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Sam L
Aug 18th, 2012, 02:28 PM
Just a random thread. Not the greatest novels, your personal favourites.

Mine:

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
3. Middlemarch by George Eliot
4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
5. The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
6. Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenov
7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
8. Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac
9. The Makioka Sisters by Tanizaki Junichiro
10. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

You?

Barrie_Dude
Aug 18th, 2012, 08:38 PM
1) Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry)
2)Terms of Endearment (Larry McMurtry)
3) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4) East Of Eden (Steinbeck)
5) Canneray Row(Steinbeck)
6) Sweet Thursday (Steinbeck)
7) The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
8) Tom Sawyer (Twain)
9) The Winds of War (Wouk)
10) War and Rememberance (Wouk)

Sam L
Aug 19th, 2012, 02:38 AM
1) Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry)
2)Terms of Endearment (Larry McMurtry)
3) To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4) East Of Eden (Steinbeck)
5) Canneray Row(Steinbeck)
6) Sweet Thursday (Steinbeck)
7) The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
8) Tom Sawyer (Twain)
9) The Winds of War (Wouk)
10) War and Rememberance (Wouk)

All American. :eek:

dybbuk
Aug 19th, 2012, 02:55 AM
Hard. I'm expanding it to novellas and not just novels.

In no particular order,

Terra Nostra, Carlos Fuentes
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Spring Snow, Mishima Yukio
Snow Country, Kawabata Yasunari
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Herzog, Saul Bellow
The Master and the Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

I'm having a lot of trouble choosing the tenth. Madame Bovary, Palace Walk and Palace of Desire (Mahfouz), Explosion in a Cathedral (Carpentier) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Spark), and Little, Big (Crowley) could all fit in there.

Barrie_Dude
Aug 19th, 2012, 12:20 PM
All American. :eek:
Yes, but don't mistake that for me not appreciating lit from other countries

shap_half
Aug 19th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Not in order

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Call Me by Your Name
The Great Gatsby
Othello (which I realize is a play and not a novel)
We the Living (This is by Ayn Rand for those of you with issues)
The History of Love
On Beauty
Blindness
The Reader

prima donna
Aug 19th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Prozac Nation
The Bell Jar
Girl Interrupted
Kontesa Nera
The Hobbit
Harry Potter and the OOTP
New Moon
Madame Bovary
Kathy Griffin memoir
The Catcher in the Rye

watchdogfish
Aug 19th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Not in any particular order:

Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
Faucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice
The Double - Jose Saramago
Dissolution - C.J. Sansom
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkein
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

shap_half
Aug 19th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Prozac Nation
The Bell Jar
Girl Interrupted
Kontesa Nera
The Hobbit
Harry Potter and the OOTP
New Moon
Madame Bovary
Kathy Griffin memoir
The Catcher in the Rye

New Moon? From Twilight? Really?

Cajka
Aug 20th, 2012, 02:07 AM
1. The Idiot - Dostoyevsky
2. The Master and Margarita - Bulgakov
3. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Wilde
4. Crime and Punishment - Dostoyevsky
5. Poor Folk - Dostoyevsky
6. Doctor Zhivago - Pasternak
7. The Sound and The Fury - Faulkner
8. Ulysses - Joyce
9. The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoyevsky
10. The Red and the Black - Stendhal

Sam L
Aug 20th, 2012, 10:58 AM
Hard. I'm expanding it to novellas and not just novels.


I included a novella too but that is my favourite so it was easy.


The Reader

Nice to see The Reader fans. The movie was not good but this book was very good.


Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

So hard to leave it out. Easily top 20 though.

1. The Idiot - Dostoyevsky
2. The Master and Margarita - Bulgakov
3. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Wilde
4. Crime and Punishment - Dostoyevsky
5. Poor Folk - Dostoyevsky
6. Doctor Zhivago - Pasternak
7. The Sound and The Fury - Faulkner
8. Ulysses - Joyce
9. The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoyevsky
10. The Red and the Black - Stendhal

So much Dostoyevsky love. :p

soimu
Aug 20th, 2012, 03:19 PM
Some of my favs

1 E.M Remarque - Three Comrades
2 James Clavell – King Rat
3 Jack London – Martin Eden
4 Bocaccio – Decameron
5 E.M Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front
6 Mark Twain - Tom Sawyer
7 Jules Verne - The Golden Volcano
and three Romanian authors
8 Liviu Rebreanu – The Forest of the Hanged
a psychological novel about WW 1
9 Camil Petrescu – The Last Night of Love, The First Night of War
also a WW1 novel but here the love uncertainty is the main subject
10 Panait Istrati – mostly novellas like Kyra Kyralina, Codin, Mediterranean, Michael etc

skanky~skanketta
Aug 20th, 2012, 05:15 PM
1) Master of the Game - Sidney Sheldon
2) Nothing Lasts Forever - Sidney Sheldon
3) The Undomestic Goddess - Sophie Kinsella
4) Marley and Me - John Grogan
5) Kane and Abel - Jeffrey Archer
6) Kiss The Girls - James Patterson
7) Matilda - Roald Dahl
8) Cry Silent Tears - Joe Peters
9) Loves Music, Loves to Dance
10) Midnight Club - Christopher Pike

ys
Aug 20th, 2012, 05:34 PM
So much Dostoyevsky love. :p

No wonder, four of Dostoyevski novells are chosen in the list of Top 100 most significant books.
I though prefer "Besy" ( Demons )

I personally find him very tough to read even in Russian. Very complex language of the book, very tough to see when he is ironic and when he is serious, as he is never openly ironic. Comparing to his language, Tolstoy's stuff is so much simpler. I wonder if the Dostoevsky's translations simplify the text..

kwilliams
Aug 20th, 2012, 06:19 PM
I'm including some epic poetry because it's narrative.

1. The Passion by Jeanette Winterson.
2. The Iliad by Homer.
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker.
4. The Aeneid by Virgil.
5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
7. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe.
8. The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
9. Ulysses by James Joyce.
10. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley.

I like to think that most plays can be closet dramas, if you want them to be!


1. Translations by Brian Frield
2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
3. Medea by Euripides
4. Hecabe by Euripides
5. Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
6. The Persians by Aeschylus
7. Antigone by Sophocles
8. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
9. Elektra and Orestes by Euripides
10. Measure For Measure and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Williams Shakespeare.

Although, probably the most enjoyable thing I've ever read is "Fatal Silence: The Pope, the Resistance and the German Occupation of Rome," it's popular history but it reads like a novel and is equally gripping and insightful!

Cajka
Aug 20th, 2012, 06:48 PM
No wonder, four of Dostoyevski novells are chosen in the list of Top 100 most significant books.
I though prefer "Besy" ( Demons )

I personally find him very tough to read even in Russian. Very complex language of the book, very tough to see when he is ironic and when he is serious, as he is never openly ironic. Comparing to his language, Tolstoy's stuff is so much simpler. I wonder if the Dostoevsky's translations simplify the text..

I tried to read it in Russian, but my Russian is not good enough. Serbian translations are fine. The languages are similar, so it all can be done very well if the translator is talented. When you read the poetry it's something else, of course. It's like reading a completely new poem, which can be a disaster or surprisingly good. But, still, it's a new poem.

Stamp Paid
Aug 20th, 2012, 06:53 PM
1.) Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
2.) Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3.) Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
4.) The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
5.) Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
6.) Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
7.) Go Tell It On The Mountain, James Baldwin
8.) Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe
9.) Black No More, George Schuyler
10.) Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

Invisible Man and the Bluest Eye literally changed my life. And the story/character of Phillip Pirrip connected and resonated with me on multiple levels.

NyCPsU
Aug 20th, 2012, 08:02 PM
1. Great Expectations - Dickens

Have to think about the rest.

Ciarán
Aug 20th, 2012, 09:51 PM
1. L'Étranger - Albert Camus
2. To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
3. The Catcher in The Rye - J.D. Salinger
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
5. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
6. The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
7. The Butcher Boy - Patrick McCabe
8. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
9. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
10. The Fall - Albert Camus

*Notable mention to 'Låt den rätte komma in'/'Let The Right One In' by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It affected me profoundly; though I am still unsure whether this is due to my relating to/love of Oskar or the sheer violence of the novel. I found much of it very disturbing.

Currently reading 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens and I just know once I finish it; it will rank very highly in my top 10. I also begin an English and History degree in September. No doubt my entire top 10 will take a battering then :lol:.

