Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1942

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh 3
The High Window by Raymond Chandler 3
The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck 2
The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers 2
Death And The Dancing Footman by Ngaio Marsh 1
Gobbolino, The Witch's Cat by Ursula Moray Williams 1
The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy 1
The Silence Of The Sea by Vercors 0
Ciske De Rat by Piet Bakker 0
Embers by Sándor Márai 0
The Family Of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela 0
Bobri by Janez Jalen 0
From Father To Son by Mika Waltari 0
No Coffin For The Corpse by Clayton Rawson 0
Beyond This Horizon by Robert A. Heinlein 0
Beyond The Farthest Star by Edgar Rice Burroughs 0
The Sword And The Sickle by Mulk Raj Anand 0
Saturnin by Zdeněk Jirotka 0
Oliver VII by Antal Szerb 0
Maigret And The Hotel Majestique by Georges Simenon 0
The Heart Of Jade by Salvador de Madariaga 0
A Little Lower Than The Angels by Virginia Sorensen 0
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis 0
Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier 0
The Gates Of Aulis by Gladys Schmitt 0
Now And On Earth by Jim Thompson 0
The Pea Pickers by Eve Langley 0
Sophat by Rim Kin 0
The Advantures Of Superman by George Lowther 0
Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmark 0
Dragon Seed by Pearl S. Buck 0
Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair 0
Meet Me In St.Louis by Sally Benson 0
Phantom Lady by Cornell Woolrich 0
The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas 0
The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie 0
Darkness Falls From The Air by Nigel Balchin 0
Five On A Treasure Island by Enid Blyton 0
Rocket To The Mourge by Anthony Boucher 0


Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 February 2021 11:57 (four months ago) link

Another year without an obvious contender. Confession: the obvious choice was going to be Albert Camus' "The Stranger" but wikipedia rightly admonished me that that's a novella.

Voting for The Seventh Cross, which is an exciting German resistance novel. Really need to check out Gobbolino, The Witch's Cat tho.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 February 2021 11:59 (four months ago) link

I have read Gobbolino, The Witch's Cat. And nothing else here.

ledge, Monday, 15 February 2021 12:23 (four months ago) link

is he a good cat

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 February 2021 13:39 (four months ago) link

If you're 12 then sure.

ledge, Monday, 15 February 2021 14:07 (four months ago) link

The only one I've read is the Christie. Not one of her better ones. One of those murder methods where it would have been easier and cleaner just to shoot the person.

wasdnuos (abanana), Monday, 15 February 2021 15:28 (four months ago) link

Apologies for the obvious pvmic but describing L’Étranger as a ‘novella’ seems very Anglo-centric to me. I’ve never seen it described as anything other than a ‘roman’, at most a ‘roman court’. Indeed, these distinctions are far less meaningful in French.

pomenitul, Monday, 15 February 2021 15:41 (four months ago) link

Fully support any wiki vandalism on your part in service of this stance.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 February 2021 15:45 (four months ago) link

Noted. :)

pomenitul, Monday, 15 February 2021 16:47 (four months ago) link

The Moon is Down (which gets my vote - havent read much this year) is only about 150 pages.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Monday, 15 February 2021 16:56 (four months ago) link

I wonder if the term 'novella' made more sense back when paradigmatic novels (e.g. Victorian-era) were often much longer than they are today. Most of the 'notable examples' of novellas just seem like novels now: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella#Notable_examples

jmm, Monday, 15 February 2021 17:07 (four months ago) link

The High Window by Raymond Chandler -- I know I've read this but buggered if I can remember what happens in it

The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck -- this is very good, but yes, the same size as The Stranger

Phantom Lady by Cornell Woolrich -- more Woolrich nuts plotting, good fun

Darkness Falls From The Air by Nigel Balchin -- excellent downbeat Blitz-in-London novel

Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh -- this is very funny and at least less incredibly racist than Basil Seal's other adventures in Black Mischief

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis -- Lewis with his thumb on the scales again

The Silence Of The Sea by Vercors -- French Resistance novella which is definitely even shorter than The Stranger, and is also quietly impressive (French dude and his niece have a cultured German officer billeted in their house)

Embers by Sándor Márai -- absolutely love this melancholy book

Maigret And The Hotel Majestique by Georges Simenon -- very good, but why did they pick this and not one of the other 412 Simenons published this year I wonder

Oliver VII by Antal Szerb -- two Hungarian masterpieces in one list? Wow

Saturnin by Zdeněk Jirotka -- Czech version of Jeeves & Wooster except that Jeeves is a bomb-throwing anarchist; fun

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 15 February 2021 23:58 (four months ago) link

The war and paper rationing made it hard to get any book published in 1942. No wonder novella-length fiction pops up in this list more often than usual. I've read almost none of these. Most I've never heard of.

I voted for Waugh over Steinbeck.

Compromise isn't a principle, it's a method (Aimless), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 00:09 (four months ago) link

Especially in France where stuff like the Vercors was illegal and published clandestinely

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 06:00 (four months ago) link

Surprised by some things being new here like The Robe and Meet Me In St Louis since I would have 5hought them earlier.
& some things being this early. Donovan 's Brain cos it was filmed in the 60s with Hitler's brain being the transplant wasn't it? Then transformed into being about another appendage in a song by the Angry Samoans.

I think I started bu didn't finish the Screwtape Letters about the demon's messages home to his dad or whatever. A cunning ruse of a way for an Xian to talk about human foibles innit.

I don't remember seeing that Jim Thompson title before. Thought I was familiar with a lot of his work.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 07:14 (four months ago) link

was wondering if i should read the screwtape letters in a spirit of know your enemy but life's too short, also what's the point in being enemies with someone who died 60 years ago.

ledge, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 11:01 (four months ago) link

James, Maigret In Exile was the other Simenon they listed. I have no real rationale for which one I chose.

Saturnin by Zdeněk Jirotka -- Czech version of Jeeves & Wooster except that Jeeves is a bomb-throwing anarchist; fun

Ok, sold!

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 11:09 (four months ago) link

I haven't read many of these.

Of the 75 Maigret novels there are very few that aren't thoroughly entertaining, and this one is no exception. For detective series quantity + quality, Simenon is the world champion.

The High Window is not as good as the first two of Chandler's much shorter detective series, but it's a strong entry and gets my vote here.

Brad C., Tuesday, 16 February 2021 16:15 (four months ago) link

screwtape letters is lewis at his most infuriating. the thing is just so cold and airless, like twain’s letters from the earth if it had been written by someone with no sense of humor.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 18:00 (four months ago) link

I've only read the Chandler and didn't find it hugely memorable.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 21:18 (four months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 00:01 (four months ago) link

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

System, Thursday, 18 February 2021 00:01 (four months ago) link

Embers is good but didn't feel like voting for that

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 18 February 2021 07:40 (four months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1943

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:09 (four months ago) link


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