Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1944

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

yo

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary 4
The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham 2
Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte 2
The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist 2
Aurélien by Louis Aragon 1
William Jones by T. Rowland Hughes 0
Time Must Have A Stop by Aldous Huxley 0
The Case Of The Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin 0
Pastoral by Nevil Shute 0
Green For Danger by Christianna Brand 0
The Wind On The Moon by Eric Linklater 0
Future Times Three by René Barjavel 0
Guignol's Band by Louis-Ferdinand Céline 0
Balyakalasakhi by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer 0
Earth And High Heaven by Gwethalyn Graham 0
Four Generations Under One Roof by Lao She 0
The Golden Harvest by Jorge Amado 0
Thebes At War by Naguib Mhafouz 0
The Two Captains by Veniamin Kaverin 0
Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer 0
Fair Stood The Wind For France by H.E. Bates 0
Dragonwyck by Anya Seton 0
The Dark Page by Sam Fuller 0
A Bell For Adano by John Hersey 0
Anna And The King Of Siam by Margaret Landon 0
Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith 0
The Golden Bowl by Feike Feikema 0
The Dark Tunnel by Kenneth Millar 0
Dangling Man by Saul Bellow 0
Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor 0
Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice 0
Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp 0
Claudine At St.Clare's by Enid Blyton 0
Death Comes As The End by Agatha Christie 0
For Love Alone by Christina Stead 0
Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr 0
Renaissance by Raymond F. Jones 0
Presidential Agent by Upton Sinclair 0
The Lost Weekend by Charles R. Jackson 0
Volokolamsk Highway by Alexander Bek 0


Daniel_Rf, Monday, 22 February 2021 11:38 (four months ago) link

American fiction of this era does seem to exist mostly as a training ground for Hollywood scripts, give or take a Saul Bellow.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 22 February 2021 11:39 (four months ago) link

speaking of films, the movie of Green For Danger with Alistair Sims is great fun

haven't read a thing from this list

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 22 February 2021 11:40 (four months ago) link

Kaputt

xyzzzz__, Monday, 22 February 2021 13:10 (four months ago) link

Razer's Edge for me, I'm a sucker for Maugham.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Monday, 22 February 2021 13:25 (four months ago) link

I didn't know Bellow had started publishing this early.

I've not read any of these.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 22 February 2021 14:25 (four months ago) link

I realize Claudine at St. Clare's is probably not the Colette/Enid Blyton crossover it sounds like, but wow, what a possibility.

Lily Dale, Monday, 22 February 2021 17:15 (four months ago) link

Lol, Lily.

I'm also at zero, not even the Christie. Can't pick out many that I *want* to read from this list either, so if anyone does have a recommendation then go for it.

emil.y, Monday, 22 February 2021 18:07 (four months ago) link

I’ve read a few of these. Now just have to remember which.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:08 (four months ago) link

A Bell For Adano by John Hersey

I looked up and down this list double-checking that I hadn't read anything on it, and every time I read this as 'A Bell For Adorno'.

emil.y, Monday, 22 February 2021 18:08 (four months ago) link

Lol. I never read that but remember it because it’s what my friends in the other Honors English class read.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:10 (four months ago) link

Okay, while it may seem as if I’ve outed myself as a guy whose reading peaked in High School English, akin to the professor in the David Lodge book who confesses to never having read Hamlet, my actual peak was a little bit later.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:13 (four months ago) link

I found Kaputt fascinating at the beginning but never finished it because I found Malaparte so detestable as a narrator (and I read the afterword that mentioned that he rewrote the book once it was clear that the Nazis were losing in order to make himself look less sympathetic to them).

JoeStork, Monday, 22 February 2021 18:14 (four months ago) link

Okay, I’ve read two of these and seen the films made from another two.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:17 (four months ago) link

Not much here I've read, but I was happy to see The Horse's Mouth among them and I have no qualms in voting for it.

Judge Roi Behan (Aimless), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:56 (four months ago) link

Of the few I know, I'll go with Maugham over Bellow.

