Discussion in 'Current Affairs & Debate' started by Gavin, May 2, 2006.
Go on! Make it a Top 10 if you wish.
I'm needing inspiration for next trip to the shops.
1. Stephan or Stefan Zweig - The Royal Game (and also very short since it's a novella). It's also often reffered to as the "Chess Story"
2. Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
3. Albert Camus - The Fall (isn't this where the band got their name from?)
4. Dave Eggers - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
5. Andrew Sean Greer - The Confessions of Max Tivoli
6. Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Charioteer - Mary Renault
The Odyssey - Homer
A Passage To India - Forster
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof/Night Of The Iguana/The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore - Tennessee Williams (plays)
The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
All pretty obvious really...
Ahhh, see thats one Camus book i've yet to get round to reading.
"vieux carré" is my favourite T. Williams play. It's also his gayest probably
I've never heard of that!
I've only read The Stranger by Camus and I really hated it. Made me feel really uneasy.
Fuck RIGHT off. It's a classic.
1. Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
2. The Blind Assasain - Margaret Atwood (These two are VERY close, both near perfect)
3. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
4. Animal Farm - George Orwell
5. The Buddha Of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi/High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
I had to tie those last two. Both very light reading compared to the others, but equally joyous!
'Alias Grace' IS perfect
Great book! Also the inspiration for the Cure's "killing an arab". And he was all about finding sense and personal happiness in an absurd world. Sartre's novels on the other hand I can't read - Had to take "the reprive" down after the half.
I bought "alias grace" last week 2nd hand after the praise on here. Might give it a try when I'm off uni.
Actually yes, it is. Fuck it, they BOTH are.
There's one passage in The Blind Assassain, in which Iris Chase see's her helper pick up a cupboard (or something, I forget) and in the movement realises that the his last favour to her will be to carry her coffin over his shoulder.
I wish I had the book to hand to quote it. It's just a small incidental few lines, but it's devastating.
It's one of his later plays and didn't tell anything new in terms of his key themes. but it's the only one I know that features openly homosexual scenes.
Right, so, my top 10 -
1. Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
2. James Joyce - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
3. George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four
4. Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
5. Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
6. Gabriel Garcia Marquez - A Hundred Years of Solitude
7. Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina
8. John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
9. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
10. Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
So? Doesn't mean I have to like it. Forster was a right wanker and his writing reflected that.
I really MUST get around to reading 'The Bell Jar'. It's so me.
Suedey, have you read any Atwood? I'm sure you'd ADORE her....
My list is quite English Lit cliche init. Oh well I don't care.
hmm...i read "War and Peace" and seriously felt as if i deserved a medal for ploughing through...so utterly boring that my well intended plan of reading "Anna Karenina" next was put to rest
I haven't.. but the way you lot go on about it.. well, I just ordered it off Amazon marketplace.
The Bell Jar is far from being one of the best written novels of all time. Far far from it, in fact. But it's definitely my favourite. I must have read it over ten times.
Yay! Which Atwood have you ordered?
So you do like it? I think the book has a perfect narrative voice. I don't know much about Forster but wanker or not he was a great writer.
I don't, no. But then I read that book about.. ooh, ten years ago when I was actually considering doing English literature instead of dentistry as a career choice but let's not get into that.
So anyway I read so many books during that period and out of it 3 people emerged as being wanker writers that I never, ever want to read again: Forster, Hemingway and Hardy. Hemingway in particular makes my blood boil. If I have another conversation with someone who goes on and on about The Old Man and the Sea I will fucking break something I swear.
Sorry for the rant.
Alias Grace. That's the one you boys keep talking about, no?
Yes, that's definitely the place to start! I was worried you might have started with The Blind Assassain cos I was just talking about it. It's just as good, but it's kind of her 'Boys For Pele'. Genius, but not a starting point.
Well just bear in mind that when it comes to books I'm far harsher a critic than music. The concept of guilty pleasure is nonexistent and anything that's poorly written or cliched gets binned immediately.
Poor writing and cliche are the very ANTITHESIS of what Atwood is about, don't you worry.....
Without giving too much away, I reckon Suedehead's favourite character in "AG" will be Simon's mother.
He's just the TYPE
Hemingway was an utter cunt and is overrated I feel, but he's got some masterful stuff out there. His short stories are the best. All the "code hero" stuff is really annoying.
Picking five would take more time than I'm willing to give it right now, but I'll name three that I can think that take no thought at all.
The Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar would definitely be in my list, as would Memoirs of a Geisha.
Apart from that, I've been in love with Beloved by Toni Morrison ever since I read the first chapter. I'm sure there are also a few more that would be on my list. I just need to think of them.
I found The Catcher In The Rye infuriating. Rambling, inane and indulgent. People tell me thats the point but even forgiving in that context, its still tedious.
Most probably my nomination for most overrated book ever.
I read it first as a teenager and return to it every five years or so.
I haven't read that much English novels, but the ones I adored were:
J.D.Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye (I do believe reading this as a teenager had an extra effect. I was exactly 16. It's adventurous, brutal and sympathizeable)
Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides(I tried Middlesex but found it too long and stopped halfway )
I'm hoping to do some summer reading, so if anyon can recommend something I may like? The Summer Book sounds like a fabulous choice already!
I'm not sure if I've read five novels. Anyway, of all the 'classic' ones I've read, like Dickens and Lord of the Flies I wouldn't really reccomend you buy them. I'd rather read a NICE MURDER.
Oh and self indulgent as it is, I have very fond memories of reading Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Did you know there's a film of that with Oprah Winfrey & Thandie Newton?
I haven't seen so I don't know if it's any good....