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Light in August

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  43,698 Ratings  ·  1,901 Reviews
Light in August, a novel that contrasts stark tragedy with hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some of Faulkner’s most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove, in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower, a lonely outcast haunted by visions of Confederate glory; and Joe Christmas, a desperate, enigmatic drifter con ...more
Hardcover, 444 pages
Published March 12th 1931 by Modern Library
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Dec 09, 2009 Lawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: Miss Maxine Lustig, Lustig's Bookstore, Tuscaloosa, Al
Light in August, William Faulkner's Portraits of Loneliness and Isolation

A Note Regarding This Review

Today marks the Anniversary of the Death of William Faulkner, July 6, 1962. In remembrance of him and in gratitude his works making me a man better capable of understanding others, I repost this review of my Favorite novel by William Faulkner, Light in August. My Mother died following a lengthy and grueling illness. I had been her caregiver as I had promised her I would. I promised that she would
Mar 24, 2011 William1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
It occurs to me on reading Light in August for the third time in twenty years, that if America were ever to try to come to terms with its legacy of slavery--unlikely now at this late date--but if it ever were to empanel some kind of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, like the one South Africa had after apartheid, and which seems especially needed now that we are mourning the shooting deaths of so many unarmed black men, then William Faulkner's novels, certainly this one, should be part of the ...more
"Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders".
Are there many such novels that delve deep into our souls and that makes us suffer and weep? I believe there are many, but not many that imprison us in its tidings and with their beauty in such a way that escape is an impossibility. Yes, we cannot run away any less than its wretched characters could. Indeed, William Faulkner in Light in August wrote a tragedy set in the fictional Jeffe
Words. That stew in silent torment, weep and curse, howl in pain and outrage. Words that spill from his pen and bleed on to these white sheets to taint our neat black-and-white categorizations. Universes stretch across the extremities of his fictional Jefferson, that swallow lives whole and spit back all the folly men and women are capable of. And images emerge in an unearthly chiaroscuro of mortal agony and transient joy. Colours of spiritual disquiet and alienation and uncertain footsteps towa ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
William Faulker, Light in August:"Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, 'I have come from Alabama, a fur piece.'"

Here Faulker presents Lena who has a passive role in Light in August as this phrase (sitting, watching, thinking) points out - she is not actually doing an action here other than a purely mental one. There is a lonely, languid feeling imparted by "watching the wagon mount the hill" that is shared with the wonderful title of the book. The s
Sep 30, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You’re an American author, dead almost half a century, and there’s this thing called television and a host(ess?) talking about books with half the population of a country you once inhabited, you’re on the list and why? Race.

I really hate the term Great American Novel, how we capitalize it in the middle of sentences (GAN, anyone?) and talk about examples of it with reverence. It’s a questing beast for authors that strive for it and an oddity for those who write something that receives the tag .
Colin McKay Miller
A couple of thoughts I’ll tie together: 1) I read a BBC article that suggests a large percentage of people keep books on their shelf to impress others rather than to read them. 2) As young students, teachers take us to the library and allow us to pick out whatever book we like (as long as we’re not just trying to avoid reading by picking out a pamphlet), but by the time we reach high school and college, it’s assigned. Though I believe an educator’s recommendation to be valuable, I believe taking ...more
Aug 30, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This novel is my first experience of William Faulkner’s writing. I was drawn to it partly because one of my favourite novelists, John Steinbeck, was a great admirer of Faulkner’s work and partly because I felt it was time to fill the gap in my literary education caused by my unfamiliarity with one of the great novelists of the 20th century.

My research into which of Faulkner’s novels to start with indicated that Light in August is one of his more accessible works. This proved to be so, or at lea
Feb 01, 2012 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: it's written all over my face
Recommended to Mariel by: I started reading it without meaning to
Don't pray over no body. I knew that I would figure it out. It was something I already knew. That's how you don't feel bad about wanting to know anyone. Don't expect anything. It doesn't get rid of the falling feeling when you think about them, though. Light in August is an ultimate societal kangaroo's pouch of claustrophobic guilt for me. Where does anyone belong?

William Faulkner writes to me in my favorite way of being talked to in stories (anything). If I could have this in every book I read
Jason Koivu
Nov 29, 2008 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've read a few Faulkners now and this one left the least impression upon me, and yet it was still miles ahead of other novels!

William Faulkner flogs words, he teases them, he primps and preens them pretty like. You'd be hard-pressed to find a wordsmith with more range.

However, compared with his other works, specifically The Sound and The Fury and Absalom, Absalom, this one read like a plain old pedestrian story. It wasn't bad, it just didn't burn with the same fire as others. Still, he had the
Steven  Godin
Jul 07, 2016 Steven Godin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, fiction, american
A dark and compelling slice of Southern Gothic with a prose which is easily recognisable as 'Faulkneresque' that showcases his ability to write about the awful deep south at a time of serious racial prejudice, misogyny and the preaching of religion through the eyes of both men of the cloth and those who are deluded and fanatical. Featuring some of Faulkner's most memorable characters including the dauntless Lena Grove searching for the father of her unborn child, Reverend Hightower who is dealin ...more
The sins of the father, the sins of the mother, the sins of the deep and the golden dark.

