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Book Rating (92)

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The Sound and the Fury

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: William Faulkner

Narrated By: Grover Gardner

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: July 2005

Duration: 8 hours 0 minutes

Summary:

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

Genres:

  • Kathy

    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.

  • nittany1979

    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!!!!

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • 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.

  • Tedd

    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.

  • Deborah

    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.

  • 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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • wlh2040

    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.