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As I Lay Dying

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  95,729 Ratings  ·  4,605 Reviews
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in turns by each of the family members—including Addie herself—the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.
Paperback, 267 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1930)
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Edward Darl's perceptions of his family and the world are one of Faulkner's primary focuses in AILD. As you get further in, you'll realize that he is the…moreDarl's perceptions of his family and the world are one of Faulkner's primary focuses in AILD. As you get further in, you'll realize that he is the primary narrator and the development of his character is crucial to what the book is trying to say, thematically speaking. It's my opinion that Faulkner wanted his readers to see how Darl would have imagined his mother's death, rather than the actual event, because it is more revealing of Darl's character. Other readers and critics believe that Darl's acute sensitivity to others and his surroundings borders on omniscience: that it is merely part of his character. Also, Darl may be a sort-of stand-in character for Faulkner himself, and, thus, is burdened with the actual truth of the narrative. No answer is definitive, and all are probably correct. Obscuring narrative certainty was a hallmark characteristic of Faulkner's writing, as well as many other Modernists, and is usually a reflection of the time's philosophy that truth lays beyond man's limited, individual perspective.(less)
Vasil Marku Yes, in this book you shall find many worlds of imaginations seen in different angles, explored deep by many characters through the stream of…moreYes, in this book you shall find many worlds of imaginations seen in different angles, explored deep by many characters through the stream of conscience, if you prefer to easy short time results of studying you can find something else.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 27, 2008 AmyAmy rated it did not like it
I know you're "supposed to" love this book because it's Faulker, but I HATED IT! I know you're "cool" and "intelligent" if you read Faulkner, but I can't stand him. Sorry, I don't know what he's talking about (and at the risk of sounding immodest, I am bright). I DON'T think it's cool and "hip" to write in a confusing manner, and I don't try to impress others by liking ambiguity. I had my fill in college with snobs who pretended to like this stuff. Sorry I sound harsh here (I'm really a nice per ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Mar 11, 2012 Nicholas Armstrong rated it did not like it
"And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is."
............ There are people who actually like this?

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure I get it, I just don't like it. There is a family and each one is a reflection of a way of living, or in some case
Feb 13, 2010 Bram rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Without straying from his inimitable voice, Faulkner delivers a more professional, calculated effort here than with his novel of the year prior, The Sound and the Fury. There are more novel-y aspects to As I Lay Dying, and Faulkner emerges as the master of the slow- or late-reveal, which might be described as reverse-foreshadowing. As an example, Faulkner will provide a character scene that’s fraught with emotion and history and meaning, but he won't explain the context. There’s dramatic electri ...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 25, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Once you get past the ungainly oddness and wild strangeness which assails you from every direction, then you can see the weirdness which lies beyond.

The story, and there is a very strong clear linear narrative here, is wonderfully stupid. A back country family in Mississippi in the 20s has their dear mama Addie Bundren up and die on them and the lazy-ass sumbitch daddy thinks he then has to carry out her settled dying wish which, very unreasonably, was to get buried with her own kin 40 miles aw
Jul 17, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm no copyright lawyer, but it seems like Faulkner's estate could have sued the hell out of the makers of National Lampoon's Vacation. There is the obvious corpse-carting similarity, but I can almost hear the familiar refrain of Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" bleed into the scene of the Bundren's fateful river crossing. (Pre)DMCA violations were definitely afoot, at least in spirit.

This is the book for those who find Faulkner's other well known works to be intimidating. As I Lay Dying deli
Sep 10, 2010 Ademption rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, classics
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I was more or less bullied into reading this, and I still ended up loving it (after I got over the pharmacy scene, which made me want to punch-punch, though I acknowledge that was the point). My admittance of this book's awesome should stand for something considering I's tubborn as a *ahem* mule, and had for no particularly sound (or honestly even remotely thought out) reason been somewhat avoiding Faulkner for years. Okay, not really avoiding, just ehhhhh. That said, it turned out to be exactly ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Alisha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like linguistics
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Aside from the fact that the title is taken from a line in "Agamemnon" (which makes it already unbearably cool) this is a breathtaking book. It took me about four chapters to get used to Faulker's style of writing- the dialects, the chapters each being from another character's perspective, his way of having no narration so you have to figure out what is going on from the half-conversations the characters have themselves... but god, once I adjusted, I was completely floored. This is a beautiful, ...more
Farshad Firuzi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2010 RandomAnthony rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 30, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
I've noticed that, in the past couple years (and maybe this has to do with workshop in some oblique psychological way?), the books that move me and linger in me the most are ones that I have a rather contentious relationship with at first. And that's definitely what happened here. For the first half of the book, I just wanted old Billy F to write something that MADE SENSE and was UNDERSTANDABLE. The language obscured the characters, and so I found myself unable to distinguish one from another, t ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is the second book I've read by William Faulkner. My first, Intruder in the Dust, was assigned me in high school and was my introduction both to Faulkner and to the stream-of-consciouness technique. It wasn't a happy experience in either respect. Now, soon after tackling Joyce's Ulysses, considered the epitome of stream-of-consciousness literature, I finally read As You Lay Dying, which had been sitting on my bookshelf for who knows how long. It's a much easier read than Ulysses, but I'm af ...more
Sep 14, 2008 Joel rated it liked it
I respect Faulkner, but I can't say I love him. Still, this book was something. What that something was, I'm still figuring out.

