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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Faulkner Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury was not an immediate hit for William Faulkner, though it was not his first foray into publishing. The book was his fourth, but did not find success until his sixth book, the sensationalist Sanctuary, was published to great acclaim. Because of this, the first edition of The Sound and the Fury in 1929 had a somewhat limited printing of only 1789 copies. Because of this in combination with the long-lasting impact the novel has had on American literature, the first edition of this novel is highly sought by dedicated collectors.

The most highly prized copy of The Sound and the Fury will always be a signed copy. These are so rare that there is no known number of how many there are, and so when one appears for sale it can fetch extravagant sums. A recent auction of a signed first edition with its dust jacket recently sold at auction for nearly $75,000.

Because of the rarity of signed copies, unsigned first editions are much more commonly collected. The prices of these vary widely, from $1,500 for copies in rough condition to $50,000 for those in excellent condition including their dust jacket. The first edition of this book is identifiable by the black and white illustrated dust jacket with a red title band at the top. The original boards under the dust jacket have a black, white, and gray wavy pattern.

Other collectible editions of this novel include the first edition printed in the U.K. and the second U.S edition, both of which were printed in 1931. There was also a collectible edition published in 2012 with the text in multiple colors as Faulkner had originally intended. There were only 1,480 of these printed, so they are highly collectible.