This magisterial collection of short works by Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner reminds readers of his ability to compress his epic vision into narratives as hard and wounding as bullets. Among the 42 selections in this book are such classics as A bear hunt, A rose for Emily, Two soldiers, and The brooch.
Faulkner writes in a 'blokey' style: his stories feature war, American Indians, the racial divide, drink, revenge. I don't ever see myself reading anything else by him, but I absolutely appreciate the quality of his writing. The final story, for example, 'Carcassonne', describing rats:
"It was dark, a darkness filled with a fairy pattering of small feet, stealthy and intent. Sometimes the cold patter of them on his face waked him in the night, and at his movement they scurried invisibly like an abrupt disintegration of dead leaves in a wind, in whispering arpeggios of minute sound, leaving a thin but definite effluvium of furtiveness and voracity."
My favourite stories were : 'Two Soldiers', narrated by a child whose beloved elder brother is off to War; 'Red Leaves' (once I figured what's going on) where two American Indians are in pursuit of a slave, who is destined to die with his dead master; 'Turnabout' (where two arrogant American soldiers come to realise the courage of the young English marine who they initially despise). I also liked 'Elly' and 'Carcassonne' (I may not have correctly understood the latter, but it's intensely moving.)
Would give this 3.5. I'm glad I've finished it, but glad too that I read it