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Absalom, Absalom! (1936)

by William Faulkner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,9411001,113 (4.12)358
The story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him."
  1. 50
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  2. 10
    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (ateolf)
  3. 10
    Lyric of the Circle Heart: The Bowman Family Trilogy (American Literature Series) by William Eastlake (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Set in Navajo country, Eastlake's western trilogy shares a lot with Faulkner's mythopoeic Yoknapatawpha. With a taste of Kesey's lunacy. It's good, real friggin'good.
  4. 03
    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (WSB7)
    WSB7: Contrasting tragedies of brothers "bonding" with unknown half-brothers.
  5. 25
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (ateolf)
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» See also 358 mentions

English (83)  French (6)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I never read Faulkner before. I hear this is his masterpiece and it's really something. Wow. Recommend. (And this is why I don't write book reviews. "I liked it! It was really good!"). It's an allegory about the south and the Civil War and it's cemented my feeling that the best way for me to learn history is through novels. You're going to have to settle for a biased POV, and I'd rather it be a novelist's than a politician's. ( )
  jdegagne | Apr 23, 2022 |
Incredibly dense, convoluted, and penetrating. I see now why for the generation in which he wrote, as a southern writer Faulkner had myriad ghosts to choose from to write about. Great descriptions and a strong sense of place there is no way any one could be so direct. His insights were numerous but blacks and ex-slaves were mostly secondary or only part of his stories. ( )
  JBreedlove | Feb 18, 2022 |
Finally, I finish a Faulkner with comprehension ( )
  nhbriguy | Feb 8, 2022 |
I didn't exactly enjoy this book, though there were parts that were enjoyable. I read it because it is supposedly Faulkner's best and the (https://thegreatestbooks.org/lists/33) best Southern novel of all time. I got to the point where reading it made me question what a novel is, what makes a novel good or even great. I don't think this novel was great. It was interesting, and a few of the more fragmentary flights of fancy (look for the parentheses to find these) were awe-inspiring in both a good and bad way. I laughed out loud more than once, due to just how inscrutable that language was. There are a limited number of places where I would describe the writing as beautiful.

Quotes for consideration:
"the old mindless sentient undreaming meat that doesn’t even know any difference between despair and victory"..."nothing matters except that there is the old mindless meat that dont even care if it was defeat or victory, that wont even die, that will be out in the woods and fields, grubbing up roots and weeds"

I'm glad I read it. I recommend it to anyone seriously pursuing Southern literature.

Note: the "n word" appears in this book.

Characters:
Thomas Sutpen
Ellen Coldfield Sutpen
Henry Sutpen
Judith Sutpen
Clytemnestra Sutpen
Charles Bon, his mother (Eulalia), his son (Jim Bond)
Quentin Compson, his father (Jason), his grandfather (General Compson)
Shreve McCannon
Wash Jones, his granddaughter (Milly)
Miss Rosa Coldfield
Goodhue Coldfield (now that is a Southern name) ( )
  stevenpkent | Nov 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
A poll of well over a hundred writers and critics, taken a few years back by Oxford American magazine, named William Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!” the “greatest Southern novel ever written,” by a decisive margin
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Faulkner, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kandinsky, WolframNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From a little after two oclock until almost sundown of the long still hot weary dead September afternoon they sat in what Miss Coldfield still called the office because her father had called it that—a dim hot airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three summers because when she was a girl someone had believed that light and moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) became latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the scaling blinds as wind might have blown them.
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"Why do you hate the South?"
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The story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him."

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