Published in April 1940
by Random House
, the Hamlet
is the first book in the Snopes trilogy by William Faulkner
. The other two books in the trilogy
are The Town
and The Mansion
. It follows the rise of one particular Snope, Flem, who cons the town, Frenchman's Bend, and rises from the son of a sharecropper
to a storekeeper and even higher. Will Varner, the rich local landowner, is at odds with the poor
Snopes family. However, he ends up helping Flem to rise when Flem marries Eula, Varner's daughter. Eula
, at the time of marriage
, is pregnant
with another man's child
. This doesn't matter to Flem, who marries her because of her father's money and power.
Many of Faulkner's earlier short stories were incorporated into this book.
I read this book for a|Livermore reading group, and I had a lot of trouble getting through it. Faulkner writes extremely long sentences. covering one to two pages. It's hard not to get lost.