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Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom! - William Faulkner I read As I Lay Dying years ago and hated it, but I resolved after several years to give Faulkner another try. Absalom, Absalom is one of the best books I've read in my life. It's not beautiful, and there's not much to love in the characters, but I can't argue with its magnificence. It's overwhelming. So the 5 stars of "it was amazing" are truly deserved here.

Getting into this book was a little like getting into a Shakespeare play for me. The first few pages didn't make any sense at all, but I just kept going and it all snapped into place, taking over my brain and almost convincing me to start talking in run-on sentences. And looking back, it had to be written in this style. No other style would have worked.

So I'll stop at simply describing my reaction to this book's overwhelming power. I'm not going to be able to significantly add to the volumes of academic criticism that have been written about this book. I'll just finish by saying that the book has significantly added to my life and my understanding of people and their obsessions. But I think in a very real sense that years ago I simply wasn't ready for Faulkner. There isn't much literature I say that about, but I think it's true here. I needed to see more of life to be able to read this book.