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The Unvanquished

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  3,698 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Set in Mississippi during the Civil War and Reconstruction, THE UNVANQUISHED focuses on the Sartoris family, who, with their code of personal responsibility and courage, stand for the best of the Old South's traditions.
Paperback, 293 pages
Published October 29th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1938)
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The Unvanquished is a coming-of-age novel set during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Six of the seven stories were individually published in the Saturday Evening Post and Scribners before Faulkner finished it as a novel. The book is narrated by Bayard Sartoris as he looks back on his life on a Mississippi plantation from age 12 to 24.

The young Bayard thinks of war as a great adventure, and he has a "hero worshiping" attitude toward his father, Colonel John Sartoris, who leads a Confed
Even if I struggled with streams of thought or with following the action or with unfamiliarity of Faulkner’s style, there was the ending. Oh, the ending. How important it is to a book and how seldom it can redeem the faults one has had with the book up to that point. But here we follow a boy of twelve from childhood to manhood, true manhood. Until the end we do not know what truly lies in his heart.

This book begs to be read again to gather those clues of Bayard’s coming into his own. To see him
Diane Barnes
"Ringo said, "And don't yawl worry about Granny. She cide what she want and then she kneel down about ten seconds and tell God what she aim to do and then she git up and do hit. And them that don't like it can git outer the way or git trompled."

There you have two of my favorite characters in Faulkner: Granny, brave, indomitable, pious, stubborn, a strong southern woman to the core. And Ringo, smarter than his master, conniving, loyal, always thinking, always there with what was needed. This tale
The Unvanquished: Faulkner's Civil War

The Unvanquished was chosen as a group read by . Special thanks to Co-Moderator Co-Moderator Diane Barnes, "Miss Scarlette," for nominating this novel. "The Trail" continues to explore the works of William Faulkner. It is my hope that we will one day complete all of them.

He was besotted with history, his own and those of people around him. He lived within this history, and the history became him.--Robert Penn Warren, speaking of William Faulknerto Jay Pari
A boy, twelve years old, is growing up the middle of the Civil War--the American one, though in many ways it could be any civil war. Bayard and his best friend Ringo make maps of the battle fields in the rich soil and play soldier on the family plantation. War is an adventure, a Romantic dream of valor and anything other than glorious victory seems impossible.

Bayard’s awakening is at first a thing happening at the animal level, a consciousness that is ancient—the way a dog detects something new
I first read The Unvanquished half a century ago, because I had been told that it was the best Faulkner novel to start with. (Actually, it's not a novel at all, but a linked series of short stories with the same characters.) Seeing the Civil War through the eyes of Bayard Sartoris, son of a Southern war hero, and Ringo (short for Marengo), a former family slave who is Bayard's age, was nothing short of brilliant. I loved the book even more the second time around, and I definitely understood it m ...more
Lee Thompson
A fun and strangely dark novel from Faulkner. I like when he allowed himself do some deadpan comedy.
This is a group of stories told by Bayard Sartoris a 14-15 year old boy in Mississippi about his family's plight during the Civil war. An interesting cast of characters; his Father Colonel John Sartoris, Granny Rosa , who steals and resells mules to the Calvary , his cousin Drusilla, who rides in disguise with the soldiers, and his best friend , the recently freed slave Ringo ( who has the books best lines ) That these chapters were submitted by Faulkner to the Saturday Evening Post as serial re ...more
Having read Flags in the Dust last year made this a special read along with the OTSLT group now. To see the very early years of Bayard Sartoris with his father and Grandmother, the skirmishes with Yankee troops, as well as Granny's clever hoodwinking of same to support those dependent on her during those very hard times has been exciting. Faulkner's vision of these people and their land is so consistent as to be amazing. To see the forebears of the Snopes and others adds to enjoyment of other bo ...more

All the stories are good, mostly previously published in The Saturday Evening Post in the late thirties when he was "stirring the pot" making some quick cash while he worked on Absalom.

