Because I loathe, abhor, detest, hate Stephen Dedalus. Joyce's writing is revolutionary because he pretty much invented stream-of-consciousn1.5 stars.
Because I loathe, abhor, detest, hate Stephen Dedalus. Joyce's writing is revolutionary because he pretty much invented stream-of-consciousness, but what beautiful writing there is is buried under the field of shit that is called Stephen Dedalus and the earliest recorded case of Speshul Snowflake Syndrome in the world.
For a character-driven novel (and this was a character driven novel) to have such an unlikable character is just...no. Couldn't enjoy it at all.
...it was like I know that I was supposed to be loving the writing, and I distantly realized that oh hey this sounds nice here and this sounds nice there but the slogging was just so painful.
**spoiler alert** I tried to like this book. I tried very, very hard, not the least because I had to read it for my class and I knew it'd be next to i**spoiler alert** I tried to like this book. I tried very, very hard, not the least because I had to read it for my class and I knew it'd be next to impossible to write anything inspired based on a novel I disliked so much.
It was just...whoever said Styron was the second coming of Faulkner? Wrong. They were dead wrong. Yes, there were moments where the clarity and strength of the language really got to me, but the book was just so bogged down with rambly, overblown sentences and digressions (I GET why the sex had to be in there, but "...ejaculating priapic engines the size of sequoias..."? What does that really add to the text?) that I had to specifically go back and look to find the passages that really spoke to me.
And the characters...I had no sympathy for the characters at all. Stingo is just...Stingo is flat. He is flat. He serves his purpose as narrator of the story, and that's it. I don't feel attached to him, I don't care about how he keeps getting blown off by "cock teases" (and that's another thing I have a problem with, how the entire book Styron perpetuates this image of women as evil vixens for with-holding sex), and the revelations about his mother? Zero impact. As for Sophie; she is, for the most part, completely unrealistic. The entire situation in the book is unrealistic. For her to just conveniently open up to Stingo? Why? We know she's been holding her tongue for so long, but instead of spilling to someone like, say, Blackstock, it's Stingo.
Come to think of it, the entire book fell flat for me. I didn't care about the characters, I was completely detached from the plot, and Sophie's choice? Saw it coming as soon as she introduced Eva, and again, zero emotional impact.
I think so many other books have done so well what Sophie's Choice tried to do that if you're looking to read something based on the Holocaust (or just the themes of good, evil, etc), DON'T PICK UP SOPHIE'S CHOICE. Don't.
Really interesting, and I definitely like the shift of style from character to character (Quentin's chapter was my favorite). I almost felt3.75 stars.
Really interesting, and I definitely like the shift of style from character to character (Quentin's chapter was my favorite). I almost felt like...it lost something in the end when Faulkner switched to plain third person pov. Some things still felt unresolved though, but overall it completely exceeded my expectations. I always feel hesitant about starting "classics", but TSTF pleasantly surprised me with a cast of characters and a story that I actually came to care about. Character-driven books (and say what you want about all the events that took place, but this book was definitely character driven) and I have a rocky relationship at best, but with the Compsons Faulkner managed to make it interesting.
Great book, but it has a meaty beginning. It might take a while to get used to Benjy's style of narration (gutsy move there, starting as he did), but once you're in, you're in. ...more