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The story of Thomas Sutpen, a poor white man born into poverty in West Virginia who arrives in north Mississippi in 1830 with a few slaves and a French architect, buy 100 square miles of land from a Native American tribe which he calls the “Sutpen Hundred” and builds a gaudy mansion. He plans to become rich and create a family dynasty.
What makes this book stand out?
Absalom, Absalom! Is a great baptism by fire if you want to get into Faulkner. Faulkner's prose here is on a totally different level from anything else. Absalom! Has to be the most difficult, but if you start here and can get through it, even the most difficult passages of The Sound and the Fury will be a breeze.
Read it for
The reader gets the skeleton of the saga of the family called Sutpen full of mysterious tragedies. The reader's quest through the rest of the book is to achieve some kind of understanding of what and why these events have happened.
Don't read it for
The complex, fractured narrative makes for a tough read.