Mynarco
Aug 20th, 2012, 10:14 PM
I am not well-read enough to pick five let alone ten :sobbing:

ico4498
Aug 20th, 2012, 10:28 PM
A Wreath for Udomo - Peter Abrahams
Green Days By The River - Michael Anthony
Brother Man - Roger Mais
The Leopard - V.S. Reid
The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
Don Quixote - Cervantes
Native Son - Richard Wright
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Pudd'nhead Wilson - Mark Twain
Kaffir Boy - Mark Mathabane

novels, novellas, etc ... its either a satisfying tale or bust, efficient writers shouldn't be penalized. in no particular order, the 10 above are the most memorable just now.

edificio
Aug 20th, 2012, 11:55 PM
This is incredibily difficult. I can't keep the list to ten, and I could add more. A couple sentimental faves are included. I could read them all again tomorrow and still want to read these books again.

In no particular order.

The Trial, Franz Kafka
Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky (sorry, can’t help putting both)
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
Middlemarch, George Eliot
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Don Quixote, Cervantes
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Madame Bovary, Flaubert
Light in August, William Faulkner
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
A House for Mister Biswas, V. S. Naipaul
The Red and the Black, Stendhal
Our Mutual Friend, Dickens
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Childhood favorites: My Antonia, Willa Cather, and The Secret Garden, Frances H. Burnett

Sam L
Aug 21st, 2012, 11:11 AM
I personally find him very tough to read even in Russian. Very complex language of the book, very tough to see when he is ironic and when he is serious, as he is never openly ironic. Comparing to his language, Tolstoy's stuff is so much simpler. I wonder if the Dostoevsky's translations simplify the text..

I wish I could read Russian. I guess there's still time to learn.

This is incredibily difficult. I can't keep the list to ten, and I could add more. A couple sentimental faves are included. I could read them all again tomorrow and still want to read these books again.


Of course. The whole point is to weed them out and see which are the most special to you. :p

Sam L
Aug 21st, 2012, 11:16 AM
I tried to read it in Russian, but my Russian is not good enough. Serbian translations are fine. The languages are similar, so it all can be done very well if the translator is talented. When you read the poetry it's something else, of course. It's like reading a completely new poem, which can be a disaster or surprisingly good. But, still, it's a new poem.

I think translated prose works a lot better as it should. Poetry is not just about conveying the meaning so it won't work as well.

The Witch-king
Aug 21st, 2012, 12:14 PM
Bish, do I read? :rolleyes:

Sam L
Aug 21st, 2012, 12:28 PM
I'm including some epic poetry because it's narrative.


It may be narrative but it's not a novel. You can list your plays here if you like: http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=466482

Cajka
Aug 21st, 2012, 12:58 PM
I think translated prose works a lot better as it should. Poetry is not just about conveying the meaning so it won't work as well.

Yes, it definitely is easier to translate prose, but still it can be very complicated. There are writers who write both - poetry and prose, so when you read their novels, there's so much melody in those sentences, it must be a real hell for translating. Then when you have such a specific writer like Dostoyevsky, you must be not only very talented to translate it, but you also have to be in it completely. Dostoyevsky is not only describing human thoughts and feelings, he's mainly interested in disturbed minds. You must be a very skillful translator to make it sound good. Imagine just describing Raskolnikov's train of thoughts. It must give you a shiver, you must feel his madness, his anxiety, you must feel his fever, his doubts and pangs of conscience.

So, in that sense, Dostoyevsky's language is really remarkable, so I think it might be easier to translate it to other Slavic languages, if for no other reason, then it will be easier at least because of the order of words in sentence.

Siderophyre
Aug 21st, 2012, 02:03 PM
The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (McCullers - staggering how young she was when she wrote this)
The White Hotel (Thomas)
Of Human Bondage (Maugham)
Cancer Ward (Solzhenitsyn)
Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
Look Homeward, Angel (Wolfe)
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (Murakami)
The Stone Angel (Laurence)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Kundera)

edificio
Aug 21st, 2012, 10:49 PM
Of course. The whole point is to weed them out and see which are the most special to you. :p

I can't! And you can't make me. :) Na na na na na!

:lol:

kwilliams
Aug 21st, 2012, 11:52 PM
It may be narrative but it's not a novel. You can list your plays here if you like: http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=466482

That's why I called it epic poetry.

wild.river
Aug 22nd, 2012, 02:09 AM
1. harry potter and the order of the phoenix
2. harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
3. harry potter and the goblet of fire
4. harry potter and the deathly hallows
5. harry potter and the half-blood prince
6. harry potter and the chamber of secrets
7. harry potter and the philosopher's stone
8. little women
9. gone with the wind
10. wuthering heights

ico4498
Aug 22nd, 2012, 02:22 AM
1. harry potter and the order of the phoenix
2. harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
3. harry potter and the goblet of fire
4. harry potter and the deathly hallows
5. harry potter and the half-blood prince
6. harry potter and the chamber of secrets
7. harry potter and the philosopher's stone
8. little women
9. gone with the wind
10. wuthering heights

you really love Harry huh?! 3 more and you'd bat 100% ...

i haven't read any so that not a criticism, i was totally crazy for Louis L'Amour way back when. still luv 'em, he's a great storyteller w/o tackling anything too deep or profound. sometimes i need that.

melodynelson
Aug 22nd, 2012, 03:27 AM
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Mrs. Dalloway - Virgina Woolf
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Babbitt - Sinclair Lewis
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
L'étranger - Albert Camus
La Peste - Albert Camus
The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut

And so many more that I haven't read yet, lots of good stuff mentioned in this thread so far.

avkiopy
Aug 22nd, 2012, 03:35 AM
The catcher in the Rye
Anna Karenina
To kill a Mockingbird
Harry Potter series
Interview with the Vampire
Dracula
War and Peace
Crime and Punishment
The Colour Purple
A Streetcar Named Desire

fantic
Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:00 AM
New Moon? From Twilight? Really?

Hey, you mentioned Rand's book :devil:

No wonder, four of Dostoyevski novells are chosen in the list of Top 100 most significant books.
I though prefer "Besy" ( Demons )


no wonder at all :lol:

Some mentioned Joyce (even Ulysses :eek: :bowdown: ) but no one mentioned Proust yet :sobbing:

One of my best is definitely Vanity Fair, haven't read a lot though. I wasn't very impressed with Russian authors, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky..and I quite enjoyed HP series :lol:

shap_half
Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:29 AM
Hey, you mentioned Rand's book :devil:



A comedian man...

Sam L
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:08 AM
Updated mine. Lots of changes. :eek: But the top three remains fixed.

Gagsquet
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:26 AM
No order

The catcher in the rye
Le joueur d'échec
Animal farm
L'éducation sentimentale
Les liaisons dangereuses
La plaisanterie
1984
Bel-ami
L'étranger
The Picture of Dorian Gray


Still young though

Sam L
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:28 AM
Bel-ami


Oui! ;)

Steadyniacki
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:40 AM
I don't usually go for the most mainstream things but I fucking adore the girl with dragon tattoo series, such a shame Steig passed away before finishing all the books :sad:

Barrie_Dude
Jan 16th, 2013, 11:59 AM
you really love Harry huh?! 3 more and you'd bat 100% ...

i haven't read any so that not a criticism, i was totally crazy for Louis L'Amour way back when. still luv 'em, he's a great storyteller w/o tackling anything too deep or profound. sometimes i need that.

Yes, I like Louis as well. Certainly not great lit, but he was a great storyteller for sure. I love those old westerns and it was Louis as well as Larry McMutry that caused me to expand my horizons in Westerns. There are several that are far deeper and richer then LAmour and the west has a great history


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SilverPersian
Jan 16th, 2013, 01:15 PM
The Satanic Verses - Rushdie
Sophie's Choice - Styron
Middlesex - Eugenides
The Corrections - Franzen
A Confederacy of Dunces - Toole
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Foer
Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
Jane Eyre - Bronte
In Cold Blood - Capote
Dubliners - Joyce (technically short stories)

I love my twentieth/twenty-first century literature, I guess :lol:

debopero
Jan 16th, 2013, 01:39 PM
I'm going to be disgustingly middlebrow :oh:

Beloved (Toni Morrison)
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
The Known World (Edward P. Jones)
The House of the Scorpion (Nancy Farmer)
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
Kindred (Octavia Butler)
The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Can't really fill out one more...

wild.river
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:01 PM
1. harry potter and the order of the phoenix
2. harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
3. harry potter and the goblet of fire
4. harry potter and the deathly hallows
5. harry potter and the half-blood prince
6. where'd you go bernadette
7. gone with the wind
8. harry potter and the chamber of secrets
9. little women
10. harry potter and the philosopher's stone

shap_half
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:30 PM
Not in order

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Call Me by Your Name
The Great Gatsby
Othello (which I realize is a play and not a novel)
We the Living (This is by Ayn Rand for those of you with issues)
The History of Love
On Beauty
Blindness
The Reader

Six months later, and I've made no changes. For the most part, I prefer contemporary literature.

stromatolite
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:36 PM
Not sure these are really my absolute top 10 favorites, but these are the ones that came to the surface when I jogged my memory a bit:

A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
Saturday – Ian McEwan
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
Smiley’s People – John Le Carré
Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
The Collector – John Fowles

shap_half
Jan 16th, 2013, 03:10 PM
Ooh, I love The Collector. It totally freaked me out. I could only read it when it was daytime or in a cafe when I wasn't alone.

stromatolite
Jan 16th, 2013, 03:14 PM
Ooh, I love The Collector. It totally freaked me out. I could only read it when it was daytime or in a cafe when I wasn't alone.

