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The Sound and the Fury ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (6)

This was an excruciating reading experience.  An uninteresting story, badly written.  Memo to the reading public: do not get on a plane to L.A. with only this book to read.


Grade: (F)


Book-related and General Links:
    -Yoknapatawpha County: William Faulkner on the Web
    -William Faulkner: Life and Works (includes synopsis of Light in August)
    William Faulkner on the Web
    -William Faulkner Centennial Celebration (Vintage Books)
    -The William Faulkner Society
    -Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Faulkner Studies
    -Faulkner's Page: Tour of Oxford
    -William Faulkner: The Myth Of The South (from Let's Find Out)
    -Faulkner and Racism (ARTHUR F. KINNEY, Connotations)
    -Frederick Crews: The Strange Fate of William Faulkner (NY Review of Books)
    -ESSAY : Mister Faulkner Goes to Stockholm : In six short years, William Faulkner went from salaried Hollywood script doctor to winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. How had this seeming miracle occurred? (October 2001, Smithsonian)
    -ESSAY: Book of the Century : The Sound and the Fury (1929) by William Faulkner  (Books Online, UK Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of WILLIAM FAULKNER: AMERICAN WRITER A Biography. By Frederick R. Karl (John W. Aldridge, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of William Faulkner: American Writer A Biography By Frederick R. Karl )(Michiko Kakutani, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of WILLIAM FAULKNER The Man and the Artist. By Stephen B. Oates (Louis D. Rubin Jr, NY Times Book Review)
     -REVIEW: of William Faulkner and the Tangible Past The Architecture of Yoknapatawpha. By Thomas S. Hines (Henry Taylor, NY Times Book Review)
    -William H. Gass: Mr. Blotner, Mr. Feaster, and Mr. Faulkner Faulkner: A Biography by Joseph Blotner (NY Review of Books)
    -Marvin Mudrick: The Over-Wrought Urn REVIEW of William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country by Cleanth Brooks (NY Review of Books)
   -Terry Southern: Just Folks  REVIEW: of Faulkner's People: A Complete Guide and Index to the Characters in Faulkner by Robert W. Kirk and Marvin Klotz (NY Review of Books)
    -Personal Best (JOAN SMITH, Salon)

If you want to read some decent William Faulkner, try:
    -The Reivers
    -Big Woods: The Hunting Stories of William Faulkner
    #54)  Light in August (1932)  (read Orrin's review, Grade: B-)


You actually thought that this book was boring? you gave it an F?!? Like joyce's ulysses you probably didnt even finish the book. you probably didn't even get past the first chapter which is suprising as it is narrated by a mentally handicapped person, something i figured you could relate to. I guess that the expansive nature of faulkners narrative style is a bit too broad for most people but then again most people dont hold themselves out to be literary critics. Get a day job, perhaps at a local comic book store.

- brothers dumb

- Dec-04-2006, 15:31


I'm not big on "The Sound And The Fury" here, but if you'd like to trash it you need to give more complex reasons why; otherwise, your target audiences (left wing foes and right wing fans alike) are just going to walk away thinking "oh, he didn't get it." Which you will probably respond to by claiming that that's the author's fault for not providing something you could handle rather than yours for not giving it a little more effort. Society could stand to have a few difficult books lying around; TSATF, while I am not in love with it, can be read with some effort, and is very rewarding. It is not some kind of big trick on the author's part like "Finnegans Wake."

- Soogless

- Aug-25-2006, 13:22


The novel is superbly written; particulary Faulkner's art of handling plot and maintaining all the threads of its events is great achivement. I haven't found any other novel more fascinating, however, it requires at least more than one reading to understand and then as many as you want to enjoy and appreciate the novel.

- Faraz Ali Bughio

- Sep-03-2005, 05:33


The navel is superb particulary Faulkner's art of handling plot and maintaining all the threads of events is great achivement. I haven't found any other novel more fascinating but it requires at least more than one reading to understand and then as many as you want to enjoy

- Faraz Ali Bughio

- Jul-23-2005, 09:25


William Faulkner must have been on drugs or crazy when he wrote the first part of "The Sound and the Fury". It is a very difficult read-so if you are hungering for pain-read this book.

- Barbara Wilson

- Jun-24-2005, 16:52


I agree. The book was boring and i could not understand one thing that was going on for the first part of the book. I don't see why this book is some big part of american literature.

- Josh

- Feb-19-2005, 20:35


Badly written? Uninteresting?

This is the greatest technical achievement in American literature up to now. I couldn't stop reading it once I got a grip on the opening section. I think there is an amazing story here, told in a way that has never really been equalled, but as usual you dismiss it because it requires a little more effort than James Clavell's semi-literate garbage.

Do you actually finish any of these books? Just curious...

- kristofer

- Aug-06-2004, 15:14


Wow---you really offended some folks with your review. I'm not entirely sure what it means to be a "digest of common interest," but if it means "engaging and capable of conveying any meaningful message," then I agree that "The Sound and the Fury" was not so intended. After subjecting myself to several unsuccessful attempts to read this book without hating it and two successful attempts to read it without stopping, I can only say one non-pejorative thing: the title and its Shakespearean signfication perfectly describe the book itself. This book is sound and fury---piss and wind, if you will---a tale told (scratched out, squeaked, vomited, choose your verb) by an idiot. That's you, WF.

- jrm

- Jul-30-2004, 14:25


certain unnamed reviewers need to be plucked from society and placed in little tiny hermetically sealed boxes where their blinding stupidity can't spread to their readers.


- Jun-01-2004, 05:36


i recognize that you're entitled to your own opinion, but some of your reviews are quite thoughtless. your review of The Sound and the Fury is one of them. it's a shame that you would dismiss a book because it was a challenging read. i, too, found the book difficult to read, but i still recognize that it's a wonderful piece of work. great works often require some effort on the reader's part!


- Apr-04-2004, 03:04


Yeah, Faulkner's a challenge. I suggest you punch your own weight, lest you keep getting the shit kicked out of yourself....

- Mike Tandrow

- Dec-16-2003, 10:25


An uninteresting review, badly written.

- arebomb

- May-28-2003, 04:09


oh.. pity that faulkner's defining work didn't tickle your fancy while you were riding in the airplane.

"the sound and the fury" was not intended to be a digest of common interest, nor should it ever be read as such.


- Mar-17-2003, 00:19