner is sparing in his clues of how the stories weave together. You have to watch carefully for them. Fourth, the sensibilities of the day meant that much is implied rather than stated overtly. But you have to understand what those hints are about, or you miss the story. Finally, there is much dense Southern black dialect here that requires slow reading to capture the sense of. Fifth, the interior dialogues are interspaced with external dialogues . . . which can create confusion. Sixth, there is a lot of crude stream of consciousness material here, but it will not enchant you as Joyce's or Proust's will. Seventh, the book is heavy with unusual symbolism that is easy to miss. Eighth, the center of the story is often drawn in by looking at the edges rather than looking directly at the center.
So if you like a challenge (like extremely complex puzzles), you will love The Sound and The Fury. If you like your fiction more straightforward, you are going to wonder where you are at times. If you like new experiences in your reading, you will find the book very rewarding.
You will meet three generations of Compsons in this novel, along with their servants, friends, and coworkers. Each Compson is experiencing perceptual disconnections that make them ineffectively connected to reality. But each is different in their dysfunction. You will move inside the minds of three of them to experience those perceptions for yourself. It will not be pleasant. All of this occurs against the backdrop of a precipitous drop in economic and social status in a small community where status is very important.
If you are like me, you will find the beauty of this story in its structure, symbolism, and the character of Dilsey, the family's servant.
The structure allows the reader to discern the book's reality from a subjective perspective, like good art does. There's lots of raw material for judgment here, and your opinions will slowly build. There are obvious connections among the characters and the story, but these connections leave you with basic questions about what causes what. Those questions of causation are one of the strengths of the novel. Because you can start with any circumstance and move off to look for connections, and you will rejoin yourself at the same circumstance eventually. Even in our disconnectedness, we are powerfully connected is the message. I think of this book as a five dimensional puzzle: with time, space, self-interest, subjective perception, and family being the five dimensions. Pulling it all into a coherent image is a worthy task that should delight your mind.
I normally would not dwell on one symbol in a book as complex as this one, but I was very impressed by how well Faulkner boiled down his message into one tiny golf ball. I also mention this symbol here because it will also save you rereading the book at least once if you pay attention to that symbol the first time you read it, and realize that it is important. The roundness of the golf ball also gives you a hint of the book's structure at a time when that structure is totally opaque. You will be returning to variations on this symbol through several circles in the rest of the novel. I will not say any more about this ball's symbolism, because that could ruin the story for you.
Finally, Dilsey is as fine a human being as you can hope to meet in person or in any novel. She reminds me of a good family friend of ours, Cecile Antaya. Her heart is full of practical Christian charity and patience. Her support is critical to the family and to the story. A good question to ask yourself at the end is whether or not this book is really focused on Dilsey rather than on the Compsons.
The title also deserves mention. This book is far more aural than almost any other novel. Sounds reverbrate at key moments to provide critical meaning. The book often speaks without sounds, but there is much fury when the words are internal. Some of the sounds, especially Benjy's sounds, help cause the fury. You will enjoy the interplay of the story with the title.
Difficult books make us better readers. I hope you will find these challenges rewarding! After you have finished making The Sound and The Fury part of yourself, I suggest that you conduct a little experiment. Take a mealtime conversation that you participated in. Write down what you remember and what you thought was going on. Then ask each of the other people to do so as well without any checking with one another. When everyone is done, compare the results and discuss those results. I think what you will find is that you have created a minor version of the communication issues in this novel. I think you will understand much more about what Faulkner was saying about perception as a result.
Build understanding by being more forgiving!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is better than the Novel, 24 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
I wanted to read the novel for two reasons: first, it was ranked No.6 in the "100 Best Books" list recently published by Random House; and second because, like Faulkner who was raised in Mississippi in the first quarter of this century, I was raised there in the second quarter, and was anxious to know how Faulkner treated with the condition of the rural South, specifically Mississippi and its people.
I found the book rewarding. The troubles of Faulkner's central characters could have applied to people anywhere , which lends to the novel the universality of a true literary work. And his treatment of the black heroine Dilsey, who remained faithful both to her own beliefs and to her decadent white employers should conjure up real nostalgia for many natives of the Old South.
Faulkner's text of The Sound and the Fury occupies less than half the pages in the book. The remainder includes Backgrounds, Appendices, Cultural and Historical Contexts, and Criticism of both Faulkner and the novel. The novel as it was originally published in 1929, without benefit of these addendum, would no doubt have lost most readers because of the disjointed and incoherent technique Faulkner used in writing the first two of the four sections of the novel.
Faulkner's Appendix, published sixteen years after the original novel, and included in this edition, sheds a great deal of light on an otherwise dark text, and if read first would enable a reader to understand at least something the first time around. Faulkner himself noted that "I should have done this(the Appendix) when I wrote the book", and recommended that it appear first in the 1946 edition. I hope it did.
Without the explanatory addendum in this edition, I wouldn't have known what Faulkner was talking about most of the time. Thanks to editor David Minter for making Faulkner's work more understandable; but I disagree with Minter when he suggests that "...the place to begin is with the novel itself..."; I recommend beginning with Faulkner's Appendix. That way you may not have to read the novel two or three times to grasp some of its meaning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars we could hear us...we could hear the dark, 12 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
this is one of my top five books. i love it. quentin is my soul-mate. although i think this is one of the most difficult books to follow, it is well worth it. the story is fascinating, and the language is beyond brilliant. read it. you will not be sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive edition of a great American novel, 24 May 2002
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
Faulkner's Sound and the Fury is one of the finest North American novels, up there with the best work of Melville, James and Twain. Faulkner captures the decline of the old southern way of life in the 1920s, creating a drama of static values as the Compson family struggle with their identities and social roles in a changing society. Narrated from the points of view of the three Compson brothers before a third person narrator brings it all together, Sound and the Fury is no easy read but its technical complexities serve to convey the confusion, fear and pain of its characters. The events of easter weekend 1928 see the family's history finally catching up with them. The mentally handicapped Benjy is the first narrator and his fractured logic and non-linear conception of time mean require some work from the reader. We then go back a few years to the last day of his brother Quentin's life. His descricptions of his last day are interrupted by unconscious thoughts. It's unsettling and confusing but work at it and you'll begin to piece together the events. The final two sections, with the insensitive Jason and then a detached narrator help bring things together but you really need to go back and reread the first two sections at least before comprehending the whole story. The more you delve into it, the more you get. It's difficult but deeply rewarding and powerful. The breakdown of the family relationships, the glimmer of hope in the visit by Benjy and the black housekeeper to the baptist church, and the representation of voices traditionally ignored in literature make Sound and the Fury quite an experience.
This Norton critical edition contains the definitive text and has useful footnotes for the American consumerist and cultural references, or the numerous biblical allusions. It also has a collection of excellent commentary and critical material. We get some of Faulkner's own letters and speeches aswell as a family history of the Compsons which is useful for this novel as well as the later works such as Absalom Absalom which revisit some of the Compsons. The backgrounds section provides insights into Southern history and culture while the wealth of critical essays cover a wide range of Faulknerian scholarship. There's classic material from Irving Howe and Cleanth Brooks, excellent essays on the role of Caddy, the sister who is at the centre of the novel yet remains somewhat enigmatic, psychoanalytic approaches, racial issues and discussions of Faulkner's narrative strategies. Several of these proved indispensible in the writing of my Honours English Dissertation and should help anyone wishing to get to grips with the novel.
A great novel, exceptionally presented in this Norton Edition.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Purchase!, 2 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
Excellent purchase, arrived quickly and in great condition. Norton editions never fail to provide everything you need about a book! Thank you!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Signifying ..., 30 Sep 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
SAFE READING - NO SPOILERS

