Tuesday, September 04, 2007

As I Lay Dying

The latest selection from the ultra-elite Smarter Than You Bookclub is As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930). This is the first novel of Faulkner's that I've read -- I'd previously read some short stories that I liked, but for some reason had never dipped into the longer works. I really enjoyed this one, and managed to read half of it on the way to Chicago and the other half on the way back home.

This novel follows the Bundren family as they journey to bury their wife and mother, Addie, back in her hometown. The story is told through a first person point of view that shifts between the husband, the sons, the daughter, the neighbors, and even the dead mother herself. The combined viewpoints coalesce into a deeply drawn picture of the individuals, the family as a whole, and their relationships with one another. I really enjoyed this.

I don't want to get into too many details (gotta save something for the bookclub, yo), so instead I'll mention that the copy of this book that I ordered off of Amazon came with two California lottery tickets from a year ago stuck into the back. In addition, don't you find it odd that the first three pages of a google image search for "As I Lay Dying" are almost entirely related to this metal band, with only two pictures of the Faulkner novel?

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