It's definitely not a book for the faint-hearted, but it's so freaking good.

Come to think of it, a lot of the books on my list are pretty gruesome, or at least have some gruesome bits in them. What does that say about me?:unsure:

fantic
Jan 16th, 2013, 03:21 PM
No order

The catcher in the rye
Le joueur d'échec
Animal farm
L'éducation sentimentale
Les liaisons dangereuses
La plaisanterie
1984
Bel-ami
L'étranger
The Picture of Dorian Gray


Still young though

heard it's Flaubert's masterpiece, better than Bovary. Should read it sometime..

Olórin
Jan 16th, 2013, 04:01 PM
The Lord of the Rings
War and Peace
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Count of Monte Cristo
Sense and Sensibility
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit
Emma

Pheobo
Jan 17th, 2013, 08:03 AM
Infinite Jest-- David Foster Wallace
Madame Bovary-- Gustave Flaubert
The Road-- Cormac McCarthy
The Great Gatsby-- Scott F. Fitzgerald
Laughter in the Dark-- Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita-- Vladimir Nabokov
Requiem for a Dream-- Hubert Selby, Jr.
The Rules of Attraction-- Bret Easton Ellis
The Unbearable Lightness of Being-- Milan Kundera
The Picture of Dorian Grey-- Oscar Wilde

I realize how misogynist this list is, and my reflex was to throw in some Plath, but I really appreciated her collections of poetry and loathed the Bell Jar. So, it wouldn't count. If I was in a different space right now maybe To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf would have made my top 10.

G&R
Jan 17th, 2013, 07:00 PM
No order:
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Journey to The End Of The Night - Celine
Memoirs Of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
Grapes Of Wrath - Steinbeck
The Plague - Albert Camus
1984 - George Orwell
The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
The Catcher In The Rye - Salinger
Crime And Punishment - Dostoevski
On The Road - Kerouac

Sam L
Jan 18th, 2013, 10:56 AM
Six months later, and I've made no changes. For the most part, I prefer contemporary literature.
The Reader is pretty good. Hmm, it's only been 6 months? I've definitely been doing a lot of reading. :eek:

Barrie_Dude
Jan 19th, 2013, 01:35 AM
I don't think I would make any changes either and I read an awful lot. There are some wonderful books that do not make my list that are wonderful though and some authors I really enjoy. Like Herman Wouk, Steinbeck, McMurtry, Fitzgerald, Twain. I like most of Dickens and I like Mary Shelly. There are more British authors I enjoy as well. Victor Hugo and Les Miserabe is brilliant, though I do not like the movie as I despise musicals.


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Corswandt
Jan 19th, 2013, 08:12 PM
Not the greatest novels, your personal favourites.

k.

1. Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman
2. Voyage au Bout de la Nuit by Céline
3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
4. Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
5. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
6. Les Particules Élémentaires by Michel Houellebecq
7. Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell
8. Julian by Gore Vidal
9. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
10. Modern Ranch Living by Mark Poirier

------------

11. Vidas Secas by Graciliano Ramos
12. Mort à Crédit by Céline
13. Ulysses by James Joyce
14. Mémoires d'Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar
15. Les Âmes Grises by Philippe Claudel
16. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
17. Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
18. El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
19. Extension du Domaine de la Lutte by Michel Houellebecq
20. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
21. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
22. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Corswandt
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:01 PM
Typed in the previous post in a rush, and probably didn't give enough credit to stuff that I actually enjoyed reading as opposed to stuff that I admired for its literary qualities (Marisha Pessl notwithstanding). But I think it strikes a good balance between stuff that I read and loved before I was 25 y.o. and stuff I read later, including when I began reading The Immortal Classics of World Literature in earnest (c. 2008-2012).

I just forgot to add to the second tier (#11-25) the following:

Ardor Guerrero by Antonio Muñoz Molina
Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis
Funeral Games by Mary Renault

fantic
Jan 20th, 2013, 05:43 PM
k.

1. Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman
2. Voyage au Bout de la Nuit by Céline
3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
4. Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
5. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
6. Les Particules Élémentaires by Michel Houellebecq
7. Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell
8. Julian by Gore Vidal
9. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
10. Modern Ranch Living by Mark Poirier

------------

11. Vidas Secas by Graciliano Ramos
12. Mort à Crédit by Céline
13. Ulysses by James Joyce
14. Mémoires d'Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar
15. Les Âmes Grises by Philippe Claudel
16. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
17. Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
18. El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
19. Extension du Domaine de la Lutte by Michel Houellebecq
20. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
21. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
22. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

Only read Grossman, Roth(interesting choice by the way :lol: It WAS a fun read), Vidal from your list :sobbing: Practically neglected reading novels recently, just finished Waugh's 'Man in Arms' and trying to finish Anna Karenina (read through 2/3 so far) Should check out Blood Meridian

Miranda
Jan 21st, 2013, 09:24 AM
did't read a lot of novels so cannot make out 10 :tape:

but my ultimate favourite is always:

"Gone with the wind" :hearts:

I like "100 years of solitude" of its unique style and imagination, but i don't like the part about incest and it seems to be Garcia's style. The same came in his other books too :help:

shap_half
Jan 21st, 2013, 10:07 AM
No order:
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Journey to The End Of The Night - Celine
Memoirs Of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
Grapes Of Wrath - Steinbeck
The Plague - Albert Camus
1984 - George Orwell
The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
The Catcher In The Rye - Salinger
Crime And Punishment - Dostoevski
On The Road - Kerouac

I tried reading Memoirs of Hadrian - I could not do it. It was too much.

I actually really don't like Catcher in the Rye. If I hear another 20 year old compare himself to Holden Caufield, I will punch him in the face. Really? You see yourself in a self-serving loser?

Olórin
Jan 21st, 2013, 12:52 PM
I tried reading Memoirs of Hadrian - I could not do it. It was too much.

I actually really don't like Catcher in the Rye. If I hear another 20 year old compare himself to Holden Caufield, I will punch him in the face. Really? You see yourself in a self-serving loser?

Me neither. It's the only book I've ever read and just not enjoyed it for a single moment. But I pretty much love all the other "classics", I think every fan of literature is allowed one classic they don't enjoy.

Barrie_Dude
Jan 21st, 2013, 01:11 PM
I know a lot of folks that just don't care for Catcher in the Rye. I include myself. I think that there is a significant subjective component to great lot, it is not completely objective


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Gagsquet
Jan 21st, 2013, 01:27 PM
Either you find Holden stupid and you will most likely not enjoy the book or you kind of like the character and the book is a endless delight. IMO.

Cajka
Jan 21st, 2013, 01:33 PM
k.

1. Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman
2. Voyage au Bout de la Nuit by Céline
3. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
4. Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
5. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
6. Les Particules Élémentaires by Michel Houellebecq
7. Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell
8. Julian by Gore Vidal
9. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
10. Modern Ranch Living by Mark Poirier

------------

11. Vidas Secas by Graciliano Ramos
12. Mort à Crédit by Céline
13. Ulysses by James Joyce
14. Mémoires d'Hadrien by Marguerite Yourcenar
15. Les Âmes Grises by Philippe Claudel
16. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
17. Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
18. El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
19. Extension du Domaine de la Lutte by Michel Houellebecq
20. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
21. Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
22. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

This is an impressive list, I must say.

Only read Grossman, Roth(interesting choice by the way :lol: It WAS a fun read), Vidal from your list :sobbing: Practically neglected reading novels recently, just finished Waugh's 'Man in Arms' and trying to finish Anna Karenina (read through 2/3 so far) Should check out Blood Meridian

Let me guess, Levin took Laska hunting and that chapter never ends.

