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The Sound and the Fury (Everyman's Library…
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The Sound and the Fury (Everyman's Library Classics) (original 1929; edition 1992)

by William Faulkner (Author)

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13,537168282 (3.98)2 / 699
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.
Member:drardavis
Title:The Sound and the Fury (Everyman's Library Classics)
Authors:William Faulkner (Author)
Info:EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY (1992), Edition: First Thus, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (1929)

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    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (LKAYC)
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    Beloved by Toni Morrison (Laura1124)
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    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: A sci-fi romp through--intentionally so--much of the same territory.
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    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 (5)
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Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
You already know, as did I, that this is an American classic. If it weren’t, I would have given up after the first ten pages. I’m glad that I didn’t. We are so used to stories being told in traditional ways, that when we come across something different we are likely to be scared off. The book leaves an impression, a deep impression, of Faulkner’s south that seeps into your bones. By the ending you will probably figure out the story, but it is the images that count. The smell of honeysuckle, grandfather’s broken watch, Dilsey in the cabin door in the rain, Luster repairing the broken narcissus, are just a few I remember. After I finished, I read my wife’s college notes and discovered the fantastic construction and symbolism Faulkner used to create this masterpiece. That deepened my appreciation of the work, but I think it is best explored on your own first. Then let someone else tell you what it meant. ( )
  drardavis | Sep 11, 2019 |
This book has quite a reputation. It is really hard to understand and grasp the motivations of the characters since the way it is presented is somewhat disjointed. It's given as a stream of consciousness from the perspectives of a mentally disabled man, a person who is going insane, a man who gets enraged by practically everything and the Black Servant of the family. Not that it means anything, really.

The first section is narrated by Benjamin Compson, formerly Maurice Compson. I think he either has some kind of autism spectrum disorder, or he has some other issue like synesthesia. Everything sets him off into a whirlwind of memories, and it becomes so confusing to keep track of what's going on that you need a chart or something. They change his name to Benjamin because they found out about his disability. There's quite a few things going on in his memories. Most of them are related to deaths of people that served the Compsons. They still have a horse and buggy since this is taking place in April 1928 at latest in this section. Benjy also thinks about his sister, Caddy, a lot. I think she was the only one who actually saw him as a person, but I would have to reread it.

Quentin is the second narrator, and this takes place 18 years earlier in Cambridge Massachusetts. Quentin got accepted into Harvard. Yay. However, he is losing his marbles. This guy might be more unreliable as a narrator than Benjy was, all because he is going insane. This follows his last day on Earth. Quentin's a Harvard man, pretty good with thinking, very philosophical, but also fixated on memories of his sister. Caddy is a recurring theme in this book, and is a lynchpin for the whole novel since she is the only main Compson child that doesn't have a narration section. Hmmm... They don't follow the part where he actually drowns himself, but that is what happens.

Jason is a jerk. There is no other word for it. Well, okay, there are plenty of other words for it, but admittedly, they aren't as nice. He is the third narrator and gets mad at everything. Seriously. He blames others for his troubles and steals from his own niece and employer. He's a real piece of work that Jason. So another character I haven't mentioned is Female Quentin. This Quentin is not to be mistaken with Harvard Quentin, and is Caddy's daughter. It is implied that Caddy was sleeping around and her first husband wasn't the father. This is enough of a reason for her to be disowned from the family for some reason. So they blame all of Female Quentin's problems on Caddy, saying she must have inherited those willful traits from her.

Finally, we have Dilsey, the Black Servant. We can tell that she is black because of how she speaks, and because of how the other characters interact with her. She doesn't fly off into memories or other silly things like that, since she seems to be the only character firmly rooted in the present. We follow her as she prepares to go to church with her family. The pastor seems weak and bad at first but gradually gains steam and touches Dilsey deeply with his sermon. We find out in this section that Female Quentin has escaped and stolen Jason's money. The Sheriff finds it amusing, and so do I, since Jason is an ass.

Final thoughts; this book is phenomenal, but I really needed a study guide. Luckily they have them online, and I was able to plow though the major plot points. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
One of the greatest novels of the 20th-century follows the disintegration of former Southern aristocrats looked at in four different ways. The Sound and the Fury is considered William Faulkner’s greatest novel, following members of the Compson family over roughly 30 years in which the once great aristocratic Southern family breaks down from within and influence socially.

The book begins with man-child Benjamin “Benjy” Compson remembering various incidents over the previous 30 years from his first memory of his sister Caddy climbing a tree, his name being changed after his family learned he was mentally handicapped, the marriage and divorce of Caddy, and his castration all while going around his family’s property in April 1928. The second section was of Quentin Compson, skipping classes during a day of his freshman year at Harvard in 1910 and wandering Cambridge, Massachusetts thinking about death and his family’s estrangement from his sister Caddy before committing suicide. The third section followed a day in the life of Jason Compson who must take care of his hypochondriac mother and Benjy along with his niece, Caddy’s daughter Quentin. Working at a hardware store to make ends meet while stealing the money his sister sends to Quentin, Jason has to deal with people who used to lookup to his family and with black people who irritate the very racist head of the Compson family. The four section follows several people on Easter Sunday 1928 as the black servants take care of Benjy and gets for the Compsons while Jason finds out that Quentin as runaway with all the money in the house, which includes the money he stole from her and his life savings. After failing to find Quentin, Jason returns to town to calm down Benjy who is having a fit due to his routine being changed.

In constructing this book, Faulkner employed four different narrative styles for each section. Benjy’s section was highly disjointed narrative with numerous time leaps as he goes about his day. Quentin’s section was of an unreliable stream of consciousness narrator with a deteriorating state of mind, which after Benjy’s section makes the reader want to give up the book. Jason’s section is a straightforward first-person narrative style with the fourth and final section being a third person omniscient point-of-view. While one appreciates Faulkner’s amazing work in producing this novel, the first two sections are so all over the place that one wonders why this book was even written and only during the last two sections do readers understand about how the Compson family’s fortunes have fallen collectively and individually.

The Sound and the Fury is overall a nice novel, however the first two sections of William Faulkner’s great literally derails interest and only those that stick with the book learn in the later half what is going on with any clarity. I would suggest reading another Faulkner work before this if you are a first-time reader of his work like I was because unless you’re dedicated you might just quit. ( )
  mattries37315 | May 22, 2019 |
Now that I've read The Sound and The Fury, it beckons me to read it again, to pick up on all the details I missed. I probably won't be doing that any time soon, however. Faulkner's tale of a decaying family of former plantation dwellers is written in three different, but all difficult, styles (the fourth and final section is relatively straightforward). The first part, narrated by Benjy, the mentally disabled son, isn't that hard once you get used to it. It the second and third parts, narrated by clinically-depressed Harvard student Quentin and crass store clerk Jason that really are challenging. There is much here to discuss. A difficult but rewarding read. ( )
  akblanchard | May 6, 2019 |
Modern Library ranks it as the 6th best novel ever written. Faulkner won the Nobel Prize. What more is there to say? ( )
  jimrgill | Apr 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (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 (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Faulkner, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coindreau, Maurice EdgarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dewey, Kenneth FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minter, David L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Robert PennIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

» see all 11 descriptions

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Haiku summary
Jason sums it thus:
"Once a bitch, always a bitch."
I prefer Benjy.
(LeBoeuf)

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