Paul's Reviews > The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
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Sep 20, 08

bookshelves: 2008
Read in July, 2008, read count: 4

The first two sections of this book (Benjy and Quentin) are the best things I've ever read in my life. Absolutely ridiculous; I almost cried at the bus stop reading it. I did cry at home, sitting there on the couch. The third section, Jason's, is pretty straightforward, and actually seemed a bit staid after the fireworks and raw sadness of the first two, esp. Quentin's. Still, Jason is extremely well-formed. He has to be the wickedest character I've ever read, to the point where reading his section is almost not enjoyable. The fourth section is also pretty straightforward. So for the second half of the book I found myself missing Faulkner's signature stream of consciousness, wanting more of a challenge.

I've read this book four times now, and I think I liked it better last time. It takes at least two reads to understand it, I think, but once you get what's going on I really don't think anything can beat it in terms of emotional gravity and/or overall goodness, commentary on the human condition, etc. Excellent, excellent piece of literature. If you've never read it, just hunker down and slog through, then wait a year or six months and come back and read it again. The rewards are staggering. I consider this to be my Favorite Book of All Time. Tragic, tragic, tragic and sad.


If we could have just done something so dreadful and Father said That's sad too people cannot do anything that dreadful they cannot do anything very dreadful at all they cannot even remember tomorrow what seemed dreadful today and I said, You can shirk all things and he said, Ah can you. And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind, like a roof of wind, and after a long time they cannot distinguish even bones upon the lonely and inviolate sand. Until on the Day when He says Rise only the flat-iron would come floating up. It's not when you realise that nothing can help you--religion, pride, anything--it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I missed the stream-of-consciousness style once it was over, too. Quentin is my favorite, but I'm a sucker for that character in everything I've ever read or watched.

I'll have to read it again in a few months and see what I think of it the second time around. There were parts of the plot I didn't fully understand, and the ending was something of a disappointment.


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