The Sound and the Fury

Written by:
William Faulkner
Narrated by:
Grover Gardner

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2005
8 hours 54 minutes
NOBEL PRIZE WINNER • One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century is the story of a family of Southern aristocrats on the brink of personal and financial ruin.

The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and  one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

“I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire.... I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” —from The Sound and the Fury
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I was totally lost through the first 2 sections of this book. The characters and their thought patterns jumped from flashbacks and present time so quickly, it was hard to follow. I then started to really like it in the last 2 sections, and now that the characters were established, I listened to it again. The second time through was much easier to follow as I had a feel for the characters and their backgrounds. Very good book, didn't think I would like it, but give it a shot and listen to it twice. Narrator was AWESOME!!!!

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Nick L.

the narration was stellar. of course, with such shifting stream of conscious, it’s helpful to have the text too if the writing is unfamiliar. that said, i can’t imagine a better reading. i loved it.

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I believe some other reviewer has already said this, but I'll re-state it: some books are just meant to be read not listened to, and this is one of them. I believe Faulkner used clues (like italics) in the writing to show time shifts, etc. However, you can't "hear" italics so it makes this very confusing to listen to.

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I finished the first cd, but could finish the second. It was very slow, and quite confusing.

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The tragedy of the Sound and the Fury lies not with, Candice, whose scarlet lifestyle is the family shame. The true tragedy is of a family so afraid to live that they are dying. Benji, although mentally diminished, realized that the only life in the household was Caddie and her daughter. When they escaped to freedom, he mourned their leaving. They represented life (trees,) while the remaining family represented death. Benji's "grave" was his simplistic way of grieving for the loss of the living.

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Regan Waller

This book may be a classic, but some books are better read than heard. I strongly advise reading this book in lieu of listening to it. It was a bit too hard to follow while driving through traffic especially given that the narrarator was horrible.

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I originally tried reading this book, couldn't get past the first chapter. Then, I tried listening to it with the same result. I guess somebody has decided that WF is one of the "greats" and that this book belongs in The Canon. But, I just don't see it.

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This Great American Novel just doesn't "work" as an audio book. Faulkner shifts around in time a lot. In the printed version, Faulkner uses italics so the reader knows that the character is having a memory, or that there's a time shift. But in the audio version, it's very confusing and frustrating for the listener. Some classic novels work well in audio ...but this isn't one of them. I'll try a printed version...someday! If you want to read a great classic southern novel that works well in audio, try "To Kill a Mockingbird", beautifully narrated by Sissy Spacek. Other classic authors I've enjoyed in audio are Thoreau and Dickens, which lend themselves well to the spoken word.

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Janice Church

Fascinating and unusual book. You should read Cliff notes or similar before listening to this book as stream of conscience means it's difficult to grasp characters and their relationships to each other. Lots of truly great and insightful dialog. Amazing that Faulkner could make such disparate characters come alive - an immature "idiot", a selfish, self absorbed mother, a selfish, resentful, recriminating brother, a loving, caring, whoring sister and a guilt bearing suicidal brother - sounds like a soap opera. Great book, great characters, once you figure out the characters and plot.

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I didn't finish this audiobook. It was too hard to listen to. It's probably a really good book, since it's considered a classic, but I'll probably never know because I couldn't enjoy the audiobook. The style of writing is too hard for reading aloud and the narrator only made it harder with his winey voice.

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The book was good (Faulkner is one of my favorite authors), but the narrator (while I am sure he tried his best) was obviously not a native. The attempted accents were distracting to the point I very nearly stopped listening.

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Anthony Smith

Though a wonderful classic, this is a difficult book to hear aloud. Faulkner's stylle of jumping between character accents, the narrator voice and stream-of-conciousness sentence fragments makes for a real challenge of an audio book. I have to give credit to the reader for fantastic performance, complete with rapid-fire accent shifts. But I'd suggest you read the actual book. Faulkner uses italics, quotes and other means to help the reader sort it all out. And it's assumed one will re-read confusing passages, since the style is intentionally, notoriously intermingled and confusing. Finally, though it was the times then, some will find "Sound and Fury" racially offensive, both in how some of the characters are portrayed and in the actual language. Text softens this--when read aloud, it's all the more glaring.

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Stacee Cohn

Times have changed since this book was written. While I enjoyed and felt intellectually challenged by trying to figure out the mystery of the story, I feel certain that my African American significant other would have been horrified by the racism in this story.

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Priscilla Cooper

I don't think this is a book that should be read on tape....I had no idea who was narrating and it "jumped" (in my opinion) around so much that I was lost most of the time.. By the middle of the 4th disc, I gave up, but did promise myself to rent the DVD as I'm curious to know this famous book.

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This is prehaps the worst audiobook I have ever attempted to listen to - I couldn't get past the first CD - and I will usually finish everything because I like to see if it will improve and/or just how it will end. Couldn't do it.

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Renee Locks

This was very well presented and understandable. I have had difficulty reading Faulkner although I love his use of language and descriptions. Hearing the reading was a treat.

The Sound and the Fury
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