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Mosquitoes

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  487 ratings  ·  55 reviews
William Faulkner's famous novel of wealthy, sensation-seeking Bohemians among the dedicated artists of New Orleans' famed Latin Quarter--a brilliant, satiric picture of life in the Jazz Age.
A Laurel Edition Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 1965 by Dell Publishing Co., Inc. (first published 1927)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,064)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3* of five

I was underwhelmed by Faulkner's second novel. Not that it's a *bad* book, it's just...well, I can't say it better than this:

"Joyce's masterwork ULYSSES (which I don't much like) "inspired" Uncle Bill to put in a lot of sex-talk, including *gasp* explicitly lesbian desires!! Maud Martha, bring the sal volatile and loosen my stays, the wimminfolk are runnin' amok!"

See the whole sorry mess at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Stuart
Even with a whiskey chaser this is not exactly a page turner. The characters seem like rejects from a Tennessee Williams play who've forgotten how to talk. Faulkner is so in love with the sound of his own voice that he can't seem to write character dialogue. He also repeats himself repeats himself in a fashion that I'm sure he meant to be Homeric, but which is simply annoying. And speaking of all things Homeric, has this guy got a crush on James Joyce or what? I understand that Ulysses was all t ...more
Mallory
Aug 04, 2008 Mallory rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mallory by: Ian Phillips
I'm giving this book a five star rating because at first and superficial glance it will make me look smart because I liked a book by Falkner finally. I'm supposed to because I live in New Orleans, right?

I don't know if it was a bad book because it took me five months to read as all the characters were so hateful and unbearable to be around for long periods of time or if it was a good book because Faulkner got me engaged enough to want to torture and kill all of the sniveling pieces on that boat.
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Tyler Crumrine
Unpopular opinion: Mosquitoes is actually my favorite Faulkner novel. It may not have the same "gravity of human experience" as his other works, but in it we find Faulkner as comedian attempting to explore and express his views on "serious art." And he does a fantastic job. Hugely entertaining and genuinely insightful, it's repeatedly the Faulkner novel I most look forward to reading again and again.
Mat
A largely overlooked semi-masterpiece

This was one of the easiest and most pleasant books by William Faulkner that I have ever read. It contains the typically unforgettable, i.e. singular Faulknerian characters, is influenced heavily by Joyce's emphasis on sexual themes, and features some of the most devastatingly sardonic humour in it I have ever come across. In parts, it is also rather blatantly misogynistic.

The storyline of Mosquitoes centres around a yacht expedition of various artists, cads
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Adrian Astur Alvarez
As a disconnected and individual book, this one wasn't very good. However, in the context of Faulkner's artistic development (particularly juxtaposed with Soldiers' Pay), Mosquitoes is a very interesting read. Here, the young writer maintained his social interest in the characters inhabiting his world but compounded them with a much more elaborate and ambitious intellectual project. At times, sure, this came off as overly engineered and trying to hard, but the fact that he was even interested in ...more
DaveB
There are a few really beautiful parts to this book. But mostly I was bored. Because perhaps the only thing more boring than people talking about art is reading about people talking about art. And maybe thats the point. Because the only real artist in the book doesn't talk about it. He just does.
Chip
This is a good book. Not Faulkner's best book by a mile. But a good book nonetheless.

