Light in August (The Corrected Text)

Light in August (The Corrected Text) - William Faulkner Prior to our beginning this book, my American Literature professor gave us all a nearly half hour lecture on how terribly difficult this book was going to be to read. That was not the most inspiring thing to hear, but I still launched into Light in August hoping that I would both understand and enjoy the book, at least in parts, and in that I was not disappointed.

On the subject of the difficulty of the read, I honestly didn't have that big a challenge with comprehension. Perhaps this is because I was raised in the Southeastern United States and the Southern dialect and phrasing is perfectly natural to me, or perhaps it is because I am blessed with some profound ability to understand literature, or perhaps it is because our professor severely underestimated the class, or perhaps it is because I missed massive key points and really didn't understand the book as well as I thought I did. Some of these choices seem a lot more likely than others, and perhaps it is a combination of all of the above, although I'd like to think I understood at least the general theme of the novel, and certainly grasped the plot fairly well.

On to my enjoyment of Light in August: Speaking strictly on the plot line: I really liked this book. It wasn't perfect, and weird and sometimes unsettling things happened, as they tend to do in classic literature (at least the classic literature I always seem to be reading), but overall I liked the way and it went and the things that happened, and I felt like there was both a point to the story and a satisfactory ending, two things that are often missing in classic lit, at least from my perspective. The characters were a fairly even mix of incredibly awful and vaguely likable, and there were two characters, Lena and Byron, who I actually really liked and felt for, although many of my classmates seem to have differing views on their motivations and overall likability. Still, I found myself rooting for them to be happy, and when I have characters to root for, I generally, if not always, find myself enjoying whatever I'm reading.

Finally, I feel as though I should include in this review the fact that I fully intend to read other Faulkner works as soon as the opportunity presents itself. For me to seek out "literature" is a fairly big deal, since it is not generally the kind of thing I read in my spare time, so that in and of itself should be an indication of how generally impressed I was by Light in August.