Reviewed by: Chris Green email@example.com Date: 25 October 2001
Faulkner's As I Lay Dying proves the claim that the stream-of-consciousness style of prose can be a genuinely beautiful artform. In a sublime mixture of inventive verbage and character transformations amid a sorrowful tale of a family's journey, Faulkner, in my opinion, leaves us with his crowning literary jewel.
As I Lay Dying tells the story of a family's journey through rural Mississippi while carrying the body of their recently deceased matriarch. Told from each person's perspective (each change of perspective is signaled by a new chapter - very helpful) the effect of the matriarchs death on the family members ranges from uncomprehending (the youngest grandchild) to resentful (one of her sons with whom she was very close) to relieved (her husband). In one brief chapter we are even treated to the dead woman's own thoughts.
Faulkner's famous stylings are quite toned-down in this work. None of the convoluted prose replete with over-intellectualized ramblings which make works like 'The Sound and the Fury' poor reads, are present. Instead, As I Lay Dying is eminently readable enough to be fun, yet at the same time is challenging enough to be rewarding.
This book has assumed its place as my favorite Faulkner novel and deserves a mention as one of the top 20 or so I've ever read.
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