Gagsquet
Jan 21st, 2013, 01:42 PM
I already made my list but I would like to add some honourable mentions:

Twenty-four hours in the life of a woman - Zweig
Derniers jours d'un condamné - Hugo
Plateforme - Houellebecq
La carte et le territoire - Houellebecq
Le rapport de Brodeck - Phillipe Claudel (dramatically underrated novelist)

Ksenia.
Jan 21st, 2013, 03:27 PM
Nice thread :)

No particular order:

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Bronte)
Gone with the Wind (Mitchell)
The Thorn Birds (McCullough)
Tender is the Night (Fitzgerald)
The Bell Jar (Plath)
The Collector (Fowles)
Notes from Underground (Dostoyevsky)
Rebecca (Maurier)
The Woman in White (Collins)
Sense and Sensibility (Austen)

Edit: reading through this thread made me realize that 10 is just not enough, there are too many good books (and too little time!) :sobbing:
Honorable mentions: Frankenstein, Crime And Punishment, Lolita, We (by Zamyatin), Bel-Ami, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Theatre (by Maugham), The Master and Margarita.... I could probably go on for a while :lol:

Sergius
Jan 21st, 2013, 03:55 PM
In no particular order


The Master and Margarita - Bulgakov
Le petit prince - Saint-Exupéry
War and Peace - Tolstoy
Invitation to a beheading - Nabokov
To kill a mockinbird - Lee
Brave new world - Huxley
The idiot - Dostoevsky
Catcher in the rye - Salinger
Alice in Wonderland and Through the looking-glass - Carroll (hard to split the books)
The Castle - Kafka

damn, that was so hard to cut it to ten :sobbing: I've been thinking for like half an hour which novels to include in my list. Honourable mentions to Crime and punishment, Cat's cradle, Fahrenheit 451, the Twelve chairs and many more

G&R
Jan 21st, 2013, 07:17 PM
I tried reading Memoirs of Hadrian - I could not do it. It was too much.

I actually really don't like Catcher in the Rye. If I hear another 20 year old compare himself to Holden Caufield, I will punch him in the face. Really? You see yourself in a self-serving loser?

Just different tastes I guess :) . Memoirs of Hadrian is a masterpiece, I read it in french and it was amazing. Why did you stop reading it?

fantic
Jan 22nd, 2013, 05:32 AM
Typed in the previous post in a rush, and probably didn't give enough credit to stuff that I actually enjoyed reading as opposed to stuff that I admired for its literary qualities (Marisha Pessl notwithstanding). But I think it strikes a good balance between stuff that I read and loved before I was 25 y.o. and stuff I read later, including when I began reading The Immortal Classics of World Literature in earnest (c. 2008-2012).

I just forgot to add to the second tier (#11-25) the following:

Ardor Guerrero by Antonio Muñoz Molina
Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis
Funeral Games by Mary Renault

I did read Renault, 'The King Must Die: A Novel'.
Man, that was some years ago.





Let me guess, Levin took Laska hunting and that chapter never ends.

Clearly Tolstoy was an hunting addict, but the editors should've been more courageous and cut those significantly :sobbing:

fantic
Jan 22nd, 2013, 05:34 AM
Just different tastes I guess :) . Memoirs of Hadrian is a masterpiece, I read it in french and it was amazing. Why did you stop reading it?

I'm dying to read that book :lol: Just have to finish Anna Karenina first..

By the way, one of my favorite classic novels is Vanity Fair by Thackeray :worship:

Corswandt
Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:32 AM
Le rapport de Brodeck - Phillipe Claudel (dramatically underrated novelist)

Haven't read that one, but judging from Les Âmes Grises alone, I'd have to agree with you.

dybbuk
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:01 PM
Me neither. It's the only book I've ever read and just not enjoyed it for a single moment. But I pretty much love all the other "classics", I think every fan of literature is allowed one classic they don't enjoy.

Why just one. I find Austen's entire oeuvre to be tripe, so I'm far over that limit.

Barrie_Dude
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:05 PM
That's why I claim that lit is subjective in a lot of ways. Though, I have to admit, that some books I hated were well written and some books I love were basically pulp fiction


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miffedmax
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:35 PM
I hate to limit it to 10, but here it goes...

1. Le Morte d'Arthur, Sir Thomas Mallory
2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll
3. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
4. The Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xuequin
5. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy O'Toole
6. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
7. The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad
8. Little Big Man, Thomas Berger
9. Amerika, Franz Kafka
10. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

The Cheshire Cat and Behemoth are two of my favorite characters, of course.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1e/Cheshire_Cat_Tenniel.png/250px-Cheshire_Cat_Tenniel.pnghttp://www.readliterature.com/masterandmargarita4.jpg

Cajka
Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:39 PM
Why just one. I find Austen's entire oeuvre to be tripe, so I'm far over that limit.

Agreed. Many of her novels are about cheesy love stories, characters are boring, shallow, their relationships are superficial. Her writing is IMO simply unimpressive.

fantic
Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:39 PM
quite a lot mentioned

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

Olórin
Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:02 AM
Why just one. I find Austen's entire oeuvre to be tripe, so I'm far over that limit.

Obviously there is that element of subjectivity which we call "taste", one was a complete arbitrary number. Art can't be fully objectified.

But I do think we have that much deeper an understanding of literature if we "get" and appreciate as wide a variety of what is considered and enjoyed as great literature as possible. That's just my personal feeling, this literature has provided the templates and shaped the structure of literary history while heavily influencing what came since.

It's a bit like tennis fans not enjoying watching certain greats. I personally like them all. Someone doesn't like Serena, someone doesn't like Evert ok, fair enough. But I would say their appreciation of tennis is that much the poorer for it.


Agreed. Many of her novels are about cheesy love stories, characters are boring, shallow, their relationships are superficial. Her writing is IMO simply unimpressive. I think this is an example of how knowing the historical context aids appreciation/enjoyment of a work. The relationships of her characters are dominated by convention and propriety - of course there is an inbuilt superficiality to this - that the actual feelings and emotions are stifled is actually intentional and part of her world-building ability. The books' strengths are more about how she carefully crafts her plot to expose the underlying social dynamics - the fact that some of the characters a bit shallow is a social criticism and realism of her world.

Great authors/figures of literature provide a fascinating window into the past. Homer and Virgil are great examples, as is Tolstoy, and Austen in fact. It's perhaps a double edged sword that we have to know a bit of history first. I made my original comment as I wondered if I was missing something important from the context of Catcher in the Rye.

miffedmax
Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:43 AM
I like Austen and Rye both.

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 12:49 AM
I think this is an example of how knowing the historical context aids appreciation/enjoyment of a work. The relationships of her characters are dominated by convention and propriety - of course there is an inbuilt superficiality to this - that the actual feelings and emotions are stifled is actually intentional and part of her world-building ability. The books' strengths are more about how she carefully crafts her plot to expose the underlying social dynamics - the fact that some of the characters a bit shallow is a social criticism and realism of her world.

Great authors/figures of literature provide a fascinating window into the past. Homer and Virgil are great examples, as is Tolstoy, and Austen in fact. It's perhaps a double edged sword that we have to know a bit of history first. I made my original comment as I wondered if I was missing something important from the context of Catcher in the Rye.

Tolstoy is a great example of the opposite of Jane's writing. He was describing a very similar society with a criticism. The characters like Anna or Levin are the victims of that hypocritical and snobbish society, of those shallow values. Jane describes those shallow characters and gives them happy endings after few complications. While Tolstoy's main characters make much more profound relationships, he describes their psychology, you can also see his thoughts on religion, there's a lot of philosophy in his books.

I didn't like Catcher in the Rye at all. I think I fully understood it, it's just not my thing.

dybbuk
Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:02 AM
As I've gotten older I've just in general moved away from this near unchangeable Canon that is filled with superior writers than you have to love and appreciate or there's something wrong with you. I was obsessed with that when I was younger, and to a large extent my reading is still influenced by it. But I just can't get behind it anymore. It bothers me how the Canon and the "classics" is mostly shorthand for Western classics with a small sprinkling of Middle Eastern ones (While the Eastern "Canon" is comparatively ignored). It bothers me that 95% of the people that have chosen the Canon are white men who bristled for years at including authors from Africa, India and other such places. Nowadays I just read what interests me and don't read what doesn't. For me personally that still includes largely members of the Canon, but I supplement it with whatever I want. I appreciate the type of Canon central literary theory people like Harold Bloom preach, but I don't have enough time or interest in trying to force myself to like authors like Austen or DeLillo just because some guys from prestigious American and British universities said I need to.

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:27 AM
As I've gotten older I've just in general moved away from this near unchangeable Canon that is filled with superior writers than you have to love and appreciate or there's something wrong with you. I was obsessed with that when I was younger, and to a large extent my reading is still influenced by it. But I just can't get behind it anymore. It bothers me how the Canon and the "classics" is mostly shorthand for Western classics with a small sprinkling of Middle Eastern ones (While the Eastern "Canon" is comparatively ignored). It bothers me that 95% of the people that have chosen the Canon are white men who bristled for years at including authors from Africa, India and other such places. Nowadays I just read what interests me and don't read what doesn't. For me personally that still includes largely members of the Canon, but I supplement it with whatever I want. I appreciate the type of Canon central literary theory people like Harold Bloom preach, but I don't have enough time or interest in trying to force myself to like authors like Austen or DeLillo just because some guys from prestigious American and British universities said I need to.

