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As I Lay Dying

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  136,312 ratings  ·  7,419 reviews
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members -- including Addie herself -- as well as others; the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 30th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1930)
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白眼 の姫 well I guess it's because he was different, he tried to connect with everyone, and he knew their secrets and all the characters are antisocial in the …morewell I guess it's because he was different, he tried to connect with everyone, and he knew their secrets and all the characters are antisocial in the book so for them his actions weren't right. Also he was a bit nihilsitic and not to mention that he liked looking at people in a weird way and also he doesn't even care about his mother's death. also Cash said that if someone is considered mad by people than he or she is mad. I suppose the book also shows the absurdity of Darl being mad. because his action to burn down the barn is the most normal thing during the book. so I guess even in real life the normal things are considered weird for no actual reason.
Edward Darl's perceptions of his family and the world are one of Faulkner's primary focuses in AILD. As you get further in, you'll realize that he is the pri…moreDarl's perceptions of his family and the world are one of Faulkner's primary focuses in AILD. As you get further in, you'll realize that he is the primary narrator and the development of his character is crucial to what the book is trying to say, thematically speaking. It's my opinion that Faulkner wanted his readers to see how Darl would have imagined his mother's death, rather than the actual event, because it is more revealing of Darl's character. Other readers and critics believe that Darl's acute sensitivity to others and his surroundings borders on omniscience: that it is merely part of his character. Also, Darl may be a sort-of stand-in character for Faulkner himself, and, thus, is burdened with the actual truth of the narrative. No answer is definitive, and all are probably correct. Obscuring narrative certainty was a hallmark characteristic of Faulkner's writing, as well as many other Modernists, and is usually a reflection of the time's philosophy that truth lays beyond man's limited, individual perspective.(less)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  136,312 ratings  ·  7,419 reviews

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Aug 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
I know you're "supposed to" love this book because it's Faulker, but I HATED IT! I know you're "cool" and "intelligent" if you read Faulkner, but I can't stand him. Sorry, I don't know what he's talking about (and at the risk of sounding immodest, I am bright). I DON'T think it's cool and "hip" to write in a confusing manner, and I don't try to impress others by liking ambiguity. I had my fill in college with snobs who pretended to like this stuff. Sorry I sound harsh here (I'm really a nice per ...more
Emily May
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, classics
I've been working up to a William Faulkner book for years. His books always appear on lists of "best books of all time" and "books you should read before you die". But when I've felt in the mood for a classic or something "literary", I've always passed him up for other authors, even those with 1000+ page monsters. I think, deep down, I always sensed Faulkner just wasn't for me.

The first problem is my lack of enthusiasm for stream of consciousness narratives. If I'm being honest, I rarely like it
Michael Finocchiaro
Where to start with a masterpiece that is both short like the distance between two thoughts and deep as the thoughts themselves? This is one of Faulkner's true masterpieces: a grotesque road trip with a rotting corpse told in the voices of the extremely dysfunctional and occasionally insane family members. It is Ulysses in the Southern United States, or a Georgian Grapes of Wrath (Faulkner having been inspired by the former and certainly influenced the latter). The writing is some of the most po ...more
Nicholas Armstrong
Feb 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
"And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is."
............ There are people who actually like this?

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure I get it, I just don't like it. There is a family and each one is a reflection of a way of living, or in some case
Apr 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels, classics
Paul Bryant
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Once you get past the ungainly oddness and wild strangeness which assails you from every direction, then you can see the weirdness which lies beyond.

The story, and there is a very strong clear linear narrative here, is wonderfully stupid. A back country family in Mississippi in the 20s has their dear mama Addie Bundren up and die on them and the lazy-ass sumbitch daddy thinks he then has to carry out her settled dying wish which, very unreasonably, was to get buried with her own kin 40 miles a
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many of us slogged through this unofficial My First Faulkner in high school, and probably all any of us remember from it is Vardaman's line, "My mother is a fish," which our teachers used to teach us about Foreshadowing. For many of us this would be My Last Faulkner too because we learned mostly that Faulkner is a fucking pain in the ass. At least it's less confusing than The Sound & The Fury, although that's sortof like saying a given animal is less dangerous than a bear strapped to a shark: ok ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
"My mother is a fish."

