Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
I just finished reading this and thought it was astounding. Incredible tentacled layering of the plot, polyphonic language like the architecture of some baroque masterpiece, edge-of-the-seat suspense. Anyone else with me? Are Faulkner's other books just as amazing?
I absolutely loved The Sound and the Fury. His characterization is incredible. These people lived and breathed in some universe. There were moments too of transcendent beauty in his prose.
I'm working my way through Light in August now, which I don't like quite as much, but it's still masterful.
Glad to hear Absalom is good; that's on my list next.
Great novel, by any standard, but for people with no experience of Faulkner, probably not the first of his you should read. Likewise The Sound and the Fury. I recommend starting with Sartoris, the first of his Mississippi novels, or maybe The Unvanquished. And of his highest-level masterpieces, Light in August. The Snopes Trilogy (The Hamlet, The Town, The Mansion) also rank high, and maybe would be well read before either S&T or A,A.
But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Faulkner.
A cautionary note: If you're expecting dragons or zombies or sparkly vampires, best look for other authors.
figuring it all out
Ab, Ab has the distinction of being Faulkner's best work but also his most difficult.
blacbird's advice is fine, but in my experience, As I Lay Dying pleases most crowds. Also, flipping through his collected stories--paying close attention to classics like "Barn Burning," "A Rose for Emily," "That Evening Sun" and a few others--is time well spent.
Small point (or perhaps not): because F always writes about the past living in and influencing the present, I'd suggest zombies are one of Faulkner's main subjects.
Astute observation, and almost literally true in the case of "A Rose for Emily".
Originally Posted by Amos Gunner
Another Faulkner I recommend as a possible initial read is The Wild Palms. It's two alternating but separate stories, set in his familiar Mississippi milieu, but without interrelation with any of the other Mississippi stories. And a deceptively strong book.