Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1956

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Fall by Albert Camus 5
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin 3
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester 2
The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon 2
The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson 1
The Roots Of Heaven by Romain Gary 1
Zama by Antonio di Benedetto 1
The Image by Jean de Berg 1
Train To Pakistan by Khushwant Singh 1
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson 1
The Song Of The Red Ruby by Agnar Mykle 0
The Room On The Roof by Ruskin Bond 0
The Key by Junichiro Tanikzaki 0
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz 0
Children Of The Sun by Morris West 0
A Dangerous Game by Friedrich Durrenmatt 0
A Wreath For Udomo by Peter Abrahams 0
The Devil To Pay In The Backlands by João Guimarães Rosa 0
Viragaya by Martin Wickramasinghe 0
The Etruscan by Mika Waltari 0
Uncertain Glory by Joan Sales 0
The Temple Of The Golden Pavillion by Yukio Mishima 0
Like One Of The Family by Alice Childress 0
Tales Of A Long Night by Alfred Doblin 0
Sword Stained With Royal Blood by Jin Yong 0
Not By Bread Alone by Vladimir Dudintsev 0
The Settlers by Vilhelm Moberg 0
Luca's Secret by Ignazio Silone 0
The Black Obelisk by Erich Maria Remarque 0
The Orphan Of Perdide by Stefan Wul 0
Seize The Day by Saul Bellow 0
The Last Hurrah by Edwin O'Connor 0
Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck 0
The Field Of Vision by Wright Morris 0
Bang The Drum Slowly by Mark Harris 0
And The Rain My Drink by Han Suyin 0
Time For A Tiger by Anthony Burgess 0
Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono 0
Chocolates For Breakfast by Pamela Moore 0
To Live Forever by Jack Vance 0
A Walk On The Wild Side by Nelson Algren 0
The Hundred And One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith 0
A Certain Smile by Françoise Sagan 0
Angélique, The Marquise Of The Angels by Anne and Serge Golon 0
The Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier 0
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis 0
The Flight From The Enchanter by Iris Murdoch 0
Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming 0
Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson 0
The Floating Opera by John Barth 0


Daniel_Rf, Monday, 5 April 2021 10:36 (three months ago) link

Voting for The Lonely Londoners, which is both an evocation of a London long gone and still pretty OTM about a lot of the recent arrival to the town experience. Really glad Selvon's work is getting reprinted more these days.

Also very good: The Black Obelisk, which I read when I was going through a Weimar novels phase and am quite surprised to learn was written long after the fact! Makes it even more problematic that Remarque's chronicles of Germany's moral decline and fall never seem to mention anti-semitism much. Also enjoyed Temple Of The Golden Pavillion, though to be honest I'm not sure it totally lives up to its bonkers outline.

This era seems very fertile for children's fiction - side product of the baby boom?

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 5 April 2021 10:41 (three months ago) link

The Key by Junichiro Tanikzaki
The Temple Of The Golden Pavillion by Yukio Mishima
Zama by Antonio di Benedetto

Going for Zama

xyzzzz__, Monday, 5 April 2021 11:59 (three months ago) link

The Lonely Londoners is great. Never read anything of Selvon’s that I disliked.

Just here to register my hatred for The Last Battle and specifically the ending. Fucking diabolical.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Monday, 5 April 2021 12:17 (three months ago) link

I keep thinking taht I am going to hit a point where i will have just read loads from each year and still not got there.
So maybe my reading over teh last few decades has been more widely spread out.
Or maybe its different books from the years listed than are listed.
Have read 3 or 4 of these though. I think i read most of the Bond either after having inherited early copies from my uncle or picked them up in jumble sales.
Definitley read teh nelson Algren
THink I've read the Camus.
Still not sure what of teh Narnia books I've actually read. I remember there being a box set around when I wasa preteen

& seen a few films.
Not sure If I've read 101 Dalmatians too though may have done. Does it change much or does it count twice if I've seen both films

Oh & hopefully got the Misunderstood cover of teh Morris West appearing in the mail tomorrow

Stevolende, Monday, 5 April 2021 12:24 (three months ago) link

Just here to register my hatred for The Last Battle and specifically the ending. Fucking diabolical.

― Scamp Granada (gyac),

when Reepicheep greets them, I melt a little.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 5 April 2021 12:25 (three months ago) link

I've only read the bester and I doubt it's the best 'ere.

Computers I can live with, I even dried them in the oven (ledge), Monday, 5 April 2021 12:51 (three months ago) link

i rate it higher than the demolished man and it's full of great touches, like the mazes. the underground jail but makes this hard for me to read though (see also the weirdstone of brisingamen and cryptonomicom)

koogs, Monday, 5 April 2021 13:13 (three months ago) link

shrinking man was on TV the other day and has great practical effects, like a 10 ft pencil and the bit where he looks to be back to normal size, sat on a sofa when a cat walks past the window is pretty perfect

koogs, Monday, 5 April 2021 13:16 (three months ago) link

Anyone have opinions on Romain Gary? All I really know is he was a monster to Jean Seberg and made a terrible movie with her.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 5 April 2021 13:18 (three months ago) link

fifty shades of gary

koogs, Monday, 5 April 2021 13:20 (three months ago) link

Anyone have opinions on Romain Gary?

His writing manages to turn a somewhat interesting life into (mercifully) forgettable tedium.

Going with The Fall, once my favourite Camus.

pomenitul, Monday, 5 April 2021 13:33 (three months ago) link

This is Giovanni's Room for me.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 5 April 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

I had to read The Fall in a class. Kind of a nauseous (heh) book, and I don't know that I would enjoy rereading it, but I also don't think I would have developed my abiding interest in the moral dilemmas of post-war French society without the formative influence of Camus. Not seeing much else here that sparks joy, although I suspect Zama would be up my alley (I've owned a copy for a couple of years that I've never touched)

Mark E. Smith died this year. Or, maybe last year. (bernard snowy), Monday, 5 April 2021 14:12 (three months ago) link

I think Shrinking man was actually on tv here last night. I wondered if it was the same thing.
Hoped it might be on again soon cos I saw one scene towards teh end.

Stevolende, Monday, 5 April 2021 16:26 (three months ago) link

This is Giovanni's Room for me.

― Vanishing Point (Chinaski)

Right on. Very surprised I had to read this far down the thread to see someone else saying it. It's a no-brainer for me.

emil.y, Monday, 5 April 2021 16:42 (three months ago) link

Sadly never read that one. I voted for Train to Pakistan, which I don't remember the details of clearly but do recall being strongly affected by

rob, Monday, 5 April 2021 16:45 (three months ago) link

A jolt to have Matheson, Bester & Vance lined up like that, if you are nerdcore enough to recognize them as Grand Masters of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Vance is the overt Fantasist at tymes; the other two always have at least some sort of Scientific Romance as launching pad. Can't quite remember if The Shrinking Man the novel shares w The Incredible Shrinking Man flick the exposure of Man to nuclear pollution, a result more of bomb tests than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I think, but either way, that's life, so deal with it, as the Man does, in the methodical Matheson way, with cosmic realization at end not so much allegorical as organic experience continued, at least for now.
The Stars My Destination is prob even better or more to my taste, a richer broth, a headier brew, but as always will go w best remembered, so for this year it's Matheson again.

dow, Monday, 5 April 2021 17:18 (three months ago) link

Ending of the Shrinking Man film is so trippy that I can only imagine it must come from the novel.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 6 April 2021 10:46 (three months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 7 April 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

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

System, Thursday, 8 April 2021 00:01 (three months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1957

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 8 April 2021 10:37 (three months ago) link


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