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The Town (The Snopes Trilogy #2)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  1,070 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Wm Faulkner. The Town. NY: Random House, [1957]. 1st edition & printing. Octavo. 371 pages. Publisher's binding & 2nd issue dust jacket.
This is the second volume of Faulkner's trilogy about the Snopes family, his symbol for the grasping, destructive element in the post-bellum South. Like its predecessor The Hamlet & its successor The Mansion, The Town is comp
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Vintage (first published April 1st 1940)
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Feb 29, 2016 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this second novel of The Snopes trilogy (it can certainly be read as a stand-alone) much more than the first one, The Hamlet, though it's partly a retelling of the first (the first 1/3 is mostly flashbacks though by different voices, a Faulknerian trait, for sure) but of course more of it is a continuation, told from three viewpoints, to be taken as a sampling of the community. Within the narration of these three, there is much humor to be found, at least in the first 3/4 of the book, and ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
The first book in the trilogy is on Bloom's Western Canon, but not this and the third in the series. I think Mr. Bloom has said there were books left out and some that he might not have put on there had he taken more time to think about it. I'm thinking he might have just put this trilogy on there and still have had just the one entry.

V.K. Ratliff continues to be a narrator in this, as do two new characters: young Charles Mallison, whose first entries remind us he wasn't born yet when the events
Brian Willis
Apr 12, 2016 Brian Willis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely stunning and one of my favorite of Faulkner's works. Though it is the middle of a trilogy, this book expands and complicates and darkens the story originated in The Hamlet as the best middle chapters of any trilogies do. It is also one of the more accessible reads of Faulkner's.

It contains only three narrators: Chick Mallison (a boy who contains the bulk of the narrative and whose internal monologue complicates itself over time in the book until it reaches maturity by the end), Gavin
Jul 12, 2014 Still rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone. This should be required reading
Recommended to Still by: My wife.

Faulkner wrote many novels and many short stories. Almost all are acclaimed. I haven’t read but one of those novels- The Reivers.
That was up until my wife persuaded me to read “The Snopes Family Trilogy” comprised of the novels, The Hamlet,The Town, and The Mansion.

Of those three titles, I’ve so far read only the first two entries.

This morning I finished The Town. I am still reeling.

This novel has three distinct narrators: young Charles (“Chick”) Mallison, his uncle Gavin (“Lawyer”) Stevens, and
Aug 08, 2014 Mat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece.

Everyone puts The Hamlet on a pedestal and although i enjoyed it, personally speaking The Town is Faulkner at his utter and inimitable best.

First, all the Snopes characters in the trilogy are so singular and unforgettable that you can tell Faulkner was writing for eternity when he composed this trilogy. First we have the devious, intelligent, empire-building Flem Snopes who proceeds to slowly take over the town of Jefferson here bit by bit. Think about that title - The Town - so s
Mar 28, 2011 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people from small towns
Recommended to Brandon by: Jim Hinkle
The communal crisis of The Town's plot is reflected in the nature of its three narrator's: the attorney Gavin Stevens, his pre-adolescent nephew Charles Mallison and entrepreneur V.K. Ratliff.

If anyone ever had any doubts about how much Faulkner intended the town to serve as a character in his work, they might find an answer in the Charles Mallison’s opening to The Town,: “when I say ‘we’ and ‘we thought’ what I mean is Jefferson and what Jefferson thought (3).” Just as Faulkner finds the town
Michael David
Aug 26, 2013 Michael David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate William Faulkner.

I hate the fact that I can't even give this book a five because I would have to give The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! six or sevens. I hate the fact that he could both write with the utmost complexity and utmost simplicity. I hate the fact that to me, he's so good that I can place five of his books on my personal top 10 without flinching.

I hate how even years removed from reading his other novels that I can remember who Bayard Sartoris was, who Lucas Beaucham
Jun 17, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some ghosts, or real people, are going to kill me...but Faulkner is BETTER than one gets more in one page (which is what makes him so difficult)...and no one writers purer human one puts it on paper with more unbridled energy...some of his sentences, about one every three pages, just make you want to give up and crawl back into the womb...

