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As I Lay Dying (1930)

by William Faulkner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,016188346 (3.89)1 / 582
One of William Faulkner's finest novels, "As I lay dying" was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner's imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark.… (more)
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    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.
  3. 30
    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.
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» See also 582 mentions

English (176)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (187)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
I made a video review, minor spoilers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R0KVf-1E8U&t=20s

TL;DW: Depressing & good. ( )
  icedtati | Sep 7, 2021 |
This was actually the 1990 hardback Vintage International edition, but I could not find that edition in Goodreads' databases. Originally published by Harrison Smith on October 6, 1930 (per the endnotes), the story of the Bundren family's trek across the Mississippi countryside to bury their wife and mother Addie, the second William Faulkner (1897-1962) novel is said to be one of his more accessible. I found it a little difficult to follow all the points of view and the dialect, but it is a good but often sad novel of dark humor that reads very quickly with a few surprises. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
I did love this book. Love may be the wrong word, as I was enthralled by it as much as I was sickened by the madness and destitution of those characters’ lives.

What are the bones of our humanity? I am talking about the frame of emotions and feelings of our being, and that if we had to bare all that was not the most essential in ourselves, what would be left in that skeleton of humanity? I think that what is left is very hard and ugly: hate, disdain, disgust, incest, isolation, avarice, betrayal, self-rightness… Because love, dignity, caring and goodness are all part of the flesh that needs the cling to something to be.

All right, I am getting very philosophical here and I don’t even know if I am making sense.

One more thing though, I listened to “As I Lay Dying” in audio. I thought I was crazy to even give it a try, but the narration by different voices suited the long stream-of-consciousness monologues. I think it added greatly to the experience of the book.
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Goofy, goofy story. Always love Faulkner! The many narrators thing is really not a big deal. I think I discovered a hidden joke throughout the book, where they quote the bible and then do the opposite, or the opposite happens right then. ( )
  EugenioNegro | Mar 17, 2021 |

I read this as part of a Master Fiction text that I’m reading. This was the assigned novel to demonstrate the use of rotating first person point of view.

A simple story of a family delivering their mother/wife to her ancestral home for burial. Each of the family members plus many others they encounter along the way tell a piece of the story.

The multiple points of view allow us to see the members of the family (Anse, Cash, Darl, Jewel, Vardaman, Dewey Dell) from several different perspectives. It is difficult at first to get a handle on each of the characters, but by the end of this short novel, they have been conveyed brilliantly in all of their complexity.
( )
  LenJoy | Mar 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Faulknerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hess, Albertsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prins, ApieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schünemann, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Hal Smith
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Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file.
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"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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One of William Faulkner's finest novels, "As I lay dying" was originally published in 1930, and remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren's family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, it vividly brings to life Faulkner's imaginary South, one of the great invented landscapes in all of literature, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark.

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