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Pylon, (1935)

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  428 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews

One of the few of William Faulkner’s works to be set outside his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Pylon, first published in 1935, takes place at an air show in a thinly disguised New Orleans named New Valois.  An unnamed reporter for a local newspaper tries to understand a very modern ménage a trois of flyers on the brainstorming circuit. These characters, Faulkner said, “w

Hardcover, 360 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by Routledge (first published 1935)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Christopher Sutch
Jan 05, 2013 Christopher Sutch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
According to Polk, Faulkner wrote this novel in three months as a break from composing _Absalom, Absalom!_, and he revised in galley proofs. Considering that, the corrected text (which restores Faulkner's original sentence and paragraph lengths, as well as some four-letter words the original publisher found offensive) is, all things considered, a very good novel. It's certainly not Faulkner's best, probably because of the contemporary subject matter and issues (airplane racing, the poor state of ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Brandon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers, Modernists, frustrated journalists, romantic aviiators
Recommended to Brandon by: Hemingway
I picked up Pylon because Hemingway said the novel captured aviation so well that he couldn't top it. Faulkner does capture the barnstorming spirit of aviation that included crashes. "[T]rying to make his living out of the air," the pilot risks a gravity-dominated life for the moments when they defy it.

While Pylon seems like mediocre Faulkner, it has elements that seem useful if contrasted to his other books. The plot is seen largely through the point of view of an alcoholic reporter who becomes
Aug 31, 2007 Sbate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have brains that are on
Shelves: goodstuff
This book could eat my brain. I do not like erotic stuff in books I just don't it makes me board I mean it board board like I yawn but this book had a part about a woman who changed her cloths. It was so incredible it made me shake. I shook like I was well moved to the innermost core. I have a hard time with this book because I do not read faulker well. I get stumped I like to be entertained and after they start flying and own boots I get all drifty
carl  theaker

The introduction ominously states that 'Pylon' is Faulkner's 2nd worst book,
which depending on what you think of him, could be saying something!

Friends and I were discussing the old biplanes and one of them mentioned
having read this book and that it was about barnstorming. I thought I'd read
enough Faulkner in my life, not really feeling extremely about him in either
direction, so I gave it a shot.

It is readable, you can actually tell what's going on, which is notable in
the Faulkner context. Th
Jun 15, 2016 Lauli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, nobel-prize
It took me some time to begin to appreciate this book. I was expecting the usual Faulkner (the South, the usual cast of Yoknapatawpha families, tragedy, gothic twists, fires), and ended up watching stunt pilots in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I felt that what was on my plate was not what I had ordered. Plus,the novel is extremely experimental in its use of compound words, and riddled with aviation jargon from the period between the world wars: it might as well have been written in Chinese.
Aug 30, 2008 Andy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yair! Yair! After watching Douglas Sirk’s bizarre masterpiece “The Tarnished Angels” I sought out “Pylon”, the source for this weirdo extravaganza.
The dialogue in the book maintains that laughable “Showgirls” vibe in spades = “Yair! Why, they don’t have blood running through their veins, but crankcase oil, see?”, or “He was born on a parachute in an aircraft hangar, yair!!!”
I’m assured from the cover blurbs that William Faulkner is a “master” and a “genius”. That makes him almost as superhuman
Joe Davis
May 29, 2013 Joe Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a description of a man going through the urges of an alcoholic that made me fall in love with the writing of Faulkner all over again. Faulkner is able to do that with almost every book.
Mateusz Swietoslawski
You can also check this and my other reviews here.

