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Knight's Gambit

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Gavin Stevens, the wise student of crime and folkways of Mississippi's Yoknapatawpha county, plays the major role in these six stories of violence.
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Published by Signet Book (first published 1949)
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  559 ratings  ·  56 reviews


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Lawyer
The following are comments from V.K. Ratliff, friend of Gavin Stevens.

Now, Lawyer doesn't see some things. But I let him find those things out for himself. If I was to tell him, it wouldn't have ever come to him in a way it would have made a difference. Lawyer don't know women, hasn't ever, won't ever. But I'd put him up against any man on recognizin' the difference tween good and evil. And if he can't make the law work he'll get justice if he has to do it outside a court room.

Now Bill Faulkner
...more
Sotiris Karagiannis
Ένα "σχετικά" διαφορετικό βιβλίο του Φώκνερ από αυτά που μας έχει συνηθίσει. Λέω "σχετικά" γιατί ο Φώκνερ δεν ξεφεύγει από τους ίδιους χαρακτήρες και σκηνικά, τοπο και θέμα. Στο βιβλίο υπάρχουν οι υποθέσεις του εισαγγελέα Γκάβιν Στήβενς, ο οποίος ως άλλος Ογκίστ Ντιπέν, διαλευκάνει υποθέσεις που φαινομενικά έχουν κλείσει. Οι έξι μικρές ιστορίες δεν έχουν τις ανατροπές που θα περίμενε κάποιος από ένα αστυνομικό. Είναι περισσότερο ρεαλιστικές ιστορίες δολοφονιών, εξαφανίσεων κλπ με κεντρικό άξονα ...more
Jim
My edition of William Faulkner's Knight's Gambit is subtitled Six Mystery Stories. I cannot help but think that this is wrong: Faulkner just wasn't into the mystery genre. These aren't whodunits, but rather wry observations of the human condition by a middle aged attorney named Gavin Stevens who is playing the part of a kind of Jedi master to his eighteen year old nephew Charles Mallison.

The last two Faulkner books I have read, this one and Intruder in the Dust, both concentrated on the charact
...more
Solistas
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5*

Οι μικρές ιστορίες δεν ταιριάζουν καθόλου με την αφηγηματική τεχνική του Φώκνερ,γεγονός που φάνηκε ακόμα περισσότερο μετά τη νουβέλα που ειναι κλασικό κείμενο του Αμερικανού,με θυελλώδη ρυθμό κ εναλλαγή αφηγητων απο τελεία σε τελεία (κ ειναι το μισό βιβλιο). Δεν κρύβω ότι με βασάνισε κ μάλλον πείσμωσα να το τελειώσω. Όσοι θέλουν να γνωρίσουν τον εισαγγελέα Στηβενς ας ξεκινήσουν απο αλλού.
J.M. Hushour
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touted as "mystery stories" by the pen of the mighty Faulkner, I might describe them as that but maybe half-heartedly. As always, they are much more than that.
The stories are linked by having Gavin Stevens, local lawyer and gadfly detective of the county, who shows up in several Faulkner novels, as the main protagonist. He solves local crimes and smokes a pipe while his nephew witnesses his bad-assery.
The first few "Smoke", "Monk", et cetera, are brief toss-offs, not bad, but earlier works, befo
...more
Jos
I never would have read this if I hadn't got this for the minimum bid as an add-on to two other Ebay books from the same seller and from the same GDR Volk und Welt Spektrum series which appeals to my collector genes in an odd way although it doesn't have any monetary value.

Ultimately, it wasn't to my taste as I'm neither into mystery stories (which on the surface these short stories are supposed to be) nor into the literature of the American South (which this and probably all other Faulkner boo
...more
Vishal
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Faulkner’s layered writing and plot building, his expert dropping of clues and hints that make their reappearance with deft precision later make him an ideal mystery writer; so there was no hesitation picking this up when I saw it an a bookshop a few months ago.

Those familiar with his style know that this is a double-edged sword, his dense prose and circuitous stream of consciousness requires multiple reads to fully understand. Patience comes before the prize though: it brings to mind what a fr
...more
James
May 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
'Yes,' the sheriff said. 'The Book itself says somewhere, Know thyself. Ain't there another book somewhere that says, Man, fear thyself, thine arrogance and vanity and pride? You ought to know; you claim to be a book man. Didn't you tell me that's what the luck-charm on your watch chain means? What book is that in?'

