“Light in August” by William Faulkner – narrated by Will Patton – Thoughts on Reading Classics in High School

I just spent some time reading through the Audible reviews of this book to help me remember it. That is the biggest downfall to getting so behind on book posts. When I came to this title on my list I was filled with a feeling of fond remembrance, so I knew I liked it but details of the book had escaped my memory. I had given it a so good rating back when I finished it and I’m having a memory that all through listening to it I had marriage material in mind but something about how it finished made me drop the rating down. I cannot for the life of me remember why. I want to say the ending was weak in comparison to the rest of the novel. Aside from whatever made me knock the rating down, this was n excellent book.

I haven’t read any other Faulkner. Several of the Audible reviews were from people who read this book or other Faulkner in high school and having revisited him as adults found they were much better able to appreciate him. I have revisited books I read in high school as well and every time it makes me question why we force teenagers to read what we force them to read.

I remember being hooked from the start, marveling on the quiet poetic nature of the descriptions of setting and characters. I do remember we begin with a pregnant woman traveling across the south to reunite with the father of her baby who had left to work and had promised to return. When he did not, the woman set out to find him. Her determination and belief that he loved her was heartbreaking. As a woman in the twenty-first century, I just shook my head and thought, oh honey.

What follows are the stories of several characters and how their individual lives weave together. They’re stories are all tragic and heartbreaking. This is a book set in the racist sexist south of the early twentieth century so one knows from that description this is not a heartwarming novel.

I have not had much luck with the classics this year as my friend Ricardo says but this one was wonderful. The fact Will Patton narrated is what sold me on it when it was a daily deal. If he is listed as narrator, it’s a no brainer. He’s just plain good.

Rating: So good!

‘Light in August’ at Audible

I want to revisit the thought about reading classics in high school. There are only a few books I remember liking in high school when forced to read them. ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald was one. ‘A Separate Peace’ by John Knowles I liked so much I um accidentally forgot to return it to my english class. What was the one about the kids on the island? I remember a pig’s head on a stick? Google, help me out here. ‘Lord of the Flies’! (Search terms: kids crash landed on island) I know I liked them in high school but did I know why I liked them? I’ve since listened to the first two again and liked them even more though I could not stop myself from looking for bits of symbolism as if Mr. Heintz were asking me what I thought the eyeglasses on the building, (or was it a sign?) meant. I remember Mr. Heintz saying it meant everything was seen. Haha! Remember reading books in high school and discussing the symbolism of things? I admit, when I read books now, I don’t look for what things symbolize. usually if it’s important, it comes out in the telling of the story anyway. Though every time water plays a big role in a book, I can’t help but think, that means she’s being reborn. She’s being cleansed. So wow, Tally was reborn and cleansed a lot in the Uglies books, right Mr. heintz? I wonder if Scott Westerfeld meant to convey that symbolism haha.

Maybe, just maybe, I need to read some Hemingway as an adult. And ‘Heart of Darkness’. Hemingway and Conrad. *Shudder* ‘Old Man and the Sea’ and ‘Heart of Darkness’ are two books I remember clearly despising in high school. Perhaps they weren’t terrible books. Maybe if I read them today I’ll love them. On the other hand, why would I take the chance of possibly torturing myself when I could be reading some more Royal Spyness books?

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2014 Book List, Audio books, NaBloPoMo 2014, silly girl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *