Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1943

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil 7
Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles 4
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse 3
Double Indemnity by James M. Cain 2
The Picts And The Martyrs by Arthur Ransome 2
The Makioka Sisters by Natsume Soseki 2
Our Lady Of The Flowers by Jean Genet 2
Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch 1
The Small Back Room by Nigel Balchin 1
The Ministry Of Fear by Graham Greene 1
The Man On Horseback by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle 0
Ashes, Ashes by René Barjavel 0
Les Amitiés Particulières by Roger Peyrefitte 0
Ten Years Of Marriage by Su Qing 0
The Story Of Marie Powell by Robert Graves 0
The Signpost by Arnot Robertson 0
Monsieur Ouine by Georges Bernanos 0
Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer 0
Rhapodis Of Nubia by Naguib Mahfouz 0
Astral City by Francisco Cândido Xavier 0
Mariona Rebull by Ignasi Augusti 0
Malpertuis by Jean Ray 0
Vardananq by Derenik Demirchian 0
Iceland's Bell by Halldór Laxness 0
The Violent Land by Jorge Amado 0
Earth's Last Citadel by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner 0
Sunshine Follows Rain by Margit Soderholm 0
Perelandra by C.S. Lewis 0
Journey In The Dark by Martin Flavin 0
The Human Comedy by William Saroyan 0
Gideon Planish by Sinclair Lewis 0
The Forest And The Fort by Hervey Allen 0
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber 0
The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft 0
She Came To Stay by Simone de Beauvoir 0
Near To The Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector 0
The Lady In The Lake by Raymond Chandler 0
Laura by Vera Caspary 0
The Looking-Glass by William March 0
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie 0
Mary Poppins Opens The Door by P.L. Travers 0
Keep The Home Guard Turning by Compton Mackenzie 0
Hungry Hill by Daphne du Maurier 0
Five Go Adventuring Again by Enid Blyton 0
Arrival And Departure by Arthur Koestler 0
Wide Is The Gate by Upton Sinclair 0
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith 0
The Gremlins by Roald Dahl 0


Daniel_Rf, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:08 (two weeks ago) link

Tempted by Two Serious Ladies.

I really need to read the Lispector.

horseshoe, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:10 (two weeks ago) link

The first sub-category wikipedia throws up is "debut novels of the year", meaning those usually get listed at the top. This time that's Leiber, Dahl, Lispector, Genet and de Beauvoir - I don't like all of those but wow, what a vintage.

You might point out that, distinction between novel and novella being rather hazy, still it is insane that The Stranger wouldn't qualify as a novel but The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward does. You will get no argument from me, but *throws hands up in the air, gives sad smile* wikipedia says it's a short novel, I am but a lowly bureaucrat, the orders come from on high, they are not for the likes of you and I to discuss. But if it's any comfort, wikipedia does think The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is a novella.

Voting Musil, of course.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:14 (two weeks ago) link

Write-in for Louis-René des Forêts's Les Mendiants.

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:15 (two weeks ago) link

Astral City is a novel by the Brazilian spiritist medium Francisco Cândido Xavier. First published in 1944,[1] it tells the story of André Luiz, a prominent doctor who lived in the city of Rio de Janeiro. After dying, André Luiz finds himself neither in Heaven nor Hell, depicted in the teachings he had received during his Catholic upbringing, but rather in the so-called umbral, a region where less-than-perfect souls face the consequences of their infelicitous actions while alive. After a while, He is able to perceive the presence of Clarêncio, a friendly spirit who had been trying to help him all along during his time in umbral. Clarêncio then takes him to Nosso Lar, a spirit colony, or astral city, where André becomes acquainted with the intricacies of afterlife and reincarnation.

Did include this one for the lols, but couldn't be moved to also include 1943's other major work of mumbjo-jumbo quackery, The Fountainhead.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:19 (two weeks ago) link

I've read a fair few Lispectors and adore her writing, but not got to this one yet. My copy of The Man Without Qualities has sat on my shelf unread for some years - one day I will climb that mountain. As it stands, Genet gets my vote.

emil.y, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:21 (two weeks ago) link

couldn't be moved to also include 1943's other major work of mumbjo-jumbo quackery, The Fountainhead.

Good call. *barf*

emil.y, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:22 (two weeks ago) link

Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs is très classique, but I'm tempted to vote for Halldór Laxness here. Read 'Iceland's Bell' last year and was left in awe.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 19 February 2021 16:34 (two weeks ago) link

> Five Go Adventuring Again by Enid Blyton

run out of title ideas aready?

koogs, Friday, 19 February 2021 16:51 (two weeks ago) link

Double Indemnity and Laura are overshadowed by classic movie versions, but both are excellent noir; The Lady in the Lake is substantially better than its gimmicky film adaptation and for a change takes Marlowe out of LA for some of the action.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, written in 1927, is lively early HPL, used by Roger Corman as a substitute for Poe material in The Haunted Palace. Conjure Wife is slight but a nice example of Leiber's influential approach to modern fantasy.

voted for The Man Without Qualities

Brad C., Friday, 19 February 2021 17:36 (two weeks ago) link

Have just started that, so will go instead w Two Serious Ladies, eerie-funny-eerie quest-via-fients, is my remaining impression of reading it thirty-odd years ago (might be off, but something like that). Bowles is fragile and mighty, ov white dwarf pull and light.

dow, Friday, 19 February 2021 18:04 (two weeks ago) link

Kuttner & Moore one of the invaluable fantasy-sf teams, but, as w several other heavies here, haven't read this particular book.

dow, Friday, 19 February 2021 18:06 (two weeks ago) link

I went Two Serious Ladies, too! Great, creepy, odd read.

horseshoe, Friday, 19 February 2021 18:07 (two weeks ago) link

near to the wild heart is an excellent debut but she bettered it imo

also the only book i've read on this list lol

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Friday, 19 February 2021 18:07 (two weeks ago) link

(xxp Kuttner, Moore were also remarkable under single by-lines, esp. her, though not always clear who contributed what, uncredited, to each other's solo joints.)

dow, Friday, 19 February 2021 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

As I was reading "The Glass Bead Game" I thought that I should be hating it but I thought it was great. I'll give it my vote here (though I haven't read many of these)

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:02 (two weeks ago) link

Glass Bead Game gets my vote, though another day it might go to Musil.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Friday, 19 February 2021 19:40 (two weeks ago) link

I really enjoyed Glass Bead Game but suspect I'd be cooler on it now. Not read Musil, to my shame. This will be Denton Welch for me I think.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:07 (two weeks ago) link

I voted Musil, although when I was reading it several years ago I posted this:

I have been crawling and clawing my way past the 1000 page mark of The Man Without Qualities.

atm, Walter and Clarisse keep threatening to do something interesting, but can't seem to get the hang of it. Ulrich has been gabbling a lot to his sister and he seems like an awful sad sack now, whose mind shuffles along and trips itself like a person wearing shoes whose laces have been tied to each other. Everyone is impossibly high-flown and ineffectual. Makes for tough sledding to read about them.

Compromise isn't a principle, it's a method (Aimless), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:22 (two weeks ago) link

Near To The Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector -- not her best book, but still astonishing

The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft -- hadn't thought of this as a novella, just as a story; effective Lovecraft, which sort of puts it beyond criticism as by any actual reasonable prose analysis he was a terrible writer AND YET

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain -- one of the greatest crime novels

The Lady In The Lake by Raymond Chandler -- very good but not great CHandler IMO

Laura by Vera Caspary -- the archest book I have ever read

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles -- an excellent book, but I always love Chapter 1 more than the rest, kind of wish it had continued in that vein throughout

Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch -- wonderful, idiosyncratic writer, wonderful book

The Ministry Of Fear by Graham Greene -- another of his entertainments, and a superior one

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis - balls

The Small Back Room by Nigel Balchin -- brilliant small masterpiece of frustration, dread, sexual impotence, bomb disposal

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil -- one of the greatest of books, gets my vote

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 20 February 2021 03:47 (two weeks ago) link

"The Makioka Sisters by Natsume Soseki"

It's by Tanizaki, btw. I should be reading that in a week or two

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 20 February 2021 13:10 (two weeks ago) link

Musil but v strong year - Bowles, Genet, Lispector, Cain and I'm sure Tanizaki and Laxness are v good as well

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 20 February 2021 13:12 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 21 February 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Double indemnity has a really weird ending that doesn't make it to the film doesn't it. Fate of one of the characters.
I just watched a bbc thing on Film Noir that covered the film but didn't mention it. Think it came from 2009 so not sure why it was being shared recently.

Stevolende, Sunday, 21 February 2021 01:50 (two weeks ago) link

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

System, Monday, 22 February 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Richtig gestimmt.

yes sorry xyz, mixed up my two favourite Japanese authors!

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 22 February 2021 10:54 (two weeks ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1944

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 22 February 2021 11:38 (two weeks ago) link


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