The Hamlet

The Hamlet

by William Faulkner

Hardcover

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Overview

This darkly comic masterpiece is the first novel of the trilogy about the Snopes family, the grasping clan that comes to dominate the mythical county of Yoknapatawpha, Mississippi after the fall of the Confederacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394427591
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/12/1940

About the Author

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. He published his first book, The Marble Faun (a collection of poems), in 1924, and his first novel, Soldier's Pay, in 1926. In 1949, having written such works as Absalom, Absalom!, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He also received the Pulitzer Prize for two other novels, A Fable (1954) and The Reivers (1962). From 1957 to 1958 he was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia. He died on July 6, 1962, in Byhalia, Mississippi.

Date of Birth:

September 25, 1897

Date of Death:

July 6, 1962

Place of Birth:

New Albany, Mississippi

Place of Death:

Byhalia, Mississippi

What People are Saying About This

Robert Penn Warren

For all the 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.

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Hamlet 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
twigtip More than 1 year ago
This book, along with The Town and The Mansion, compose the "Snopes Trilogy," one of the grand epics of Southern literature. Funny, moving, frightening, romantic, these novels bring us Faulkner's most unforgettable characters and a vivid portrait of life in northern Mississippi in the first part of the last century. Outstanding!
technodiabla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Hamlet is the first book in the Snopes Trilogy, and works quite well as a standalone novel. It is typical Faulkner fare-- wonderful writing and superb insight into the dysfunctional Southern psyches and societies. For me, The Hamlet feel short of many of his other novels, in that the structure was less clean, almost episodic at times (perhaps some of the loose ends get resolved in the sequels??). Some scenes were a bit over the top and unbelievable as well. But if you like Faulkner, this won't disappoint-- the characters are especially memorable. I do plan to read The Town and The Mansion later this year. 3.75 stars.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Difficult, but an entertaining and worthwhile read. As strange as it sounds, I'd say that the more quickly you read this, the more of an impact it will carry and the more engaged you'll be able to become with the text. At the same time, there is some disturbing material here--violence and sex based--so I wouldn't recommend the text for young readers or readers who are easily offended. As always, though, Faulkner's language is faultless, and some of the passages in this book are the most lyrical that I've seen from him. If you've liked other works by Faulkner, this is a must-read. Recommended regardless for fans of southern literature and explorations in oral story-telling, as well as readers who've enjoyed the grotesques created by Carson McCullers and Flannery O'Connor.
hrissliss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like all Faulkner, this was a somewhat disturbing story set in the American South. This book marks the beginning of the Snopes saga, detailing Flem Snopes rise to power in a small, provincial town. It's more than that, though -- it's also an exploration of the seedy depths and peculiarities of the town itself. It's supposed to be comedic novel, a satire of previous literature about/from the old South, such as "The Big Bear of Arkansas" or the Brer series. If you know anything about this, then the book can be much mroe amusing -- watching what he does with their themes is mindbendingly interesting. Whether you know about it or not, Faulkner's difficult prose guarantee that you'll have to read through an entire situation before stopping and realizing it's funny. A good book, but not for the literary faint-hearted. 7/10
rocketjk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For years I procrastinated about reading Faulkner. I was intimidated, I guess, by what I'd heard about the difficulty of the language, although generally I'm not put off by such things. And it just so happened that through high school, undergrad and even an English Lit MA, I syllabus containing Faulkner never crossed my path. At any rate, at age 56 I finally decided to start with the Snopes Trilogy, of which The Hamlet is the first novel. And, wow, am I sorry I waited so long.Not really novel in the classic sense, The Hamlet, rather tells a series of interweaving stories with a core set of characters moving throughout and an interchanging series of part-time players revolving around them. This is life in small town deep South in the late 19th/early 20th centuries: grim, ruthless and hard, with a few hesitant glimmers of grace woven in. The writing hurtles headlong with with dense, flowing language, memorable characters and beautiful, lush descriptions of nature and location that serve as much to set the tone of the characters' actions and frames of mind as it does to offer an acute sense of place and time.Obviously, many others have written at greater length and with greater scholarship about Faulkner. I'm just saying I loved this, and if there were dense spots at times, I learned to let the language loft me floating over them rather than trying to hack my way through them. I'm looking forward, at the very least, to the rest of this trilogy.
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