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New Orleans Sketches

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In 1925 William Faulkner began his professional writing career in earnest while living in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He had published a volume of poetry (The Marble Faun), had written a few book reviews, and had contributed sketches to the University of Mississippi student newspaper. He had served a stint in the Royal Canadian Air Corps and while working in a New H ...more
Paperback, 139 pages
Published May 22nd 2002 by University Press of Mississippi (first published November 30th 1957)
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191st out of 274 books — 229 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 409)
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Richard Wise
Apr 06, 2012 Richard Wise rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-fiction
Well slap me silly and call me a Philistine. I just don't get Faulkner.

I am amazed that these short sketches were published in a newspaper. I suppose that people were more literate in the 1920s. I am spending a month in New Orleans working on my own book and decided that it was absolutely necessary that I read something of Faulkner. I tried once with The Sound and Fury and gave up

He any Hemingway were contemporaries and supposedly changed American literature, particularly the novel. I get Hemi
Jim Hale
Mar 23, 2014 Jim Hale rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-lit
I must confess that I've never gotten the Faulkner bug, so these unusual "sketches" were a great way to approach his writing anew. I know from reading the fine Jay Parini biography that Faulkner was often a pompous, haughty prick who didn't like people in general. But in these pieces, which ran in the New Orleans Time Picayune in the mid 1920's, I came to appreciate his talent for observing and listening closely to everyone who crossed his path.

These are not what you're used to seeing in newspa
Erica Hopper
Aug 08, 2016 Erica Hopper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, 2016
I've never been a great Faulkner fan, but I'm a fan of New Orleans. I purchased this book from Faulkner House Books, located where Faulkner lived in NOLA briefly while writing many (all?) of these passages. I felt it was the perfect literary touristy purchase and began reading it while I myself was staying in the French Quarter.

For the descriptions of New Orleans itself, I often found myself smiling softly as it brought on such clarity and thoughts of "why, this is perfect." But for the longer p
Sep 09, 2012 Chad rated it it was ok
New Orleans Sketches is comprised of sixteen vignettes Faulkner wrote in 1925 while living in the French Quarter of New Orleans. These pieces were published locally in the Times-Picayune and in the Double Dealer, and Carvel Collins, one of the first academics to recognize Faulkner as a major literary figure, collected the sketches into this book in 1958. “Sketches” is the most appropriate word to describe the pieces. These are not complete stories. Some of the sketches are more developed than ot ...more
Ryan Holiday
Jul 05, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it liked it
Faulkner moved to New Orleans in 1925 at the age of 27 determined to write fiction. Up to then he fancied himself a poet. During his six month stay in New Orleans he published a group of "sketches" with the main New Orleans literary magazine, The Double Dealer. He also sold sixteen signed stories and sketches to The Times-Picayune.

Faulkner spent a portion of his time in New Orleans "sauntering in the Quarter and along the Mississippi River docks, and sitting at cafes and in Jackson Square" with
Jan 01, 2013 Billy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting to read what kinds of characters Faulkner finds interesting in New Orleans. I was especially interested in the final short story in this compendium. The last story illustrates a cross-cultural expedition to bury a callously murdered Chinese member of a ship. Also featuring prominently in these stories is contraband alcohol. The stories are experiments in writing and as such are not entirely satisfying, however, Faulkner was paid for them and they appeared in the Times-Picayune, ...more
Philip Lamaster
May 20, 2014 Philip Lamaster rated it liked it
These were interesting little sketches, having to do with New Orleans and the characters who live there. The lengthy introduction gives a great introduction to Faulkner and his personal history. The vignettes are a little hit or miss, but they are definitely worth reading for the Faulkner fan. I thought it was fascinating to watch his use of dialect and voice develop. The standout story for me was definitely "The Liar". Read that without laughing, I dare ya.
Aug 18, 2013 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first introduction to Faulkner beyond "A Rose for Emily." I got this book at the Faulkner House Bookstore in New Orleans, which is in rooms that Faulkner actually lived in while in New Orleans. I've been thinking about tackling a Faulkner work for awhile now, and this seemed like a good way to dip in the kiddie pool before taking on one of his novels.

I was not disappointed--his manner of plopping you right down in a scene took me a little while to get used to, but his writing was so vivid, an
Estermann Meyer
Jan 29, 2012 Estermann Meyer rated it it was amazing
"He knew stark and terrible fear. His gun leaped
to his shoulders and roared and flamed in the dark-
ness, and the lion or whatever it was plunged bel-
lowing away into the night. He could feel sweat
cold as copper pieces on his face and he ran toward
the haystack and clawed madly at it, trying to
climb it. His fear grew with futile efforts, then
cooled away, allowing him to mount the slippery
thing. Once on top he felt safe, but he was cautious
to place the shotgun close to his hand as he lay on
his bell
Feb 14, 2011 Craig rated it liked it
Shelves: short-fiction
Early works that illustrate what great works would come after. also interesting to see the noir/ crime feel that is not always as surface in his novels as it is here.

