Friday, May 30, 2008

Six Random Things

Hmmmmm . . . I just got tagged by Karen Vanuska for the Six Random Things About Myself game. I am now torn between my enjoyment of making lists and my sister's admonition: "Just because it happened to you, doesn't make it interesting." But add in that I get to tag six other people, which means another list, and I see on which side this is tilting: 1. The first book review I ever wrote was of The Borrowers Aloft when I was in the first grade. 2. There are 799 books on my TBR list, according to my LibraryThing library. 3. My current ratio of attorney billing hours to reading time is approximately 4 to 1. 4. I have read books while walking outside since I was in Kindergarden. The invention of the iPod, which allows me to download audiobooks, has saved me from chronic dorkiness, twisted ankles, or worse. 5. When I was 12, I wrote a book called Sixth Grade: The Way it Really Happened, which, while it may have been derivative of Judy Bloom (my favorite at the time), would have been a blockbuster had it not blown away in a Nebraska blizzard while waiting for the school bus. 6. I am currently working on 96 book lists, according to ListsOfBests. The list I am most likely to finish is Prose Books by Jim Harrison, which I am 94%+ of the way through (with only 100 pages left of Off to the Side). The list I am least likely to finish is Outside Magazine's 26 Essential Books for the Well-Read Explorer, which I added only for Christmas present ideas for Hubby. The six book bloggers I tagged for this are: The Tip of the Iceberg Books 'n Border Collies The Lists Reading, Writing, and Retirement Leafing Through Life DaBookLady Read and Release It was hard to find six who hadn't done it yet. And maybe some of these have. Sorry to tag you twice if that's the case.


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Review: The Sound and the Fury



The Sound and the Fury is much easier to understand if you realize that it cannot be understood from the get go, but only when it is complete. To borrow a line from The Big Chill, sometimes you have to let art flow over you.

The book is divided into four parts, the first three of which are told in first-person, stream of conscious narrative from the perspective of three Compson brothers: Benjy, Quentin, and Jason.  Benjy’s section is particularly difficult to follow because he is mentally retarded and does not talk, but only narrates what he hears, in no particular chronological order.  Quentin’s and Jason’s sections are progressively more comprehensible as pieces of the story develop.  The final section is told by an omniscient third-person narrator, ties the loose ends together, and brings the story to its exciting close.

The first-person accounts are made even more confusing by the multiplicity of names.  Because this is the story of a large Southern family, many family members share first names.  There are two Moreys, although the younger of the two is renamed Benjamin, the first narrator.  The two Jasons, father and son, can usually be told apart, but the two Quentins, uncle and niece, are particularly confusing when introduced in Benjy’s section because the absence of chronological consistency brings both Quentins into the story at the same time, although the niece was born after the uncle’s death.

Reading The Sound and the Fury is like watching a masterpiece being painted.  Each brushstroke brings out more of the picture until the whole, beautiful composition is revealed.


OTHER REVIEWS

If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.

NOTES

Reading The Sound and the Fury is also particularly satisfying for compulsive "list" readers, since it shows up on so many "best of" lists, including the following:

Books by Nobel Prize winners
The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
Radcliffe's competing list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
Time Magazine's All-Time Best 100 Novels (1923 to the Present)
The Well-Stocked Bookcase (Book of the Month Club)


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