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The Sound and the Fury (1929)

by William Faulkner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,158174286 (3.97)2 / 719
The story of the tragic Caddy Compson, as seen through the eyes of her three brothers--the idiot Benjy, the neurotic Quentin, and the monstrous Jason.
  1. 30
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
  2. 20
    Beloved by Toni Morrison (Laura1124)
  3. 21
    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: A sci-fi romp through--intentionally so--much of the same territory.
  4. 67
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (AdonisGuilfoyle)
    AdonisGuilfoyle: The similarities are not obvious, but both stories contain the gothic destruction of two families. That, and there are two Quentins in Faulkner's novel to match the confusion of Cathys in 'Wuthering Heights', and Jason Compson is almost as cruel and twisted as Heathcliff. Enjoy!… (more)
1920s (4)
My TBR (8)
Romans (33)

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English (157)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (2)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (173)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
A broad range of styles are used to tell the story. Some times the writing is simple and beautiful, other times it's obscure and unintelligible. I found it more readable than Absalom, Absalom!, but it lacked the sympathetic characters of As I Lay Dying. You spend too much time in the heads of horrible people. Still, I feel like the better parts of the novel outweigh the more difficult parts. Definitely worth reading if you're at all interested in Faulkner. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Useless, all of them
wallowing in their whiteness
too good to help out. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
For me, this was a hard read. A stream-of-consciousness book which was harder than Rimbaud and William S. Burroughs at the same time, once "cracked", gave a lot.

It's the insight into 1920s America, of children and adults and the lives and differences between the idiot and the people who are not idiots.

Still, I wouldn't be able to say I've understood this book. I think I'll have to re-read it a couple of times to fully get into it. Maybe it just wasn't my time.

On the other hand, it was my time; just like eavesdropping on a conversation that you start listening in on mid-conversation, or if the people speaking don't make much sense, it leaves you with what you pick up from it.

As Faulkner himself said of the character Benjy:

“To that idiot, time was not a continuation, it was an instant, there was no yesterday and no tomorrow, it all is this moment, it all is [now] to him. He cannot distinguish between what was last year and what will be tomorrow, he doesn’t know whether he dreamed it, or saw it.”

Despite the static discussions found in the text, the book is very rewarding, if you can get past the language barrier; Faulkner has written dialogue much in the same way as José Saramago wrote "Blindness", and that Irvine Welsh wrote "Trainspotting": it's quasi-phonetic and at times lacking exclamation marks and question marks.

And to finish, I quote Shakespeare's "Macbeth":

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow/ Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,/ To the last syllable of recorded time/ And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/ The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!/ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/ And then is heard no more. It is a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/ Signifying nothing.” ( )
  pivic | Mar 23, 2020 |
Very hard to read, but excellent writing. I had to read the Wikipedia article to understand what was happening. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
Although I can now proudly say that I have read William Faulkner, I don’t believe that I can quite brag that I totally comprehended him. I actually had to look up a character list of The Sound and The Fury to understand that the Queenie, who was tossing her head in chapter one was a horse, while Luster and Versh are human characters. What I gathered from my reading of this book is that all three brothers of the Compson family were obsessed by their sister, Caddy.

The first three chapters are narrated by the Compson brothers on three different days in the years 1910 and 1928. The brothers are, Benjy, a severely retarded thirty-three year old man whose narration consists mostly of sensations and random thoughts. The other two brothers are the suicidal Quentin and the horrible Jason but it wasn’t until the final chapter which focuses on Dilsey, the Compson’s pious and strong-willed black housekeeper that the story started to meld together for me. This novel describes the decline and deterioration of this once-prominent Southern family of Jefferson, Mississippi as their wealth, land and status slowly give way.

I read that one shouldn’t jump into this book with no prior knowledge of it and I heartily agree with this statement. I actually went back and re-read Benjy’s first chapter and I certainly understood a lot more of it and, indeed, appreciated Faulkner’s ability to deliver these fragmented snippets that in actuality do move the story forward. The Sound and Fury is a book that highlights stream-of-consciousness and non-linear story-telling and is quite an accomplishment. Personally, I still don’t like this book but I can now understand why Faulkner is so revered. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
Escribir este libro foi para min como aprender a ler, coma se me achegase á linguaxe, ás palabras, co mesmo respecto e coidado de quen se achega á dinamita". Así describe William Faulkner (New Albany, 1897-Oxford, 1962) a súa experiencia con O ruído e a furia, a súa cuarta novela, publicada en 1929. A historia da ruína e decadencia da familia Compson, no Sur dos EUA, segue a representar para o lector de hoxe ese mesmo desafío, o da literatura como reinvención da linguaxe. Ao tempo, é un magnífico exemplo do pulo que posúe unha narración inspirada na vida, ese "conto contado por un idiota, cheo de ruído e de furia, que nada significa", segundo deixou dito Shakespeare en Macbeth.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Faulkner, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Antolín Rato, MarianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Antunes, António LoboIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barklund, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braem, Helmut M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Britto, Paulo HenriquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chaves, Ana MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coindreau, Maurice EdgarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Costa Clos, MercèTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Díaz Sánchez, María EugeniaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Díaz Sánchez, María EugeniaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dewey, Kenneth FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dyankov, KrastanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Godden, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jařab, JosefAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonasson, BerntIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaiser, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kandinsky, WolframNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mardon, AllanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maria Chaves, AnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minter, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minter, David L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakes, BillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pellar, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Phillips, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, MarilynneForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanchez, Maria Eugenia DiazEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsen, HelgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skei, Hans H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stroud, Steven H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tavares, ClarisseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Robert PennIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
Once a bitch, always a bitch, what I say.
Got it at the getting place.
'You're not a gentleman, Spoade said. 'No, I'm Canadian.' Shreve said.
"Dogs are dead." Caddy said. "And when Nancy fell in the ditch and Roskus shot her and the buzzards came and undressed her."
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Haiku summary
Jason sums it thus:
"Once a bitch, always a bitch."
I prefer Benjy.

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3 352
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