This one is the second in a trilogy, call it The Snopes Empire Strikes Back, about the dark and soulless and anarchic lengths to w
Bernard Norcott-mahany
Though this book lacks the scope of "The Hamlet" which has an almost mythic quality about it, I like that this book features the story told by three characters, two who are intimately connected with the action (V.K. Ratliff and Stevens) and one (Chick Mallison, Gavin Stevens' nephew, who is removed from the action -- in fact the first chapter which is narrated by Chick takes place before he is born, so his "version" of the events is entirely dependent on what Ratliff and his uncle Gavin told him ...more
Dan Pecchenino
Jan 11, 2010 Dan Pecchenino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably Faulkner's most under appreciated novel. Highly experimental, yet not acknowledged as such.
Kristiina Widenius
Lukupiiripakkopulla, osa 2. Alussa kertaus edellisen osan tapahtumista parhaaseen sarjatyyliin. Silti olin jo pudonnut kärrryiltä sivulla 25 enkä päässyt takaisin kyytiin. Lauseet tässä kirjassa lyhyempiä, mutta pronominien käytössä (ja ehkä muutamassa muussakin asiassa) yhä ongelmia. Beat-runous ja Nostradamus ovat selkokieltä tämän rinnalla. Harvinaisen vapaasti irti reaalimaailmasta leijaileva naiskuva.

"Oletko koskaan luonut silmäystä tyttöön? Sinä olet inhimillinen vaikka oletkin nainen." N
Mar 22, 2011 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t expecting to like this better than “The Hamlet” but I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it quite moving at the end. I thought the use of narrators to be skillful, and I did not mind V.K. Ratliff or Gavin Stevens the way I normally do. I thought Chick Mallison was a great narrator, speaking as both himself as a child and as an adult looking back on his childhood perceptions. I loved the stories about Montgomery Ward Snopes and Wall Street Panic Snopes and the different ways they do busines ...more
Jim Mann
Jun 04, 2016 Jim Mann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've really liked the works of William Faulkner ever since reading The Portable Faulkner more than 30 years ago. One of my favorite stories in that collection was "Spotted Horses," which was my introduction to Flem Snopes and the Snopes clan. "Spotted Horses" became part of The Hamlet, the first volume of what's now known as the Snopes trilogy. The Town is the second volume.

It's a story told from multiple points of view, including a young boy, each with his own voice. Most of the story involves
K.M. Weiland
Nov 05, 2011 K.M. Weiland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a much more complex story than we find in its prequel The Hamlet. Told in three first-person POVs, it offers a rounded presentation of perspectives on the slow degeneration of the small Southern town. The child narrator, Charles Mallison, is an especial joy. The humor isn't as wild as in The Hamlet, but the subtlety and its organic growth from the characters only strengthens the story.
John Harder
Jul 14, 2014 John Harder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faulkner is unique. His language is always simple; anyone with a sixth grade education could read anything in the text but the situation and alternating perspectives provide a difficult but worthwhile approach. In this case three individuals narrate the story, so be prepared the new and differing juxtapositions.

Jefferson has an invasion of Snopes – the surname of an insidious brood. Eventually "Snopes" becomes synonymous with fluid morals. As the Snopes grab for any loose dollar that is about, G
May 08, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, I love Faulkner's writing, and I don't know what more can be said about any of his books. If you can get into his writing style, he's an amazing story-teller. There is lots of humour, often with poignancy that doesn't really hit you in the face until you're away from it. A synopsis of the story will tell you that it is about the rise of Flem Snopes as he takes over the town of Jefferson. However, you spend much of the book not really hearing about Snopes' actions. Like Snopes' character, t ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Town, the second book in the Snopes Trilogy, was, for me, a much better book than The Hamlet. The writing style was the same, Faulkner never changes his style, the story itself is just a bit more interesting, with a but more of a mystery to hold.

Flem Snopes has left the Bend and moved to the town of Jefferson. In Jefferson he starts at the bottom again, but it takes little time before Flem is the Superintendent of the water company. This is just the beginning. As often in the author's works
Aug 18, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
4.5 stars. It has taken me exactly one decade to bring myself to read The Town, the second novel in Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy, after being totally flummoxed when reading the first novel, The Hamlet . Actually, "flummoxed" isn't the right word. That book scarred me for life. (The infamous story of Ike and his cow, the schoolmaster's assault on Eula, Flem Snopes' outrageous con-artistry, etc.) The trilogy has remained on my bookshelf for a decade, haunting me (and taunting me?) as I've moved acro ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Gardner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
"What he was doing was simply defending forever with his blood the principle that chastity and virtue in women shall be defended whether they exist or not."

