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Sanctuary by William Faulkner
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Jan 12, 09

bookshelves: novel
Read in February, 2009

This book is underrated. Sure, the first 100 pages are pretty bad. But after that it actually sounds like Faulkner.

This was his popular AND critical breakthrough careerwise. Sure, he has much better novels. But they didn't catch on the way this one did? Why?

This is an exciting book. While it is not mind-blowing like The Sound and the Fury, it is a page-turner in the style of many of today's popular thrillers. The chapters are short (31 chapters in 310 pages), and each one ends powerfully, usually with a cliffhanger of some sort.

I considered giving this book 4 stars, but the first 100 pages kept me from doing that. I have heard this novel assailed as being cartoonish. There is some truth to that. Being cartoonish was a virtue in those days. Faulkner was a Southern writer: he had to work in the grotesque.

Faulkner distanced himself from this novel, but I bet he secretly was proud of this one. Manuscripts and letters show that he spent a lot of effort and time on this work (four months, rather than the three weeks he told everyone). Keep in mind that Robert Frost used to refer to himself as a simple farmer. Any reader who is awake should give that a quick, "yeah right." I give Faulkner that same "yeah right."

I would recommend this to people who are into Faulkner, or thrillers, or supermarket novels. This is a clear attempt by a Real Writer to appeal to the Patterson fans of the world. I bet it would work if somebody would pick this thing up.
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