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The Sound And The Fury (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 19 Jan 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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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: 978-0099475019
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I wish I had studied this one at high school, its themes are so diverse and details so richly laid down. It isn't a tough book to follow if taken in over a short space of time; don't be put off by reviews that focus on complexity, Faulkner's words are never difficult to follow and the story is wonderfully human. The first chapter seems obscure on first reading and warrants a quick re-read once you're finished with the last, it is only 60 pages in length which means you're not given time to tire of the world the first narrator inhabits. By the third chapter, more becomes apparent and the story starts to make sense- I would look up a list of characters at some point, sparknotes.com or similar, to make things easier!

This edition is nicely printed, with a suitably concise introduction. Well recommended!
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By A Customer on 9 April 2005
Format: Paperback
"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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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Aug. 2004
Format: 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.
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