The plot of this novel is simple enough: a black farmer is accused of murdering a white man in the south in late 1940s America. Black and white teenagers, a white lawyer and a spinster from an established southern family work to exonerate him from the crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, there are those in the town who are waiting to get their hands on him in order to lynch him, providing their own sense of “justice”.
Faulkner’s use of stream of consciousness narrative, infusing memories of the Civil War, make this a very enjoyable read, despite the plot being something tread over a million times before. It makes this read just thatmuch different from other stories of the same type. It’s not an “easy” read by any means but it’s far more accessible than the more experimental “The Sound and The Fury”. It is a good portrait of the south and its racial problems during the mid-20th century and its clear that Faulkner aimed to address this issue with this novel.