As I Lay Dying

This week, I read "As I Lay Dying."

Here's what Amazon has to say about it:
Faulkner's distinctive narrative structures--the uses of multiple points of view and the inner psychological voices of the characters--in one of its most successful incarnations here in As I Lay Dying. In the story, the members of the Bundren family must take the body of Addie, matriarch of the family, to the town where Addie wanted to be buried. Along the way, we listen to each of the members on the macabre pilgrimage, while Faulkner heaps upon them various flavors of disaster. Contains the famous chapter completing the equation about mothers and fish--you'll see.
As I've said before, I was daunted by thoughts of William Faulkner - having heard all my life about how 'hard' he is....

But I enjoyed (and I have to say enjoyed is not a strong enough word) 'The Sound and The Fury' so much I have decided to read everysinglewordthemaneverwrote.


That's right, y'all, I've become a TOTAL Faulkner fangirl.

But back to As I Lay Dying....

I don't know what I was expecting but I can definitively tell you I was not expecting what I got and the only words I can think to describe it are "Hillbilly Clusterfuck". 

I'm not sure if I would have identified so strongly with this if I hadn't grown up around these people, but I did.  I understand the way they talk and the way they think.  It was so deeply familiar to me.  And I'm sure I'm not alone.  We've all known people upon whom bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.

As I read this I just kept thinking "Oh, they're NOT doing what I think they're gonna do?  Are they?  Oh my goodness, they ARE!"  In one moment I was crying, in the next laughing and in another wide eyed in terror and awe.

That's a lot packed into a little book.

If you haven't read Faulkner but think you might want to start, I'll recommend this to you.  It's certainly more accessible than "The Sound and The Fury".

And if you have read it, I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Oddly enough, had you asked me if I'd read Faulkner I would of said "of course"! I was an English major. I've read EVERYONE.

    So off I go to google all of Falkner's works to see what exactly I did read. And I don't think I've read a single thing! Can you imagine? I'm familiar with The Sound & The Fury, but I don't believe I've read it. That's embarrassing :(

    You've sold me on the idea of this book though. I'm adding it to my Goodreads. This is the 3rd I've added at your suggestion. Now, if only I could stand still long enough to start reading!

  2. I recall reading a short story or two but really hated them at the time. Which is why I was pleasantly and delightfully surprised when I watched the movie "The Long, Hot Summer" with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Orson Welles. It's based on a Faulkner novel. It's wonderful. Paul Newman is at his hottest, too. Lucky Joanne!

  3. I am thinking that I would not have appreciated Faulkner as a younger person, but right now I'm enthralled with him. Next up, I'm reading "Light in August" followed by "Absolom, Absolom".


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