I've heard mentions of Light in August being one of Faulkner's most accessible works. Fitting, then, that it be the second of my readings, the first having been The Sound and the Fury. For I thought I found something in the first worth searching for in the rest, but as you and many an English Literature student know, TSatF isn't the place for certainty. Here, I found that Faulkner knew what he was doing.

I ca
Mar 14, 2017 M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modern klasiklere ilgi duyanlar, Faulkner okurları, genel okur
Murat Belge'nin çevirisini şahane bulduğumu belirterek başlayayım. Uzun zamandır böyle tat alarak bir roman okumamıştım. Aldığım bu tat konunun akıcılığından veya ilgi çekiciliğinden kaynaklanmıyor. Elbette ilgi çekici bir konu ama beni üslup kendine bağladı. Faulkner'la tanıştığım Ses ve Öfke'de olduğu gibi burada da uyguladığı teknik insanı okurken alıp götürüyor adeta. Bir yolu, bir ağacı, bir bulutu veya bir yol bir ağaç ve bir bulut olarak insanı okuyor insan.
Dolayısıyla zamanda ve mekanda
Luís C.
We are in Mississippi, in Jefferson, imaginary Yoknapatawpha County town where Faulkner located many of his novels. It is between the two world wars with a racist south, still recovering from the civil war.
Lena, pregnant girl, comes from Alabama to join the father of the child. A house is on fire. A murder has been committed. We will then follow the fate of Joe Christmas, and parallel those of the Reverend Hightower and Joanna Burden.

It is a very dense book. The atmosphere is heavy. Nothing is t
Paul Nelson
May 15, 2015 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
'He just stared at her, at the face which he had never seen before, saying quietly (whether aloud our not, he could not have said) in a slow amazement: Why, I committed murder for her. I even stole for her as if he had just heard of it, thought of it, been told that he had done it.'

Light in August by William Faulkner is quite simply a superlative piece of fiction, it surpasses pretty much anything else I've read in 30 years. If you want to read an author who literally dances with words in a styl
Nov 20, 2011 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, e5
"Inviolada noiva de quietude e paz,
Filha do tempo lento e da muda harmonia,
Silvestre historiadora que em silêncio dás
Uma lição floral mais doce que a poesia:
Que lenda flor-franjada envolve tua imagem
De homens ou divindades, para sempre errantes.
Quando a idade apagar toda a actual grandeza,
Tu ficarás, em meio às dores dos demais,
Amiga, a redizer o dístico imortal:
"A beleza é a verdade, a verdade a beleza"
— É tudo o que há para saber, e nada mais."

John Keats, "Ode a Uma Urna Grega"

Pensava q
Sep 20, 2008 Juushika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: status-borrowed
Lena Grove travels, on foot and with the aid of strangers, through the South in search of the father of her unborn child. Her journey introduces the reader to a variety of characters, including the child's father, a man who falls in love with Lena, and a biracial man named Christmas. Like Lena, all of these characters have stories to tell, and Faulkner interweaves a number of back stories and histories in the body of this book. One of his more accessable texts, Light in August is easy to get in ...more
So I'm back in school now, and for the first time in ages am being made to read books. Now I don't have any personal experience with desperately trying to get pregnant, but reading novels for school reminds me of that: there's this activity that I'm used to doing purely for fun when I feel like it, that I'm now grimly pushing through on an inflexibly dictated schedule, whether I'm in the mood or not, with this intense sense of purpose that seems to poison the whole event. The result is that I'm ...more
Sep 06, 2007 Chazzbot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like some bemused god looking down on his creations with a trace of empathy, but also with a hint of disdain at their hopeless bigotry, indolence, and willful ignorance, Faulkner's keen, cool eye for the way humans can be chilly in its precision. But there is no denying that Faulkner knows his characters and, by extension, his readers. This is a somewhat grim novel, with little evidence of hope for any of the characters who manage to walk away, but you will be hard pressed to find a more honest ...more
I have to imagine that Oprah Winfrey lost a bit of her, still colossal, political capital when she attempted to get the bored housewives of Middle America to read the works of Faulkner several summers back. I remember when we first received the Oprah Box, as we called the Faulkner box set that was released for the occasion, at the bookstore where I worked. A hugely prominent end cap exhorting neophyte readers used to books that never grew more challenging than the woe-is-me fiction of Wally Lamb ...more
I’ve been working my through some great books I read many years ago. I don’t know as I’m picking up on new things reading with older eyes, but so far I’ve not been disappointed. The emotional wallop in these great novels still remains. My latest effort was Faulkner’s Light in August. It’s not Faulkner’s greatest book (see Absalom, Absalom), but it is the most accessible of his great novels. And it contains one of the saddest characters in all of literature: Joe Christmas. Abandoned, institutiona ...more
Feb 28, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It inspired Boris Vian and that's enough in my book. Joe Christmas is one of the great fictional characters in fiction. I can smell Southern culture right off these pages. Taste it and live the tale.
Apr 20, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You start off with the one story, all right. In the background there’s something bizarre, and you can instantly make up your mind about what it is, or not bother with it at all, like you do in life or any story. Then, a few chapters pass, and like a boxer’s feint now that background is the story: and it’s so different up close, all your judgements are useless, it makes your mouth gape open to see what’s really going on. Now the original story is in the background and something new that’s bizarre ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Simona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Nella mia terra la luce ha una sua qualità particolarissima, fulgida, nitida, come se venisse non dall'oggi, ma dall'antichità classica".