Faulkner's short novel about a rural family following the death of their matriarch. Funny, disturbing, maddening, thought provoking, and mysterious.

I have never been a big fan of stream of consciousness ( thus I have never finished The Sound and the Fury) and Faulkner does well to limit that technique here. He does employ multiple narrators, varying perspectives, themes and an eclectic narration.

I cannot help thinking this is a thin, minimalistic American version of War a
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This thrilling, chilling tale is told through a sort of schizm. The conglomeration of different consciousnesses is a bubbling soup mixed in with dark symbols & Southern Gothic elements, and it is indeed a delightful experience, an overly-delicious dish. The macabre is Alive; this prose palpitates.

This is waayyy more accessible than, say, "The Sound and the Fury" and for those who have strayed away from this darling writer, this particular masterpiece will immediately put him or her in Faulkner'
Ahmad Sharabiani
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying is a 1930 novel, in the genre of Southern Gothic, by American author William Faulkner. Faulkner said that he wrote the novel from midnight to 4:00 AM over the course of six weeks and that he did not change a word of it. Faulkner wrote it while working at a power plant, published it in 1930, and described it as a "tour de force". Faulkner's fifth novel, it is consistently ranked among the best novels of 20th-century literature. The title derives from
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, recs
Written in the stream-of-consciousness mode, As I Lay Dying charts the odyssey of the impoverished Bundren family as its feuding members trek across the wilderness of the rural South toward their county’s capital, where they intend to bury the rotting corpse of the family’s matriarch. The narrative jumps from perspective to perspective, and each character’s voice is highly stylized, from the second eldest son’s ornate meditations on life and death to the youngest child’s simplistic despair over ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobels, faulkner
That feeling when you close a book, and it is like you can't breathe, because all the breath of life seems to be stuck in that story, and you just finished it, and there is a vacuum inside.

That feeling when you try to describe a book, and all the adjectives you come up with are negative, and yet the story has such power, and you loved it, like life.

That feeling when you are not sure what to read next, because whatever you pick will carry some of the flavour of the sorrow and the hopelessness a
Feb 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Without straying from his inimitable voice, Faulkner delivers a more professional, calculated effort here than with his novel of the year prior, The Sound and the Fury. There are more novel-y aspects to As I Lay Dying, and Faulkner emerges as the master of the slow- or late-reveal, which might be described as reverse-foreshadowing. As an example, Faulkner will provide a character scene that’s fraught with emotion and history and meaning, but he won't explain the context. There’s dramatic electri ...more
Megan Baxter
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am feeling totally inadequate to the task of reviewing this book. It's only the second Faulkner I've read, and while I enjoyed Absalom, Absalom, it didn't quite utterly astound me the way this one did.

I was expecting the run-on sentences and outright rejection of periods that I found in the first book. Instead, I found short little chapters, and voices that spoke in terse sentences that only hinted at what lay beneath.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes
Unmistakingly Faulkner. A unique writing style combined with a sad and haunting story. You may read Faulkner and say when you are finished, "I didn't like that", but you will never forget what you read.

Reread Sept. 2016
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm no copyright lawyer, but it seems like Faulkner's estate could have sued the hell out of the makers of National Lampoon's Vacation. There is the obvious corpse-carting similarity, but I can almost hear the familiar refrain of Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" bleed into the scene of the Bundren's fateful river crossing. (Pre)DMCA violations were definitely afoot, at least in spirit.

This is the book for those who find Faulkner's other well known works to be intimidating. As I Lay Dying deli
Parthiban Sekar
“I can remember how when I was young I believed Death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind - and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”

Death brings out the best and the worst in the families. The deceased doesn’t just escape our reality but changes the way we look at
Vit Babenco
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The quilt is drawn up to her chin, hot as it is, with only her two hands and her face outside. She is propped on the pillow, with her head raised so she can see out the window, and we can hear him every time he takes up the adze or the saw. If we were deaf we could almost watch her face and hear him, see him. Her face is wasted away so that the bones draw just under the skin in white lines. Her eyes are like two candles when you watch them gutter down into the sockets of iron candle-sticks. But ...more
It is raining and I enter the house dripping wet. I can hear the rain falling on the roof. I take a warm shower and settle into a chair, turning on the lamp so I can begin to read.

