Thursday, November 6, 2008

Intruder In The Dust by William Faulkner

I'm a huge fan of William Faulkner. Whenever I open a Faulkner book, it feels like coming home, like one of the hometown ladies has invited me to sit a spell and have some cool sweet tea. He gets the characters and language of the locality spot on, and I recognize characters as types I meet every day here in the South.

Intruder In The Dust was a Faulkner I had not read before. It covers a weekend following the reported murder of a white man by a black man back in the 1930's. There is concern that the local inhabitants may rush the jail and lynch the man before he gets to go to trial. Lucas Beauchamp is the black man in question. He tells his version of the events to the sixteen year old son of the local doctor, a boy nicknamed Chick. The book follows what happens when Chick attempts to check out Lucas's story, and how the locals react and whether they believe rumors or attempt to base their decisions on facts.

On top of the Southern setting and the true-to-life characterizations, the other thing I particularly like about Faulkner is his writing style. His sentences are stream of consciousness, and one sentence can meander on for a page or more. It is reminiscent of the way Southern people talk, and how anything can serve as a stimulus for a story.

Intruder In The Dust is a true classic. I'm extremely glad I read it, and I highly recommend it.


Bookfool said...

I can't read his books without a dictionary on my lap, but you're right . . . his voice is totally authentic.

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

I am just getting back into Faulkner, having gone for years since college without reading more. But in the past year, I've read Light in August and The Sound and the Fury and have a couple more moving quickly to the top of my TBR pile. I will add this one based on your review!

By the way, we are in The Complete Booker together. So today is my day to check out the blogs of all my fellow participants. What an interesting and creative bunch of fellow readers! Keep up the good work!

Sandie said...

Welcome to a The Complete Booker bookbud! Hope you enjoy Intruder in the Dust if you get to it.

Sandie said...

Wonder if the other people in Mississippi enjoy Faulkner like we do? He's probably my favorite Southern writer, although I do like Pat Conroy also.