As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge


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. Told in turns by each of the family members—including Addie herself—the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.


As I Lay Dying is the first Faulkner I have read. While reading this book I kept telling my husband about the plot and really while doing so it sounded amazing. While reading, however, I just found it kind of boring. I understand it, I get what is going on and whatnot, and like I said when I talk or think about what happens I really enjoy it. It just wasn't enjoyable to read which is odd.

This is the story of a family and their journey to bury Addie, their mom and wife. You have lots of points of view, each chapter changes who is telling the story, but for me most of them blended into one. Without each chapter being labeled who was speaking I am not sure I would have been able to differentiate them. As it was I had to keep going back and looking to see who was narrating the chapter. The exceptions were Anse and Vardaman, my favorite character in the book. I really liked Vardaman and the way he thought about things. His were the most entertaining chapters of the book and I found myself looking forward to when we would get to read him again.

Anse is just...I didn't care for him. He never seemed to care for anyone else throughout the story. As I said everyone else pretty much blended together into one for me and I found them just boring. I don't know how that happened as a lot of things that happened were entertaining (like "fixing" the one guys leg), but while reading I just kept going to get through it.

There is a lot of repetition in this story, but not because of the different narrators. People just repeat themselves a lot and some of the writing just seems nonsensical (my husband was reading over my shoulder at one particularly ridiculous part and was just like how are you reading this?). I didn't mind it, it was interesting since I hadn't read anything like it, but again overall it just came across as boring to me. I get it, I understand it, I just didn't really enjoy reading it. Overall it was an alright read, but it is not something that will stick with me.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

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