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The Town (The Snopes Trilogy #2)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  858 ratings  ·  42 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 1957)
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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 narrating of these three, there is much humor to be found, at least in the first 3/4 of the book, and ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Still rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Michael David
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
K.M. Weiland
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
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
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
Dan Pecchenino
Probably Faulkner's most under appreciated novel. Highly experimental, yet not acknowledged as such.
'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
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
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
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
Dec 16, 2010 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Taylor Napolsky
Not as good as The Hamlet but still very enjoyable. I'll definitely read the third book in the trilogy.
The second novel in the Snopes trilogy continues the development of the various characters.

The second book in the Snopes trilogy. Flem Snopes has moved on to a bigger town and it seems as if he has taken most of his relatives along with him again. I didn't like it as much as The Hamlet, being told by three different narrators was interesting, but I still found it boring at times. I was not expecting what happened at the end though. Poor Eula. Poor anyone related to a Snopes.
Faulkner has that amazing ability to go into everybody's shoes and take multiple perspectives regarding the story. Whoever exposed himself under a magnifying glass in one chapter, is being pushed to the wings in the next one. Still there are those stunning poetic descriptions of colour and smell as in those other books of his. Looking forward to "The Mansion".
Repetitive only because Faulkner recaps some of the incidents that took place in The Hamlet (and also because I already read a couple of sections as short stories), The Town is still exemplary Faulkner -- a story about storytelling about a community's secrets, prejudices, cowardice, greed, and unfulfilled desires.
Maybe I've read too much Faulkner, too soon, but I felt a little Faulknered-out on this one. Some intriguing scenes of the intricate conflicts between the Snopes and the town, but half a page of parenthetical in the middle of a sentence just became a little too much to bear right now.
Esteban Gordon
After a flat start, I can only say...mesmerizing. Once again mixing straight story telling with... I suppose you could say prose poetry, WF dips one into the southern batter once again. The ending scene alone with the wild, knife wielding Snopes children is worth the read.
Very good. Not quite as good as The Hamlet, the first book in the cycle, which is either my favorite Faulkner or tied for it, but still very good. First time reading this one, I've been looking forward to reading the entire cycle for years. Onto The Mansion.
Harper Jean
What can I say - ever since John Olmstead's class junior year I've had a Faulkner problem. This is the second book in a sprawling trilogy about an unvirtuous Mississippi clan from which the urban-legend website Snopes took it name.
I liked this better than the first book in the trilogy (The Hamlet). It was interesting to hear the story through the voices of 3 different narrators oftentimes one picking up the thread where the other left off.
Jeremy Hornik
Very funny. Tragic in parts. My first Faulkner in ages. There's a lot of satire about chastity and the opinions around it. The language is dense and slowed me down, but was worth the extra effort.
I am glad that I have found the time to do things like read books and solve crossword puzzles. Keeping the mind spry is important, and there is a point of diminishing returns for studying.
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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
The Sound and the Fury As I Lay Dying Light in August Absalom, Absalom! A Rose for Emily

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