"And you stand there—you, the old man, already white-headed (because it doesn't matter if they call your gray hairs premature because life itself is always premature which is why it aches and anguishes) and pushing forty, only a few years from forty—while there rises up to you, proffered up to you, the spring darkness, the unsleeping darkness
Jul 23, 2014 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'the town" is the second book in a trilogy written by faulkner on the snopes family. the 1st and second books were written almost 25 years apart. it is strongly suggested that you read the 1st in the series, "the hamlet", first.

in this book faulkner brings the infamous flem snopes from frenchmen's bend to the city of jefferson and traces his steps up the social ladder from superintendent to president of the local bank. The story is told thru the eyes of three characters ranging in age from a chi
Christopher Sutch
Sep 29, 2013 Christopher Sutch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second novel of Faulkner's "Snopes Trilogy" starts out well enough, but suffers a marked identity crisis about halfway through. The first half resembles the brilliance of the first Snopes novel, _The Hamlet_: Faulkner concentrates on telling the stories of the "Snopes invasion" of Jefferson and the events that ensue, particularly the rivalry (or triangle, perhaps) between Flem Snopes, Manfred de Spain, and Gavin Stevens, narrated from three different viewpoints. The writing is straightforwar ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rise of Flem from living in a tent to living in a house; restaurant owner to bank VP; the background plots just simmer in the background, like Eula (now married to Flem) and her 18 year old affair with Manfred de Spain, until Flem "cashes in his 20 dollar goldpiece." The narrative voices of Ratliff, Gavin Stevens (known as Lawyer) and Charles or Chick, the kid all help parts of the plot overlap a bit and clarify as they retell. The extended metaphor of the nail in the oak tree through the ye ...more
The Town is the second book in Faulkner's Snopes trilogy. The Hamlet, 1940, was the first and according to my notes when I read it eight years ago, was very dark and gave me nightmares. The Town is much lighter in comparison, even humorous in parts. I have now read enough Faulkner to feel less of a stranger in his imaginary town of Jefferson and in Yoknapatawpha County.

The Snopes are a family of white trash degenerates who came into the county trading horses. One of them by the name of Flem wa
Mark Sacha
The middle novel in Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, coming almost 20 years after the first entry. I think The Town is stronger than The Hamlet, with a tighter structure and a back-and-forth between its various POVs. Narration is shared between V.K. Ratliff, Gavin Stevens and his nephew, Charles, winding and merging fluidly as they tell the story of what occurred after the Snopes clan rose to primacy in Jefferson. There's an active process for the reader of assembling threads that makes more canonical ...more
Mike Gilbert
Aug 29, 2012 Mike Gilbert rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
You could certainly read this novel without reading the fist book in the trilogy, The Hamlet, but much of depth of the narrative would not be so deep. The Town was funnier, moved more quickly, and seemed to be an easier read its predecessor - though I don't know if that's because its the second Faulkner book I've picked up after a long hiatus and my mind is re-familiarizing itself with his prose or if its because the story is told alternatively from three different points of view, including VK R ...more
This is the continuation of the Snopes Trilogy which started with The Hamlet. It is an entertaining look at small town life with its local characters and intrigues. The Snopes come from poverty and part of the family tries to steal or scam money at every opportunity while another member, Flem Snopes want respect above all things. He blackmails his way to being bank president. The local Color and dialogue are vintage Faulkner and his keen perception of character shines through.
Dec 16, 2010 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with time to read and digest. Start with The Hamlet
Check out my quizz of The Town.

But if Uncle Gavin was hid somewhere in that ditch too, Gowan never caught him. Better still, Uncle Gavin never caught Gowan in it. Because if Mother ever found out Gowan was hiding in that ditch behind Mr Snopes's house because he thought Uncle Gavin was hidden in it too, Gowan didn't know what she might have done about Uncle Gavin but he sure knew what would have happened to him. And worse: if Mr Snopes had ever found out Gowan thought Uncle Gavin might be hiding
Jun 30, 2016 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
didn't quite enjoy this as much as the hamlet, but still contained some good scenes like the porno shop, the funeral and the power plant at the beginning. the book provides for a summary of the plot to the hamlet as well as flags in the dust, even though none of the flags characters really get any screen time here - creeper byron is only mentioned in passing. a good chunk of this revolves around gavin smith's obsession with linda snopes, hebephilia seems to be a common theme throughout the trilo ...more
Taylor Napolsky
Aug 16, 2014 Taylor Napolsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as The Hamlet but still very enjoyable. I'll definitely read the third book in the trilogy.
Apr 01, 2014 Devi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second novel in the Snopes trilogy continues the development of the various characters.

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William Cuthbert Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories. He was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter.

The majority of his works are based in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as earl
More about William Faulkner...

Other Books in the Series

The Snopes Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Hamlet
  • The Mansion

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“She was bored. She loved, had capacity to love, for love, to give and accept love. Only she tried twice and failed twice to find somebody not just strong enough to deserve it, earn it, match it, but even brave enough to accept it.” 348 likes
“Innocence is innocent not because it rejects but because it accepts; is innocent not because it is impervious and invulnerable to everything, but because it is capable of accepting anything and still remaining innocent; innocent because it foreknows all and therefore doesn’t have to fear and be afraid.” 3 likes
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