Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1932

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Poll Results

Journey To The End Of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline 8
Light In August by William Faulkner 6
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 3
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 2
Radetzky March by Joseph Roth 2
The Memorial by Christopher Isherwood 1
The Pure And The Impure by Colette 1
Laughter In The Dark by Vladimir Nabokov 1
A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys 1
Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome 1
Time, Forward! by Valentin Kataev 1
John Paul's Rock by Frank Parker Day 0
The House On The Dunes by Maxence Van Der Meersch 0
Venusberg by Anthony Powell 0
Family Quarrels by Georges Duhamel 0
Love The Magician by Roberto Arlt 0
Blue Boy by Jean Giono 0
The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz 0
Yaban by Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu 0
Soomustüdruk by Leida Kibuvits 0
The Return of Philip Latinowicz by Miroslav Krleža 0
Conqueror Of The Ten Directions by Chote Praepan 0
A Meeting Of Soulmates by Abdul Muis 0
Plantation Boy by José Lins do Rego 0
Maigret Goes Home by Georges Simenon 0
Family by Ba Jin 0
Dream Of Fair To Middling Women by Samuel Beckett 0
The Undying Torch by Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana 0
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon 0
Stamboul Train by Graham Greene 0
The Soldier And The Gentlewoman by Hilda Vaughan 0
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell 0
To Make My Bread by Grace Lumpkin 0
Sons by Pearl S. Buck 0
Save Me The Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald 0
Come Back To Sorrento by Dawn Powell 0
The Bitter Tea Of General Yen by Grace Zaring Stone 0
The Sleepwalkers by Hermann Broch 0
Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada 0
1919 by John Dos Passos 0
The Siege Of Pleasure by Patrick Hamilton 0
The Master Of The House by Radclyffe Hall 0
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers 0
The Girls Of Radcliffe Hall by Adela Quebec 0
The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson 0
Death To The French by C.S. Forester 0
Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mittford 0
The Bulpington Of Blup by H.G. Wells 0
Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh 0
Journey To The East by Herman Hesse 0

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 11 January 2021 14:44 (three months ago) link

think Celine might have that, certainly wish him well when faced with Brave New World, which I remember as quite the slog

not convinced that The Pure And The Impure is really a novel, more of a non-fiction title? but wiki has it as a novel and also says Colette saw it as her best work so I voted for it, it's pretty great.

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

guilty lols at Dream Of Fair To Middling Women

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

Bardamu ftw.

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

hm, am I really about to vote for Cold Comfort Farm over Journey To The End of The Night, Brave New World and Dream of Fair To Middling Women?

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 11 January 2021 14:47 (three months ago) link

Early Beckett is a subconsciously half-hearted Joyce tribute act for the most part.

pomenitul, Monday, 11 January 2021 14:48 (three months ago) link

yeah, it's sort of charming. but I will save my Beckett vote for when we get to Molloy in 1951 (haven't read Murphy or Mercier and Camier for some reason)

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 11 January 2021 14:52 (three months ago) link

It might have to be Sunset Song although A Glastonbury Romance is kind of astonishing. Also like Journey to the East.

The Bulpington Of Blup - is Wells senile by this stage?

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 11 January 2021 14:55 (three months ago) link

Wow, the more I look there are some real heavy hitters here: Laughter in the Dark is Nabokov finding his stride, Broch. I've not read that particular Faulkner.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 11 January 2021 14:57 (three months ago) link


Roth is magnificent though, just hate that I can't vote for it.

Venusberg is fine.

The Broch is often talked about as a significant post-Austro Empire novel but I don't think it gets going till the 3rd part.

Light in August chewed my brain alive lol. Quite like to try it again someday.

Colette and Nabokov are the only other novels I'd be interested in.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 11 January 2021 16:13 (three months ago) link

The Colette here isn't anywhere near her best. I've not read the Nabokov, nor the Faulkner her, and I'll most certainly correct that w/r/t the former. And 'The Sleepwalkers' I need to read as well.


A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 11 January 2021 16:19 (three months ago) link

Trustafarian humblebrag ahoy but I read A Glastonbury Romance in Fiji, lugging the dirty great monster around in my backpack. The humidity destroyed the binding of the book so much that I left chunks of it in various places on the island.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 11 January 2021 16:45 (three months ago) link

the Zelda Fitzgerald novel has some impressive, even astonishing passages.

I've only read Celine, one of William Burroughs' 10 favourite novels, but I won't vote. I remember feeling that the energy went out of it when he returned from the war and took up his medical practice. It's where the book shades from nihilism into crabbiness.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 11 January 2021 17:28 (three months ago) link

This is a hard one. I've read Cold Comfort Farm, Light in August, Stamboul Train, Brave New World, Have His Carcase, and Peter Duck. They're all books I like but don't love. I don't feel all that qualified to vote as I haven't read the Celine.

Lily Dale, Monday, 11 January 2021 18:11 (three months ago) link

I spent a month or two working as a research assistant on an annotated edition of Light in August, which starts with this paragraph:

Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, ‘I have come from Alabama: a fur piece. All the way from Alabama a-walking. A fur piece.’

