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As I Lay Dying

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  106,247 Ratings  ·  5,208 Reviews
Alternate cover edition for ISBN 9780099479314

'Brilliant and compelling' Spectator

The death and burial of Addie Bundren is told by members of her family, as they cart the coffin to Jefferson, Mississippi, to bury her among her people. And as the intense desires, fears and rivalries of the family are revealed in the vernacular of the Deep South, Faulkner presents a portrait
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2004 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)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Alexa Like Cash says towards the end of the novel, it is mostly other people's perceptions that determine whether someone is mad. It is also stated that…moreLike Cash says towards the end of the novel, it is mostly other people's perceptions that determine whether someone is mad. It is also stated that Darl is sent to Jackson because the Gillespies will sue the Bundren family if they do not do something about Darl, who they know is responsible for burning down their barn, which remember is a very serious crime in this time period & region.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 27, 2008 AmyAmy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
"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
Where to start with a masterpiece that is both short like the distance between two thoughts and deep as the thoughts themselves? This is one of Faulkner'd true masterpieces: a grotesque road trip with a rotting corpse told in the voices of the extremely dysfunctional and occasionally insane family members. It is Ulysses in the Southern United States, or The Grapes of Wrath (Faulkner having been inspired by the former and certainly influenced the latter). The writing is some of the most powerful ...more
Paul Bryant
Jun 29, 2010 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
Feb 10, 2010 Bram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Helen Stavraki
Nov 17, 2016 Helen Stavraki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best

Καθώς.... ψυχορραγώ.
Αυτό το «καθώς»είναι που προσδίδει τόσο βαθύ μυστήριο και πόνο λες και συγκεντρώνει το νόημα και την ουσία όλης της ανθρώπινης ύπαρξης την ώρα του επιθανάτιου ρόγχου. Τελευταίες αναπνοές θανάτου ίσως
σημαντικότερες απο την ίδια την ανάσα των ζωντανών.

Με κυρίευσε αυτός ο τίτλος. Με σημάδεψε.

Τι αλήθεια σκέφτεται κάποιος τις τελευταίες του στιγμές;
Καθώς ψυχορραγεί. Καθώς τελειώνει. Καθώς γεύεται το μυστικό του θανάτου που του ψιθυρίζει λόγι
Megan Baxter
Oct 20, 2012 Megan Baxter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am feeling totally inadequate to the task of reviewing this book. It's only the second Faulkner I've read, and while I enjoyed Absalom, Absalom, it didn't quite utterly astound me the way this one did.

I was expecting the run-on sentences and outright rejection of periods that I found in the first book. Instead, I found short little chapters, and voices that spoke in terse sentences that only hinted at what lay beneath.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes
Apr 01, 2008 Ademption rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, classics
May 05, 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
Unmistakingly Faulkner. A unique writing style combined with a sad and haunting story. You may read Faulkner and say when you are finished, "I didn't like that", but you will never forget what you read.

Reread Sept. 2016
Parthiban Sekar
“I can remember how when I was young I believed Death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind - and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”

Death brings out the best and the worst in the families. The deceased doesn’t just escape our reality but changes the way we look at
Aug 16, 2012 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This thrilling, chilling tale is told through a schizm. The conglomeration of different consciousnesses is a bubbling soup mixed in with dark symbols and Southern Gothic elements, and it is indeed a delightful experience, an overly-delicious dish. The macabre is alive; this prose palpitates.

This is waayyy more accessible than, say, "The Sound and the Fury" and for those who have strayed away from this darling writer, this particular masterpiece will immediately put him or her in Faulkner's dire
Dec 28, 2011 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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 12, 2007 Alisha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2010 RandomAnthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
By and By, Lord, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky?

... Habershon, 1907 (adapted/recorded by The Carter Family).
[4.5 stars]

This 1930 novel is truly unique in structure being narrated via the stream of consciousness of 15 characters over 59 chapters, each of which begins with the narrating character's name. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the Bundren family in Jefferson County, Mississippi, in taking their mom/wife Addie by
Nov 16, 2013 Foad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
همه "خشم و هیاهو" رو به عنوان اثر اصلی ویلیام فاکنر حساب می کنن. ولی بشخصه، از این داستان خیلی بیشتر از خشم و هیاهو لذت بردم. شیوه ی روایت، با تکه پاره های ذهنی افراد مختلف که گاه باید تلاش می کردی تا بفهمی راوی کیه و چه اتفاقی داره میفته، خیلی بهتر از تک گویی طولانی و کمابیش حوصله سر بر بنجی عقب مانده و کوئنتین روان پریش بود. توی هر دو رمان، نویسنده آدم رو به یه بازی دعوت میکنه: "اگه گفتی چی دارم میگم؟" و توی این رمان، این بازی هیجان انگیزتره و آدم انگیزه ی بیشتری برای حلّ این پازل داره.
و ترجمه
Dec 06, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faulkner takes a complex and unique approach in recounting what is essentially a fairly lean story. But the magic is there in the execution - the characters and the atmosphere have real substance, and there is a sense of melancholy and futility that surrounds the novel. As in The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner creates intrigue through the withholding of information; subverting normal literary expectations and forcing the reader to continue, paying close attention to detail in order to complete the ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Poncho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About a year ago a friend of mine got me this job in which I had to work for some sociologists who made researches about Mexican immigrants in the US. Basically, my job was to transcribe their recorded interviews, which I personally found pretty enjoyable — it was like listening to all those life stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes a blend of both. So the task was entertaining and the pay was good. However, like any job, it had some difficulties at first. I got to rea ...more
May 12, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Puma
Aug 26, 2010 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deliciously, artfully strange...

When a book makes you ponder each page, the meander in narrative style and closeness (because this is not only stream of consciousness narration), the bend in style and language, the oddly berserk characters, yes - strangely beautiful.
Sep 11, 2008 Joel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
فهد الفهد
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
Oziel Bispo
Nov 18, 2016 Oziel Bispo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enquanto Agonizo foi originalmente publicado em 1930 e conta a história de Addie Brunden que jaz em uma cama agonizando , preste a morrer e com seu filho cash fazendo o caixão perto da janela do quarto da mãe moribunda. Depois da morte de Addie o enfoque do livro passa a ser mostrar a luta dos 5 filhos e de seu marido Anse (preguiçoso e egoísta) para enterra-la em Jefferson , sua terra natal, distante dali aproximadamente 30 milhas. Os vizinhos acham isso uma loucura deslocar o caixão numa distâ ...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...

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“I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.” 506 likes
“He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that any more than for pride or fear....One day I was talking to Cora. She prayed for me because she believed I was blind to sin, wanting me to kneel and pray too, because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.” 345 likes
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