But why would you force yourself to like anything? I remember that during my oral part of literature exam the girl who was taking an exam before me basically said that Ulysses was an overrated, pretentious crap and the professor was fine with that, of course she was asked to elaborate it, she had good answers and got away with that.

dybbuk
Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:45 AM
But why would you force yourself to like anything? I remember that during my oral part of literature exam the girl who was taking an exam before me basically said that Ulysses was an overrated, pretentious crap and the professor was fine with that, of course she was asked to elaborate it, she had good answers and got away with that.

Read a Harold Bloom book and you'll see a good argument for why the Canon is central and needs to be appreciated. It's placed at the center of Western life and thought, and if you can't appreciate it you're not properly appreciating Western culture and ideas. (Their argument, not mine)

miffedmax
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:38 AM
A lot of Austen's writing is heavily satirical and critical, even though she does go for happy endings. Are you sure you're not confusing her with those unreadable Bronte sisters? :oh:

I do agree it's worthwhile to read a reasonable chunk of the Western canon, if for no other reason than the Western novel has so heavily influenced that art form in the rest of the world.

(Of course, other cultures developed their early novels independently, in some cases before the West, and retain their own cultural influences as well).

On the other hand, nobody can read everything, and as my own list indicates I certainly venture outside the canon. Oe, Chin, Mishima and a number of others would be on my longer list.

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 04:52 AM
A lot of Austen's writing is heavily satirical and critical, even though she does go for happy endings.

There are elements of comedy of manners in her novels, it does exist. But heavily satirical? Only if we believe that it's heavily satirical that a girl who thinks she's a matchmaker can't find a husband herself for example. It's a lighthearted use of irony, IMO.

Are you sure you're not confusing her with those unreadable Bronte sisters? :oh:

No. But I believe that even they criticized on Jane's novels, saying there's no passion in them. :oh:

Sam L
Jan 23rd, 2013, 10:44 AM
I've read a lot of Jane Austen's novels and I used to like them but I don't really like them anymore. They are quite shallow. But they are still fun especially something like Emma.

Corswandt
Jan 23rd, 2013, 11:10 AM
6. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

Ewwwwwwww.

Sam L
Jan 23rd, 2013, 11:19 AM
Tolstoy is a great example of the opposite of Jane's writing. He was describing a very similar society with a criticism. The characters like Anna or Levin are the victims of that hypocritical and snobbish society, of those shallow values. Jane describes those shallow characters and gives them happy endings after few complications. While Tolstoy's main characters make much more profound relationships, he describes their psychology, you can also see his thoughts on religion, there's a lot of philosophy in his books.


Yes, that's why he's my favourite. Also Jane Austen is romanticism and Tolstoy realism. That's why they are the opposites. Having said that I still think there are better examples of romanticism. Chateaubriand comes to mind.

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 01:21 PM
Yes, that's why he's my favourite. Also Jane Austen is romanticism and Tolstoy realism. That's why they are the opposites. Having said that I still think there are better examples of romanticism. Chateaubriand comes to mind.

I'd say she was a romantic realist, if it can be said. It was the age of romanticism, but her writing style and themes were more similar to novels that belong to realism. Francois Rene was perhaps one of the best or typical romanticism writers, like Byron.

Although some of Jane's characters are obviously romanticism characters, Marc Darcy, for example. He's very similar to Onegin.

Gagsquet
Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:01 PM
Anyone read the whole A la recherche du temps perdu here ? I plan to read it but I am maybe too young.

pierce85
Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:06 PM
It --- Stephen King
Christ Recrucified--Nikos Kazantzakis
La Symphonie Pastorale---Andre Gide
Cien Anos de Soledad--- Marquez
Bonjour Tristesse---Francoise Sagan
L' etranger---Albert Camus
Ulysses--James Joyce
Le Grand Meaulnes--- Alain Fournier

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:18 PM
Anyone read the whole A la recherche du temps perdu here ? I plan to read it but I am maybe too young.

I read only volume 1. I didn't like it a lot, but some of my friends are huge fans of Proust's works. I read it in my early twenties and I felt I was too young for that. I'll give it a second chance for sure.

Corswandt
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:10 PM
Anyone read the whole A la recherche du temps perdu here ? I plan to read it but I am maybe too young.

I read the first two and half of the third vol. back in 2003-2004, and re-read those and then the remaining vols. from August 2011 to August 2012, which was a time during which I wasn't reading much else, and wasn't reading much period.

At the "What book are you reading" thread I posted my view of Proust:

The only time I felt like this before was while reading the first 3 vols. of Proust's À la Recherche..., but there I felt trapped inside the mind of an unbearably fastidious, snobbish, fussy ponce, without any sort of reprieve.

[...]

Got back to À la Recherche du Temps Perdu yesterday. Currently (and very slowly) re-reading the first 2 and 1/2 vols. I read back in 2003-2004.

You already know how I feel about À la Recherche - page upon page of the abstruse ramblings of a snobbish fusspot, nearly always about the most frivolous of topics. I didn't stop reading it the first time because I felt "defeated" by a "daunting" novel, but because I was sick of feeling trapped inside Monsieur Proust's unbearably fastidious mind and concluded that I was wasting my time when there was so much more compelling stuff out there waiting to be read. No point in plodding through stuff you're not enjoying just so that you can later brag about having finished it.

So I'm getting back to it mostly because it's so wonderfully written, yet I still have my misgivings.

Gagsquet
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:14 PM
Did you read it in French ? English ? Portuguese ?

Corswandt
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:14 PM
Le Grand Meaulnes--- Alain Fournier

There's nothing unconventional in form, structure or presentation about this book, yet it's unlike anything else I've ever read.

Letting my narcissism run rampant over this thread and quoting myself again:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=18611784&postcount=1306

Corswandt
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:16 PM
Did you read it in French ? English ? Portuguese ?

Portuguese; my French isn't up to reading full novels, at least without a lot of unnecessary effort (unnecessary because French, unlike English, translates well into Portuguese). It was the Tamen translation, which is the more recent and has superseded the previous as the standard one.

Gagsquet
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:26 PM
Thanks for your opinion anyway. I'll wait a bit for Proust, I have too many books I want to read before anyway.
One of my teachers recommended me Saramago. Do you have some recommendations of books from him to start ?

Corswandt
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:34 PM
One of my teachers recommended me Saramago. Do you have some recommendations of books from him to start ?

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis remains probably his finest novel, but I think it's too topical for a foreigner to fully get into. So IMO you should start with Blindness, like everyone else. It reads like a genre novel, full of plausible detail, while addressing Big Issues. Plus it's not as cold, distant and misanthropic as some of his other work (Ricardo Reis included).

miffedmax
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:52 PM
Ewwwwwwww.

We've already done this argument. ;)

Cajka
Jan 23rd, 2013, 03:58 PM
I read the first two and half of the third vol. back in 2003-2004, and re-read those and then the remaining vols. from August 2011 to August 2012, which was a time during which I wasn't reading much else, and wasn't reading much period.

At the "What book are you reading" thread I posted my view of Proust:

People say it gets better in the second half of volume 1, but it didn't happen in my case and I see it didn't work for you neither. I was reading it on my summer vacation, it wasn't a book for a beach, but however. I thought it was boring and some parts infuriated me (when he couldn't fall asleep without his mom). But I was 21 back then, I think I would read it from a different perspective now. I wanted to read something more exciting at that moment.

Sam L
Jan 28th, 2013, 11:29 AM
I'd say she was a romantic realist, if it can be said. It was the age of romanticism, but her writing style and themes were more similar to novels that belong to realism. Francois Rene was perhaps one of the best or typical romanticism writers, like Byron.

Although some of Jane's characters are obviously romanticism characters, Marc Darcy, for example. He's very similar to Onegin.

I have René and Atala. These two are just the best. Maybe you are right with Austen. That's probably it feels neither here nor there with her for me. One thing she does very well is describe the world that she is familiar with. I mean there are embellishments there. But it's just that the themes and subjects are always the same. What have I read, S&S, P&P, Emma. I have her other novels. I haven't read them. One day I might read Northanger Abbey.

Anyone read the whole A la recherche du temps perdu here ? I plan to read it but I am maybe too young.

I plan to.

