Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1931

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Poll Results

The Waves by Virgina Woolf 3
Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 3
After Leaving Mr.Mackenzie by Jean Rhys 3
Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome 1
The Strange Case Of Peter The Lett by Georges Simenon 1
Sanctuary by William Faulkner 1
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett 1
The Dream Life Of Balso Snell by Nathanael West 1
Married Life by David Vogel 0
One Day In October by Sigurd Hoel 0
The Bridal Canopy by Shmuel Yosef Agnon 0
To levende og en død by Sigrud Christiansen 0
The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque 0
Mr. Tot Aĉetas Mil Okulojn by Jean Forge 0
Will O' The Wisp by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle 0
The Forbbiden Kingdom by J. Slauerhoff 0
Friends And Relations by Elizabeth Bowen 0
Gaban by Munchi Premchand 0
Marketa Lazarová by Vladislav Vančura 0
Mort De Dama by Llorenç Villalonga i Pons 0
Mapp And Lucia by E.F. Benson 0
Laura a la ciutat dels sants by Miquel Llor 0
Las Lanzas Coloradas by Arturo Uslar Pietri 0
Nemoe Karma by I Wayan Gobiah 0
The Little Golden Calf by Ilf and Petrov 0
The Wanderers by Vyacheslav Shishkov 0
Gog by Giovanni Papini 0
La Bandera by Pierre Mac Orlan 0
The Floating Admiral by The Detection Club 0
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck 0
Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr 0
The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor 0
Black No More by George S. Schuyler 0
Back Street by Fannie Hurst 0
American Beauty by Edna Ferber 0
The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier 0
The Country Of Carnival by Jorge Amado 0
John Henry by Roark Bradford 0
Roman Holiday by Upton Sinclair 0
Shadows On The Rock by Willa Cather 0
The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers 0
Boy by James Hanley 0
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West 0
Adèle And Co by Dornford Yates 0
Man-Shy by Frank Dalby Davison 0
Strange Brother by Blair Niles 0
Spacehounds Of IPC by E.E. Smith 0
Slaves Today by George S. Schuyler 0
Afternoon Men by Anthony Powell 0

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 8 January 2021 13:23 (three months ago) link

Very sad to discover that, knowing already that I mix up Arnold Bennett and Alan Benett, I am now further cursed by the discovery that I had also conflated Arnold Bennett and Anthony Powell.

The Dream Life Of Balso Snell is barely a novella imo but wikipedia lists it as a novel - I included it anyway because it's a pretty insane work, absurdist and darkly funny. Some internalized anti-semitism in there, mind.

I have not read Boy but did encounter a short story by James Hanley, which I found deeply repulsive but also impressive - just a complete orgy of gore written by someone clearly traumatized by WWI. "It's good because it's transgressive" is an argument with very little merit in 2021 but, within Hanley's historical context, I gotta say, respect.

I read a book of Papini short stories edited by Jorge Luís Borges that was very eerie and melancholic. The man himself was a fascist, alas.

Simenon wrote eight fucking Maigret novels in his first year so I picked the one that Le Monde chose as one of the best novels of the century, sorry if I omitted your fave.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 8 January 2021 13:33 (three months ago) link

I've only read the West and Hammett, both of which are okay, but no doubt several of the others here are better---bummer to recognize so many other titles and/or authors parading by.

dow, Friday, 8 January 2021 15:47 (three months ago) link

The Good Earth won Buck a Nobel Prize but I have never felt the slightest inclination to open it

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 8 January 2021 15:54 (three months ago) link

I feel sure the best novel here is the Woolf or one of the others I haven't read.

Sanctuary is as close as Faulkner got to a hardboiled crime novel. It's more comparable to Cain than to the Black Mask boys.

I like The Glass Key. It's not as well-constructed as The Maltese Falcon but it shows Hammett reaching for a less pulpy approach, while at the same time writing his harshest scenes of violence. The central relationship between a dirty politician and his fixer (along with some elements of Red Harvest) was the basis for the Coens brothers' Miller's Crossing.

Castle Skull is another example of the mix of gothic and detective genres that Carr wouldn't perfect until the early Dr. Fell and Sir Henry Merrivale books.

The Five Red Herrings is one of the better Sayers mysteries.

Simenon was good from the start, but the best Maigret novels came later.

Brad C., Friday, 8 January 2021 16:13 (three months ago) link

Anyone who votes for anyone other than Jean Rhys will be voting for someone that I am not voting for.

Wikipedia says: "From 1960, and for the rest of her life, Rhys lived in Cheriton Fitzpaine in Devon that she once described as 'a dull spot which even drink can't enliven much.'"

I grew up not far from there, and I still think I might come across people who remember her. I haven't yet. One day I'll go drinking in Cheriton and see if I can locate her gloriously malignant spirit.

Tim, Friday, 8 January 2021 16:34 (three months ago) link

Love the place names in that part of the world. I see that nearby there is Stockleigh English and Upton Hellions

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Friday, 8 January 2021 16:55 (three months ago) link

Marketa Lazarová by Vladislav Vančura

Wondering if this is as oblique as the film version.

fish quits shock (Matt #2), Friday, 8 January 2021 18:27 (three months ago) link

Rhys. Powell's first novel is fine but slight. Must read Sanctuary.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 8 January 2021 19:10 (three months ago) link

i was assigned the good earth in middle school and then AGAIN two years later in high school. despite that i can't really remember it at all. i wonder if it still gets assigned much these days?

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 8 January 2021 19:13 (three months ago) link

I haven't read any of these. The Floating Admiral sounds interesting.

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 8 January 2021 19:23 (three months ago) link

Night Flight is gorgeous. About a mail pilot who gets caught in a storm, climbs above it, and then realizes he's not going to be able to land.

Lily Dale, Friday, 8 January 2021 21:56 (three months ago) link

Hard agree - Night Flight is beautiful.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 8 January 2021 22:18 (three months ago) link

Woolf, yet again.

pomenitul, Friday, 8 January 2021 22:52 (three months ago) link

Content warning to anyone thinking about reading Sanctuary that it's intensely violent and contains a graphic rape scene.

Lily Dale, Friday, 8 January 2021 23:08 (three months ago) link

The Waves vs Spacehounds Of IPC

alimosina, Saturday, 9 January 2021 01:15 (three months ago) link

i'm happy to see love for night flight, the opening pages -- describing what it's like to fly for hours in the darkness and then finally see the dim light of a city pop up -- contain some of my favorite writing ever.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Saturday, 9 January 2021 05:29 (three months ago) link

i hate V Woolf but it's hard not to vote for the wavs

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 9 January 2021 05:31 (three months ago) link

Hanley's BOY is excellent but brutal and one of the saddest novels i can think of.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 9 January 2021 11:50 (three months ago) link

Do love de Saint-Exupery. he's so much more than the Little prince's author ho ho.
I think the premise of taht comes from him getting lost while flying the mail doesn't it?

The Road Back by Remarque is presumably somewhat connected to All Quiet on the Western Front? though I thought the protagonist of that didn't survive.
again not come across a lot of these. I thought I might be more familiar from a certain point and assumed that was earlier than this. would have at least come across some of these titles

Stevolende, Saturday, 9 January 2021 16:50 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 10 January 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 11 January 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1932

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 11 January 2021 14:46 (three months ago) link

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