He hasn't lifted his eyes from that book. He turns back a few pages, and a wrinkle appears on his brow. He's a smart guy with a decent brain (drawing of a decent brain), he'll figure it out.

I try to distract him from his obvious difficulties. How long did the author spend writing it? Eight weeks? By the
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it

This book is narrated by numerous characters - each from their own point of view - in a stream of consciousness style. Thus it takes time, effort, and concentration for the reader to catch on to the subtleties of the story, including: the characters' states of mind, secrets, and in one case - psychosis.

Basically the story is about the Bundren family of Mississippi taking the corpse of their wife/mother, Addie Bundren, to be buried in her distant hometown - as she has requested.

Because of self-
Jun 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like linguistics
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Aside from the fact that the title is taken from a line in "Agamemnon" (which makes it already unbearably cool) this is a breathtaking book. It took me about four chapters to get used to Faulker's style of writing- the dialects, the chapters each being from another character's perspective, his way of having no narration so you have to figure out what is going on from the half-conversations the characters have themselves... but god, once I adjusted, I was completely floored. This is a beautiful, ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I was more or less bullied into reading this, and I still ended up loving it (after I got over the pharmacy scene, which made me want to punch-punch, though I acknowledge that was the point). My admittance of this book's awesome should stand for something considering I's tubborn as a *ahem* mule, and had for no particularly sound (or honestly even remotely thought out) reason been somewhat avoiding Faulkner for years. Okay, not really avoiding, just ehhhhh. That said, it turned out to be exactly ...more
Right, now I see why so many of my American Goodreads friends love Faulkner.

The characters and setting are weirdly close to what I expected - people who could have been caricature rednecks, in, to quote a recent left article about Ulysses, 'a democratic and humanistic novel where the everyday is elevated to the level of epic. It valorises the ordinary, giving minor characters an interior monologue' - including characters who are unlikeable and who make decisions that do them no favours. But the
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american, favourites
Olga From the Volga

You know, the one where he takes the Russian peasants from Dostoevsky and transplants them to Mississippi. Talk about dysfunctional family-life!
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faulkner takes a complex and unique approach in recounting what is essentially a fairly lean story. But the magic is there in the execution - the characters and the atmosphere have real substance, and there is a sense of melancholy and futility that surrounds the novel. As in The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner creates intrigue through the withholding of information; subverting normal literary expectations and forcing the reader to continue, paying close attention to detail in order to complete the ...more
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
By and By, Lord, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky?

... Habershon, 1907 (adapted/recorded by The Carter Family).
[4.5 stars]

This 1930 novel is truly unique in structure being narrated via the stream of consciousness of 15 characters over 59 chapters, each of which begins with the narrating character's name. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the Bundren family in Jefferson County, Mississippi, in taking their mom/wife Addie by
Sep 11, 2008 rated it liked it
I respect Faulkner, but I can't say I love him. Still, this book was something. What that something was, I'm still figuring out.

The novel tells the story of the Bundren family in their quest to bury their recently deceased (well, she's alive but on her death bed when the story opens) mother, Addie. And if you thought your family was dysfunctional, you haven't read enough Faulkner yet. Think turn of the century white trash and you're getting close. The Bundrens are a muddled mass of secrets, lies
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
About a year ago a friend of mine got me this job in which I had to work for some sociologists who made researches about Mexican immigrants in the US. Basically, my job was to transcribe their recorded interviews, which I personally found pretty enjoyable — it was like listening to all those life stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes a blend of both. So the task was entertaining and the pay was good. However, like any job, it had some difficulties at first. I got to rea ...more
Daniel Clausen
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2018

It's a strange thing to say, but at 36 I don't know if I'm mature enough to read William Faulkner the way he should be read. First, I think that Faulkner is a quiet read. I think that his stories and books should be read quietly at a time in your life when your mind isn't clouded by muck. My mind is clouded by muck, thus I'm not sure if I'm ready to read this book. Sure, at the age of 32 I was ready to read his short stories -- that was a different time. I was living in Fujisawa, and my own moth
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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 set in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as early

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