As I Lay DyingFaulkner, William
Members of a Mississippi family tell their stories on the way to the funeral of their wife/mother. US.
Comments from GroupsWe found reading it humourous yet harrowing and exhausting. Engendered a vigorous discussion. Points raised ranged from "genius" to "unreadable". Wellington 116. A grim but impressive book... Timaru 013. We all found this quite a challenge to get to grips with. A very powerful book but very "dark" with a tinge of black comedy. Dunedin 029.
All but two members didn't like the book enough to finish it! One found it "memorable" because of the journey of the coffin. Everyone else found the dialect difficult and weren't interested in the allegories - a bit like an English studies read at school!
This book caused much discussion. Some found it fascinating, others wondered why BDS still had it on the list!! And the answer lies in its fascination.
All of us struggled to read this book but persisted, knowing that it is an American classic. Found the 'regional' speech hard. A powerful, vivid, BRUTAL book with many layers, threads and themes to explore. All are pleased we persisted. Best accompanying notes we have ever had. Lots of discussion. A provocative book with a deeply unattractive patriarch figure!
We all struggled to read this book - it is complex with challenging language. The notes that accompany the book were very helpful - we recommend reading these before - and after!
Most found it a "difficult" read - interpreting what was being said and then understanding what it meant. One loved it.
A very mixed reaction to the book. A number of people found it difficult, and one abandoned it. One member summarised the majority opinion best when she said, "I wanted to scream at the characters for the terrible decisions they made, but found myself laughing out loud at some of their escapades".
We were very impressed by the review by Tom Hutchins - a great help in explaining the book.
Mixed reactions to this book, ranging from " Could not read", "Did not want to read", to "One of the best books I've read!" For those who persevered there were depths to delve, language to savour, ideas to absorb. We reckoned you needed to read it twice. The excellent notes were really appreciated, and helped so much with our understanding of this great literary experience. Very good discussion.
Difficult to get into but a very rewarding read on completion. Highly recommended.