Book Review: As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner  

As I Lay Dying Cover

Disturbing is the one word I’d use to describe this book. I came across this book due to the fact it’s required reading for my English 254 class, and boy is it not what I was expecting. I’ve read a lot of books in my almost 20 years, a lot of disturbing books at that, and nothing has compared to atrocities committed by the family in this book.

William Faulkner takes you on this tale about a family, he spins you around inn circles, and you end up  where you least expect it. Before I dive deep into my review here is the description of the book from Amazon:

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn  by each of the family members—including Addie herself—as well as others the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true 20th-century classic. 

As I Lay Dying recounts the Bundren family’s  journey to bury their wife/mother Addie, and things quickly go down hill. Filled with lots of dark humor and just flat out disturbing events As I Lay Dying is definitely a classic, but not all classic fit to our personal tastes.

For me this book was boring and a terror to read. Several parts needed rereading, and you can really only understand it with close and careful reading, this is not a casual read.

The only character I enjoyed reading about was Darl, and his story like everyone else’s is tragic, but I feel he gets the worst of it. This always happens to my favorite characters I swear! The rest of the characters were either shallow, creepy, or lacking true personality. I read books for the deep character connection, and this just didn’t do it for me.

I don’t recommend this book, but if you must read it I would say its recommended age group is for adults. It has horrible and sad themes, no one under 16 for sure!

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2/5 on my official rating because the book has a really interesting ending that leaves you dumbfounded!

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