Brand : M. Thomas Inge

William Faulkner: Overlook Illustrated Lives

Philip a. true |

Illuminating introduction to one of america's literary greats

As another volume in the overlook illustrated lives series of literary lions, professor m. thomas inge has in this slim volume provided both the casual reader and the faulkner scholar with a valuable overview of his life and works. as with others in the series, the book is lavishly illustrated with photographs, sketches, cartoons, book covers, and other items pertinent to faulkner's life. the book is not intended to be a scholarly tome replete with endnotes and citations, but the author well-known for his research on faulkner ably summarizes his subject and his literary output. the book would serve well as an introduction to those who know faulkner only by name, a refresher to english majors whose faulkner readings are in the distant past, and probably useful in the classroom as a way to better understand the author. faulkner's weaknesses--his fondness for drink--are not ignored, and the mixed reaction to much of his fiction is noted. after all, faulkner was not everyones cup of tea, and his convoluted syntax and multiple characters that populated his novels did not recommend his books as "beach reads." the author also points out the realistic portrayal of race relations, the complex relationships between whites and blacks, in the south of the first half of the twentieth century. this book should prove an enticement to those who have forgotten faulkner and to those who are only dimly aware of his reputation to visit library or bookstore to sample his rich and complex fiction. an useful chronology and list of faulkner's literary production is included.