'It's in all of them,' Uncle Gavin said. 'The good ones, I mean. It's said in a lot of different ways, but it's there.'
Alan
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great writing from a great writer...if ya want to write well, read great writers. Actually the wise and erudite Gavin Stevens is a pretty cool character. Faulkner's use of viewpoint is fascinating.
Ramzi
Dec 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book # 14 in the shelf experiment

SPOILERS

Knight's Gambit is a collection of six mystery stories by William Faulkner. Each story features the protagonist Gavin Stevens, a highly intelligent local Mississippi prosecutor.

SMOKE
A judge is murdered and it's up to Gavin to decide what connection lies between his death and the impending inheritance of two local brothers.
Faulker's writing is as good as it gets for a 20th century American writer but I can't help feel confused by the way Gavin Stevens unra
...more
William
May 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
It's hard. It's really hard to have to say that this reallly wasn't all that good. Faulkner is Faulkner. He should never have to have written something so immediately unmemorable. There's really nothing all that interesting about any of these six mystery stories. There may be some moments, yes, but overall these just don't live up to Faulkner. This really is genre writing. There's some Faulkner motifs, but they all lack his key signatures.
I liked the point of view the story is told in, but that
...more
John
Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Knight's Gambit bears out what some people have observed of Faulkner: his novellas and short fiction were probably his best form. Sure, the novels are extraordinary (if that doesn't damn him with faint praise), but if you just want to read around in Faulkner without heaving the big tome to bed for twenty minutes of reading before sleep, I recommend Gambit: six mystery tales, all featuring Gavin Stevens, D.A. of Yoknapatawpha County. His keen powers of observation will remind you of S. Holmes or ...more
Marina
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama
Creo que Faulkner no es lo mío...
Mary
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Mary by: Steve
So, I can say that I have read Faulkner now...
Alejandro González Medina
Siempre resulta una gran noticia para los amantes del género policiaco (muchas veces tan denostado) que una figura literaria de primer orden se atreva con una incursión en el género. En el caso que nos ocupa, se trata de William Faulkner, premio Nobel de Literatura en 1949 y uno de los padres de la novela moderna. Lo mejor de todo es que no abandona ni su estilo característico ni sus temáticas recurrentes. Sobre el estilo, quizá los que no están acostumbrados a la prosa serpenteante, de frases e ...more
Scott Pierce
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some Faulkner samples for the interested reader:

"But Uncle Gavin says it don't take many words to tell the sum of any human experience; that somebody has already done it in eight: He was born, he suffered and he died."

"And more than that: his was a still older and firmer American tradition; he was successful not even despite the Law but over the Law as though the Law itself and not failure were his vanquished adversary, moving among them on his returns home now, in an aura not merely of success,
...more
Alexander Law
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I find it difficult to give such a renowned author as Faulkner such a low rating. This is my first foray into his works and I found myself lost more than once. I think, however, that this may be a sign of my literary naivety rather than any fault on Faulkner's part.
Though I found his prose to be convoluted at best, his descriptions are marvelous. I adored much of his detailing and meditations on the human condition. I'd like to give Faulkner another try, perhaps when I'm both older and wiser.
John
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, own, mexico
Yeah, I liked reading this series of stories but did not actually like the stories them selves. Just enjoyed reading the words of Faulkner but enough is enough. No more Faulkner for a while. Reading his books is not an easy carefree way of spending your time. The reader has to read ever word with his mind open to all the possible meanings, damn he makes you have to think.
Chelsea Lewis
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A book with 6 short stories. It honestly didn’t hold my attention and I didn’t make it through the first story ‘Smoke’ before giving up.

I give it 3 stars because it doesn’t interest me, but I’m confident that those who enjoy the mystery type genre would like this book.
Gerardo Vinier
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La verdad no hay mucho por decir: cuentos de corte detectivesco, Faulkner, una muestra de conocimiento del alma humana. Mejor leer este libro.
Brendan
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Faulkner's prowess in spinning a good mystery is on full display here, especially in the titular tale. A welcome addition to his other short story collections.
Ahedsubiha
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great piece of work, and wonderful work of the translator سيزار كبيبو
Michael Mahin
Do you like detective stories? How about detective stories by a Nobel Prize winner?

