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Extended Audio Sample Absalom, Absalom! Audiobook, by William Faulkner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00011608334784 out of 53.00011608334784 out of 53.00011608334784 out of 53.00011608334784 out of 53.00011608334784 out of 5 3.00 (17,229 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Faulkner Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9780739325414
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Absalom, Absalom! is Faulkner’s epic tale of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who comes to Jefferson, Mississippi, in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, “who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity, [Faulkner’s works] are without equal in our time and country. Robert Penn Warren
  • He is the greatest artist the South has produced. . . . Indeed, through his many novels and short stories, Faulkner fights out the moral problem which was repressed after the nineteenth century [yet] for all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for greatness of our classics. Ralph Ellison

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 4/19/2016

    " I cannot get enough Faulkner and this performance brought Absalom Absalom to new life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caracalla | 2/10/2014

    " Weak four stars, cause the ending was a little poor "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 1/6/2014

    " The first page is almost indecipherable if I recall. The rest is no better. He seems to love using the non-word unsentient or something - keeps repeating that for dramatic effect. The melodrama itself is almost unbearable. Stick to the sound and fury. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle Krause | 1/6/2014

    " Complex, confusing, and sometimes slow, but beautifully crafted and written, and deeply meaningful despite the claims of many critics. I could never have appreciated it fully without taking a class on it, however - there is just too much to get through, particularly in its style of narration. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katkni | 1/2/2014

    " One of my favorite books ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia | 12/30/2013

    " Inspired by Carla's re-reading of Steinbeck, I've decided to have a go at Faulkner once again. This book reaffirms my past opinion of Faulkner - the greatest American Novelist of all time. Absolutely love, love this book, including the very long (15 pages?) sentence. I'm sure in the future I will again read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 12/25/2013

    " There's enough written on this novel. I would like to suggest to the world that if you are looking for a vast, massive challenge, this book is for you. The narrative, the language, the grammar, there is nothing that is not complex in this work. I recommend looking for a companion piece or a guide of some kind or else when you're done you'll just sit and weep and rub your head in vain attempts to understand what has just happened to you. Is it worth it all, oh good lord yes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Varun | 12/21/2013

    " I'm too humble to comment on a masterpiece novel by a godsend writer. Just read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher Sutch | 12/18/2013

    " This is, quite possibly, the most important American novel of the first third of the last century. Certainly Faulkner's prose is some of his best work, and his modernist experimentation with narration and subjective imagination of historical events is at its zenith. The story itself is somewhat of a mystery that is in the process of being unraveled by Quentin Compson (the suicidal character/protagonist of _The Sound and the Fury), Quentin's father, and Quentin's Harvard roommate. It is a historical mystery centered in Jefferson, Mississippi during and after the Civil War (also Faulkner seemingly at his most comfortable with historical subject material) and concerns why a young man just back from the war shot his sister's fiance at the gates of their mansion and then fled the area, remouncing his birthright and causing some trauma for a few local residents. Faulkner's uncompromising judgment of the South's heritage of slavery and racism is astounding (the final metaphor of the South being "haunted" by its racist misdeed well into the twentieth century is a little heavy-handed, but also right on the money), but also doesn't quite go far enough (a fact somewhat rectified by Toni Morrison's conversation with this novel in her own _Beloved_, which features the same cooperative telling of stories and reimagining of history, but without the whitewash even Faulkner manages to put over the horrors of slavery). The theme of incest that Quentin's roommate manages to work into the retelling also has a noticeable effect on Quentin, which readers of _The Sound and the Fury_ will understand and which gives some depth of meaning and a chilling "foreshadowing" of Quentin's actions in that novel. The only criticism I have with this fine work is that some of the characters' thoughts, as portrayed in modernist prose styling on the page, are quite unbelievable (out of character, if you will). No one, particularly uneducated and inarticulate people in everyday life, thinks in such a high register of vocabulary inside their own heads. It's poetic, but not realistic. But what is so engaging and wonderful about Faulkner's work is the poetry, of course, and it's wonderful in this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 RL Gray | 12/12/2013

    " Just s'pose to add him yoor list...required reading in H.S. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliza | 12/10/2013

    " incredible book - best faulkner - he's an amazing writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Hirning | 12/5/2013

    " Hard to read, but worth it. Faulkner is a freaking genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gwendolyn | 11/27/2013

    " Faulkner viewed this as his masterpiece, and I can see why. It's certainly not an easy read, but it's worth the effort. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rae | 11/6/2013

    " Southern gothic verbosity! Thomas Sutpen creates his dynasty only to see it crumble due to his own promiscuities and excess of children. Is the issue race, incest or miscegenation--or all three? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neal Abbott | 9/22/2013

    " as good as faulkner gets "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronaldparlato | 8/11/2013

    " My absolute favorite - in a few pages, he is able to write more about Southern history than volumes of historical treatise. The man is an absolute genius. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jake Gundersen | 2/27/2013

    " I never understood Faulkner, I should give him another shot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Simon | 11/29/2012

    " I believe that Faulkner is the kind of author you can really get a lot out of, if you can just get past one major snag: his writing style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 11/15/2012

    " I don't hate the South. I don't hate it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Klawr | 8/13/2012

    " This is one of my favorite Faulkner novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 6/15/2012

    " Absolutely amazing. I don't even have all the right words corralled to express how I feel about it. Faulkner is deserving of every iota of praise that's ever been sent in his direction. This is how literature ought to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 1/11/2012

    " Completely explains the Bush II presidency. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 12/13/2011

    " breathtakingly arresting. it took me six years to complete any attempt at reading this novel. probably twenty attempts. worth it through and through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jerry | 10/30/2011

    " If your curious what happened to some of the characters from previous Faulkner novels ended up and how some came to be read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ma'n | 5/14/2011

    " A difficult, but immensely satisfying read. The ending is one of the most poignant, profound and satisfying endings I've ever read. The more I read Faulkner, the more I can't stop reading him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joey | 5/6/2011

    " I went through a Quentin Compson phase in college, before realizing that my family was Snopes all the way down, like the turtles that hold up the universe. Absalom, Absalom! is the book that showed me how much fun novelistic structure, in and of itself, can be. This one is shaped like a spiral. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke | 4/21/2011

    " As someone who is not American reading this book, I got a better idea of the trauma behind the American South's slavery past. Faulkner surely will award readers who understand his literary references.

    There were great plot twists and turns, but I felt that it could have ended earlier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ronaldparlato | 4/21/2011

    " My absolute favorite - in a few pages, he is able to write more about Southern history than volumes of historical treatise. The man is an absolute genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Birdlashes | 4/16/2011

    " History folding in on itself in the telling; two to four to two; A plantation dragged from the earth, and a man trying to outrun his own curse through progeny. The conflagration of the South. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 RL | 4/11/2011

    " Just s'pose to add him yoor list...required reading in H.S. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald | 4/3/2011

    " My favorite college English T.A. (positively) described Faulkner's stories as "melodramatic trash," and Absalom fits that description beautifully. I enjoyed it very much, and I wasn't as mystified as when I read S&tF or AILD, but that doesn't mean this was an easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shelby | 3/22/2011

    " What do I think? Required fucking reading. Period. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ian | 3/14/2011

    " Yeah. Still not a big fan of Faulkner. Sorry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kent | 3/3/2011

    " In the first few pages there is the phrase 'man-horse-demon.' "

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About the Author
Author William Faulkner

William Faulkner (1897–1962)  was a Nobel Prize–winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories, but he was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter. The majority of his works are based in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” He has often been cited as one of the most important writers in the history of American literature. In 1962, he was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.