Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1920

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Welcome to the 1920's!

Poll Results

The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton 8
Women In Love by D.H. Lawrence 3
The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust 3
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis 1
The Wreath by Sigrid Undset 1
A Voyage To Arcturus by David Linsday 1
This Side Of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald 1
The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie 1
The Metal Monster by Abraham Merritt 1
The Hands Of Orlac by Maurice Renard 0
Clérambault by Romain Rolland 0
Pierre & Luce by Romain Rolland 0
Chéri by Colette 0
The Tower Of The Seven Hunchbacks by Emilio Carrere 0
Ariane, Jeune Fille Russe by Claude Anet 0
The Vanity Girl by Compton Mackenzie 0
Wallenstein by Alfred Doblin 0
The Mestiza by Engracio L. Valmonte 0
Pain And Suffering by Balai Pustaka 0
Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson 0
The Big Wedding by Olav Duun 0
Lovci Orchidejí by František Flos 0
The Journal of Čarnojević by Miloš Crnjanski 0
Ganapati by Chilakamarti Lakshmi Narasimham 0
Det Skriker Fra Kverrvilljuvet I by Mikkjel Fønhus 0
Confession De Minuit by Georges Duhamel 0
Bør Børson Jr. by Johan Falkeberget 0
The Tragic Bride by Francis Brett Young 0
The Top Of The World by Ethel M. Dell 0
A Game Of Chance by Arthur Wright 0
The Story Of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting 0
Poor White by Sherwood Anderson 0
Miss Lulu Bett by Zona Gale 0
Jill The Reckless by P.G. Wodehouse 0
Hearts Of Three by Jack London 0
Glinda Of Oz by L. Frank Baum 0
Claimed by Francis Stevens 0
The Golden Book Of Springfield by Vachel Linsday 0
Alf's Button by William Aubrey Darlington 0
The Ancient Allan by H Rider Haggared 0
The Rescue by Joseph Conrad 0
The Loudwater Mystery by Edgar Jepson 0
The Lost Girl by D.H. Lawrence 0
Jack O' Judegment by Edgar Wallace 0
In Chancery by John Galsworth 0
The Great Impersonation by E. Phillips Oppenheim 0
The First Sir Percy by Baroness Orczy 0
The Daffodil Mystery by Edgar Wallace 0
Bulldog Drummond by Sapper 0
The Dream Room by Erich Maria Remarque 0

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:22 (eight months ago) link

Glad I voted for Proust in the previous one, so I can vote for Fitzgerald's best novel here with a clear conscience.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 27 November 2020 13:24 (eight months ago) link

Seven hunchbacks, in this economy???

Funny that Remarque, Rolland, Fitzgerald and Christie all arrive right on cue for the 1920's.

Voted Wharton.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:26 (eight months ago) link

That first Bulldog Drummond is chauvinistic and frothing-at-the-mouth anti-German but it has does have a pulpy energy that kept me entertained.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:27 (eight months ago) link

Yeah. Two Rolland's no less (Clerambault clearly my favourite). I enjoyed Chéri, too. Could never get with Renard. xp

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 27 November 2020 13:30 (eight months ago) link

I'm expecting myself to do a little better in terms of number of books read from the '20s, but obviously not yet, sigh.

emil.y, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:41 (eight months ago) link

Dream Novel = Traumnovel = Eyes Wide Shut innit?

thought i would have read a few of these, only one i think I have done is Dr Dolittle.

Have seen a few films of things though

think I have these 2 unread A Voyage To Arcturus by David Linsday
The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton

surprised Baroness Orczy is there cos I thought she was decades earlier. THought she was actually a writer frm an earlier century

Stevolende, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:53 (eight months ago) link

may have read Cheri though.
picking up books from charity shops etc out of step with my reading speed. Know I read one by her and i think it was that

Stevolende, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:54 (eight months ago) link

Orczy's been going since 1899, tho no one has ever commented on her selections in these before. At the risk of sounding too much like the UK pol thread regular I am, I have little interest in reading about the daring adventures of some counter-revolutionary toff. I do enjoy writing out her name tho because it has orc in it.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 27 November 2020 14:12 (eight months ago) link

I liked the film well enough, but I didn't realize until reading the book that The Age of Innocence is comic (or at least, heavily ironized)!