A few years later Kenneth Millar started publishing as Ross Macdonald, perhaps because of the success of the mysteries written by his wife, Margaret Millar. The Dark Tunnel is okay but not up to his later work.

Brad C., Monday, 22 February 2021 19:08 (four months ago) link

Still want to read that book of letters he exchanged with Eudora Welty.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 19:10 (four months ago) link

Dangling Man is about waiting to be drafted, unwilling to flee or go Conscientious Objector or plead gay or psycho etc.---not in WWII! Yet he's alienated, can see how both sides brought it to this, so soon after The Great War, and on the heels of the Depression and feverish cures for that---he's a rigid twerp, but somehow elicts sympathy, in his dry little way (sort of a charming charmlessness, also it's short enough that I didn't get sick of him, unlike some of Bellow's later twerps)
Nevertheless, the listed novel I remember best is The Horse's Mouth vivid and lucid and w plenty of pungent momentum, benefitting from Cary's own early time as a painter, but imagining the whole life of an artist who can't do nothin' but art, and what it takes to manipulate others into providing the next art opp. not that he doesn't also land in jail for a while, and not that he isn't manipulative for other ends. Don't know if it's great, but so damn good. (Think it's the last volume of a trilogy, with prev. from the POV of very different characters who also figure in this one.)

dow, Monday, 22 February 2021 19:21 (four months ago) link

Those two are the ones I’ve actually read.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 22 February 2021 19:47 (four months ago) link

Dangling Man by Saul Bellow -- I actually really loved this, I think I like my Bellow narrators at shorter, less exhausting length

The Dark Tunnel by Kenneth Millar -- have NOT read this but I want to; gay novel by the guy who would soon be excellent crime writer Ross Macdonald

The Lost Weekend by Charles R. Jackson -- excellent rambly drunkard's journey

Fair Stood The Wind For France by H.E. Bates -- I think I may be the only person still alive who reads and rates HE Bates (except for the Larkin books which are not my thing), and this is one of his best ones

The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist -- really good, grotty, grimy Medieval novel narrated by malignant court dwarf

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Monday, 22 February 2021 23:31 (four months ago) link

Dangling Man by Saul Bellow -- I actually really loved this, I think I like my Bellow narrators at shorter, less exhausting length

OTM. I like some of his novels, some short stories and the, um, Bildungsroman that is The Adventures of Augie March, but all the gaseous middle-age crisis novels I find problematic.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 00:23 (four months ago) link

Something about the uneasy mix of wise guys, zaftig shiksas and philosophical poaching doesn’t sit well with me for some reason, sorry.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 00:29 (four months ago) link

This is my other fave Bellow read: his (only?) play, "The Last Analysis"--description of production of this comedy, even w/o Zero Mostel, certainly goes with promise of script: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/00/04/23/specials/bellow-playanalysis.html

dow, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 01:45 (four months ago) link

The Dwarf.

Tim, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 09:43 (four months ago) link

Anna and the King of Siam is a lot later than i would have assumed though i guess its probably currently best known as the source of the musical had assumed it was a memoir from about 20 years earlier. but obviously not read it.
I think I have a copy of the Family Von Trapp still unread after a decade possibly 2 too.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 09:48 (four months ago) link

Or maybe it's a novelisation of an 1870 memoir . possibly.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:14 (four months ago) link

lol trying to imagine what reading "late" upton sinclair is like
probably pretty fun if you are lit af

buzza, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:16 (four months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 00:01 (four months ago) link

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

System, Thursday, 25 February 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

Huh. Never even heard of Joyce Cary.

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1945

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:26 (three months ago) link

Then you probably didn't know that Joyce Cary was a man, baby!

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:17 (three months ago) link

There’s a funny or O_o story about Forever Amber. Artie Shaw saw Ava Gardner reading it, gave her grief for reading such trash and then not long afterwards was married to its author.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 27 February 2021 02:17 (three months ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.