Some glimpses at the brilliance to come are littered throughout a Felliniesque tale of Bohemians and the idle rich aboard a boat in New Orleans. Characters aside from the two young girls, the old biddy, the older perv, and the sculptor are a bit interchangeable. For the life of me I will not ever remember the difference between Ayers, Fairchild, and "the Semitic Man", but no worries. What you're getting here is
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Tariq Alferis
.سمعت الكثير عن "عبقرية" فوكنر وأدب فوكنر، وإن لم تقرأ لفوكنر أنت لست بقارئ وإلخ، تحدث ماركيز عنه ووصفه بالمعجزة الأمريكية، كانت التجربة الأولى مع الصخب والعنف مُستمرة من أكثر من ستة شهور وأنا غارق في الحرب الآهلية في الجنوب الأمريكي بين محور الجنوبي والشمالي ، قررت نقرأ عمل اخر ليه واخترت الثاني "البعوض"، رواية كرسها فوكنر لسخرية من الطبقة التى تسمي نفسها مثقفة "نيواورليانز"، كانت الرواية الثانية للكاتب لاقت عدم انتشار واهتمام كبير، لم تعجبني ..
Christopher Sutch
A definite step backwards from his first novel. This one still contains some beautiful images and prose, but far too much pedantic talk about art and aesthetics (which is part of the point: "mosquitoes" being parasites, and none of the artists portrayed in the book producing a bit of art during the course of the book [with one exception], instead using their reputations to sponge off the rich and TALK about art...endlessly). This is notable for what is perhaps one of the first modern novels to c ...more
Ann Santori
This novel has so much . . . potential. There are beautiful images abounding, and fascinating insights into artistic philosophy. That being said, without much of a plot to hold it together and with a fair dash of prose experiments on Faulkner's part, Mosquitoes is a supremely difficult read. It's almost as if the reader is alternately drowning and then coming up for air each time Faulkner offers a reprieve in the form of one of his more skillful passages (the foray into New Orleans' swamps is re ...more
Katharine Yvonne
To be honest, it has been awhile since I've read this book. But I felt the need to put up on my list with the other amazing works of fiction I've read lately. I am a pretty big Faulkner fan, but I grew tired with the similarities between most of his better known books.

Mosquitoes is a breath of fresh air after reading Faulkner's other works--not because he isn't an incredible writer, but because it is more Fitzgerald-like than it is Faulkner-like. I vividly recall the characters eating grapefruit
...more
Esteban Gordon
Though slagged as Faulkner's worse novel by the all knowing academia, I actually found it to be a good read. It was far, far superior to Faulkner's first, Soldier's Pay. This reads much more like Faulkner in his prime. More a novel of ideas than anything else, it introduces us to some of his future favorite words like... "fecund." Sadly, "ratiocination" and "apotheosis" have yet to surface. As Faulkner himself references, this may perhaps be his ode to Balzac. And as another Facebook review note ...more
Adam
Not the easiest book that I have ever read, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Mrs Maurier invites a number of artistic New Orleans folk to join her and some others on a cruise on her private yacht. Thus confined, numerous conversations, many of an elevated nature, occur along with much flirtation. Serious conversations in which the author explores the meaning of art are interspersed with sensuous descriptions of frustrated amorous adventures.

Though not an easy read, it made me want to read more of Fa
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Bryan
I loved this book. It's been a while since I've read it, but I thought it was just wonderful.

I suspect that this was near autobiographical to a young Faulkner, as most early works are, and therefore giving the reader personal insight into the man; much like Portrait was to Joyce.

The relationship between benefactor and artist, from the perspective of the artist, is laid out perfectly by all those blood sucking mosquitoes.

OK, it's no Absalom Absalom, but it's pretty damn good.
Tommy
Was pretty scathing towards the rich, artists and what would today be called hipsters. Calling out the frivolity of their lives and prescribed roles they are called to fulfill.

Ultimately though it just felt uninspired. It plodded along, which after having lived in New Orleans, definitely gave a sense of the hot heavy summers, which sap everything out of you.

Not one of his best known works for a reason. Pass on this.
Jeff
Drags in places. Not just because of Faulkner's long passages of stream of consciousness...though that is here too. But just because there's not really a story here. Faulkner is working out a lot of how he sees art and its purpose. And how he sees women...less than flatteringly. An interesting early novel. Better than the first one, but it's a big jump from this to The Sound and the Fury, two books later.
Crystal
This is the only book I've read by William Faulkner, and to my understanding it is quite different from his other works, but I enjoyed it as a story. The characters serving as caricatures were consistently entertaining and the feelings evoked by the writing itself helped me to understand why Faulkner is considered such a quintessential Southern writer.
John Everett
A lot better than it gets credit for. Reminiscent of Waugh and early Huxley. There are some brief Joycean moments that don't really work, but that prefigure more successful experimentation in later Faulkner novels. Not as good or ambitious as Sartoris, but far more accomplished and coherent than Soldiers' Pay.
Joe Davis
Definite improvement over his first novel. The book contained the most humor of any Faulkner novel, which made it strange due to my past experiences with his writing. He starts to dabble with a bit more adventurous writing techniques that would become his halmark later on. All and all a pretty enjoyable read.
Materreads
Faulkner cracks me up with this wry light social commentary of southern gentility and how the spirit of beauty and life survives despite the characters accepting their stations in society. Loved the buzzing thread.
Matt
Jan 03, 2009 Matt rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Hard core Faulkner lovers who have patience
Shelves: fiction
The main reason I read this is because I wanted to read something by Faulkner. Apparently, I chose the wrong one! This is all I had on my shelf. It didn't seem to have any point and as one reviewer points out - never mentions mosquitoes! I would have loved to ask Faulkner what he was doing with this. Perhaps, I missed it.
There are moments of literary excellence and clever writing, but overall, it's a dud.
I found a few interesting quotes in the book. Some embedded in the conversation and others f
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Michael David
'You don't commit suicide when you are disappointed in love. You write a book.'

