Mike Gilbert's Reviews > The Hamlet

The Hamlet by William Faulkner
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Jul 28, 14

bookshelves: literature
Read in July, 2012

This is first in Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy and when I read it, I hadn't read any Faulkner in nearly 10 years. It turns out that this is a good book to get back into the swing of Faulkner. Its not his most experimental book, told from several points of view, somewhat like The Sound and the Fury, but with each character visited only once, and even then always in in the third person, without stream of consciousness.

The story itself has several funny moments, which seemed to grow as the novel moved on. Most importantly, however, it sets the stage for the life Flem Snopes and his endlessly growing clan who begin by infesting Frenchmen's Bend and by the second book move into Jefferson proper. The most important function that the book has, however, is indeed the painting of set material and backstory that make the next book in the trilogy, The Town, which I read some weeks later, much more fulfilling.

It also eased me back into Faulkner's beautiful rhetoric and back into Yoknapatawpha County, a place that welcomes your returning like the small town of your birth would - even if you were born in a city. I'm sure to dip back into the Faulkner well again, more often, and subsequently ruin my business writing for weeks at a time.
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