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Absalom, Absalom! cover art

Absalom, Absalom!

By: William Faulkner
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Summary

Absalom, Absalom! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.

Sutpen was a man, Faulker said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him". His tragedy left its impress not only on his contemporaries but also on men who came after, men like Quentin Compson, haunted even into the 20th century by Sutpen's legacy of ruthlessness and singleminded disregard for the human community.

©1986 Jill Faulkner Summers; 1993 Books on Tape, Inc.

What listeners say about Absalom, Absalom!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Making sense of a difficult masterpiece

It seems Faulmner's Absalom, Absalom holds the world record for the longest sentence ever written. So that is how difficult this work gets. I twice gave up reading the print edition. But this audio recording by Grover Gardner, I listened mesmerized. The long winding incomprehensible sentences suddenly turned poetic. It was like mist lifting to reveal the beautiful scenery behind. I have read few thrillers so engrossed. So that is it then the recording has made a thriller out of an unreadable classic. It doesn't get better than that.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating author, great reader

This is a story told from many points of view, of quite a few narrators, each of them knowing only certain part of it and trying to figure out the rest. As the story unfolds more details and layers are being revealed. Time shifts and quasi poetic language can be off putting but don't give up, there will be that point when you'll start comprehending and it will become clearer. Faulkner is an author like no other, with his unique style and motifs, recognisable yet different in every novel, difficult but rewarding in the end.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful

Absalom is a difficult book and whether you read or listen there will be long passages where you just want to cry 'get on with it' and yet as the book goes on this is all necessary and the repetition and endless looking at the same thing from a slightly different angle brings you further in than most any of book... normally I would say read the book first then listen to it but actually in this case sit back, listen, don't worry if parts don't make sense, don't worry about seeming repetition and glory in hearing this novel read in a southern accent!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I love the narration, especially the accent!

The book is too "American" for me. I don't much care for what happened in it, the plot, or the moral ramifications. None of it applies to me at all, and I couldn't even care to identify as a reader. I just had to read it because my university professor told me to, so here I am. I'm from the Middle East, so it might just be subjective on my part, but no shade to those who actually like it.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a truly great novel

Faulkner was a visionary writer, and this is probably his greatest work. the technique and craft alone are worth it. a very human way of understanding the conflicted history of the American south

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary novel, good reading.

The writing of this novel is so rich and dense and gradually accreting, and a bit hypnotic, and all through the voice of the various characters, that it helps to slow down and read it out loud. So then I thought, why not listen to an authentic Southern voice reading it.

So this worked. A good reading.

An incredible novel. Beyond shocking. Really good stuff.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

I read this 27 years ago and remembered it as being fantastic... and it is. I found the unrolling of thoughts very authentic and though that style may seem confusing at first, the story gradually pieces together.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

amply rewarding

As noted by other reviewers, "Absalom Absalom" does require some effort on the part of the listener; it might be worth having a printed copy to refer to in order to keep track of the rich complexities of the plot and the narrative voices (I referred to an online study guide as I had no copy of the book). But Grover Gardner's masterly reading enables the listener not only to make sense of the text, but to revel in the wonderfully full, almost poetic cadences of language so rich as to be almost musical. The listening in itself was a pleasure.

As for the book as a novel, it has so much to discover : themes of race, gender, American history, prejudice, equality, sexual morality to name but a few; a structure so clever as to be an object of satisfaction in itself, especially combined with the complex interweaving of the time patterns; a magnificently Gothic atmosphere, especially the last scene, the forcefulness of which can rival any other.

I am grateful to previous reviewers for recommending a book which otherwise I would never have discovered, and to Grover Garner to bringing alive this remarkable novel from a powerful author.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well...

you like it or you don't. the work of messmeraising genius, narrated by narration god.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

not for everyone

I wish I could give more stars for the book. Since at one point in history the work was rewarded by Nobel Prize. And I really wanted to read (to listen) to it. and I tried. for few hours. I realy tried hard to grasp the storyline. and I failed. Because its impossible to put a completed thought in a centence 3 pages (5min.) long. The narator's voice contributed to unpleasant listening. It may be southern accent, but it sounds more like one of bravade-propaganda of news readers on TV in 60s.

Well, it's like Picasso in art, not for everyone. Faulkner in literature, not for everyone either.

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3 people found this helpful