I meant to grab Faulkner's novel for a while now. Any novel to be honest. He is one of the great American authors and getting to know his body of work seemed a a duty to me. So when I snatched a vintage copy of Pylon just for around 1 euro ( a price at which it is difficult to buy a bookmark) I considered myself lucky. In a hindsight it is obvious that I have chosen wrong book to start my expedition into the literary world of a new author. My Fau
Brian Willis
Nov 24, 2014 Brian Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual with Faulkner, a work of art stunning the reader by the end and full of emotional impact. Unusual for Faulkner, it doesn't particularly focus on rural Southern cultural lifestyles and the hidden darknesses of their lives. Pylon is a book about the early 20th Century phenomenon called barnstorming. Shortly after aviation bloomed as an adventure and concurrent with Lindbergh, just like traveling freak shows or circuses, daredevil pilots were itinerant migrant workers who plied their trade ...more
Patrizia Galli
Jan 25, 2016 Patrizia Galli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primo romanzo di Faulkner che leggo, assolutamente brillante per impatto emotivo, per stile e fluidità di scrittura, che non risulta mai facile o scorrevole (anzi, è sempre estremamente ermetica...), ma perfettamente calzante al ritmo dell’opera (con lunghi periodi descrittivi e flussi di coscienza, pochissima punteggiatura nel mezzo).
La storia è narrata a New Valois, storpiatura di New Orleans, a metà degli anni Trenta. Un giornalista, alcolizzato e a caccia di storie, familiarizza con i prota
no es una de las novelas + conocidas de faulkner, y debe ser pq no llega al grado de genialidad de otras obras suyas. es una novela q al ppio no se entiende mucho nada (como pasa en el ruido y la furia, mientras agonizo, etc), pero va creciendo en intensidad y termina bien. un faulkner mediano sigue siendo igualmente mejor que muchos otros escritores.
Garry Evens
Sep 28, 2012 Garry Evens rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faulkner, 2012
Faulkner is my favorite writer, but Pylon isn't very good. I would have given it two and a half stars if I could, and only that because I felt the last chapter redeemed the novel to some extent.

I will add, however, that I would gladly read Pylon three more times before reading Mosquitoes again.
Jul 26, 2011 Simone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll have to put this on hold for a while until I get a hold of a decent copy, got a Danish translation by mistake. Thought it wouldn't be a problem at first, but I totally can't focus on the story when all the characters speak in 70s Copenhagen slang, it's just too damn weird.
Aug 28, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even lesser Faulkner is still pretty good. Pylon is a story distilled down to essentially pure melodrama, which Faulkner maintains at a heat just a few degrees below boiling, a novel that paradoxically feels tight despite actually being a rather filled-out rendering of only four days. The structure is partly responsible for this, a structure which sees the story in equal measure looping back on itself and leaving itself behind, never to be returned to, mirroring the barnstorming airmen whose sto ...more
Feb 24, 2017 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very different story than most of Faulkner's work. It takes place in a fictionalized New Orleans surrounding an air show at a new airport. There are some great, drunk, entertaining characters, including one of the primary protagonists known only as "the reporter" who try their darndest just to make it in this crazy world. Not to spoil anything, but it doesn't always work out.

The writing is very hard to follow at times. There are often multi-page paragraphs and with nothing other than a
Mar 30, 2015 Mat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pylon was the only Faulkner novel I hadn't read up until now and this is partly because I had received so many mixed reviews about it - some said it was awful while others said it stood out as quite a different book compared with his more well-known works in the vast Faulkner canon. I found the truth to be somewhere in between but the results were far from awful.

The book gets off to a rough start - the prose is pretty thick in the first chapter and it is heavily influenced by Joyce's use of por
Dec 08, 2010 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Pylon", William Faulkner,1935. Little Billy Falkner wanted to be a pilot more than anything. During WWI only British Commonwealth citizens were eligible for enlistment in the RAF. Hoping to become an aviator, Faulkner rushed to Canada, perfected an English accent, added the letter 'u' to his name {thinking it looked more English}, and was some how miraculously accepted for flight training. Faulkner sent home photographs of himself in a lieutenants uniform complete with pilot wings and a walking ...more
Aug 28, 2011 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Oh, Faulkner was not afraid to churn out pulp when he could only rub pennies together. I don't think he was shameless, I think he had pretty good take on the publishing biz and the worthiness of critical distinctions between literature and mere hackery. And, I believe, he was cynical enough to on occasion calculate and deploy Elevated Prose when angling for a particular kind of critical acclaim. The kind that wins Nobels.

