Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1945

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Animal House by George Orwell 7
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck 4
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart 3
Loving by Henry Green 3
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 2
The Death Of Virgil by Hermann Broch 2
A Dark Stranger by Julien Gracq 1
The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy 1
At Mrs.Lippincote's by Elizabeth Taylor 1
If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Himes 1
The Age Of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre 1
Playing With Fire by Roger Vailland 0
Mon village à l'heure allemande by Jean-Louis Bory 0
Arch Of Triumph by Erich Maria Remarque 0
The English Teacher by R.K. Narayan 0
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren 0
The Bears' Famous Invasion Of Sicily by Dino Buzzati 0
Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders byb Vítězslav Nezval 0
Who Lost Their Limit In Infinity by Kanchan Baruah 0
Nada by Carmen Laforet 0
Jagari by Satinath Bhaduri 0
The House In The Dark by Tarjei Vesaas 0
The Ghost And Mrs.Muir by R.A. Dick 0
The Egyptian by Mika Waltari 0
Djibi, The Kitten by Felix Salten 0
Mr. Myombekere and His Wife Bugonoka, Their Son Ntulanalwo and Daughter Bulihwali by Aniceti Kitereza 0
The Bridge On The Drina by Ivo Andrić 0
The Big Heart by Mulk Raj Anand 0
Maigret In Retirement by Georges Simenon 0
Caucasian Days by Banine 0
The Blood Of Others by Simone de Beauvoir 0
The Commodore by C.S. Forester 0
The Moomins And The Great Flood by Tove Jansson 0
Witch House by Evangeline Walton 0
Stuart Little by E.B. White 0
The Small Rain by Madeleine L'Engle 0
The Lurker At The Threshold by August Derleth 0
Focus by Arthur Miller 0
Dragon Harvest by Upton Sinclair 0
Eve by James Hadley Chase 0
The House That Berry Built by Dornford Yates 0
Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan 0
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham 0
The World, The Flesh And Father Smith by Bruce Marshall 0
That Hideous Strenght by C.S. Lewis 0
The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford 0
Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood 0
Most Secret by Nevil Shute 0
In Youth Is Pleasure by Denton Welch 0
Destiny Times Three by Fritz Leiber 0


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

Soon I will start voting for Moomins over all yer classic canonical works, but not yet.

pinefox did a good takedown of Brideshead Revisited on here some time ago. Alas I am too suspectible to the melancholy of nostalgia to hate it. Also quite puzzingly a pro-religion novel that feels like a great advertisement for atheism.

Read A LOT of Lindgren in my early childhood years in Germany. Pippi certainly quite progressive for her time.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:30 (five months ago) link

> Animal House by George Orwell

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ea/Animalhouseposter.jpg

koogs, Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:31 (five months ago) link

That was intentional, I realise I make enough mistakes on these that you wouldn't know.

Inspired by a twitter comp of people angrily typing about how "modern society is just like george owell's animal house".

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 February 2021 11:38 (five months ago) link

I'd read it.
Great pop culture artefacts as rewritten by academics . Fun Fun Fun Fun.
Or vice versa.

Stevolende, Thursday, 25 February 2021 12:09 (five months ago) link

Voted 'By Grand Central Station...', though I can't remember much except I liked it.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Thursday, 25 February 2021 12:30 (five months ago) link

I think Chester Himes though surprised by how early it is. Gorlumme maybe I'm cast adrift by films etc.
BUt dfo love a bit of old Chester Himes .
Still need to read Pink toes which I think I would have associated more with this time than the black police stuff . should be more familiar with the set up than the novel plots i guess.

Did enjoy the BY Grand Central Station too.
Woulda thunk everybody was too busy winning the 2nd World war and dropping the bomb to be dropping great prose in 45. BUt may need to unlearn shit.

Stevolende, Thursday, 25 February 2021 13:09 (five months ago) link

Elizabeth Taylor! Or the Steinbeck, which is one of my favourites of his.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:07 (five months ago) link

Stevo, I think you can actually identify the conflict in these past few years - broadly, I'd say literary fiction took a beating but sci-fi and detective stories just kept chugging along. Here in '45 it seems to me the UK is recovering but the US is still pretty muted.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:14 (five months ago) link

The Tin Flute, although I suspect I’d go with the Broch had I read it.

pomenitul, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:16 (five months ago) link

lol i like Brideshead Revisited.

the Himes is very good.

horseshoe, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:18 (five months ago) link

Also I’m not sure I get why ‘Secondhand Happiness’ didn’t cut it.

pomenitul, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:19 (five months ago) link

Someone in the translation dept had a time machine and wanted to cash in on Gunter Grass?

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:22 (five months ago) link

Heh, I believe it.

pomenitul, Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:28 (five months ago) link

yeah, cannery row is a blast after those other two downers.

koogs, Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:25 (five months ago) link

I've read six of these. As much as it has fallen out of favor lately, I will still vote for Animal Farm, with Cannery Row a very close second. There has never been a more brilliant use of the animal fable, as an extended parable. Within the corpus of Orwell's work, nothing could have been more surprising than a novel about farm animals. It's a shame it's been embraced by reactionaries so tightly that it has now been fully enclosed into that worldview, like an axe head that became incorporated into the very tree its wielder failed to chop down.

