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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Rachel Saylor


William Faulkner can be found on many "top authors to read" lists. There is, in fact, a reason for this. Not only is Faulkner brilliant, he went against the normal way of writing a novel for his time. Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying through 15 different perspectives, using their stream of consciousness'.

Will you be daunted at following all of his details and wording at times? Most likely, unless you're a genius too. This book will take your extreme attention and focus. However, about half way through, you'll find the rhythm and the character's strange individual behaviors will start to make more sense. Either that or maybe you'll just accept their eccentricities better half way through.  

As I Lay Dying is a story of a rural Mississippi family with secrets and complex relationships. Through their mother's death and their trek to take her 40 miles on mules and buggy to where she wished to be buried as her last dying wish, secrets begin to unravel. Faulkner shows you just how rural and stubborn this family is and how unwell towns people take to them. At times, you'll find yourself holding your nose so as not to smell the stench of their decaying mother that they haul into each new town they cross. 

Reading books that take you out of your comfort zone or stretch your mind of understanding, can only help you learn and become a better reader. Take a chance on As I Lay Dying and broaden your horizons through Faulkner's lens.