Sam L
Jan 28th, 2013, 11:33 AM
As I've gotten older I've just in general moved away from this near unchangeable Canon that is filled with superior writers than you have to love and appreciate or there's something wrong with you. I was obsessed with that when I was younger, and to a large extent my reading is still influenced by it. But I just can't get behind it anymore. It bothers me how the Canon and the "classics" is mostly shorthand for Western classics with a small sprinkling of Middle Eastern ones (While the Eastern "Canon" is comparatively ignored). It bothers me that 95% of the people that have chosen the Canon are white men who bristled for years at including authors from Africa, India and other such places. Nowadays I just read what interests me and don't read what doesn't. For me personally that still includes largely members of the Canon, but I supplement it with whatever I want. I appreciate the type of Canon central literary theory people like Harold Bloom preach, but I don't have enough time or interest in trying to force myself to like authors like Austen or DeLillo just because some guys from prestigious American and British universities said I need to.

Agreed. I will give them a go but if I don't like it, I'm not going to force myself to read it. For example, I can't stand Dickens.

shap_half
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:04 PM
Just different tastes I guess :) . Memoirs of Hadrian is a masterpiece, I read it in french and it was amazing. Why did you stop reading it?

I just couldn't get into it. I tried, and tried, because I heard it was really fantastic, but I couldn't do it - it just didn't stick. I felt the same way about The Corrections, which is now my favorite novel . I just had to put it down, and then I picked it back up a year later.

shap_half
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:12 PM
The idea of a canon is both pointless and necessary. I don't like the idea of an international canon, because it generally leans heavily to the west. I think that needs to be done away with, and instead each country should have its own canon. There's really no reason for there to be an international list of writings that we all consider to be important.

Gagsquet
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:16 PM
the list made by the novelists themselves (in 2002 from memory) is a good start I think.
After you can always criticize the list of authors in it.

shap_half
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:20 PM
Being a novelist doesn't make you an expert in literature. I've read some truly terrible things, and you see effusive praise coming from renowned writers, and I'm thinking, John Irving, you've lost your damn mind.

You either believe in the canon or you don't. It doesn't really matter who compiles the list.

Gagsquet
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:23 PM
Then no one can judge and Twilight can be the greatest book ever if a thirteen yo teen claims it.

shap_half
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:27 PM
Let the 13 year old. You don't have to agree with him/her. This is why a canon is unnecessary. You don't need to tell people which books are important - they'll decide for themselves. That's the conversation, though, right? Should the canon be the best written books or the books that have had the most impact on the zeitgeist. If it's the former, then of course there's no way you can argue that Twilight belongs there, but if it's the latter, then, yes, you have to recognize the contributions that book has made to literature and pop culture.

Gagsquet
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:41 PM
I don't like this point of view. It makes everything equal. It would lead to make study Twilight in class because the majority of the class like it. Indeed sum of personal preferences = classics in your world.

stromatolite
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:43 PM
I thought this thread was supposed to be about favorite novels, not greatest novels.:shrug:

Gagsquet
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:49 PM
I thought this thread was supposed to be about favorite novels, not greatest novels.:shrug:

That's why the thread is made for :shrug:

shap_half
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:51 PM
I don't like this point of view. It makes everything equal. It would lead to make study Twilight in class because the majority of the class like it. Indeed sum of personal preferences = classics in your world.

It means respecting other people's opinions. And it doesn't mean that it would lead to the close reading and critical analysis of any book. A book like Twilight has a lot of flaws that I think most people recognize, which is why it doesn't get taught in schools. You however can't deny the impact it has made. And you're right, personal preferences are the classics of my own world. Why should your personal preferences trump mine, anyway? Why should Professor Pretentious's matter more? Your taste isn't more important than mine if we're talking about favorites. The whole point of a canon is what exactly?

stromatolite
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:53 PM
That's why the thread is made for :shrug:

If it's about favorite novels, Twilight has as much right to be mentioned here as Madame Bovary or War & Peace. If it's about greatest novels, maybe not;)

Gagsquet
Jan 28th, 2013, 01:55 PM
It means respecting other people's opinions. And it doesn't mean that it would lead to the close reading and critical analysis of any book. A book like Twilight has a lot of flaws that I think most people recognize, which is why it doesn't get taught in schools. You however can't deny the impact it has made. And you're right, personal preferences are the classics of my own world. Why should your personal preferences trump mine, anyway? Why should Professor Pretentious's matter more? Your taste isn't more important than mine if we're talking about favorites. The whole point of a canon is what exactly?

Some people have bad taste.
If you like Twilight, that's ok.
But it doesn't make it a classic regardless if you like it or not.


If it's about favorite novels, Twilight has as much right to be mentioned here as Madame Bovary or War & Peace. If it's about greatest novels, maybe not;)

I completely agree with you
But the person above pretends that if Twilight is your personal favourite then it's a classic. Just no.

stromatolite
Jan 28th, 2013, 02:14 PM
^Actually, my point is that people pretty much stopped posting lists here after the thread turned into a hardcore literary discussion forum.

That's a shame. It's nice to learn what people like to read, whether highbrow or lowbrow.

fantic
Jan 28th, 2013, 04:47 PM
Harry Potter series is the greatest literary output of all, maybe behind the Bible.

It's an ultra mega buster bestseller!! :devil:

And it's even translated into LATIN and ANCIENT GREEK, dead languages! :bowdown: Even Tolkien's Hobbit was only translated into Latin :lol:

pov
Jan 28th, 2013, 05:48 PM
I thought this thread was supposed to be about favorite novels, not greatest novels.:shrug:
Plus . . who gets to decide what the greatest novels are? There are no "greatest novels." Like everything else in art it's all just preference and opinion.

Ksenia.
Jan 28th, 2013, 06:50 PM
Harry Potter series is the greatest literary output of all, maybe behind the Bible.

It's an ultra mega buster bestseller!! :devil:

And it's even translated into LATIN and ANCIENT GREEK, dead languages! :bowdown: Even Tolkien's Hobbit was only translated into Latin :lol:

Please be not serious :facepalm:
And it is hardly an indication of literary value.

fantic
Jan 28th, 2013, 08:36 PM
Please be not serious :facepalm:
And it is hardly an indication of literary value.

It was a joke :lol: But surely it had MUCH bigger impact than the Twilight series? :lol:

Curious though; why did they even BOTHER to translate those to dead languages???!!

Cajka
Jan 28th, 2013, 11:56 PM
I have René and Atala. These two are just the best. Maybe you are right with Austen. That's probably it feels neither here nor there with her for me. One thing she does very well is describe the world that she is familiar with. I mean there are embellishments there. But it's just that the themes and subjects are always the same. What have I read, S&S, P&P, Emma. I have her other novels. I haven't read them. One day I might read Northanger Abbey.


There's one thing I honestly appreciate about Austen. In the era when women could rarely get proper education, when most of them were similar to characters in her novels (which is not their own fault, that's how the society was), she made something big and it made a difference. I don't like her novels, but there's a bigger picture. As a female, I have to appreciate her role in history when it comes to women's emancipation. It gives me another perspective.

SilverPersian
Jan 29th, 2013, 01:35 AM
It was a joke :lol: But surely it had MUCH bigger impact than the Twilight series? :lol:

Curious though; why did they even BOTHER to translate those to dead languages???!!

I've been trying to read Harry Potter in Italian to try and improve in my reading skills. I guess people might use them to learn Ancient Greek and Latin.

fantic
Jan 29th, 2013, 04:25 PM
I've been trying to read Harry Potter in Italian to try and improve in my reading skills. I guess people might use them to learn Ancient Greek and Latin.

HP is so 'useful', isn't it :lol:

pov
Jan 29th, 2013, 04:37 PM
^Actually, my point is that people pretty much stopped posting lists here after the thread turned into a hardcore literary discussion forum.

That's a shame. It's nice to learn what people like to read, whether highbrow or lowbrow.
:yeah:

Barrie_Dude
Jan 29th, 2013, 04:54 PM
Lets talk about what we are reading rather then engage in literary criticism. I enjoy some books that others have no interest in and they have lead me to explore other books. And, where I have no interest in Twighlight or Harry Potter, I can appreciate how someone might enjoy those genres.


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Ksenia.
Jan 29th, 2013, 05:06 PM
I've been trying to read Harry Potter in Italian to try and improve in my reading skills. I guess people might use them to learn Ancient Greek and Latin.
Is English your first language? It never occurred to me to read the books I know the contents of in the language I'm learning, I'm always looking for books written originally in that language for some reason :lol:

PS don't get me wrong, I love HP but it's just not "Greatest of all time" material :oh:
Lets talk about what we are reading rather then engage in literary criticism. I enjoy some books that others have no interest in and they have lead me to explore other books. And, where I have no interest in Twighlight or Harry Potter, I can appreciate how someone might enjoy those genres.


