This is flat-out the worst book I have ever read.
Read the other reviews on why this book was “good” before reading this review; I’ve written this review to disagree with them.
This story confuses you from the start. Faulkner never tells anything about his characters, but instead just names them as they enter the action. This leads to one entering the novel with absolutely no idea of what is going on. This feeling of confusion is only increased by the use of the stream-of-consciousness technique, which is a rather useless technique. Stories can be told much more simply and with much more attention to the important points of a novel with conventional technique. Only by careful analysis of the story does one have any idea of what is going on. In addition, no summation of what happens in the 18 year interval between the two time periods of the 4 points of view is given, and so the reader must painstakingly piece together the story bit by bit, reading the clues in the story. All this confusion and lack of information make this book not a pleasure to read, but work
In addition, there are multiple stretches in this book where Faulkner left out all punctuation, making these stretches nearly impossible to comprehend. Finally, and most importantly, this story has no point. I’ll say it again: THIS STORY HAS NO POINT! Many say that this story is about the symbolic moral decay of the south and the Compton family. Symbolism is one of the worst literary techniques of all time. In most cases, the so-called literary experts have made up the symbolism in a story, and end up changing a story’s emphasis from something meant to entertain to a long editorial it was never meant to be. Faulkner seems to have taken in this literary junk hook, line, and sinker. Faulkner took the rather mundane and misguided cry of moral decay and wrote an entire novel on the subject. Morals don’t decaying! They just change as technology changes, and I will argue vehemently with anyone who says differently. In the end, without the pointless “symbolism”, this story says absolutely nothing. I feel I wasted my time reading it. Faulkner’s “great work”, I feel, is just so much confusing literary junk.
Source: Amazon. A customer.