Knight's Gambit is an often overlooked member of Faulkner's oevre because it doesn't represent the Faulkner we're used to. You'll find none of Faulkner's signature stream-of-consciousness here. And that might be a good thing.

On a whole the stories are more easily accessible and because of this, Knight's Gambit is a great, simple introduction to Faulkner's South and his major concerns. All of Faulkner's major them
...more
Nate
Feb 01, 2011 rated it liked it
short story collection of wildly varying quality. at its best its eerie southern gothic detective fiction and at its worst its just painfully dull prose narrated by someone with no regard to proper sentence structure. faulker is like the opposite of henry james - with james there are way too many commas and with faulkner there are not enough periods. excessive use of pronouns are irritating too - in the titular story (easily the weakest of the lot here) the main character (who happens to be the ...more
Fanymoon
Es una compilación de 6 cuentos por el autor William Faulkner.

La manera de escribir de Faulkner, es un nuevo estilo que he descubierto. Es interesante; como si estuvieras tomando un café con él y te contará toda las historias que ha vivido junto con sus puntos de vista y tratando de comprender los puntos de vista de los demás personajes.
Las historias que más me gustaron por su trama y esos giros inesperados que cambiaron toda la perspectiva del cuento fueron:
-Humo.
-Mañana.

•¿Porqué 3 estrellas? L
...more
Nathanael Booth
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Collection of six “mystery stories” featuring Gavin Stevens. Faulkner rings changes on the themes of crime without hewing too closely to the standard formulae. The best stories in the collection do tend to be very “classic” (such as “An Error in Chemistry,” and “Smoke,”) but there’s a lot to be appreciated in the other stories—and Stevens himself does not really come together as a character until the concluding novella, “Knight’s Gambit” (which itself suffers from an over-extended and somewhat a ...more
Dave
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Nice collection of Faulkner short stories featuring Gavin Stevens. The best of all of the Stevens stories is the novel, Intruder in the Dust(not included here), but all of the ones here are quite fine. Length increases the tortured Faulknerisms but also the depth of the characterization and the impact beyond the puzzle aspect of the mystery, so the title story--the longest--is also the best, and the least mysterious. But none of them are bad, or without mystery. Or without tortured Faulknerisms. ...more
David Miller
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Five short stories and one novella comprise this book. They are hit and miss: some excellent, some merely very good. Gavin Stevens is the main character in all of them; as I re-read Faulkner's books over the years I will have to pay more attention to Stevens. He is in almost all the books, and seems to represent Faulkner himself. In my mind, Faulkner is the Writer; like Aristotle is the Philosopher, and Paul is the Apostle. There will never be another 'Absalom, Absalom', or 'The Mansion', or 'Th ...more
Mike Harper
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this because my previous experiences with Faulkner had been unsatisfying and I wanted to give him another try. Also, because Knight's Gambit is short, so I wouldn't have to invest too much of my time.
The first short story, "Smoke," I didn't like very well. I had to work too hard to figure out the story line. But as I read each successive story, I found myself more and more interested and involved. And "Knight's Gambit," a novella, was a masterpiece of storytelling.
Now I need t
...more
Eli
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeboys, soapy
These short murder mysteries are bite-sized vitamins to fuel my raging literary crush on Gavin Stevens. Gavin is a dry student of human nature, Chick Mallison's (awesome)uncle and my favorite narrator in Faulkner's world except for V.K. Ratliff.
He embodies one of Faulkner's favorite themes, alienation. A Harvard-educated lawyer shouldn't fit in with the rest of Jefferson, Mississippi. Stevens almost manages it, but the "almost" shows in every story.
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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
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“Look. You are playing poker (I assume you know poker, or at least—like a lot of people—anyway play it.) You draw cards. When you do that, you affirm two things: either that you have something to draw to, or are willing to support to your last cent the fact that you have not. You dont draw and then throw the cards in because they are not what you wanted, expected, hoped for; not just for the sake of your own soul and pocket-book, but for the sake of the others in the game, who have likewise assumed that unspoken obligation.” 3 likes
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