This is the 6th or 7th William Faulkner book I've read over the years and they are consistent in a couple of ways: they are about the Old South, and they are worth the read if you can hang in. At his best, Faulkner is like poetry, but often also like a puzzle with one or two pieces missing. His stories usually start in the middle and then jump around time-wise; you are not always sure of whom he is talking about. Also, his existential view is a bit depressing: this is all there is, and there might be a god, but one who is really of no particular use. His sentences are run-on, poorly punctuated, convoluted, and sometimes a page or two long. BUT, if you can wade through all that, the stories are haunting or humorous but never boring. `Go Down Moses' generally gives personal highlights (or lowlights) of the 200-year history of a family that had both black and white branches descended from the same man. Faulkner has unusually keen insight into the racial tension that has plagued our country from even before the beginning, and it shows in his writings.
Faulkner is after all a Pulitzer Prize winner (twice) and even a Nobel Prize winner, and well worth the read - - if you can hang in. At least that is my take on it.
Like all of Faulkner's works the language, structure, narrative....well everything can be confusing at times and it takes an extra effort to decipher it all. Go Down, Moses is particularly difficult because you have to navigate through seven interconnected stories involving one incredibly diverse, multi-generational family.
It is completely worth it the effort, however, because once it all comes together, it is simply one of the greatest American works ever written. I read this novel for an Literature of the American South course at University and this gives you a much more personal history of the reconstruction of the South than any textbook. At times hauntingly beautiful, at other times wonderfully transcendent, it is a magnificent and enthralling masterpiece.
I had to read this for school, and promptly gave it to an underclassman after finishing it. Not my literary taste, I suppose.
The pages are too tight, but the stories are great!
I read this book for a class, but I really loved its message and overall themes. Respect of the environment is a very important thing to learn and I'm sure it's hard to teach so putting it in a very livable context (the story of a southern family) is a nice way to consider it. Faulkner can be a bit wordy and hard to decipher on occasion, but I really enjoyed the book as a whole.
If you think Faulkner is one of the great modernists, as I do - you will agree that this is an incredible novel. Faulkner's south in this novel, is a universal story of modern man's struggle with authority, with his history, with the radical changes that the modern world has brought. Most of these changes are for the good, some not - but in all cases, man's struggle to keep up with the change is both heroic and tragic.
As a long-time teacher of Faulkner, I bought this for a friend. Mainly because Faulkner wrote so many highly-regarded novels, _Go Down, Moses_ has suffered neglect, except for the superb "The Bear." Faulkner claimed this book is a novel, and I agree. For example, "The Bear" poses great difficulty for the reader to the point of giving up on it unless "stories" preceding it have been read. "The Fire and the Hearth" is almost a short novel, which can stand alone, but the reader would miss the richness of the work without the context of all the pieces. GDM is a saga about two important elements of southern fiction--race and relationships.
This is one of my favourite books, the Harper Perennial kindle edition was full of errors, not merely annoying typographical blunders but, in one case, half a dozen missing lines. The text was irritating to read and spoiled the experience of the book for me. I would never order a Harper Perennial kindle edition of any text again, even though they appear to have the rest of Faulkner.