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fantic
Jan 29th, 2013, 09:01 PM
There is an exact thread of what we're currently reading!!

Do let's stick to the topic, eh? :lol:

By the way, HP may not be the greatest of all time material but in terms of 'impact' (it IS an elusive concept, I admit) and making money, it's right up there! :lol:

Maybe the Russian forgery 'protocols of zion' had a bigger impact..it led to the Holocaust.

Barrie_Dude
Jan 30th, 2013, 04:08 AM
I find that I have a tendency to obsesse over certain authors (McMurtry, Steinbeck, Wouck) more then genres


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SilverPersian
Jan 30th, 2013, 04:25 AM
HP is so 'useful', isn't it :lol:

It is the best :p

I know lots of useful Italian words now that I'm reading HP, such as owl, shooting star and drills :hearts:

Is English your first language? It never occurred to me to read the books I know the contents of in the language I'm learning, I'm always looking for books written originally in that language for some reason :lol:



Yeah my first language is English. You could be right that looking for texts written in the original language might be better ... it might mean you get more access to idiomatic phrases and avoid the awkwardness that can go along with translation. I decided to try HP because I was already (very) familiar with the story, and I thought the lack of overly poetic language might make it more accessible.

(Sorry for derailing the thread again. I promise I'll stop now).

Sam L
Jan 30th, 2013, 09:58 AM
There's one thing I honestly appreciate about Austen. In the era when women could rarely get proper education, when most of them were similar to characters in her novels (which is not their own fault, that's how the society was), she made something big and it made a difference. I don't like her novels, but there's a bigger picture. As a female, I have to appreciate her role in history when it comes to women's emancipation. It gives me another perspective.

True that. Have you read Middlemarch? Don't get me wrong, I immensely enjoy reading her novels but I just want something a little more.

Lets talk about what we are reading rather then engage in literary criticism. I enjoy some books that others have no interest in and they have lead me to explore other books. And, where I have no interest in Twighlight or Harry Potter, I can appreciate how someone might enjoy those genres.


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There is an exact thread of what we're currently reading!!

Do let's stick to the topic, eh? :lol:


Yes, let's. There is already a thread for what we're reading now.

The reason why this thread came about is that I've started keeping lists of my favourite novels, poems, plays as well as favourite composers, painters. It helps me to remember and compare.

My list has changed a lot because I've been reading a lot. Whereas my list for films has not changed a lot recently and will most likely not change a lot in the future because I haven't been watching a lot of films.

These lists also help me remind myself why I fell in love with a piece of literature. I read Rebecca years ago but it reappeared on my list because it has stood the test of time for me. The protagonist is like me in a lot of ways and I remember when I read it I felt like the author was in my mind. Now, the plot may not be the greatest ever and it is slow reading at times but for this reason it is one of my favourites.

I also disagree with whomever that said this is turning into literary criticism. I don't think so. I don't think we've even begun to scratch the surface of that. It is merely a list of what we like. I also agree that we shouldn't be judging people on what they like. I haven't read Twilight, I don't want to read Twilight. Maybe that's narrow-minded of me but good for you if you like it. The subject matter just doesn't interest me.

These lists also help to identify books we've read and we are interested in reading and create discussion around it.

stromatolite
Jan 30th, 2013, 10:14 AM
^Sorry, I probably overstated the point about literary criticism a bit.

But the tone of the discussion did get a bit less light-hearted (and sometimes a bit more judgmental) after about the 7th page of the thread, and at that point people stopped posting lists.

Maybe that's a coincidence, but at the same time I can imagine that people who usually read for enjoyment without giving much thought to the literary merits of what they are reading might have been discouraged from posting.

Gagsquet
Jan 30th, 2013, 10:15 AM
There are better books than others. sometimes it's clear, sometimes not.

Corswandt
Jan 30th, 2013, 11:21 AM
As I've gotten older I've just in general moved away from this near unchangeable Canon that is filled with superior writers than you have to love and appreciate or there's something wrong with you. I was obsessed with that when I was younger, and to a large extent my reading is still influenced by it. But I just can't get behind it anymore. It bothers me how the Canon and the "classics" is mostly shorthand for Western classics with a small sprinkling of Middle Eastern ones (While the Eastern "Canon" is comparatively ignored). It bothers me that 95% of the people that have chosen the Canon are white men who bristled for years at including authors from Africa, India and other such places. Nowadays I just read what interests me and don't read what doesn't. For me personally that still includes largely members of the Canon, but I supplement it with whatever I want. I appreciate the type of Canon central literary theory people like Harold Bloom preach, but I don't have enough time or interest in trying to force myself to like authors like Austen or DeLillo just because some guys from prestigious American and British universities said I need to.

Discussions about the "Western Canon" far too often turn into gratuitous PC bashing of Dead White Males and pleas for tokenistic inclusion into the canon of authors from whichever minority, regardless of actual literary merit.

As for the use of the "Western Canon" and other such similarly minded lists, I see inclusion of a work of literature in those catalogues as a guarantee of quality, but not necessarily of enjoyment. I've read a lot of Immortal Classics of World Literature over the past few years, and the time spent reading them has almost always proved to be more than worthwhile - they're classics for a reason. That being said, I've used those lists with care, steering clear of stuff I suspect I'll find boring/unenjoyable (like say Moby Dick and Don Quijote, or Anna Karenina, the latter mostly because I already knew the ending, etc.). The Nobel Literature Prize winners' can also make for an interesting reading list - some of the unusual choices there can lead you to widen your horizons so to speak, but on the other hand can also lead you to waste your time with a lot of sanctimonious, humourless, middlebrow oppression pr0n. :tape:

Cajka
Jan 30th, 2013, 11:49 AM
True that. Have you read Middlemarch? Don't get me wrong, I immensely enjoy reading her novels but I just want something a little more.


Yes, but I don't get the other part. You want more than what Eliot was writing?

the latter mostly because I already knew the ending

Yes, but that's not how it ends, there are hundred pages after her death. :lol: :sobbing: My opinion was always that the protagonist was Levin despite the fact that the book is named after Anna. It ends with Levin.

Barrie_Dude
Jan 30th, 2013, 03:07 PM
Discussions about the "Western Canon" far too often turn into gratuitous PC bashing of Dead White Males and pleas for tokenistic inclusion into the canon of authors from whichever minority, regardless of actual literary merit.

As for the use of the "Western Canon" and other such similarly minded lists, I see inclusion of a work of literature in those catalogues as a guarantee of quality, but not necessarily of enjoyment. I've read a lot of Immortal Classics of World Literature over the past few years, and the time spent reading them has almost always proved to be more than worthwhile - they're classics for a reason. That being said, I've used those lists with care, steering clear of stuff I suspect I'll find boring/unenjoyable (like say Moby Dick and Don Quijote, or Anna Karenina, the latter mostly because I already knew the ending, etc.). The Nobel Literature Prize winners' can also make for an interesting reading list - some of the unusual choices there can lead you to widen your horizons so to speak, but on the other hand can also lead you to waste your time with a lot of sanctimonious, humourless, middlebrow oppression pr0n. :tape:

I would also consider Pulitzer Prize winners of which I have read several and have not been disappointed


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Barrie_Dude
Jan 30th, 2013, 03:10 PM
^Sorry, I probably overstated the point about literary criticism a bit.

But the tone of the discussion did get a bit less light-hearted (and sometimes a bit more judgmental) after about the 7th page of the thread, and at that point people stopped posting lists.

Maybe that's a coincidence, but at the same time I can imagine that people who usually read for enjoyment without giving much thought to the literary merits of what they are reading might have been discouraged from posting.

Yes, I often read for enjoyment and not because something is a literary classic. I find many gems of books that are not exceptionally well written but certainly worth a read


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shap_half
Jan 30th, 2013, 03:29 PM
That was the point I'm trying to make. We're all reading, and the whole point of this thread is to share our favorites. And I think the idea of a canon almost always turns it into a weird, pretentious conversation about what we should be reading. I studied literature in university, and there were many moments where I questioned my line of studies, because I found myself having to defend "lowbrow" options pretty much all the time. Isn't it more important that people are reading at all?

And I'm of course aware that I've done my fair share of snobbery, and I have to remind myself to be less critical of others.

Barrie_Dude
Jan 30th, 2013, 03:37 PM
That was the point I'm trying to make. We're all reading, and the whole point of this thread is to share our favorites. And I think the idea of a canon almost always turns it into a weird, pretentious conversation about what we should be reading. I studied literature in university, and there were many moments where I questioned my line of studies, because I found myself having to defend "lowbrow" options pretty much all the time. Isn't it more important that people are reading at all?

