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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  7,029 ratings  ·  410 reviews
An assortment of perverse characters act out this dramatic story of the kidnapping of a Mississippi debutante.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1970 by Penguin Books Australia (first published 1931)
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Edward Yes, but not as good or as important by critical standards. I found Sanctuary less frustrating but far less rewarding on the first read. Faulkner was…moreYes, but not as good or as important by critical standards. I found Sanctuary less frustrating but far less rewarding on the first read. Faulkner was mostly unsuccessful writing in a pulp fiction style, and I ended up preferring his stream-of-consciousness style in spite of its difficulty. (Some SOC style is in Sanctuary; he switches frequently in this novel. However, it is never as constant or as intense as in TSATF.)(less)
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Anthony Vacca
Sanctuary is a bleak southploitation novel casually dismissed by Faulkner as a "potboiler" he wrote to make a few bucks back when he was a coal-shoveler who pumped out groundbreaking experimental novels by night. Faulkner also claims he wrote this novel with the modest goal in mind of writing the most horrific tale he could imagine. Say what you will about the merits of this book (read: piss off if you dismiss this book) but you have to give the man his due: this novel is some seriously twisted ...more
OK, Im going to be honest and tell you how I feel about Faulkner.....Fuck Faulkner. No, seriously, fuck him! Im sorry, he's got a lot of street cred. but his books are slow and dull and do not capture the reader at all within the first chapter (I have the attention span of a fish). This is ground for dismissal on my part. I tried reading this one and "The Sound and Fury" and even though they sounded awesome, within the first chapter I couldn't read anymore. His work is like nails on a chalkboard ...more
I want to begin by saying that reading through the reviews for this book is a very frustrating experience. Every second review quotes that Faulkner only wrote this book to make money and that this is why they do not like the book.

Let me clarify this issue for anyone that doesn't know the actual facts surrounding the changes that Sanctuary undertook before it was published. I'm certain other people have done so already on this thread, but please humour me.

Here is a quote from Faulkner at the ba
Ogni volta che chiudo un libro di Faulkner, sento immancabilmente il bisogno di ricominciarne la lettura dall'inizio, per timore di essermi lasciata sfuggire qualche sfumatura del significato che lo scrittore ha inteso affidare al testo; tanto più che l'audacia stilistica e strutturale che caratterizza questo autore di norma lo rende tanto complesso quanto magnifico e unico.
Anche con Santuario mi è successo di dovere ritornare sulle pagine, non per la prosa o l'intreccio - che si attengono ai c
This is considered one of Faulkner's more accessible books. He said he wrote it "just for the money". It is easier to read than many others. My problem with Faulkner is, he makes me feel dumb. I have trouble following his narratives, always have. Sometimes he can go for several pages of dialog between two characters and never refer to the identity of the person speaking. Is this deliberate? Anyway, I only had trouble with one part of this book. There is a character named Red who shows up and get ...more
May 08, 2008 Cory rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brendan and Becca
I must say that Sanctuary is so far my favorite Faulkner novel. This may seem weird to people who know Faulkner, as it was considered my many (and said by WF himself) that this was his most commercial book and was made so he could break into the more mainstream audiences. I however do not believe this and find that it is another cause of a brilliant author playing down a novel that may not be as poetic and elegant as their other novels, but better in ways that may seem "commercial" or "popular". ...more
This is the book that put Faulkner on the map back in 1931, 27 years before Lolita was published in the US and put Nabokov in the same public spotlight. In both cases, these writers had produced several great novels prior, but it was their shocking portrayal of a young girl's rape that drew the public's attention.

Set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Sanctuary follows the story of Horace Benbow after he leaves his wife and step-daughter. He returns to his childhood hometown, and is q
Beale Stainton
Faulkner is a brilliant writer, perhaps one of the best. The story line is not for the faint hearted. There are a number of major questions looming, but personally, I'm not even going to bother with them. I often found myself completely taken by the poetry of Faulkners sentences and paragraphs, that had the author been any less of a writer then the book would be one of the worst ever written. Yes, it is a very fine and balanced art. I only stopped reading it 10 minutes ago so it is all too fresh ...more
Днес посегнах на Фокнър. Посегнах към това, което беше най-близо до креслото, а това за съжаление се оказа криминален роман. Единственият му криминален роман. Този тип литература ме изнервя, ядосва и отегчава със своето старание да замаскира, винаги изненадващия финал. Щом кралят-Конан Дойл със своя Холмс не можаха да ме задържат повече от 2 разказа, то какво да говорим за автор, на който жанрът му е чужд.
За моя изненада, това се оказа съвсем порядъчна книга с доста банална история, разбира се
Part of my re-reading of Faulkner project. I may write more later, but I revisited this one shortly before joining Goodreads. Anyway, basically Faulkner does noir. And he does it very well. One of the most disturbing books in American Literature. A genre book that is so much more. Ever been somewhere you didn't want to be? With bad people giving you the Eye? If you ever want to recapture that creepy feeling, this is the book for you. As Temple Drake, a major character in the book puts it: "Somet ...more
I could give this 4 stars just for the writing. I love Faulkner's writing style (when I can understand anything happening). I don't know what exactly it is, but he somehow oozes that slow easy southern world that he is writing about.