Each of the intertwined tales concerns two boys, one white and one black, growing up after the trauma of the Civil War. Colonel Sartoris, the fading patriarch, presides over the desiccated landscape and the ruins of Southern gentility. They work well together, complementing each other and keeping the narrative
Kirk Smith
Easily my favorite Faulkner! There are many more to be read, so I have much learn. This may have been his novel for novices and easy to follow. The violent death of Grumby was "(he didn't scream, he never made a sound) and the pistol both at the same time was level and steady as a rock." I don't know if that sounds like revenge and the death of a scoundrel to you, but I had to go back and search for the violence just to be sure a death transpired. Subtle violence with little or no blood! Compar ...more

ينفذ إليك فوكنر رغم الترجمات الرديئة، ورغم تخليه عن أسلوبه المميز في السرد متعدد الأصوات، فهو هنا يشتت روايته لتبدو كقصص قصيرة – وقد نشرت كذلك في البداية – حول عائلة سارتوريس وخاصة طفلهم بايارد ورفيقه الزنجي رينجو، في أحداث تدور فترة الحرب الأهلية الأمريكية وما بعدها في الجنوب الأمريكي المهزوم، رواية فاتنة عن الشجاعة وعن الحيل التي يقوم بها الإنسان ليعيش، وعن الخيانة، وعن الانتقام، وعن العفو وكسر سلسلة الدم، يستعيد فوكنر في هذه الرواية ذكرى والده في شخصية الضابط جون سارتوريس والد باي
Billy O'Callaghan
It's been a few years since I read Faulkner, but I picked this one up last week and it was just a complete joy. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it.
This, basically, is the story of the coming-of-age of Bayard Sartoris, over a period of about a decade, from the age of eleven or twelve through into manhood. Told in seven chapters, each written originally as a short story and all but the final part published in magazines prior to being reworked into a novel form, it stands as a depict
Mrs. Ward
Just shoot me! I get it, I get it. William Faulkner is "one of the greats" a "lead in the canon of American History." However, I cannot bring myself to appreciate his work. The only reason I made it all the way through the book was because I was forced to read it for a literature course several years ago. I didn't see the "art" in it. I just felt tortured.
Still making my mind up about this one; in many ways, I like this novel as much if not more than I liked much of the Faulkner that I've read. It's unified in that there was only one point of view character, Bayard Sartoris, as opposed to the multiple narrators (sometimes as many as fifteen) that are common in Faulkner's works. It also has a compact period of time, about ten years in Bayard's life, from the early 1860s to the 1870s, from when he was a young boy in the Civil War until he is a law ...more
I try, try, try to love Faulkner - but I just can't go from like to love. One thing this story does that I have not seen much of, is explore how "freedom" for the slaves after the Civil War was really not much freedom at all. What the heck were they free to do? Where did they live? How did they live? What did they eat? The solutions were to steal from their former masters, or to return to them to work as share croppers or some other barely paid position.

I found it very disconcerting to go from
So intrinsic to a time, place, core feeling that my words can't do it justice. Thinking of Granny for awhile before my meager descriptive reaction.


This work is perfection. The mix of dialect and formal word beauty phenomenal. There is not a nuance unvisited, nor a gut clench obscured.

These, IMHO, are the best bloomed characters in all his masterful and effusive publishing. The boys, John, Granny, Drusila and every character in every full flower of their identity and force. There are at lea
Al Gellene
I have to admit that I feel terribly ambiguous about Faulkner. I am in thrall with the writing. It flows and eddies in a mesmerizing way. His characters are like forces of nature, impelled by who and what they are to unavoidable conflict and, for many of them, doom. That the narrative sometimes borders on impenetrable, not so much in The Unvanquished, as much as in Absalom, Absalom and his many of his other novels, forces the reader to fixate on the prose, delve deeply into the dark and unfathom ...more
Paul Clayton

I finally finished The Unvanquished a week or so ago. Been so busy with my own writing and publishing, actually, mostly publishing, cause that’s what I am now, for all intents and purposes, ‘self-published.’ So, even a little one hundred and ninety page novel took me weeks. (Oh, did I say I have a job and a commute?) Anyway, The Unvanquished — I really enjoyed it! I’m lovin’ my current regimen of interspersing my readings of modern novels, literary and genre, with works from the literary canon.
Apparently I had to read this book for a college course on Southern Women Writers. I had no recollection of it, or of why we had to read Faulkner's version of Southern womanhood. Probably because I read it in 2 hours at Lamont Library during a forced reading frenzy & retained zippo.

