ABSALOM, ABSALOM! tells the story of Thomas Sutpen, the enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson township in the early 1830s. With a French architect and a band of wild Haitians, he wrung a fabulous plantation out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness.
Sutpen was a man, Faulker said, "who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him." His tragedy left its impress not only on his contemporaries but also on men who came after, men like Quentin Compson, haunted even into the 20th century by Sutpen's legacy of ruthlessness and singleminded disregard for the human community.
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I'd enjoyed Faulkner's short stories when I first moved to Alabama from the north many years ago, but I couldn't make it through any of his novels. The language was simply too dense and tangled. I borrowed this version from the library and am listening to it in my car. I had to rewind after the first few minutes -- but I immediately found the dense and tangled language to be incredibly powerful and evocative. I often rewind, sometimes to clarify, but more often simply to wallow in the words. Grover Gardner has the perfect accent (I have friends from that part of the world). I can't think of a book I've enjoyed so much, perhaps since I read "Lord of the Rings" forty years ago.