E' proprio vero ciò che dice Faulkner. La luce descritta qui è una luce che risuona del periodo classico, una luce dal sapore antico, ma non per questo meno intensa.
Luce d'agosto sono piccole matrioske che racchiudono ognuna una storia, una storia con personaggi indimenticabili, unici.
Dall'Alabama al Tennessee, caratterizzato da strade polverose, seguiamo l
Francisco H. González
Publicada en 1932 poco después de El ruido y la furia (1929), Luz de agosto es entre otras muchas cosas la historia de un viaje, de una fuga, de un tránsito. La que lleva a cabo la joven embarazada Lena Grove, quien abandona su hogar (la compañía de la familia de su hermano) en busca del hombre que la dejó en una situación doblemente embarazosa.

Así, en el camino, de carreta en carreta, ayudada por las personas que se cruzan en su deambular, acabará Lena llegando a la localidad de Jefferson, dond
Ubik 2.0
Apr 28, 2015 Ubik 2.0 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-e-book
«Nella mia terra la luce ha una sua qualità particolarissima; fulgida, nitida, come se venisse non dall’oggi ma dall’età classica». William Faulkner

Archetipo del (grande) romanzo americano ad impronta “sudista”, Luce d’agosto avvolge nella sua prosa vertiginosa e febbrile una decina di personaggi, solo per limitarsi ai maggiori, ossessionati e tormentati da passioni insanabili e da un passato, prossimo o remoto, personale o familiare, col quale non riescono in alcun modo a pacificarsi.

Forse l’u
The most obvious reason why one would choose to read this book is the magnificent way in which it evokes the atmosphere of the South in the 1920s. The hatred and distrust between the races was all pervasive. Such despair! To say the book is about racial discrimination is like saying a "painting is pretty" ……..and leaving it at that. It is the emotional response that Faulkner’s words evoke in the reader that is so exceptional.

Faulkner's sentences usually say more than the bare words; think prose
Mar 22, 2017 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hillbilly-bats
A devastating and elliptical examination of race in America, Faulkner here absolutely dazzles with his approach. Entirely linear at days’ end, he slices up the novel in such a way that allows for examination from every possible angle (sideways being the favored direction). His CHOPCHOPCHOP cadence perfectly mimics the frustratingly apathetic and inert resistance to racial enlightenment in the South, post-Civil War. It reads with the intentionally arrogant pacing of a mule doing calculus, seeming ...more
Sofía (Софья)
Mi historia con Faulkner es larga. Durante varios años yo me tropezaba con su nombre y no me animaba, finalmente pensé "¿Qué estoy esperando?" y tomé el libro. Decidí no leer ninguna reseña para tener una opinión libre, y así se tiene que leer a Faulkner. Por esta razón no voy a escribir nada que pueda arruinar su lectura.

Por lo tanto, bienvenidos a Yoknapatawpha, condado creado por Faulkner como escenario para sus novelas. Tenemos tres personajes principales (Lena Grove, Joe Christmas y el reve
Larry Bassett
If you are intimidated by Faulkner, you are not the first. If someone has told you just to let Faulkner’s words “wash over you” and resist the urge to figure them out right away, welcome to the group. Maybe you will love Faulkner and want to read everything he has ever written. Maybe you will say, “Be gone, Mr. Bill!” I am not the first to fail Faulkner 101 and I will not be the last.

I have been somewhat successful in letting The Sound and the Fury wash over me. I have been soundly defeated by
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On the Southern L...: Light in August, by William Faulkner: Final Impressions, May 2014 85 78 Jul 06, 2014 12:51PM  
On the Southern L...: Light in August, by William Faulkner: Initial Impressions, May 2014 55 55 May 28, 2014 09:15PM  
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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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“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.” 476 likes
“Memory believes before knowing remembers.

[Light in August]”
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