I bought Women in Love on holiday, and thought that I should read The Rainbow first for background. I ended up loving The Rainbow, and thinking of Women in Love as a long appendix, where all the themes have become heavily, wearily underlined.

I'm going to start on The Guermantes Way when the snow comes.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 27 November 2020 15:20 (eight months ago) link

Boringly: Proust, yet again.

pomenitul, Friday, 27 November 2020 15:23 (eight months ago) link

"The Intermittences of the Heart" is one of the absolute high points of the novel for me.

umarell of the year (jmm), Friday, 27 November 2020 15:33 (eight months ago) link

Alf's Button is quite a title.

This is Wharton for me.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:09 (eight months ago) link

These polls are interesting reminders of how many popular novels are almost totally forgotten.

umarell of the year (jmm), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:12 (eight months ago) link

I haven’t read any of these as per, but the poll made me remember I have Migrations by Miloš Crnjanski sitting on my bookshelf upstairs and I need to read it already. Thanks!

scampus fugit (gyac), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:12 (eight months ago) link

I could totally do a 'bands/artists with one special album that will always mean the world to you' with Fitzgerald. Not read anything other than the Gatsby and, because it is the godhead, I am basically scared to even try.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:15 (eight months ago) link

Pain and Suffering sounds like a fun read! The author listed above is actually its publisher, it's the "first modern Indonesian novel", you learn something new every day...

Neil S, Friday, 27 November 2020 16:29 (eight months ago) link

The Sinclair Lewis book was the best selling book of 1921, the Wharton the 4th best selling.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Friday, 27 November 2020 17:52 (eight months ago) link

Fitzgerald's best novel here

challop of all challops! conventional wisdom that FSF finds himself with Gatsby is correct

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 27 November 2020 18:15 (eight months ago) link

Anyway it's Wharton for me though I've read almost nothing else on this list, there are few novels of the era I like more that aren't other Wharton novels

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 27 November 2020 18:16 (eight months ago) link

Also I'm intrigued about whether it's a tower in which seven hunchbacks are roommates or whether it's a literal acrobatic act where seven hunchbacks stand one on the next's shoulders and sing and tell jokes

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 27 November 2020 18:17 (eight months ago) link

Whartons's novel is so devastating that when I reread in 2017 I had to put it down every dozen pages to catch a breath.

Patriotic Goiter (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 27 November 2020 19:08 (eight months ago) link

ok that's next on my list.

ledge, Friday, 27 November 2020 19:52 (eight months ago) link

Yeah think I'll go w that over The Guermantes Way, which is best for Charlus, later for the rest of his fucking family and their 100 closest friends etc. Not that some of it isn't brill etc but still.

dow, Friday, 27 November 2020 20:50 (eight months ago) link

Re:Orczy - she's an odd one because she's absolutely terrible in every possible way - she's cliched, her characters have no discernable motivation and make no sense, her politics are awful, she has no idea how to write dialogue so her characters mostly walk around gardens by moonlight being too deep in their feelings to talk, she recycles bits of prose that were bad to start with - and yet her books are kind of entertaining.

The Great Impersonation is also a good one if you are looking for an adventure novel that is dumb and bad but also kind of fun. I got really into reading that kind of book on Project Gutenberg when I was in France fifteen years ago and had limited access to books in English.

Lily Dale, Friday, 27 November 2020 20:54 (eight months ago) link

Wharton, though there are at least 4 or 5 other very good things here.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 28 November 2020 00:30 (eight months ago) link

Dream Room is not Dream Novel, which is by Schnitzler and older than this.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 28 November 2020 00:31 (eight months ago) link

It's a terrible title, but The Metal Monster is excellent weird SF, mixing Haggard/Burroughs adventure with an eerie vision of alien distributed intelligence ... some of the visionary set pieces are startlingly out of scale with the human characters.

