Friday, October 07, 2005

And when you are filled with sleep, you never were.

Maybe it's too early in this blog's life to repeat a review, especially if it's not offering a different opinion, but I really can't help myself. I read As I Lay Dying on Cole's recommendation and fell in love; I was definitely not expecting it to be what it was. Pure Southern poetry, it's written in this hypnotizing way. You know how an author can win you over by making characters that feel so real you think you know them? And dialogue that's so familiar you can almost hear it? Faulkner throws that in the trashcan and makes characters that are so alien and talk in such a bizarre way that you can't help but be like "what kind of people are these?" and fall into his spell. (Seriously, even in turn of the century South, I can't imagine anyone talking like the characters in this book). I need to read this again someday because I can't say I always had a handle on what was going on. I read it very slow because the words would just loose me, their cadence would catch me and their meaning would escape; it was like trying to say a tongue twister ten times fast. The different perspectives kept the book fresh, the book isn't full of non-stop action or anything, so the real excitement came from the different points of view. Vardaman was something else, I awaited his chapters like none other's. He was the youngest child and possibly had some mental handicap going on or something because everything he had to say was just wild. "She was under the apple tree and Darl and I go across the moon and the cat jumps down and runs and we can hear her inside the wood." The chapter from Addie, the dying mother, is something else; her perspective on life set me back, wasn't what I was expecting her to be and was a good reminder to how different experiences make such different humans. A couple times during the book I threw my hands up in air like I'd just won the world series and yelled "this book is so good!" It even shows you the shape of the coffin.


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