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As I Lay Dying (1930)

by William Faulkner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,439212374 (3.88)1 / 624
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
From the Modern Library‚??s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by William Faulkner‚??also available are Snopes, The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, and Selected Short Stories

One of William Faulkner‚??s finest novels, As I Lay Dying, originally published in 1930, 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, As I Lay Dying vividly brings to life Faulkner‚??s imaginary South, one of literature‚??s great invented landscapes, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark. Along with a new Foreword by E. L. Doctorow, this edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Faulkner
… (more)
  1. 71
    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. 60
    Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor (jordantaylor)
  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.
  4. 20
    A Death in the Family by James Agee (goodwinter)
  5. 20
    The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy (SanctiSpiritus)
  6. 21
    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (LottaBerling)
  7. 00
    Pélagie: The Return to Acadie by Antonine Maillet (Serviette, Serviette)
  8. 00
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (CGlanovsky)
  9. 01
    Death Is Hard Work by KhaŐĄlid KhaliŐĄfah (Othemts)
1930s (92)
Reiny (6)
scav (13)
AP Lit (283)
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» See also 624 mentions

English (198)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
Just read it again from an author's perspective. An amazing, mind-boggling work, and the iconic Point of View and first person lesson for all authors. Faulkner exhibits myriad different characters all with their unique voices and POVs on a shared experience. ( )
  Domenick.Venezia | Aug 20, 2023 |
Overrated rubbish. ( )
  LynnMPK | Jul 3, 2023 |
Faulkner is brilliant because he's a dangerous and mysterious writer - you can see the big themes bubble up subtle and slow from the language in his work. It wasn't until I was close to the end of the book that I realized that Cash is a Christ figure much like Thomas Sutpen represents (a Miltonian) Satan in "Absalom, Absalom". But Faulkner doesn't try to overwhelm with these themes - rather it's his language and the kaleidascopic chaos of his vision that renders truth about nature and humanity. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
The impoverished and somewhat mule-headed farmer Anse Bundren has promised his wife Addie that she can be buried in Jefferson, where her family comes from. But that's several days' wagon journey away, even when the rivers aren't in flood. Anse and his children set out nonetheless, coping with dangerous fords, burning barns, untreated injuries, and a whole host of other personal difficulties along the way.

The text switches around between the viewpoints of all the family members (including the deceased Addie) and a number of outsiders, each with their own distinctive style. It's often hard to follow what's going on and how people are connected to each other, and the language of some of the speakers is so deep in eccentricities of dialect that you have to read it three or four times, but despite that it's beautiful and strange and often deeply shocking.

Faulkner was obviously showing off when he wrote this (he later claimed ‚ÄĒ falsely ‚ÄĒ to have written it in six weeks without any revisions at all along the way), but you can't help being drawn in by most of his characters, appalling as they are, and sympathising with their problems. Good stuff, in small doses. ( )
  thorold | Apr 5, 2023 |
A somewhat tragic, yet at it's core, simple story, complicated by it's method of storytelling. I found that I was not nearly as enraptured by Faulkner's storytelling with this book, as I was when I read The Sound and the Fury years and years ago. I appreciated the artistry of it, but didn't find the story to be all that compelling, nor the characters to be all that interesting. ( )
  quickmind | Mar 15, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 198 (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
Sch√ľnemann, 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.
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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Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
From the Modern Library‚??s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by William Faulkner‚??also available are Snopes, The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, and Selected Short Stories

One of William Faulkner‚??s finest novels, As I Lay Dying, originally published in 1930, 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, As I Lay Dying vividly brings to life Faulkner‚??s imaginary South, one of literature‚??s great invented landscapes, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark. Along with a new Foreword by E. L. Doctorow, this edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Faulkner

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