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Light In August (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 Oct 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099283158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099283157
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Burns throughout with a fierce indignation against cruelty, stupidity and prejudice - a great book" (Spectator)

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

"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" (Harold Bloom)

"Magisterial" (Independent)

Book Description

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 16 April 2001
Format: Paperback
This a Faulkner's major work which could be considered as one of the best American novels of the 1930s. On its surface, Light in August seems to be a chaotic narrative of life in the deep South after Reconstruction. However, such a chaos mirrors the chaos of a whole society unable to cope with the shadow of racism. For it is racism, the very truth behind racism, what Faulkner explores in this novel.
Behind the violence and confusion of Faulkner's narrative, there is a glance into the very core of human condition. Faulkner shows how we are, our fears, our secret dreams, our prejudices. Although, Faulkner's style is complex, the reading of "Light in August" is utterly rewarding.
This book represents the best introduction to Faulkner's novels and to the history of the deep South. Anyone interested in American literature should read it.
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Format: Paperback
Here we aint been coming from Alabama but two months, and now it's already Tennessee." A memorable line, from a most memorable character, Lena Grove, who is one of several finely developed characters in this literary masterpiece by William Faulkner. I've read most of his novels, and am in the process of re-reading some that were first read some, gulp, 40 years ago, like this one. Reviews have been posted of The Unvanquished, Intruder in the Dust, The Sound and the Fury, and "Soldier's Pay". Of all his major works, this is the most accessible, while at the same time addressing several of the major themes of great literature. It is quintessential Faulkner, set in the ever-so-well described fictional Yoknapatawpha County, with its county seat of Jefferson (based on Oxford, Mississippi). There seems to be the right amount of major and minor characters, some appearing in other works, who move back and forth across the landscape. Likewise, the author moves back and forth in time, and shifts the perspective among his characters, yet he quickly orientates the reader to the new setting and characters. Faulkner maintains a strong element of dramatic tension; I found the novel to be literally a "page-turner," as I sought to determine how he would resolve the numerous conflicts and dilemmas that he developed.

Joe Christmas is one of the great characters in American literature, as he personifies "The American Dilemma," wrought by its "original sin," slavery. Who is he, really?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of those books which society and culture have overlooked for a while. Very tricky subject matter for Americans to engage with so I don't suppose that they have been keen to export it. Being black and alienated because you are not quite black enough is an odd topic. The narrative is very sharply written, brisk and well described.
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Format: Paperback
Facing possible death, a character in a novel I read recently (possibly Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Freedom’) ponders some of the things left undone in their life. One of these is the question, ‘Is Faulkner any good?’ After reading four of Faulkner’s earlier novels, it was a question I didn’t feel I had an answer to, but that has changed after reading ‘Light in August’. Although the book pivots around a woman’s death, this is not a crime novel; or rather it is, but told in Faulkner’s inimitable way. Set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the story follows several characters – a young, single pregnant woman; a labourer at a saw mill; a former Church minister; a middle-aged Yankee woman; a young labourer cum bootlegger named Joe Christmas, to mention a few – and jumps back and forth in time, sometimes covering the same events from different view points. Though Christmas’s story could be said to be at the heart of the novel, the book’s strength lies in the way other stories, and thus other lives, intersect with Christmas’s own. In the end, what we have is less a novel about a supposed crime than a portrait of a society, and one from which it is possible to understand the nature of and responses to that crime. Many of Faulkner’s trademarks are here, such as his concern with race, miscegenation, patriarchy and Puritanism, and how these are interwoven with bigotry, discrimination, violence and a concern with honour and reputation. Also present are those habits that can put readers off: the piling up of adjectives; a certain evasiveness in the writing of key plot events; and passages that are sometimes simply baffling.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Faulkner novel has all the character types and the odour of the deep south of America that might be expected. The narrative not only holds the reader's attention, it draws him/her in. Little quirks of pronunciation of the English language are not obtrusive. The Modern Library hardback is nicely produced with readable typeface, good quality paper and binding.
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