The Sound and the Fury

The Corrected Text

Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Sound and the Fury
Retells the tragic times of the Compson family, including beautiful, rebellious Caddy; manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their Black servant.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1990
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 0679732241
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC F
Characteristics: 326 p. ; 21 cm.


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Mar 16, 2015
  • joeswain rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

deserves it's place as a classic of American literature

Aug 02, 2013
  • Ryan Akler-Bishop rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

William Faulkner displays his true gift in his most renowned novel, “The Sound and the Fury”. What his “true gift” is, is his ability to analyze his character, to the point where he can write as if he was that person. The novel depicts the Compson family, a family living in the South (where all Faulkner novels take place). Over the thirty years the novel shows, we witness their gradual fall from grace. Faulkner divides the various time allotment into separate narrators who share the events of the Compson family through their point of view. The essential characters of the novel consists of: Jason Compson, the father of the family; he also happens to be an alcoholic, which makes matters more complicated. His wife Caroline, is both self-obsessed and darkly neurotic. We meet their oldest son, Quentin, who suffers from the abuse of his brother and his obsession with his sister. His sister is Caddy, who seems to be the least affected of her family’s dysfunction. Their other son, is named Jason. He is bitter and cold, racist, bankrupt and experiencing sexaul difficulties. All in all, he’s the most pathetic of the Compson family. Finally, the final son is name named Benjy. He is a man-child who desperately requires the assistance of most of the rest of his family. They mostly don’t have the patience for him, with the sole exception of his more caring sister, Caddy. Faulkner once wrote that he believed Caddy was the only sympathetic character in the novel, and by the logic; the hero. You’d think Faulkner had lived through this family because of how well he seems to understand the character and family dynamics. You can see how each action affects the lives of the other characters and how it brings them to do other actions, which continues the cycle. It’s a great example of why many consider Faulkner to be the greatest American novelist. But the difficulties and tragedies that arise in “The Sound in the Fury” do not constantly revolve around the characters within the family. As I mentioned earlier, Faulkner’s novels almost always are set within the south, because he always believed there were large problems with the treatment of African-Americans and it was not easy to survive there. We see a through glance into both problems with “The Sound and the Fury”. Dilsey is the name of the African-American maid working for the Compson family. Some of the members of the household treat her with common decency while others see her as less than a human being. It’s an excellent depiction of the mistreatment of blacks in the South during the 1920s. As well, the Compson family struggles to stay financially afloat. Every subject Faulkner touches on is clearly one that was dear to him in his heart. It all feels extremely sincere and for that reason, it is among the greatest novels ever written.

Aug 21, 2012
  • WindowGrass rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I agree with all these comments, but would add that it's a book that stays with you.

Twenty (twenty-five?) years later, I do remember not knowing what was going in a lot of the time, but I also remember being enthralled all the time.

GIven this fact, I have to rate it an extraordiary and powerful book.

Jun 08, 2012
  • Sirimarie rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A difficult read. Faulkner wants you to work for it, and if you do, it pays off - kind of. I didn't love it, but I am glad that I read it. There are definitely some powerfully written moments. The problem is that I often didn't even know what was going on, and that is where Faulkner loses me.

Jan 19, 2012
  • Sarah1984 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

According to the introduction, this is a book that no normal person would be able to fully, or even partially, understand on the first reading. I can't imagine many people even making it all the way through the first reading, I certainly didn't. I'm sure it's a great and important 19th century piece of American literature, but the pages long stream-of-consciousness style Faulkner used became incomprehensible and very tiring to read. The blurb on the back of the book makes the plot sound interesting, but the stream-of-consciousness style in the second "chapter" along with the strange back and forth "time travel" between different unnamed times made it almost impossible to follow, I was just reading the words, not comprehending the story. I have taken his other works off my list of books to read.

Oct 01, 2011
  • vcc rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This novel is the most difficult thing that I have ever read and most of the members in my book club felt the same way. Difficult to determine exacting what was occuring, and a lot of characters to decipher. Great if you have majored in Literature at university, but otherwise you will most likely require additional aid (there are many study guides available online). (Nov 2007)


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Oct 14, 2009

This story about a family dissolving is told by three brothers; Benjy, the "idiot", suicidal Quentin, and heartless Jason.


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The Sound and the Fury
Faulkner, William, 1897-1962
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