And I'm of course aware that I've done my fair share of snobbery, and I have to remind myself to be less critical of others.

Senile old minds think alike!!!!


The lowbrow stuff serves purpose in that if it gets someone interested in reading, it is worthwhile and, if it were not for the bad or average stuff, would we fully appreciate the great stuff?


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Gagsquet
Jan 30th, 2013, 05:14 PM
There is no canon. There are only, on one side, books wonderfully written with a brilliant questioning of our society, life, world... in it. (Those one are called masterpieces.).
On the other side, there are books with entertaining values, fun to read but those are not masterpiece (or even piece of art).

shap_half
Jan 30th, 2013, 05:37 PM
I hope that you will stop speaking now.

Cajka
Jan 30th, 2013, 06:50 PM
Isn't it more important that people are reading at all?


I have a problem even with this. If I find a job in school one day, I'll be a horrible teacher, I don't feel like telling people that they must read. I can't even convince my boyfriend to read something, let alone teenagers. And if I have to convince 14 yo kids to read Serbian medieval biographies (which is obligatory), it's gonna be only worse.

Ksenia.
Jan 30th, 2013, 07:43 PM
I have a problem even with this. If I find a job in school one day, I'll be a horrible teacher, I don't feel like telling people that they must read. I can't even convince my boyfriend to read something, let alone teenagers. And if I have to convince 14 yo kids to read Serbian medieval biographies (which is obligatory), it's gonna be only worse.

That's how it always is with high schoolers, you tell them to do something and they do the opposite :D
I did read in high school but just the stuff I was interested in, not the obligatory books - with those, I just skimmed through wikipedia summary before a class. It's ironic because now I am actually reading all those books (and I like them) because otherwise I feel like there's a gap in my education (which is more or less filled in by now) :lol:

Cajka
Jan 30th, 2013, 09:49 PM
That's how it always is with high schoolers, you tell them to do something and they do the opposite :D
I did read in high school but just the stuff I was interested in, not the obligatory books - with those, I just skimmed through wikipedia summary before a class. It's ironic because now I am actually reading all those books (and I like them) because otherwise I feel like there's a gap in my education (which is more or less filled in by now) :lol:

I worked as a teacher substitute once in an elementary school, it was only for few weeks. I asked them to write an essay about Serbian oral poetry and I remember that one kid copied an essay from some Internet page without changing a single word. The best thing is that it was written by someone with an university degree, maybe it was even a Ph.D student. I died when I read it, the writing style was so outstanding, I believe that wouldn't be able to write something like that. :hysteric:

Certinfy
Jan 30th, 2013, 10:37 PM
1. Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

It's a visual novel on the PS Vita and 3DS. :o

Gagsquet
Jan 30th, 2013, 11:07 PM
I hope that you will stop speaking now.

how arrogant :lol:

Roookie
Feb 1st, 2013, 11:06 PM
Off the top of my head in no particular order:

Cien años de Soledad - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
For Whom the Bells Toll - Ernest Hemingway
The Godfather - Mario Puzo
Pedro Paramo y El llano en llamas - Juan Rulfo
La Flor de Lis - Elena Poniatowska
La Noche Es Virgen - Jaime Bayly
Glamourama - Bret Easton Ellis
Game of Thrones - George RR Martin

Barrie_Dude
Feb 6th, 2013, 05:49 AM
I have some non fiction books I love dearly as well. There is a bio on Charles Goodnight by j evetts Haley that I love dearly. We pointed them north, is a memoir of Teddy Blue Abbott and exceptional


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Kipling
Feb 20th, 2013, 09:35 PM
The Sound and the Fury
Catcher in the Rye
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Lolita
Rage
Brave New World
1984
Slaughterhouse Five
The Grapes of Wrath
Tropic of Cancer

Barrie_Dude
Feb 21st, 2013, 03:03 AM
I still have issues with Faulkner. Hard to understand. Catcher and the Rye I hated


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Kipling
Feb 21st, 2013, 05:03 PM
I still have issues with Faulkner. Hard to understand. Catcher and the Rye I hated



Different strokes. Sound & the Fury is often described as one of the most challenging novels to read in all of literature, next to perhaps Ulysses, due to its pervasive use of stream of consciousness narration and characters whose mental processes border on the psychotic, certainly way past dysfunctional. For me, it was a challenge to conquer, but I enjoyed doing it. I like the way Faulkner writes. I find that I mimic his style often in my own writing. By that I mean, I appreciate his ability to capture a deteriorating mind and portray it believeably.

As for the later, I have a novel in progress which is similar in tone to that which which Salinger infuses in Holden, so I do consider it somewhat of an influence. Not so much in content, or relevance, but for its style. I think that Holden remains a very "modern personality" with which most people can intuitively connect.

fantic
Feb 21st, 2013, 05:47 PM
Different strokes. Sound & the Fury is often described as one of the most challenging novels to read in all of literature, next to perhaps Ulysses, due to its pervasive use of stream of consciousness narration and characters whose mental processes border on the psychotic, certainly way past dysfunctional. For me, it was a challenge to conquer, but I enjoyed doing it. I like the way Faulkner writes. I find that I mimic his style often in my own writing. By that I mean, I appreciate his ability to capture a deteriorating mind and portray it believeably.

As for the later, I have a novel in progress which is similar in tone to that which which Salinger infuses in Holden, so I do consider it somewhat of an influence. Not so much in content, or relevance, but for its style. I think that Holden remains a very "modern personality" with which most people can intuitively connect.

Nothing can touch 'Finnegans Wake' :p (granted, some say it isn't even a novel :lol: )

Number19
Feb 21st, 2013, 06:08 PM
I think that Holden remains a very "modern personality" with which most people can intuitively connect.

0:40 in

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Kipling
Feb 21st, 2013, 06:22 PM
0:40 in

n44L0EqNz5Y


Yeah, there are people like "Quagmire", and then there are people who can actually separate wheat from chaff and have opinions about things that go beyond tripe and pure bullshit and recognize the value in literature. Other than the fact that you like Family Guy's humor, and think it's a funny joke, do you have any actual literary basis for criticizing Salinger's book?

And by the way--it's precisely because Holden Caulfield is a self-appointed, "pseudo-intellectual" who's got a profanity-laced opinion on everything from A-to Z twice over that makes him so representative of modern society and its failures......do you know how many Holdens there are, for example, right here on TF? He'd be a model citizen in today's world, dysfunctional and constantly shifting blame onto others, which perhaps does make him an ideal target for ridicule, I suppose, but nonethess a worthy character to study.

Roookie
Feb 21st, 2013, 07:39 PM
Have to include "A Storm of Swords" in my list :worship:

I wanna read The Perks of being a Wallflower next because I loved the movie. :hearts:

Barrie_Dude
Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:31 AM
Different strokes. Sound & the Fury is often described as one of the most challenging novels to read in all of literature, next to perhaps Ulysses, due to its pervasive use of stream of consciousness narration and characters whose mental processes border on the psychotic, certainly way past dysfunctional. For me, it was a challenge to conquer, but I enjoyed doing it. I like the way Faulkner writes. I find that I mimic his style often in my own writing. By that I mean, I appreciate his ability to capture a deteriorating mind and portray it believeably.

As for the later, I have a novel in progress which is similar in tone to that which which Salinger infuses in Holden, so I do consider it somewhat of an influence. Not so much in content, or relevance, but for its style. I think that Holden remains a very "modern personality" with which most people can intuitively connect.

Oh, I do appreciate Faulkner and he is certainly a great author. I did find it rather difficult to comprehend and that is unusual for me.

Perhaps with Catcher in the Rye, I have heard for years how great it is and I was not impressed. I often find it a challenge to like something or someone that I find are trumpeted so loudly and so often. I am a bit of a skeptic so, perhaps, that colors my opinion


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stromatolite
Feb 22nd, 2013, 09:49 AM
Family Guy is probably not the ideal authority on literary matters, but I have to say that Quagmire's take on Catcher in the Rye is pretty much the same as mine, and probably several million others who don’t buy into the idea that it has anything particularly profound to say about teenage angst. I read it at school, didn't like it, and have reread it several times since without revising my opinion.

I suppose it’s not badly written, but that’s not enough for me, especially in a book that is as stultifyingly boring as it is.

Number19
Feb 22nd, 2013, 03:09 PM
^
this.

Maybe I read it too late (mid-20's,) but I couldn't even finish the book.

However, a character having such polarizing responses to it is further proof that it does make for a good study.

Sam L
Dec 23rd, 2013, 01:06 PM
I have updated my list. It keeps changing. :lol: My Goodreads list is a mess. I need to update it too.