Anyhow, WOW! I wish I could give this book to everyone who thinks "Gone with the Wind" is the best thing besides Botox.
As an examination of what life was really like in the South during and after the Civil War, y
After giving up on "Absalom! Absalom!", I turned to this in the set of four Faulkner novels that I had checked out from the library. I've been a fan of Faulkner's since high school when I did a thesis on "The Sound and the Fury"...I respect his technical superiority immensely, but at this point in my life slogging through A!A! was simply not working out.

"The Unvanquished" is really a whole other kettle of fish. It's a classic example of Southern Gothic writing and I think it should be read in co
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Very interesting. This book is made up of 7 stories, the first 6 of which were published individually while Faulkner was working on Absalom, Absalom!. The stories are sequential, starting early in the Civil War and ending about 10 years later. It is told in the first person by the son of Colonel John Sartoris. I assume this is the same family as in Faulkner's first novel, Sartoris, which was later published in a more complete form as Flags in the Dust. I will look forward to reading that.

This is
The Unvanquished by William Faulkner

This novel ties in with the rest of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County stories. This one follows the Sartoris family through the American Civil War, and part of Reconstruction. The action is seen through the youngest son, Bayard, who is about 15 years old in the beginning and through a good segment of the action.

Faulkner created both larger than life characters and the everyday, mundane details that make a story great. His lyrical and musical style flows with di
Ami Nicholson
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I love William Faulkner, and the characters in this novel are sensational. Some of the passages are so beautiful and are worded so perfectly, I read them more than once. This is a collection of Civil War stories that were compiled into a novel, and with the exception of the shift in chronology at the very end, the story flows quite well. The Editor's Note at the end of the book explains that this was the result of some rewriting and clever editing, b ...more
A Faulkner sentence stretches on and on indefinitely, connected by seemingly purposelessly by numerous ands and semicolons, as if it were attempting to contain everything it possibly could from the scene it describes, both past and future, to the point where almost no action occurs, even when two major characters face each other in an office of law, two pistols drawn; the guns are not shot within the sentence, but rather described as not shot then later remembered to have been shot.

In addition,
Michael Dworaczyk
Hemingway once remarked that he could tell when Faulkner picked up the glass while writing. I, myself am always tempted to pour myself a nice, large glass of bourbon while reading him, but I always refrain. Drinking may have helped Faulkner write his “stream of consciousness” passages, but it certainly doesn’t assist me in keeping up with him.

Initially published as disparate short stories, this novel brings them together as chapters, with a new one for the end. It is set during the Civil War, an
Printable Tire
Like a lot of people, the only Faulkner I've read was the Sound and the Fury in college, and though I have to grudgingly admit it was pretty good, like a lot of people I thought it was stupidly hard to read. So with a little trepidation I read The Unvanquished, which is a lot easier to read, though still I think it's no sign of literary merit when a reader can't figure out easily how characters are related to one another or what certain pronouns are referring to for long stretches of time.

The Un
D Fisher
Faulkner is the greatest American novelist (in my humble opinion of course) and apart from his short stories, the Unvanquished is a wise way to break into the tangle that is his prose: hauntingly beautiful at times, and often challenging, because above all, Faulkner makes you think, makes you pause and reread what you just thought you understood because there is often a deeper meaning behind his words; the man had an unbelievably deep mind, not sure he even knew how deep it was. But what's best ...more
Brian Willis
Faulkner's bildungsroman novel crafted from a series of short stories diverting himself from the construction of Absalom Absalom. In essence, these are the equivalent of Hemingway's In Our Time, Fitzgerald's Josephine and Baker stories, Steinbeck's Red Pony, and Joyce's Dubliners. But imagine if these writers were to construct those stories in their mature prime and then watch that collection overshadowed by their masterpieces despite the fact that The Unvanquished forms a more cohesive whole th ...more
William Faulkner's favorite television programs:

Dot Comedy
ABC series featuring humorous material from the Internet.

The Will
CBS reality show in which family members and friends competed to be named the beneficiary of a will.

Ford Nation
A talk show hosted by Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto.

Who's Your Daddy?
Fox reality series that involved an adopted woman trying to identify her biological father amongst a group of impostors.

Heil Honey I'm Home!
Caricatures of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun living in matrimon
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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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“Maybe times are never strange to women: it is just one continuous monotonous thing full of the repeated follies of their menfolks.” 16 likes
“Men have been pacifists for every reason under the sun except to avoid danger and fighting.” 15 likes
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