Mosquitoes is a unique novel of William Faulkner. His serpentine style wasn't fully formed at the time he wrote the novel: sometimes, the novel even read like Hemingway, both because of the subject matter (artistes) and the terseness of Bill's writing style. It wasn't a difficult read (especially when compared to Absalom, Absalom! or The Sound and the Fury), but it was a novel that was boring and uneventful for the mo
...more
David Xavier
I like Faulkner. He’s so hard to read but so good and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. This one, while really good in parts, is a…well, I suggest reading Absalom first. If I read this one first, I would have tossed Faulkner aside as too-hard-for-me, and missed out on his masterpieces. It’s not bad. It’s actually a really intricate story with some devastatingly written scenes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Too much of a slog to get to an ending that isn’t as powerful as I’ve come to expect f ...more
Txe Polon
Una novela en la que la premisa es mejor que el resultado: una sátira sobre un grupo de snobs y pedantes que pululan sin destino y emiten un zumbido con su cháchara insustnacial, convertidos en un hatajo de mosquitos insignificantes. Esta idea aporta momentos sensacionales en los que se vislumbra el futuro estilo lacónico y elíptico de Faulkner, pero en general no deja de tenerse la sensación de que es más un ejercicio de estilo que una novela completa.
Sean Sullivan
This is my first five star review and I have read some really amazing books! Faulkner sets himself apart via his mastery of language, story telling, dialog, and character development.He never misses a step. About a chapter and a half into the read i thought, "This is why my mother thinks I can't write!" And I am OK with needing to work to aspire to Faulkner.
Don
Other than a southern setting, this isn't much like a Faulkner novel. A few wealthy people and a few intellectuals (or wannabes) go on a boat trip. It's more mannered than what Faulkner would normally give us, but there is a salacious tinge and the occasional flash of humor. Ultimately forgettable if it had been written by somebody else.
Devin Bruce
I don't know what to think of this book. It's my first exposure to Faulkner, and I hear that he gets much better later in his career, and at this point I feel he kind of has to. There are flashes of brilliance but they always sputter out to nowhere. I think Mosquitoes is trying to say something about art and sex and women and the upper class and human nature, but I will be damned if I can tell you what it is. It's so damn opaque. I don't know what the point of the book is, other than to get a co ...more
Northlake Library
This novel has so much . . . potential. There are beautiful images abounding, and fascinating insights into artistic philosophy. That being said, without much of a plot to hold it together and with a fair dash of prose experiments on Faulkner's part, Mosquitoes is a supremely difficult read. It's almost as if the reader is alternately drowning and then coming up for air each time Faulkner offers a reprieve in the form of one of his more skillful passages (the foray into New Orleans' swamps is re ...more
Erik Wyse
Vastly different from Faulkner's later works, this second novel offers some great comedic moments, as well as early glimpses and signs of what Faulkner's style would eventually settle on, though without the same consistency and potency.
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The Bookhouse Boys: Mosquitoes Discussion 51 16 Nov 27, 2012 07:17PM  
  • Scritti corsari
  • Poems by T. S. Eliot
  • The Lady from the Sea
  • Junior's Leg: A Novel
  • The Mystic Masseur
  • Il Male oscuro
  • Racconti matematici
  • The Torrents of Spring
  • Poor White
  • New Orleans Noir
  • The spire, William Golding : notes
  • Un amore
  • Zoo or Letters Not About Love
  • A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (Writings of Henry D. Thoreau)
  • La vita agra
  • Early Work, 1970-1979
  • Don't Call It Night
  • Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds
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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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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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