Book Reviews of The Town : A Novel of the Snopes Family

The Town : A Novel of the Snopes Family
The Town A Novel of the Snopes Family
Author: William Faulkner
ISBN-13: 9780394701844
ISBN-10: 0394701844
Publication Date: 2/12/1961
Pages: 384
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
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reviewed The Town : A Novel of the Snopes Family on
5 stars

Jefferson, Mississippi, meet Flem Snopes.

And yet, can it be that Jefferson and Flem might actually get along?

Faulkner's stream of consciousness style does wonders for realism. The story is always being told by one character at a time, and when it switches to another character's point of view we may get an amazingly different take on events, and yet no point of view is much more believable than another. Ah, the human mind, as it imbues the world around it with subjective meaning. As it fugues along sometimes in self-argument, so that the premise or action which was completely dismissed out of hand a page or so ago has now been accepted as a wonderful solution and why didn't I think of that before? (I am never like that ;) ) Indeed it wouldn't be far from the truth to say that we all live in our own little worlds sometimes, from the lawyer Gavin to his kid nephew Charles to the ubiquitous V.K. Ratliff.

I have to say that I am quite relieved Faulkner did not try to write from a feminine perspective in this book (I believe he did in As I Lay Dying, though I can't remember, that was ages ago). Mostly because of the opinions of his characters regarding women. I don't know (probably don't want to know) if those opinions were Faulkner's own, but I'm still relieved. I think it is hard for an author to write such a personal, in-depth point of view as stream of consciouness from the other gender's perspective, man or woman; such that it may only be possible if the character in question is quite slow or eccentric or sick. And I certainly don't want to know what Eula Snopes was thinking... she quite disturbs me!

The names, a word about the names. I'm not sure that Faulkner was thinking, because I myself have lived in the South and, um, yes, back out in the sticks there are sometimes names like this. Especially from people like the Snopes. Still... Flem and Eck as given names? First and middle combinations like Wallstreet Panic, Montgomery Ward, and Admiral Dewey? Plus the lovely sibling combination of Clarence and the twins Vardaman and Bilbo. or the sibs Byron and Virgil. Although we do get one lovely Russian name hidden in there, unsuspecting. Certainly never a dull moment in nomenclature...

Or descriptions, as I said in The Hamlet, and will likely say again for every single Faulkner work. The last little vingette of the story was really bizarre, and almost seemed like an add-on, but it was out-and-out Snopes for sure.

Oh, and, yes, this is where gets its name: from Faulkner's Snopes.