I’m not really qualified to critique literature, mainly, because I started reading later in life. So I’m discovering books now that many people read back in high school. That said, I do know a good thing when I read it.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is an incredible book. Coincidentally, last week on the exact day I finished reading it, I also read a news item about how actor James Franco (“127 Hours”) has adapted the book into a screenplay and plans to direct the movie version. Sounds awesome to me. Although, given the tricky style of the book, I’m curious to see how he’ll do it.
As I Lay Dying is about a poor rural family in 1920’s south. The mother in the family dies early in the book–then the family must struggle to transport her body to her requested final resting place. It’s clearly a tragedy, with a few drops of black comedy thrown in. The book is written from the point of view of each of its characters, in stream-of-consciousness style. So the action unfolds via dialogue and (mostly internal) monologues. This may be a little disconcerting to some readers, but I devoured the book–partly, because I so identified with this family. I am intrigued and impressed that James Franco is taking this on. I’d love to see the film.