The novel tells the story of the Bundren family in their quest to bury their recently deceased (well, she's alive but on her death bed when the story opens) mother, Addie. And if you thought your family was dysfunctional, you haven't read enough Faulkner yet. Think turn of the century white trash and you're getting close. The Bundrens are a muddled mass of secrets, lies
Mike Puma
Sep 23, 2010 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing
As I Lay Dying is one of those titles that all readers of literary fiction get to sooner or later—for good reasons. Not only is it one of Faulkner’s most accessible titles, it is also very quickly read and less dark than some of his other work; some of the novel’s developments are, however, told with black comedy/gallows humor.

As there are plenty of title summaries available here, I’m not going to bore readers with another one. I would, however, like to speak to some of the negative criticism t
Barry Pierce
Faulkner has chewed me up and spat me out with absolutely no remorse. Reading this is like being chastised by the big scary teacher when you were six for accidentally having fun.

I personally had no problem with Faulkner's prose but I can see where people have problems. I really enjoyed the constant changing perspective. It's a really interesting narrative device that I haven't seen employed in any other book that I've read. It makes the novel really unique and memorable.

This isn't really a plo
Oct 07, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
"My mother is a fish."

Faulkner's short novel about a rural family following the death of their matriarch. Funny, disturbing, maddening, thought provoking, and mysterious.

I have never been a big fan of stream of consciousness ( thus I have never finished The Sound and the Fury) and Faulkner does well to limit that technique here. He does employ multiple narrators, varying perspectives, themes and an eclectic narration.

I cannot help thinking this is a thin, minimalistic American version of War
Oct 13, 2014 Fahad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
بينما أرقد محتضرة

حصلت على أول راوية لفوكنر وأنا في المرحلة الثانوية، كانت من سلسلة نوبل التي تصدرها المدى، ومن ترجمة جبرا إبراهيم جبرا وبعنوان (الصخب والعنف)، لم أكن أعرف فوكنر حينها، ولكن جائزة نوبل جعلته مثيراً في عيني.

قلبت كياني (الصخب والعنف)، كانت شيئاً لم اقرأه من قبل، رواية كتبت بذكاء، وبروح حقيقية، وكانت ولازالت تتصدر قائمة الروايات التي أرغب في إعادة قراءتها مراراً مستمتعاً ومتعلماً.

ورغم شهرة فوكنر، وأستاذيته على جيل من الروائيين الأمريكيين والأمريكيين الجنوبيين إلا أنه مظلوم في التر
Feb 28, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I'm glad I decided to approach Faulkner through audiobooks. Had I not done so, it's possible that I would have abandoned his writing early on, defeated by its inherent difficulty. As it is, in each of the novels I've tackled so far - this one, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom! and The Sound and the Fury - I've been able to first engage with the narrative through the voices of the characters and the rhythm of their speech. Hearing their voices led me into their lives.

One of the things that stru
Ahmad Sharabiani
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
عنوان: گور به گور؛ نویسنده: ویلیام فاکنر؛ مترجم: نجف دریابندری؛
نجف دریابندری؛ در یادداشتی مینویسد: «گور به گور» عنوانیست که من روی این رمان گذاشته ام، زیرا نتوانسته ام عنوان اصلی آن را به عبارتی که خود بپسندم به فارسی درآورم. «همچون که دراز کشیده بودم و داشتم میمُردم» کوتاهترین عبارتی است که به نظر من معنای عنوان اصلی را دقیقاً بیان میکند. پایان نقل، این که از ترجمه عنوان کتاب، لابد برگرداندن متن اصلی به متن فارسی هم، چنین دشوار بوده، گویا، باید متن انگلیسی و فار
Jun 19, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
i'm re-reading a lot of this for my thesis...Vardaman and the extended metaphor of the mother/fish are sort of the jumping off point for what i'm doing...
the more i look into this text the more i realize how carefully Faulkner was when he wrote it...almost every word is packed with significance...
it's very concentrated...
i read once that he wrote it in a very short time, with very few re-writes...i wonder of that's seems far too artful to have been conceived off the cuff...but i'm
Apr 06, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, 2012
There were a couple of things that I think hindered me from enjoying this as much as I could have, or should have.

