As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

I read this for a book club. Otherwise there was no way I would have finished this. That and it being only 147 pages long. This is the story of a dysfunctional American family sent at some time in the past, although I cannot really tell when, I am going to guess at a hundred years ago. Their mother dies and her five kids and husband take her body to the nearest town where it was her request to be buried. It is quite a difficult and eventful trip.

The story is narrated by all these people, and the various other major and minor characters that the family meet along the way. I see why he did this, and it is a good way of getting across the various parent-child and sibling relationships and how the mother’s death affects them all. But, it makes things quite confusing, because in 147 pages with over ten narrators we do not get to know any of them very well. Faulkner attempts to have his characters speak mostly in the vernacular, but he also tries to use his own picturesque and descriptive language which results in the whole thing sounding inauthentic and a bit silly, really.

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