Norton Critical Editions are excellent publications and a wonderful series for any students, covering plays and novels. There is a typical format - text first, notes, etc afterwards.

After a brief editor's note, there is the text, two-hundred pages. It is a challenging text but for details see other reviews.

The text is followed by detailed notes on Faulkner's and other backgrounds, Cultural and Historical Contexts, and a lengthy (two-hundred pages) critical section including a wide range of critics. It is "only" a paperback but it is well produced and solidly glued. For the serious student of Advanced Level or above, this is an essential for Faulkner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A great format and aid for a sometimes obscure book, 29 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
The Sound and the Fury, which I just had to read for school, is a daunting novel to a first time reader. Its stream-of-consciousness style, random chronology, and unusual format makes it difficult to understand the first time around. However, this Norton critical edition is an immense help, as it includes an appendix, notes from the author, essays, and critical reviews on the novel. These greatly help a confused reader to understand the plot and keep reading. The critical reviews and essays are a fascinating read after finishing the book, as they provide new and interesting insights. This book is a tremendous help to unlock an amazing and brilliant book, which might scare people off without the help. Its like an authoritative, intelligent, thorough cliff's notes included at the end of the book. The novel itself is not tampered with, the essays and appendices are additional after the end of the novel. highly highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Reflections on the Compson Family and Faulkner's South, 31 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Step into the dark side of mint juleps and magnolias. The Sound and the Fury is one of the best Faulkner novels. He touches on many prominent themes in Southern literature, and the essays and guides provided here will help you to gain even more insight into this magnificent, multi-layered work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Rise and Fall of the Compson Family, 24 Mar 1998
By A Customer
The Compson Family is the butterfly from a tragic cocoon. It all develops in time periods, true to Faulkners style, leaving the reader marvelling at the precision of characterization. Caddy, Candace by mother, uses beauty to act on her rebellion leaving Benjy in a whirlwind trying to understand his own identity. Dilsey, the Compson's black servant, has a foothold on the family's peculiarities shaping Jason's suspicious talkings. Unpredictably present is Quentin, Faulkners' troubled, lovable, but manipulative character. Faulkner navigates his characters in a sea of unknowingness only to surface people of true human nature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions)
The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) by David Minter (Paperback - 16 Feb 1994)
11.64
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews