Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
Evan’s ESS = 6 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG
(Adult Content, Language, Wicked Confusing Dialogue)
“Wonder. Go on and wonder.”

Why: For a while now we’ve been anxious to read one of William Faulkner’s acclaimed novels. After completing our highly scientific selection process (The first of his titles we came across at the library) we decided to cut our teeth on The Sound and the Fury. Two weeks later, shoulders hunched and lower lip bloodied, we limp back to the return bin defeated…

For us, this novel got off to a rough start and any later redeeming qualities remained elusive. As a rule, we try to know as little as possible before cracking a new spine, however in the case of The Sound and the Fury, we understood even less after part 1. We’ve never pretended to be the sharpest tools in the shed, but the prose was almost impossible to understand and only later did we learn the intent behind the disjointed narrative.

Sadly, even after a couple different narrators, the remaining sections weren’t much clearer. We spent most of the novel recovering from our initial disorientation and trying to fit all the characters together with their storylines. The novel did have a lone redeeming quality for us, which was the dialogue. We felt the mood of the region and the nature of the Compson family was captured wonderfully. We’re definitely going to give Mr. Faulkner another try, but next time it will be with a touch less anticipation and hoopla.


  1. Kudos for tackling such a heavy weight read! I've never read any of Faulkner's work, but I know it's not for the faint of heart!

  2. Yep, this pretty much sums up my experience with Faulkner. I've tried 3 of his books, and none of them have made any sense to me. I'm not ready to give up on him yet, though. I'll probably go back and give him a retry one of these days.