Our note helpfully informed the reader that Lena is using regional dialect, not searching for an article of apparel worn about the neck.

Brad C., Monday, 11 January 2021 20:13 (three months ago) link

Light in August rules

horseshoe, Monday, 11 January 2021 20:38 (three months ago) link

his best novel imo

After Invisible Man and a couple of Toni Morrison books, the best 20th cent American novel about race.

Yeah it’s a corker. I also think it’s his best, certainly my favorite.

horseshoe, Monday, 11 January 2021 20:50 (three months ago) link

voted for the celine but i probably should've voted for light in august, which is the only faulkner ive read

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Monday, 11 January 2021 23:43 (three months ago) link

Cold Comfort Farm, Journey To The End Of The Night, Little Man, What Now?, Radetzky March, The Sleepwalkers Laughter In The Dark are all brilliant. Will have to go for Roth, though.
Save Me The Waltz has some wonderful parts, but is a bit of a hodgepodge overall. The Siege Of Pleasure is also great but we already had the trilogy it's part of, 20,000 Streets Under the Sky, in an earlier poll.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 11 January 2021 23:52 (three months ago) link

a friend of my who is from NE Scotland was surprised and disappointed when I told him that the sign on the A90 for the Grassic Gibbon Centre did not point towards "some kind of fun monkey park"

calumerio, Monday, 11 January 2021 23:59 (three months ago) link

ive never read grassic gibbon, bit of an oversight as a scotsman

Fenners' Pen (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:02 (three months ago) link

I missed that on the list: it's also a good one!
Fun Fact: he wrote time travelling naked people science fiction under a different name.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:26 (three months ago) link

This was a great year. I’m going to vote for cold comfort farm because it’s given me some great laugh out loud moments over several readings. Might not be the greatest novel on the list but it is very funny.

There’s a Kenneth Williams read version the BBC did which is more or less the canonical version for me, I think I first heard it as a book on tape as a child.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:41 (three months ago) link

I just read a plot summary of the Glastonbury romance and I definitely want to find some time to read that.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:41 (three months ago) link

I'm impressed that Radclyffe Hall was notorious enough to work as a shortcut to telegraph you were portraying lesbianism - The Girls Of Radcliffe Hall by "Adela Quebec" is actually by Lord Berners. "Ah, straight dude writing girl-on-girl smut" I thought, but plot twist! Berners was gay and the female characters in the book are stand-ins for himself and his lovers.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 11:02 (three months ago) link

Sorry not to see Mauriac's Le Nœud de vipères, only because I will read it in translation shortly.

ive never read grassic gibbon, bit of an oversight as a scotsman

A Scottish friend pressed Grassic Gibbon's trilogy on me, but I didn't read it, and feel guilty to this day.

alimosina, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 15:54 (three months ago) link

I was reading about The Girls of Radcliffe Hall after we were discussing RH in another of these threads, it's an interesting artefact but I'd probably never read it unless I was actually studying queer fic of the period.

I've read a few of these, some notable omissions that I should read but haven't, but my vote will go to Light In August.

emil.y, Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:54 (three months ago) link

Oh! The Radetzky March! There goes my vote.

meticulously crafted, socially responsible, morally upsta (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 12 January 2021 17:24 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

I am going to vote for Time, Forward! because I love a Soviet novel, and I love a project management novel, because it's really good and because I'm the only person I know who's ever read it and that makes me feel all smug.

Surprised you aren't interested in Arlt, xyzzzz.

Tim, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 10:41 (three months ago) link

I've not read it but anytime I've tried Argie Fantabulism (Arlt, Casares, Ocampo) it's never landed for me, except Borges but he is doing other things too.

My tastes are more on the Argie existential spectrum (Sabato, Di Benedetto).

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 11:29 (three months ago) link

I've only read "The Seven Madmen" and god knows that was long enough ago but from what I recall it was more a dingy surrealist/expressionist thing than fantabulist thing but as I'm typing these words I'm not sure I could really mark out a clear difference.

This is all covered at length on the "Serpent's Tail Extraordinary Classics" thread which does not exist.

Tim, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 13:46 (three months ago) link

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

System, Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1933

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 14 January 2021 13:10 (three months ago) link

I’m reading the Radetzky March on the strength of this thread and loving it so far. These threads have been great for picking up reading ideas.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Monday, 25 January 2021 20:31 (two months ago) link

Joseph Roth is just a wonderful writer, one of my favourites.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 07:19 (two months ago) link

Definitely going to be digging into some more stuff, and recommendations?

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 07:22 (two months ago) link

Legend of the Holy Drinker is a tiny masterpiece
The Emperor's Tomb is a semi-sequel to RM
His main translator, Michael Hofmann, has said that all his books work together as a sort of vast mosaic novel of the collapse of Austro-Hungary, and it's kind of true.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 28 January 2021 00:26 (two months ago) link

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