"Collected Stories of William Faulkner" by William Faulkner

A truly incredible collection of short stories.  Deep and sometimes emotional glimpses into post-Civil War southern life.  Not for the faint of heart or those who like their fiction sunny and light.  This is not to say there isn’t some lighthearted material here but the overwhelming majority of it is bleak but that’s what makes these explorations into moral uncertainties so powerful.  Not all the stories in the massive collection sat well with me (some of them I found boring, to be honest) but the majority of them resonated with me in a way that will last a lifetime, particularly “Barn Burning”, “Hair”, “The Tall Men”, (especially) “A Rose for Emily”, “Centaur in Brass”, “Dry September”, “Elly”, “Uncle Willy”, “That Evening Sun”, “Red Leaves”, and “Crevasse.”  These were, to me, the most powerful of them all.  But there were others.  

 

The majority, if not all of these stories, are far more straightforward than the experimentation you’ll encounter in “The Sound and The Fury”, and if you are one who hasn’t gotten around to reading Faulkner yet, this would be a great place to start.  He creates a whole world, often times with recurring characters and family histories that are written so well you feel you know them and you care about them and want to know more about them.  Add to the fact that his writing is simply amazing, particularly his use of symbolism and stream of consciousness style.  A contemporary of Hemingway, and often compared, I don’t really see too much of a comparison, being that their writing styles are so different from one another.  Faulkner is more lyrical, more willing to “let go” and allow the sentences to flow - although you won’t find those extremely long sentences that he is sometimes known for here.  There are similarities with Hemingway but the differences far outweigh the similarities.  

 

This collection is also great for those who have a keen interest in American history, particularly southern American history, and Faulkner takes you places that most never dreamed of.  After reading this collection, he has easily jumped up to the top of my list of favorite authors.  Simply incredible.  

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