Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Top 11 Novels

It's been a while. This happens to me. About once a year, I stop reading for a month or so. I read newspapers, and sports statistics, and get into the footy finals and stuff like the Olympics and that, and the whole book thing winds down. But, I'll have two new book reviews next week... maybe even three (I'm on a novel, a science book and the Bible all at once).

In the meantime, because nobody asked me to, I'm going to be one of those 'list' people and I'm going to have a stab at my Top 11 novels. I have linked them all to Amazon, just in case you are swept away with interest and feel like buying them for yourselves (but please try to buy them at Readings first). I've also linked the authours to their wiki entry.

1. The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat

2. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

3. One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

4. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

5. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima

6. Journey To The End Of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine

7. The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner

8. L'assamoir by Emile Zola

9. Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis

10. The Tree Of Man by Patrick White

11. Blindness by Jose Saramago

(Apologies to George Orwell, Red Badge Of Courage, every other Dostoyevsky novel, Auto da Fe, some Nabakov books, Enid Blyton, The Enormous Room, Steinbeck, For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Wizard of Oz... you all made the shortlist)

There's only so much one can say about another's list, so instead, please feel free to put your own Top 10 list in the comments (novels only).

If you think my list sucks, well, get fucked.


Melba said...

i came here to say giddy the fuck up perseus, but i see you have already saddled up.

nice work.

now i go back to read the actual post.

squib said...

In the meantime, because nobody asked me to, I'm going to be one of those 'list' people

Bloody typical Melbourne mindset, that

Anyway, I've only read three on your list and I can't stand Patrick White

1. The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
2. The Master and Margarita (which you said mean things about) by Mikhail Bulgakov
3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
4. The Transformation and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
5. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
6. Night by Elie Wiesel
7. My Universities by Maxim Gorky (and the other two in this trilogy)
8. Horton the Elephant by Dr Seuss (and Horton Hears a Who and Green Eggs and Ham)
9. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (and the rest)
10. The Cloven Viscount by Italo Calvino
11. Dr Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World by Mudrooroo

(Others on my shortlist: Mervyn Peake, Henry James, Vonnegut, Paul Gallico, Joseph Conrad, Enid Blyton)

I wish there were more women on my list. Also I feel like I've forgotten someone... umm... umm

Perseus said...

I'm glad you selected Horton from the Dr. Seuss suite. It is clearly his best work. I still have my childhood copy. I've never heard of your 5,6 and 11.

As for women writers, Kathy Acker was shortlisted for me, as was Wuthering Heights and The Waves (Woolf).

squib said...

Bugger I know who I forgot, Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. Hmmm well I'll just leave it as it is

My nanna (one of my favourite people in all the world) used to play a cassette of Horton the Elephant to me (on the other side was Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves which was a bit gruesome) and we used to say 'I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant's faithful one hundred percent' to each other all the time

Anyway, after her funeral I was asked if there was anything in the house I really wanted and I said her CWA cookbook. When I got it, it was bursting with recipes she'd cut out of magazines over the decades and very weirdly in amongst all those was a tiny card with owls on it. Inside, in very poor writing it says 'from meredi when can I come over nanna I ment what said I said what ment 100%'


Tiger in a Tube said...

"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace. . .and that was before he offed himself.

"Quincunx" By Charles Palliser

"Blood Meridian" By Cormac McCarthy

"Cryptomnicum " By Neal Stephenson

"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

"1984" by George Orwell

"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly

"Dark Knight Returns" By Frank Miller

"I am not sleepy and I will not go to bed" By Lauren Child

Apologies to Oliver Jeffers (How to catch a Star), Michael de Larrabeiti (Borribles), and "The Super roo of mungalongaloo"

Would have been included if the criteria was all books
"London, the Biography" by Peter Ackroyd. . .i know i know, not a novel

Perseus said...

Yeah, I would've put in Shakespeare's Collected Works, The Holy Bible, The Dictionary and Lord Byron's collected works into an all time Top 10 'books'.

My Frankenstein review is coming next week. I don;t think you'll like it.

By the way, Lids? I dunno... consistent, yeah, but I reckon Richo or Tuck should have got the nod.

Perseus said...

Oh, and Squib, that story makes me a bit teary!

Tiger in a Tube said...

In: "The Third Policeman" by Flann O'Brien

Out: uh . .nothing. Let's hope the umpire doesn't notice.

Yeah lids was consistant, did lots of the stuff that coaches love. His game in perth coming back on after a dislocated knee cap was good. A Fan award would have given it to Richo . .or maybe Richo.

Look forward to The Frankenstein review. . .I could probably sub "Gullivers Travels" for that in a proto scifi category and not loose to much from the list.

squib said...

Tiger I've got Quincunx and I'm going to read it very soon on holiday

I wanted to put Cormac somewhere but I don't think I've read his best book yet

Melba said...

because i can't refer to my library - mostly all in storage and all i have are books i've bought in the last 9 1/2 months, my list comprises my early influences because they are the ones that stick in my mind:

1. the world according to garp - john irving. if i HAD to choose an all time no. 1 it's between this and my number 2

2. wuthering heights - one of the bronte girls, cannae remember which one.

3. love in the time of cholera - marquez

4. the wind on the plains trilogy - yasar kemal. i'm making this one long book.

5. terms of endearment - larry mc murtry

6. the lion, the witch and the wardrobe - lewis. just that one, the others kind of lost my interest at 11.

7. portnoy's complaint - phillip roth.

8. tess of the d'urbevilles - hardy

9. animal farm - orwell

10. lord of the flies - william golding

my 11 is snugglepot and cuddlepie. i read the blyton extensively, but s and c was just too gorgeous.

Tiger in a Tube said...

I read blyton extensively as well. . .but. . can't bring myself to put it in a list because I'm a snob.

@Melba -> reading Portnoy's Complaint now. That's soooome diatribe.

Perseus said...

Christopher Hitchens wrote a SCATHING review of Roth's latest book - it's here if you want a look:


Melba said...

my mother is working her way through the complete roth oeuvre. i haven't read any of his later ones bar a recent'ish memoire about his father (so, not ficiton) and it was ok, but i'm wondering whether most authors, like most/all sports people, have only a finite number of goodly writings in them. there are exceptions to the rule but i can't be bothered trying to think of any now.

i'm very taken with geraldine brooks at the moment and think i will explore all her fiction. hemingway is another one i want to read everything of.

WitchOne said...

Aww Squib, that's gorgeous!!

I can't order my list, it all depends on how I feel at the time but these are favourites I will never part with.

The Compleat I Hate to Cook Book - Peg Bracken (possibly not a novel however get your hands on a copy and read it like one, you'll be surprised.)

A Woman Of Substance - Barbara Taylor Bradford

1421 - Gavin Menzies (also possibly not a novel, depends who you listen to)

Making the Cut - Mohamed Khadra

Crown of Star series - Kate Elliott

Clan of the Cave Bear (before it got all weird) - Jean M Auel

Sunrunner Series - Melanie Rawn

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - Stephen King

Otherland series - Tad Williams

Eragon - Christopher Poalini

The Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books - Enid Blyton

Can't think of any more that are adult related. Everything I read is for kids these days!

Perseus said...

Gee Enid Blyton's getting a good run here.

Have you ever read Mr. Pinkwhistle as an adult? PEDO ALERT!

Melba said...

witchone, ME TOO WITH CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. especially before it all got weird.

loved it.