Brad C., Saturday, 28 November 2020 15:29 (eight months ago) link

Apparently a favourite of Lovecraft too.

koogs, Saturday, 28 November 2020 15:43 (eight months ago) link

AKA A Merritt, a master of effects, knowing how to ride the flow of his visions and interests---also an editor, and all in all I think of him as like a healthier, incl. longer-lived, though maybe less compelling Poe---if you like him, also check, on this list, maybe even more fan-renowned outcat classick A Voyage To Arcturus by the elusive David Lindsay, who reads like more of a visionary-as-campy-crackpot, of a kind Lovecraft may have felt drawn to as well.

dow, Saturday, 28 November 2020 18:23 (eight months ago) link

Wharton or Kristin Lavransdatter here

abcfsk, Saturday, 28 November 2020 20:51 (eight months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 29 November 2020 00:01 (eight months ago) link

I think I’ve only read this side of paradise but I love it. it introduced me to the word “autochthonous” which I have since encountered basically only in the medical literature (specifically infectious diseases)

k3vin k., Sunday, 29 November 2020 09:20 (eight months ago) link

Gene Wolfe uses it a bit.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Sunday, 29 November 2020 11:15 (eight months ago) link

Harold Bloom was famously a big fan of Voyage to Arcturus: “I have read it literally hundreds of times, indeed obsessively I have read several copies of it to shreds.” The much-shredded book has, he says, “affected me personally with more intensity and obsessiveness than all the works of greater stature and resonance of our time.”

gravalicious, Sunday, 29 November 2020 12:24 (eight months ago) link

challop of all challops! conventional wisdom that FSF finds himself with Gatsby is correct

― Guayaquil (eephus!), vrijdag 27 november 2020 19:15 (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

Guilty as charged :) I know it's not a popular opinion, and 'This Side of Paradise' certainly has its flaws, but it's my fave of him, and I find it eternally re-readable. Gatsby 'perfect' and fully formed, with this one he's still finding his way, which appeals to me.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Sunday, 29 November 2020 13:37 (eight months ago) link

Read Cheri earlier this year and it's ✔️✔️✔️

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 29 November 2020 14:09 (eight months ago) link

I was a bit hesitant to vote Voyage to Arcturus - it's singularly and impressively strange but I haven't read it in years and its advocates oversell it a bit (tho' this could be my allergy to allegory - even a cosmic-gnostic Bunyan can't quite get me over the taste coming through). Did vote for it in the end because the few other books that I've read here seem a bit staid in comparison - I know how to read them.

woof, Sunday, 29 November 2020 14:16 (eight months ago) link

I saw The Ancient Allan and assumed it must be Quartermain, now seeing its the 10th book about him. Hadn't realised how much of a pulp repeat character he was.

Stevolende, Sunday, 29 November 2020 14:36 (eight months ago) link

I read Cheri and The last of Cheri about ten years ago and I remember absolutely nothing, plot summary rings no bells and I was even surprised when I learned the title character is male :(

ledge, Sunday, 29 November 2020 17:21 (eight months ago) link

I apparently read Age Of Innocence a few years ago and same.

koogs, Sunday, 29 November 2020 18:25 (eight months ago) link

I saw the film a couple of decades ago. I know I picked up th ebook but haven't looked at it.

Stevolende, Sunday, 29 November 2020 18:27 (eight months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 30 November 2020 00:01 (seven months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1921

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 30 November 2020 17:05 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

Midway through The Age of Innocence, it's hard going! Full of awful people who have used their wealth to incarcerate themselves inside a dreadful prison. There is a measure of irony in Wharton's prose which suggests some amusement in her gaze, mine is just one of horror.

ledge, Monday, 8 February 2021 09:41 (five months ago) link

Well it's a masterpiece obviously, May Welland gets a raw deal though. Would be interested to know others' thoughts on Newland and the ending - maybe I'm being harsh but I think it's another example of his selfishness and cowardice.

ledge, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 11:11 (five months ago) link

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