“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out the window.” —William Faulkner
Light in August, a novel about hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some of Faulkner’s most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove, in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower, who is plagued by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas, a desperate, enigmatic drifter consumed by his mixed ancestry.
Narrator Will Patton delivers a compelling performance in this audio version of Faulkner's classic novel of tangled racial and sexual relations in the American South that traces the stories of pregnant Lena Grove, searching for the father of her unborn child; a bootlegger named Joe Christmas; and the Rev. Gail Hightower. Capturing the spirit of the text, Patton's narration is expertly paced, rich, and hypnotic. He ably handles the tricky cadence of Faulkner's prose and the racial slurs that riddle the story narrating with a honeyed drawl that is undercut by brutal frankness. There are a few moments when Patton overacts and fails to allow the author's words to take center stage. However, Faulkner fans will likely overlook what amounts to a minor flaw in this otherwise enjoyable listen. A Random House /Vintage International paperback.