©1958 William Faulkner; (P)2005 Random House, Inc.
Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.
Approached forward from ?As I Lay Dying? and backward from Cormac McCarthy?s ?No Country For Old Men,? nothing really prepared me for ?Sanctuary.?
Scouring the internet for reviews, the only thing I got was a hysterical liken to Tobe Hooper?s ?Texas Chainsaw Massacre? ? which is plainly nonsense. Be warned, however, there is still an ?if you dare? quality to this book which belies its 1931 publication date.
Sanctuary lies at the fountainhead of the Southern Gothic genre and, had the reviewer seen Tracey Letts? stage play ?Killer Joe? which I saw when it exploded onto London?s West End for a short controversial run in the mid 1990s, then I?m sure I?d have applauded the comparison and somewhat tempered my approach in heeding the warning.
Language and stereotyping are important weapons in a culture and it is important to assert that what passes in ?Sanctuary? reflects rather than endorses that unctuous Southern Aristocracy. The words and descriptions are all here bringing an immediate dissonance that may have you throwing down the book in disgust.
But it is the milieu familiarly of Cormac McCarthy and, perhaps - not so familiarly of John Steinbeck and, I?d suggest, Quentin Tarrantino. In fact, the narrative structure of Sanctuary and the venal central cast seems to perfectly inform Tarrantino?s filmic work.
You have to view the whole from its completion and be prepared to work hard, put your sensitivities to one side and complete the catharsis before coming out of this Grecian tragedy into the bright sunny day of the rainy 6th arrondissement of Temple Drake?s ?Paris with Daddy.?
"Loved the reader!"
A memorable listening experience. I found myself rewinding and listening repeatedly to passages. The prose is so rich that with each re-listen, more details emerge.
I have also listened to and loved Absalom, Absalom!, The Sound and the Fury, and Light in August. I preferred Sanctuary to Light in August, but do not consider Sanctuary as brilliant as Absalom or Sound.
I must disagree with fellow readers who did not like Hoye's interpretations of the book's many Southern dialects. Hoye's voice sounds very similar to Faulkner's own inflections as heard in his Nobel speech. I also thought Hoye brought realism and authenticity to the range of voices in the novel which span the social classes--from the Memphis Madam, Miss Reba, to Horace Benbow's gentrified drawl, to the hillbilly twang of the bootleggers
This is another good book really poorly narrated. The half-enervated singsong of the narrator's voice seems intended to reflect the music of Faulkner's prose, but the effect is like singing Emily Dickinson's poems to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas - it just doesn't match the emotional tenor of the content. How do you square singsong with a text filled with words like "vicious" in the first half-hour? The effect is stilted and so distant from the actual content of the text that listening is a process of battling to filter out the narrator's voice. I gave up. This is the second $14.95 I've wasted on unlistenable narration in the last few months.
Audible needs to have Joe Barrett re-perform Sanctuary, Absalom and Sound and the Fury. The narration here was ineffective.
This narrator is absolutely destroying my love of William Faulkner.
He is possibly the worst narrator I have come across so far.
I am giving this one star because someone needs to tell this guy not to perform any female characters or characters he thinks are slow-witted.
I will be avoiding this narrator at all costs.
"Temple Drake and Faulkner's seediest novel"
A tale revolving around Faulkner's second favorite female character, Temple Drake (after, of course, Caddy Compson), an Ole Miss co-ed cutie thrown into the devil's pit by circumstances. This book is not for the weak of will. It's the only Faulkner novel, I think, that describes in Faulknerese masturB, and centers on rape and murder. Faulkner claims it was a "potboiler" written solely for profit. There is evidence otherwise, though it's not nearly on par with his 3 most famous, "The Sound and the Fury," "Absalom, Absalom!" and As I Lay Dying."
It's a better place to start on Faulkner than the 3 above. I started with The Sound and the Fury 25 years ago, tried twice and quit. If you haven't read it, and you don't have to read it as part of a lit class, you will need a companion book. Believe me. In my own personal Southern Renaissance, I came back with a fury in the past couple of years and have nearly finished them all.
In any case, you might start with this or "Light in August" (which is more accessible and, in my opinion, as outstanding as all but The Sound and the Fury) and go from there. I'll say 4.5 stars, and round up.
Not Faulkner's best by a long shot, but the book is better than the narrator allows it to be. The effect is similar to that of having a mosquito at your ear while you are trying to sleep. . . .
Too much time spent thinking in the characters' psychology and not enough action across the paper. The narrator is monotone. I found this book boring and didn't finish it and never will. "As I lay Dying" and "Sanctuary" are much better novels by Faulkner.
C'mon Faulkner, you are better than this!
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