William Faulkner Reads from As I Lay Dying

William Faulkn­er’s As I Lay Dying is wide­ly con­sid­ered one of the great Amer­i­can nov­els. Quite an accom­plish­ment, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing that Faulkn­er wrote the nov­el in six weeks while work­ing at a pow­er plant in 1929–30. Read more about his day jobs here.

Thanks to Harper­Collins, you can now lis­ten to Faulkn­er, him­self, read­ing from his mas­ter­piece: .au file (4.4 Mb), .gsm file (0.9 Mb), .ra file (0.5 Mb). The audio can be a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to make out at times. But you can read right along with the text in Google Books. Enjoy. Thanks MS.

For more audio clas­sics, check out our col­lec­tion of Free Audio Books.

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Comments (13)
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  • vruz says:

    MS? as in M$ ?

  • Shelley says:

    As I Lay Dying was always my favorite of all his books. Some­thing about the sto­icism of those peo­ple reminds me of sim­i­lar sur­vivors in Texas. The diver­si­ty of what he wrote is amaz­ing.

  • Dave George says:

    Thanks for post­ing this. I’ll admit that I haven’t read As I Lay Dying, but I’ve always loved Faulkn­er’s short sto­ries. Def­i­nite­ly going to give this a lis­ten.

  • Machelle says:

    So is this a good choise to read for school or should I pick anoth­er one instead?

  • Gaye says:

    Machelle, I’ve taught Faulkn­er’s fic­tion all my adult life, and I sug­gest you start with anoth­er of his books. I don’t know your age and read­ing expe­ri­ence, but if you real­ly love books and have read a lot, you might start with his great­est, “Absa­lom, Absa­lom!” (It will take a while to get into it,but oh my, it’s worth it). “The Reivers” is Faulkn­er’s last book and com­ic and fun. “Light in August” is a book I nev­er can put down. I’ve nev­er under­stood why “As I Lay Dying” is the Faulkn­er nov­el taught in high schools.

  • JESSIE BELLS says:


  • sue says:

    Machelle, I teach this to my senior Advanced Place­ment class­es and love it for its dark humor. Faulkn­er knew what that was all about long before Hol­ly­wood exploit­ed the humor in pathos.

  • shashinyc says:

    Love this book, which has the same effect on me as Wait­ing for Godot…sometimes laugh out loud, some­times tears stream­ing. Thank you for allow­ing me to hear Faulkn­er’s words in Faulkn­er’s voice.

  • Curt says:

    My God! Faulkn­er real­ly was a South­ern­er. I can bare­ly under­stand him. His accent is thick­er than Bar­ry Han­nah’s or Flan­nery O’Con­nor’s.

    It’s eas­i­er to under­stand Cash or Darl or Anse on the writ­ten page. A British crit­ic called “As I Lay Dying” a black com­e­dy, and I’m glad to read shashinyc re: its comedic and trag­ic aspects, both. It occurred to me that it ante­dates “Godot” by 30 years. I think Faulkn­er played it both ways, as both com­e­dy and tragedy. You care too much mere­ly to laugh, but the stu­pid­i­ty forces that, too. Final­ly, like Beck­et­t’s work, it address­es the human con­di­tion in all its schiz­o­phre­nia.

  • John Gulino says:

    I found “Light in August” very mov­ing. Not over­whelm­ing at all, by which I mean that uncon­ven­tion­al 20th cen­tu­ry lit­er­a­ture can some­times be rather weighty and dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend. Does this web­site still have the record­ing of Faulkn­er’s Nobel Prize speech?

  • Alberto Eingel says:

    Pre­vis­i­ble. He has a voice 4 read­ing very dinam­ic, very poet­ic. Diame­tral­ly opposed as the voice that I’ve when­ev­er I read him

  • Richard J LaMieI have read all of Faulkner's books says:

    I have read all of his books, some were very hard to under­stand but I would usu­al­ly read them over again.

  • Eric says:

    We studing “Light in August” in high school. It was excel­lent!

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