Loving, Green, is high in my queue of upcoming books, but not yet broached. I suspect it belongs at or near the top of this list, but can't vote for it.

Judge Roi Behan (Aimless), Thursday, 25 February 2021 21:22 (five months ago) link

The Moomins And The Great Flood by Tove Jansson -- embryonic Moomin work, not great yet but the signs are there

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck -- fun Steinbeck is very fun

Focus by Arthur Miller -- pretty good from memory, Americans starting to realise in 1945 that maybe anti-Semitism is a Bad Thing

Animal Farm by George Orwell -- I still think it's great, despite everybody having Wrong Opinions on Orwell these days

At Mrs.Lippincote's by Elizabeth Taylor -- fantastic, maybe gets my vote? I love her with a pure, undying love

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh -- good in bits, one of his weakest

In Youth Is Pleasure by Denton Welch -- magical, surely the Denton Welch revival is due about now?

Loving by Henry Green -- also magical, Green is just masterful

Most Secret by Nevil Shute -- I know I have read this, but can't remember a thing about it

The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford -- her second-best book after Cold Climate?

That Hideous Strenght by C.S. Lewis -- away with this bumf

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart -- I did NOT like this; very short and I still couldn't be bothered finishing it

The Age Of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre -- this trilogy is excellent and surprisingly funny

The Blood Of Others by Simone de Beauvoir -- speaking of which, this is excellent and not even slightly funny

Caucasian Days by Banine -- really fascinating and entertaining memoir of growing up in Azerbaijan in a rich semi-Westernised family, not a novel

A Dark Stranger by Julien Gracq -- creepy, wonderfully written novel about a couple planning to kill themselves

The English Teacher by R.K. Narayan -- one of his best early books

Maigret In Retirement by Georges Simenon -- despite retiring in this book he is not retired for the next 49 books. Weird. Very good book in a series that is astonishing in its maintenance of quality

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 25 February 2021 22:48 (five months ago) link

This might sound strange, James, but I was involved in a one-man show about a man going through a personal crisis who rediscovered his sense of self partly through finding and reading the diaries of Denton Welsh. (link redacted)

I really do love the diaries. In Youth is Pleasure is enjoyably weird.

Cocteau Twinks (jed_), Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:00 (five months ago) link

The guy that wrote the show, who was an ex of mine, made it in order to come to terms with ideas around campness and femininity which he had always railed against but those books helped him to come to terms with them and embrace them. Funnily enough, a year after the show played at the Edinburgh festival he became a born again Christian and renounced homosexuality!

Cocteau Twinks (jed_), Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:05 (five months ago) link

became a born again Christian and renounced homosexuality!

renounce is probably le mot juste here, just as monks may renounce their sexuality as part of their renunciation of worldliness. doesn't mean it isn't there, because renunciation of your nature can only be a ceaseless process.

Judge Roi Behan (Aimless), Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:13 (five months ago) link

The Death Of Virgil by Hermann Broch

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:40 (five months ago) link

Green and Welch are good (but yes, his Diaries are probably his greatest work).

Really like to give that Vesaas a go, an author I've not explored as much as I'd like.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:46 (five months ago) link

Is Cannery Row the one with the beer milkshake?

badg, Thursday, 25 February 2021 23:51 (five months ago) link

jed_, that sounds fascinating! I always remember that bit from one of the memoirs where he's in China during an anti-Westerner uprising and he decides this would be the ideal time to dress up in drag and wander the streets at night. how he survived is beyond me.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Friday, 26 February 2021 01:58 (five months ago) link

haha! yes!

Cocteau Twinks (jed_), Friday, 26 February 2021 11:58 (five months ago) link

Age of Reason didn't leave as big an impression on me as Nausea but I def read it in my teen existentialist days and obviously loved it (14 yr old Sartre stans unite). I just feel like it's another case where fuzzy memory might rule a vote out unless I can pick it up again.

Otherwise I have to pick between horror, kidlit and Orwell (which you could argue is both, ha).

Has anyone here read the novel of Valerie? I'd be interested to see how it compares to such a highly stylised film.

emil.y, Friday, 26 February 2021 16:08 (five months ago) link

Nausea is the only Sartre work (regardless of genre) I’m willing to stan for. Everything else features at least one prominent element that bugs the hell out of me.

pomenitul, Friday, 26 February 2021 16:11 (five months ago) link

I remember liking the Valerie novel! Even if I don't remember much.

Bidh boladh a' mhairbh de 'n láimh fhalaimh (dowd), Friday, 26 February 2021 18:34 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 28 February 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 1 March 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

I've been intending to read the Valerie novel - iirc she's much closer to being an adult in the novel.

JoeStork, Monday, 1 March 2021 01:59 (five months ago) link

I thought "By Grand Central Station..." was cringey af. Stopped halfway through.

Cocteau Twinks (jed_), Monday, 1 March 2021 02:14 (five months ago) link

ha! I'm glad to see that the Tsar did the same.

Cocteau Twinks (jed_), Monday, 1 March 2021 02:15 (five months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1946

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 1 March 2021 13:48 (five months ago) link


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