As far as Faulkner goes, this was only a moderately confusing book. There are a bunch of wild and crazy characters hanging out and drinking around a moonshiners place, and I was never quite sure who was who, who owned the place, who did what, or even how many there w
Nov 02, 2009 Hambonebro rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in great writing
I am into writing my second book. The plot is semi-developed. I like it like that because depending on how the characters come to life a lot of flexibility is required. My stories
shape up best when I can inhabit the characters and identify with what makes them tick and as of last week things were moving slowly.

The reason may be because unlike my first one, “Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed” where one of the subjects featured was the world of hip hop, which I was completely familiar with from my work as
Sam Reaves
OK, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. No doubt he deserved it. That doesn't put him beyond criticism. I had trouble with this book, which is supposedly Faulkner's "potboiler". It's certainly lurid enough, with its tale of the rape and corruption of a young girl at the hands of Memphis gangsters, but we shouldn't have to work so hard to get through a potboiler. Not only are some of the key passages so cryptically phrased that it's tough to figure out what just happened (no doubt to avoid cen ...more
It hurts so much. And it uses elements of Faulkner's best stories--the outsider attorney showing the South to itself, the lynch mob mentality that sweeps up crowds of churchgoing Mississippians, the cold morality of (some) women, the super messed up family.
But he didn't write it to be good, he wrote it to be shocking and exciting, yet painful. So you go, Will F. Mission accomplished. While you're at it, pat me and tell me things are going to turn out OK for somebody in this OK, then
This was my first Faulkner (I know I know!) and maybe not the best choice for a first impression. In book club I learned it was considered a "pot boiler" and was one of his best sellers, probably because of the sex and booze included. (But not sexy sex in case that intrigued you). I'm told that of Faulkner's work, this is a more plot driven novel, although our group agreed not the most pleasant of plots. That said, the writing gives the reader a strong sense of place, and many passages are absol ...more
You guys, I didn't love it. I feel like I should re-read it with a cliffs notes, so I can get the people, places and chronology straight. But. I just don't care. Like, at all.
Celisa Steele
Aug 09, 2007 Celisa Steele rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those already familiar with Faulkner
I think The Sound and Fury and Absalom, Absalom are great books; Sanctuary is a good book. That's why I said I'd recommend Sanctuary to those already familiar with Faulkner. That said, on the other side of the coin, Sanctuary could be like Faulkner with training wheels, as I think the strong plot helps carry readers along despite his obfuscatory style. There aren't as many beatiful lyrical passages in Sanctuary as in The Sound and Fury and Absalom, Absalom either (assuming I'm remembering correc ...more
This title must be meant ironically, as there is no sanctuary for anyone in this book. The narrative, start to finish, is harrowing and senseless and an apt if exaggerated depiction of human society nearly devoid of love (save for Horace Benbow, poor guy, and the women he tries to help), or even sense (in that regard, I was reminded of Samuel Beckett). The writing and imagery are compelling and at times gorgeous and at time stomach-turning. I prefer 'As I Lay Dying,' which was similar but offere ...more
Don't take this the wrong way, the man can write a book, but I just couldn't identify with his crude, disenchanted and raw writing, with his evil and cruel characters and the style in which it was written. Maybe with another of his books, maybe when I'm older, I'll be able to endure this sad portrait of human existence. For now, I prefer to join my Kazuo Ishiguro and my Jane Austen.
Really enjoyed this. What an amazing writer. The tension builds slowly. The writing style still feels modern. There is a cinematic quality, as a scene is set up and then left, and changes to another place and characters who mention what happened after leaving the previous scene. Much more powerful than spelling it out in detail.
În afară de faptul că e formidabil de bine scris, nu ştiu ce să vă mai spun despre acest roman, fără să vă stric vreuna dintre multele surprize de care veţi avea parte. Gândiţi-vă că staţi tolăniţi cu o carte bună de Faulkner în mână, la căldurică, şi la un moment dat simţiţi că începe să se întunece afară. Vezi oarece nori negri în depărtare, care se tot apropie şi brusc te trezeşti cu acoperişul smuls de deasupra capului şi supt în vârtejul unei tornade din care n-ai cum să scapi întreg. Cam a ...more
This novel is fucking terrible. But don't worry. Faulkner has more than plenty of great novels to outshine this tiny blemish.
-The writing isn't up to Faulkner's wickedly high standards, but it's still better than most anything else. Had F taken the time to revise it before cashing in it would be seen as equal to his prior two by lit types.
-Many point out the book's bleakness but like the high tragedies F drew from it is not without comic relief. An episode of two townfolk unwittingly staying in a Memphis brothel stands out.
-Unfortunately the naming here is a little cute. Narcisa, the self-absorbed sister, Temple Drake
It's hard to believe Faulkner's claim that this was written purely for money, since it's such a dull, slow, unremarkable, unmemorable, unworthy book. A book about stupid rednecks in a boring redneck town getting into braindead redneck trouble is not as interesting as it might sound. And it doesn't sound that interesting. But a capable storyteller and yarn-weaver could have turned this into something worth reading and worth talking about. Faulkner doesn't seem to have the chops. He can spell and ...more
Christopher Sutch
Frankly, this novel is a hot mess. The prose is uneven (and some of it is just plain clunky), due possibly to the circumstances of its composition and eventual publication (according to Polk, the novel was written after the publication of _Sartoris_ [_Flags in the Dust_], but was rejected for publication until after _The Sound and the Fury_ and _As I Lay Dying_ were published; my own personal feeling about this is that parts of the novel may date even further back in Faulkner's career, perhaps a ...more
Wow, I never knew Faulkner could be like this. Considered his potboiler, this is extreme southern gothic. There is incredible imagery that amounts to lewd posturing that could easily have been done in comic book form, such as a fat sweaty man peeping through a keyhole while the villian, never without his hat, silently lights a cigarette and, standing over him, edges the flame closer and closer to the man's sweaty neck. Every description reaches to be as wretched as possible. Faulkner can still r ...more
Kelsey Lancraft
I will be the first to admit that any book of Faulkner's is not an easy read. But I will be the first to protest that the complexity and complication characteristic of his books make them a worthwhile read. This is definitely true of this book. It tells the story of Miss Temple Drake, a privileged girl who faces actual trouble for the first time when she is stranded on a farm homestead. Here she falls victim to the villainous men that live there, changing her forever into a different girl. This ...more
i have mixed feelings about this novel.

