As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Corrected Text

67%

11 Critic Reviews

I’m glad I read As I Lay Dying and didn’t completely loathe it. I’m impressed Faulkner tried to do something different with his novel. However, it just didn’t satisfying me. I also had no idea the picture on the front cover was a horse until my other half told me. D
-The Book Lover's Boudoir

Synopsis

“I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall.” —William Faulkner on As I Lay Dying
 
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.

This edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Noel Polk.

 

About William Faulkner

See more books from this Author
Born in an old Mississippi family, William Faulkner made his home in Oxford, seat of the University of Mississippi. After the fifth grade he went to school only off and on-lived, read, and wrote much as he pleased. In 1918, refusing to enlist with the "Yankees," he joined the Canadian Air Force, and was transferred to the British Royal Air Force. After the war he studied a little at the University, did house painting, worked as a night superintendent at a power plant, went to New Orleans and became a friend of Sherwood Anderson, then to Europe and back home to Oxford. By this time he had written two novels. The Sound and the Fury followed in 1929. Financial success came with Sanctuary in 1931, which he assisted in filming. Faulkner 's novels are intense in their character portrayals of disintegrating Southern aristocrats, poor whites, and African Americans. A complex stream-of-consciousness rhetoric often involves Faulkner in lengthy sentences of anguished power. Most of his tales are set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and are characterized by the use of many recurring characters from families of different social levels spanning more than a century. His best subjects are the old, dying South and the newer materialistic South. As I Lay Dying (1930), is a grotesquely tragicomic story about a family of poor southern whites. With Absalom, Absalom! (1936); the difficult parts of his famous short novel "The Bear" (published in Go Down, Moses, 1942); and the allegorical A Fable (1954), a non-Yoknapatawpha novel set in France during World War I; Faulkner returned to an innovative and difficult style that most readers have trouble with. Yet, interspersed among such works are collections of easily read stories originally published in popular magazines. There seems to be a growing sentiment among critics that the Snopes trilogy-The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959)-for the most part an example of Faulkner's "moderate" style, could well be among his most important works. Faulkner was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize for literature "for his powerful and artistically independent contribution to the new American novel," but it would appear now that he also deserved to win that honor for his contribution to world literature. When reporting his death, the Boston Globe quoted Faulkner's having once told an interviewer: "Since man is mortal, the only immortality for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. That is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must some day pass." In addition to the Nobel Prize, Faulkner received the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1950, and in 1951 he was given the National Book Award for his Collected Stories Collected Stories. For his novel A Fable he received the National Book Award for the second time, as well as the Pulitzer Prize in 1955. The Reivers (1962) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1963. In 1957 and 1958, he was the University of Virginia's first writer-in-residence, and in January 1959 he accepted an appointment as consultant on contemporary literature to the Alderman Library of that university. Although Faulkner was not without honors in his lifetime and has received world recognition since then, it is surprising to learn that, when Malcolm Cowley edited The Portable Faulkner in 1946, he found that almost all of Faulkner's books were out of print. By arranging selections from the works to form a continuous chronicle, Cowley deserves much of the credit for making readers aware of the way in which Faulkner was creating a fictive world on a scale grander than that of any novelist since Balzac. William Faulkner died in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1962.
 
Published May 18, 2011 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Religion & Spirituality, Professional & Technical, Romance. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for As I Lay Dying
All: 11 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 2

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by TredynasDays on Jul 27 2013

In summary the novel perhaps sounds unpromising. It’s the style, structure and refracted, dreamlike narrative voices that make it so compelling. In 59 short sections – some only a few words long...15 different narrators relate their thoughts and perceptions in stream-of-consciousness interior monologues.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Seattle PI

Above average
Reviewed by TredynasDays on Jul 26 2013

In summary the novel perhaps sounds unpromising. It's the style, structure and refracted, dreamlike narrative voices that make it so compelling. In 59 short sections - some only a few words long ('My mother is a fish': Vardaman) - 15 different narrators relate their thoughts and perceptions in stream-of-consciousness interior monologues.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Blogger News Network

Above average
Reviewed by Barry Ergang on Feb 06 2009

Although Faulkner wrote several more straightforward novels, As I Lay Dying might very well be the most accessible of his acknowledged great works. If you’re new to Faulkner, this is the major novel to start with.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Bapalapa2 on Jul 16 2015

I found thebook a little difficult at first. I had a hard time adjusting to Faulkner'smultiple-narrator style...At first, you might be a little turned off bythis confusing method of shifting ideas between narrators, but I urge you to readon. You will find later that Faulk-ner's unique structure is advantageous andeven fun.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Teen Ink

Above average
on Jul 16 2015

This journey was both an intense physical and mental journey for each one of the family members. Everyone in the story... each had a separate additive to this journey. The reader sees the characters strengthen and progress through these difficult times, which is exactly what it takes to get through a death.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by jasminesturr on Jul 16 2015

The novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is a challenging read that explores the personality faults of the characters...Overall, it is a good book and I would recommend reading it if you are up for a challenge.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Shelf Love

Above average
Reviewed by Teresa on May 16 2012

When my church’s book group chose As I Lay Dying to read, it was finally time for that second attempt. Imagine my surprise at how much I enjoyed reading about the mixed-up crazy-pants Bundren family of rural Mississippi...I mostly enjoyed this book for its dark comedy.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

The Book Lover's Boudoir

Below average
Reviewed by pamelascott30 on Oct 09 2012

I’m glad I read As I Lay Dying and didn’t completely loathe it. I’m impressed Faulkner tried to do something different with his novel. However, it just didn’t satisfying me. I also had no idea the picture on the front cover was a horse until my other half told me. D

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Musings of a Literary Dilettante's Blog

Above average
Reviewed by musingsofaliterarydilettante on Mar 27 2012

It’s only 248 pages but there’s so much going on in this family: affairs, sexual relationships, unwanted pregnancies, revenge-seeking, favouritism, and deep scepticism in some, particularly Darl, about their seemingly mad undertaking...It explores the great existential questions, of what it means to be.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Biblioklept

Above average
Reviewed by Edwin Turner on Feb 11 2009

So I picked up As I Lay Dying, the story of a poor rural family who labor to return their dead matriarch to her family’s home town for burial... I can’t recall a novel whose characters I’ve ever felt so hateful and sympathetic toward at the same time. Great, great book.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Life As I Know It

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa on Jan 10 2014

In any case, I guess what made this book so special in its time (it was originally published in 1930) was the stream of conscious narrative style Faulkner used, as told from numerous points of view...And it does allow the reader into each character’s head, telling the story from varying perspectives.

Read Full Review of As I Lay Dying: The Corrected...

Reader Rating for As I Lay Dying
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 573 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

User Review

Derek Moreton 17 Jul 2014

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

×