There's nothing wrong with the collection; its historical significance is noteworthy, and it affords the reader a glimpse into the culture and people of New Orleans. There are some vestiges of the literary zeitgeist of the time: some non-pc terms for race, culture and handicap.

Overall, this book is important for Faulkner completist
mixed bag of faulknerian vignettes showcasing faulkner's talent for atmosphere and situation. nothing terribly plot-driven here. some interesting characters. the kind of book that reminds you how much fun writing can be when you aren't aiming for anything in particular except to play with language and voice.

i'm very come-and-go with faulkner. i always like his shorter stuff; the longer works tend to tire me out. so if you are on the fence, this might be a good introduction/orientation toward ac
Anne Bradley
Apr 16, 2016 Anne Bradley rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Many of wouldn't even know they were written 90 years ago.
Alessia ProfumoLibri
3,5 stelline
Nov 25, 2012 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of short works by Faulker,when he first became a fiction writer during his time in New Orleans in the 20's. His very short articles for a local newspaper are not my favorite, but the slightly longer pieces bring to mind the Faulkner that I love. His writing very much makes me think of pieces that I read, written by my Grandpa who studied to be a writer and journalist in the South in the 20's.
Christopher Stella
May 24, 2012 Christopher Stella rated it liked it
These sketches were Faulkner's first attempts at fiction writing, undertaken while he lived in the French Quarter - he was only 27 or so when he wrote the pieces in this book.

Frankly, the stories are weak. But this is essential reading for any Faulkner fanatic - it's here that he is crafting the early prototypes for characters such as Benjy (The Sound and the Fury) and Lena Grove (Light in August).
Jun 09, 2013 Jenni rated it really liked it
These are sketches written early in Faulkner's career. I bought the book when I was in New Orleans. He lived a little house there, in the French quarter. This house is now a bookstore.

The sketches are really just sketches--short snapshots of characters, happenings, and places around New Orleans--a must read for any Faulkner fan.
Rick Edwards
Jul 24, 2011 Rick Edwards rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Faulkner wrote these short pieces while working as a journalist in the Big Easy. They came to life for me when, as a teenager, I spent a week with several other literate teenagers in New Orleans, in a rented room in the French Quarter. These are vivid pictures from a certain era, long ago.
Aug 18, 2012 Webcowgirl rated it liked it
This is a slight book but enjoyable for Faulkner fans and people interested in New Orleans in the 20s and 30s. If you like Faulkner, it's a nice scene setter for a lot of his later themes. That said, it's still a slight work by a person who is still finding their feet as a writer.
Aug 08, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
When we bought this book at the former New Orleans hotel where he wrote it I thought of it as a souvenir. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it so much. The short stories stand alone. Faulkner brings to life different voices in each one. Perfect for a quick read every night before bed.
Andrew Tolve
Jun 16, 2011 Andrew Tolve rated it really liked it
Fascinating to see Faulkner's early work. His prose was often much leaner, more akin to Hemingway than, say, future Faulkner. I bought this book in New Orleans at Faulkner House Books, which sits in the apartment that Faulkner rented way back in the 1920s. Very glad I stumbled upon it.
Jan 04, 2013 patty rated it really liked it
The New Orleans theme/s caused me to ramp up what would have otherwise been a 3.5 star rating. The sketches were interesting, but I liked the short stories included in this edition better. This could be the year I dive deep into Faulkner.
Ingrid Erwin
I really wanted to like these short stories -- this is a book that my mother bought for me at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans. The stories were published during Faulkner's early career, originally as newspaper articles.
Joseph Walsh
Apr 07, 2013 Joseph Walsh rated it liked it
Early Faulkner from his time in New Orleans. Gives a wonderful view of the city...many of these sketches hold true today. Originally published as a series of articles in the Times-Picayune.
Oct 05, 2012 Pamela rated it liked it
Interesting progression of early Faulkner by short story. Read this because James Lee Burke said Faulkner is the only writer who ever wrote truthfully about New Orleans.
Jason Mock
These short pieces are amongst some of Faulkner's earliest publishings.
They're a nice glimpse of the city in the 1920s and also of the novels to come.
Liz Keane
Aug 20, 2008 Liz Keane rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent. It's a compilation of stories published in the NOLA newspaper, and is a great introduction to Faulkner.
Jul 15, 2008 Sue rated it liked it
Love Faulkner, but short stories and "sketches" really aren't my thing. I like more plot, more character development.
Seth Augenstein
Dec 16, 2015 Seth Augenstein rated it liked it
Shelves: alright
Interesting beginnings for Bill, there in the shadow of St. Louis Cathedral in the Big Easy.
Nov 03, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Beautiful "shorts" from Faulkner's imagination and experience in the Crescent City.
Dec 16, 2012 Willis rated it did not like it
Not very good or interesting. See my comments for more details.
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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...

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