The only elevation here is towards hysteria. "Mass Market Paperback" is Pyl
K.M. Weiland
Reading Faulkner is very much like walking through someone else's hallucinatory dream. Confusing at best, and, if you blink, you'll lose your place entirely. Pylon lies somewhere in the middle of Faulkner's extremes. It's more comprehensible than, say, Fable (though one has to wonder, is it possible to be *less* comprehensible than Fable?), but still a more difficult read than the likes of the Snopes trilogy. At the end of the book, what we're left with are a whole lot of words about some very s ...more
Dave Alluisi
My take: "Pylon" is the true name of "the reporter" (there are a few places where people are incredulous upon learning his real name, though it's never shared with the reader). Even if that's not his name, it's his function in the lives of the Schumann crew--the closer they fly to him, the more likely they are to crash and burn. Unfortunately, he's the book's primary focus, and no one goes to an air race to watch the pylons. A failed experiment, for me, though there are enough interesting passag ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
This guy can write! The odd punctuation is calculated and effective at making good imagery of perspectives. Pylon is about a Southern reporter and a group of airplane racers set around 1930, when airplanes were new. That story is interesting, but the underlying story is about a man's different components - the reporter's represented by the different members of the race team. It is also about what drives each of these components. I came to see this slowly and found the book sad because man is bas ...more
Oct 10, 2007 Paddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who think they don't like Faulkner
What a find! My library had this book on the shelf, I'd never heard of it, it was an old edition. It's soo different from most of Faulkner's work. An early book, it's set in New Orleans and the protagonist is a reporter who encounters the marginal drifters involved in a flying show. Early days of airplane, early days of Faulkner's writing, New Orleans is already old, this is a super book. Like Elizabeth Spencer's The Snare, if you love New Orleans, you'll love this book.
Jan 15, 2008 Bryce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yar. This word has become a mainstay in the voacabulary located within my head. It seems this book has stayed with me more than many others, so I will review it favorably althought at the time I recall it being somewhat of a letdown as far as Faulkner goes. A difficult life of a traveling trick pilot his hanger-on wife or girlfriend and her child. Another fantastic story from Faulkner of a hardscrabble existence.
Pretty good. A definite departure, though, for Faulkner both stylistically and thematically. As far as content goes, I compare it more to "Flags in the Dust" than any other of his books. I would recommend this for people who have read most of Faulkner's other stuff and are looking for a deeper immersion. That being said, it maybe isn't essential Faulkner.
Jun 22, 2007 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a challenging read
The density and minutiae of the narrative language is like a gauze that a person must read through in order to get to the larger picture of this story, but it is so worth the effort! A true masterpiece of complex and transcendent prose with many layers to its narrative perspective. It's also funny as hell.
Jul 24, 2008 Seán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Essentially, it's a story about impossible love/irrepressible desire as experienced by a hapless nitwit. Even with Faulknerian prolixity and the Mississipian's sometimes impenetrable approach to crafting a narrative, the book pays off, and should leave one hungry for more of his meatier stuff.
Nov 21, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense complicated novel comprising what were originally a series of short stories. Written in an often complicated stream of consciousness style reminiscent of THE SOUND AND THE FURY. A difficult read that only comes together in the last chapter.
Jesus Sard
Estoy leyendo una ediciòn de Aguilar del año 1962
Lonely Shikari
Интересный роман, хоть и не дотягивающий по накалу страстей и описательному мастерству до лучших работ Фолкнера.
Jul 16, 2012 Rafa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le faltó peso al argumento.
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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
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“They travelled crosstown now; the cab could rush fast down each block of the continuous alley, pausing only at the intersections where, to the right, canyonniched, the rumor of Grandlieu Street swelled and then faded in repetitive and indistinguishable turmoil, flicking on and past as though the cab ran along the rimless periphery of a ghostly wheel spoked with light and sound.” 1 likes
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