The gazillion character point of views frustrated the hell out of me. Especially since most of the characters were indistinguishable from each other. Multiple character point of views can be interesting and strengthen a story, here I found that since most of them sounded the same and said the same things it was redundant. So what if Faulkner was the first, or one of the first, to wr
Jan 14, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
This was the first novel I read in college, and I've taught it three times since then, probably read it at least 7-8 times by now. The characters are so implacably strange, and their journey so painful and ridiculous at the same time. It's actually a very blackly humorous book, and the humor comes out more and more with each reading. Faulkner at his best.
Oct 17, 2014 Chrissie rated it did not like it
A one star means you don't like the book. This book is not just bad; it is terrible.

It is confusing. Sure you will understand what happens, but is that why you read a book, to know step by step what happens? You are lucky if you understand how all the characters are related. You will need this link:

The characters - white trash. Even if you initially try to understand each character's personality, by the end you realize understanding these people is not w
Jun 13, 2015 Fidel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012, novels
Leí esta novela hace tres años, y parece que ya ha pasado toda una vida.

Una mañana, uno de mis mejores amigos llegó a la facultad con los ojos como platos y el pulso tembloroso a pedirme que lo hiciera. Me la tendía llena de dobleces, tachones y ceniza, como el carnet de un ex-convicto. Estaba desayunando un Red-Bull y hablándome de algunos de sus recursos con un entusiasmo desmedido mientras yo fumaba un cigarrillo detrás de otro. De vez en cuando la abría por una página al azar y resoplaba o a
Feb 25, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers of American fiction
Well Faulkner has done it again, left me wondering what to say, actually what to think, about theis book, about the Bundren family and their "quest"---a most unromantic quest at that, to bury their mother Addie. There are some comic moments but they are so overwhelmed for me by pathos, ignorance and near tragedy, that I rarely smiled and then only ruefully.

Anse the father with no capacity beyond his desire for new teeth. Darl the disturbed. Cash the damaged. Jewel the different. Vardaman the chi
I did love this book. Love may be the wrong word, as I was enthralled by it as much as I was sickened by the madness and destitution of those characters’ lives.

What are the bones of our humanity? I am talking about the frame of emotions and feelings of our being, and that if we had to bare all that was not the most essential in ourselves, what would be left in that skeleton of humanity? I think that what is left is very hard and ugly: hate, disdain, disgust, incest, isolation, avarice, betrayal
Nov 18, 2007 colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Contains what is quite possibly my favorite passage in all of literature. Darl musing:
"In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you were filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he doesnt not know whether he is or not. He cannot empty himself for sleep because he is not what he is a
Aug 11, 2015 Maryam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
در ابتدا به صورت پازل است ولی کم کم شخصیتها در ذهن نقش می بندد و بادنیای تلخ داستان همراه می شوی
Jul 26, 2014 Ginny_1807 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ancora una volta
Una storia impervia e dissacrante, tragica e al tempo stesso grottesca, che sconcerta per la spietata lucidità con la quale disseziona i sentimenti e traccia il percorso di esistenze senza scelta e senza speranza, irrimediabilmente votate alla solitudine più cupa.
L’epico viaggio della famiglia Bundren alla volta di Jefferson, con la bara di Addie precariamente trasportata su un vecchio carro sgangherato, più che un atto d’amore o di dedizione volto a esaudire le ultime volontà d
As I Lay Dying is a classic American novel that was written by William Faulkner. This book follows the journey of fifteen different characters as they set out to fulfil the wishes of the recently deceased Addie Bundren; which is to be buried in Jefferson. Faulkner shifts between the fifteen narrators throughout book; one of them is even the deceased; who is expressing her thoughts from the coffin. As the book continues you can see the characters develop with each narrator’s perceptions and opini ...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
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“I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.” 480 likes
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