The Unvanquished ~ by William Faulkner

I’d never read this and I’m a pretty big Faulkner fan, so I nominated it for the Modern Fiction Group and it got selected. I read it.

Parts are excellent but it’s a bit confusing because it was originally written as a series of short stories about the same characters but later these stories were edited and pulled together into one volume with an added chapter. Still, that part works. What’s confusing are the scrapes the characters get into in each chapter with some characters in a couple chapters but not others and so on and over a period of about ten years.

The Unvanquished
by William Faulkner
1938 / 230 pages
read by Kevin T. Collins – 8h 17m
rating: 8.5 / classic lit – US

But it’s Faulkner in style and substance. The setting is the years between the second year of the Civil War through the years of Reconstruction; from 1862 until 1873. Those were pretty confusing times in rural eastern Mississippi.

The overarching plot concerns a teenage boy named Bayard Sartoris and his buddy Ringo, who goes from being a slave to being a newly freed young man during the course of the book. The two are always deep friends. The chapters or episodes really, take place at intervals of a year or two and each episode has its own plot and story arc.

It’s not one of Faulkner’s best but it’s quite good. I kind of feel like reading Sartoris, which was originally published earlier but the action of which comes after.

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