As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying

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 fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true 20th...

Details As I Lay Dying

TitleAs I Lay Dying
Release DateJan 30th, 1991
GenreClassics, Fiction, Literature, Novels

Reviews As I Lay Dying

  • AmyAmy
    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 stuf...
  • Emily May
    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...
  • 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 influenc...
  • Nicholas Armstrong
    "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 i...
  • Paul Bryant
    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 unreasonab...
  • Ademption
  • Lyn
    "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...
  • Alex
    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 ...
  • Fabian
    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 master...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    As I Lay Dying, William FaulknerAs 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 ...
  • Michael
    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 countys capital, where they intend to bury the rotting corpse of the familys matriarch. The narrative jumps from perspective to perspective, and each characters voice is highly stylized, from the second eldest sons ornate meditations on life and death to...
  • Bram
    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 thats fraught with emotion and history and meaning, but he wo...
  • Lisa
    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...
  • Megan Baxter
    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 re...
  • Duane
    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
  • Matt
    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 k...
  • 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 doesnt just esc...
  • Vit Babenco
    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...
  • Barbara
    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...
  • Alisha
    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 adjuste...
  • Antonomasia
    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 w...
  • RandomAnthony
    Ok, this is the first review on which Ive ever hit the spoiler tab, but I dont know how to review this book without spoilers. You know the drill. Stop reading if youd like.Holy hell, As I Lay Dying is a great book. I needed about thirty pages to get into Faulkners rhythms (and, uh, finally figure out that each chapter was narrated by the character titling said chapter), but once I caught onto the cadence I read the novel in four feverish days seq...
  • BlackOxford
    Olga From the VolgaYou know, the one where he takes the Russian peasants from Dostoevsky and transplants them to Mississippi. Talk about dysfunctional family-life!
  • Perry
    Will the Circle Be UnbrokenBy and By, Lord, by and by?Is a better home awaitingIn 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 Count...
  • poncho
    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...
  • Daniel Clausen
    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 differe...
  • Edward
    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 ...
  • Joel
    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...
  • Mike Puma
    As I Lay Dying is one of those titles that all readers of literary fiction get to sooner or laterfor good reasons. Not only is it one of Faulkners most accessible titles, it is also very quickly read and less dark than some of his other work; some of the novels developments are, however, told with black comedy/gallows humor.As there are plenty of title summaries available here, Im not going to bore readers with another one. I would, however, like...