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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
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As I Lay Dying (original 1930; edition 1991)

by William Faulkner

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8,950110332 (3.9)407
Member:Dr.Creps
Title:As I Lay Dying
Authors:William Faulkner
Info:Vintage (1991), Edition: 1rst.VINTAGE INTERNATIONAL EDITION, Paperback, 267 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:American Literature

Work details

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)

  1. 51
    The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (2below)
    2below: Both involve complicated characters (some might say messed up), crazy mishaps, and fascinating unstable and unreliable narratives. Also excellent examples of Modernist fiction.
  2. 30
    Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor (joririchardson)
  3. 10
    Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Getting Mother's Body is a reimagining of As I Lay Dying through a different culture's point of view.
  4. 10
    A Death in the Family by James Agee (goodwinter)
  5. 10
    The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (SanctiSpiritus)
  6. 00
    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (LottaBerling)
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» See also 407 mentions

English (105)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
This story features the Bundren family. Addie, the mother, passes away in her home, & the remainder of the story is the saga of the 9 DAYS it took her husband & children to cart her from their home in the mountains to the fictional town of Jefferson, where she wanted to be buried with "her people". Remember, back in these times, there was no such thing as embalming for the poor class of families.....we hear in turn from family friends Vernon & Clara Tull, as well as from Addie's children, one of whom goes crazy on the trip & is himself in turn carted off to a mental institution. There are horrendous mishaps, from the overturning of the family wagon & the drowning of the 2 mule team in floodwaters where they tried to ford the river, to the none too smart father who tries to steady his son's broken leg by using quick set cement!!!! Like the other works by Faulkner I've read, this is a page turner, only in this case, as the litany of woe goes on, it's more like the scene of a train wreck or a bad crash on the highway. You don't WANT to look, but you can't help yourself ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
I was pleasantly surprised by [b:As I Lay Dying|77013|As I Lay Dying|William Faulkner|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1330831182s/77013.jpg|481854]. I've always thought I was a firm believer in the Hemingway school of "less is more" and "rambling is bad," so when I began the stream-of-consciousness, flowing, sprawling, time paradox that is As I Lay Dying, I was a bit daunted. However, I quickly realized that the interiority generated by the writing style really makes the book great. We're so invested and entangled in the narrators' words that when we finally pull back and see the Bundren family through the eyes of an outsider, we're not only disgusted with the family, but with ourselves. I wasn't expecting to be disturbed by this novel, but I was, and I loved every minute of it. ( )
  stephaniesanders | Mar 21, 2014 |
I must admit, I was totally surprised by what a good read my first Faulkner was! This novel left me drained but wanting more. Very impressed how each character displays grief, some understanding and others without sense. Only part I did not care for was the ending or last few chapters, leaving the story sort of hanging to me, guess that is why I did not want it to end yet. ( )
  pgturner | Mar 16, 2014 |
This is a major American work. The characters live on the pages, if they did not actually live near Jackson.
The language uses few words from characters with little or no literary/language training. Faulkner at no time devalues them as people but he takes an unflinching view of their lives. This is a moody landscape during hard times. He gives the characters no excuses for their actions.
Having recently walked the grounds of his home, Rowan Oak, and walked through his home, the moods can still be felt. He left not only the scribbling on his bedroom wall of an outline and phone numbers in pencil on the wall near the phone in his kitchen, but a quiet. He listened to stories and the mode of speaking with care.
A lady was visiting there and recalling speaking to him in the local grocery. I think that he would like that a little girl remembered meeting him at the store. The people in the area and the University know him well even now. ( )
  IndyTaz | Mar 11, 2014 |
2005, Random House Audio,
Read by Marc Cashman, Lina Patel, Robertson Dean, Lorna Raver

“… words dont ever fit even what they are trying to say at … motherhood was invented by someone who had to have a word for it because the ones that had the children didn’t care whether there was a word for it or not.”

Addie Bundren has died. Her eldest son, Cash, builds her coffin as her husband, Anse, and her remaining children, Darl, Jewel, Dewey Dell, and Vardaman, prepare to travel to Jefferson where she will be laid to rest with “her people.” Addie has extracted this promise from Anse, and although it is pure madness to undertake such a journey with a corpse in the oppressive Southern heat, Anse is determined – his steadfastness more a measure of headstrong orneriness than love or honour. Not unpredictably, the journey is ill-fated from the start; a washed-out bridge sets the family struggling against the forces of nature and Cash’s ensuing injuries. Precious time is lost, the corpse is decomposing, and Vardaman is counting buzzards …

Written in stream of consciousness, As I Lay Dying is presented by fifteen narrators in fifty-nine eponymous chapters; interestingly, Addie narrates a chapter, too. Thus the experience of the story is emotional as well as physical, intimately first-hand, with characters developed gradually, though none the less richly. While I am not particularly inclined to the stream of consciousness style, its purpose here is wonderfully effective. And Faulkner’s South is, of course, is not only believable, but visible and tangible. This Random House Audio edition, brilliantly read in Southern dialect and in the vernacular speech of the uneducated Bundrens, is uber-impressive: more a performance than narration.

Highly recommended.

“It’s Cash and Jewel and Vardaman and Dewey Dell,” pa says, kind of hangdog and proud too, with his teeth and all, even if he wouldn’t look at us. “Meet Mrs Bundren,” he says. ( )
4 vote lit_chick | Mar 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Faulknerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Hal Smith
First words
Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file.
Quotations
"She's a-going," he says. "Her mind is set on it."
Sometimes I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.
My mother is a fish.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067973225X, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

At the heart of this 1930 novel is the Bundren family's bizarre journey to Jefferson to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Faulkner lets each family member--including Addie--and others along the way tell their private responses to Addie's life. As I Lay Dying is the harrowing, darkly comic tale of the Bundren family's trek across Mississippi to bury Addie, their wife and mother, as told by each of the family members--including Addie herself.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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