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Joined: 24 Oct 2008
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:15 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

My top five would be:

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

George Orwell, 1984

Knut Hamsun, Hunger

Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind

Halldor Laxness, The Atom Station

Of the five, Moby Dick was the best.

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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864

Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Top 5 from last year:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Not sure why I didnít recognise this at my last reading for the towering masterpiece that it clearly is.

Sketches From a Hunterís Album by Ivan Turgenev
I had read a few of these before, but I had never till now attempted the whole set. Turgenevís voice all too easily gets drowned out by his titanic contemporaries and compatriots, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, and thatís a shame: his voice is quiet but firm, humane, and intensely lyrical, and deserves to be heard.

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
Another re-read, but this time, I think I caught something of what Lawrence was attempting. †In this and in its predecessor, The Rainbow, Lawrence attempted to depict the intangible and elusive undercurrents of thought, feelings and sensations in our inner lives. I donít find DHL an easy writer either to read or even to like, but itís worth making the attempt, at least, to enter fictional worlds that are essentially alien to oneís sensibilities.

Flashmanís Lady by George Macdonald FraserWe often hear complaints that genre literature isnít taken seriously by the mainstream. I wonder if George Macdonald Fraser minded much. I suppose the Flashman novels are in the ďhistoric adventure storyĒ genre, but frankly, who cares? This is the 6th novel I have read so far in the series, and they are all superb.

King Lear by Oor Wullie I normally try to read a Shakespeare play each month, but one month last year, I read the two texts of Lear separately: one is a revision of the other, and Shakespeare is unlikely to have envisaged performances of conflated versions. The comparison was fascinating.

See my blog:

(Go on! - You'd like it! †- Honest!)
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