first and foremost, faulkner is an amazing stylist. it feels like i slip off into an alternate universe each time i read him. faulkner doesn't tell stories; he creates climates. there's something earthy and visceral about his language, and it was interesting to see it applied to pulpier material than i'm used to (i've only read the sound and the fury and as i lay dying otherwise). a fairly thick plot is lurking beneath all of sanctuary's style, even if it's
Neil Campbell
I feel as though Faulkner needs Adderall. As if he has A.D.D. He tends to write in an obfuscatory manner and I find it to be trite. Instead of focus, he gives one haze. He tries to hide the mystery in such fashion. Anyone who has read a good mystery will know the difference between good plot development and this mess of pretentious ambiguity. The story, when arranged in linear fashion, is understandable, but nothing spectacular. I kept waiting for some revelation, some character to be more than ...more
I actually enjoy reading this just to chill out, but it's clearly as much of as cash-in as Faulkner was willing or able able to do, and the shocking courtroom revelation (corncob!) seems a rather strained attempt to offend the genteel audience WF resented. I find Popeye and Horace fascinating, but Temple is a cipher of a femme fatale---although the final scene in the Luxembourg Gardens (sp, I'm sure) is pretty awesome, even if it has nada to do with the plot itself. The two goobers who don't rea ...more
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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...
The Sound and the Fury As I Lay Dying Light in August Absalom, Absalom! A Rose for Emily

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“It's not four days ago I find a bastard squatting here, asking me if I read books. Like he would jump me with a book or something. Take me for a ride with the telephone directory.” 3 likes
“I be dog if hit don't look like sometimes that when a fellow sets out to play a joke, hit ain't another fellow he's playing that joke on; hit's a kind of big power laying still somewhere in the dark that he sets out to prank with without knowing hit, and hit all depends on whether that ere power is in the notion to take a joke or not, whether or not hit blows up right in his face, like this one did in mine. ("A Bear Hunt")” 3 likes
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