Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1958

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Poll Results

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 6
Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene 4
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampideusa 3
The Once And Future King by T.H. White 2
The Guide by R.K. Narayan 2
Agaguk by Yves Thériault 1
The Getaway by Jim Thompson 1
The Bell by Iris Murdoch 1
The Cowards by Josef Škvorecký 1
Nip The Budds, Shoot The Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe 1
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy 1
Saturday Night And Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe 1
Moderato Cantabille by Marguerite Duras 1
The Beautiful And The Handsome by Uroob 0
The Human Condition by Junpei Gomikawa 0
Masks by Fumiko Enchi 0
Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan 0
Lady L by Romain Gary 0
Naalukettu by M. T. Vasudevan Nair 0
The Darkroom Of Damocles by Willem Fredrik Hermans 0
Where The Air Is Clear by Carlos Fuentes 0
Pojat by Paavo Rintala 0
The Leopard by V.S. Reid 0
Jamila by Chinghiz Aitmatov 0
Hasta La Vista by Petro Marko 0
Gabriela, Clove And Cinnamon by Jorge Amado 0
Deep Rivers by José Mária Arguedas 0
A World Of Strangers by Nadine Gordimer 0
Days Of Ziklag by S. Yizhar 0
Naked Amongst Wolves by Bruno Apitz 0
The Bridge by Manfred Gregor 0
The Sundial by Shirley Jackson 0
Shadows On The Hudson by Isaac Singer 0
Playback by Raymond Chandler 0
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac 0
Candy by Maxwell Kenton 0
The Big Time by Fritz Leiber 0
Parrish by Mildred Savage 0
Lump Of Sun by Zaim Topčić 0
Balthazar by Lawrence Durrell 0
A Glass Of Blessings by Barbara Pym 0
Seduction Of The Minotaur by Anais Nin 0
The Lion by Joseph Kessel 0
Welcome, Honourable Visitors by Jean Raspail 0
Execution by Colin McDougall 0
The Suffrage Of Elvia by V.S. Naipaul 0
A Ripple From The Storm by Doris Lessing 0
The Middle Age Of Mrs Eliot by Angus Wilson 0
I Like It Here by Kingsley Amis 0
The Best Of Everything by Rona Jaffe 0

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 12 April 2021 10:28 (four weeks ago) link

Other works of note released in 1958: debut novels by Brian Aldiss, Harlan Ellison and Lois Duncan; sources-for-films "Some Came Running" (James Jones), "The League Of Gentlemen" (John Boland), "Home From The Hill" (William Humhrey) and "The Big Country" (Donald Hamilton); Richard Matehson's "A Stir Of Echoes"; Peter George's "Red Alert" (a major influence on Dr.Strangelove); William Goldman's "Your Turn To Curtsy, My Turn To Bow"; C.P. Snow's "The Conscience Of The Rich"; Michael Nelson's anonymously published gay novel "A Room In Chelsea Square"; "The Oldest Confession" by Richard Condon, an apparently wildly popular satirical writer I've never heard of; and entries by old reliables P.G. Wodehouse ("Cocktail Time"), C.S. Forrester ("Hornblower In The West Indies"), Ian Fleming ("Dr.No"), Julien Gracq ("A Balcony In The Forest") and Georges Simenon ("Maigret Has Scruples").

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 12 April 2021 10:44 (four weeks ago) link

To my eternal shame I haven't gotten around to "Things Fall Apart" yet, but count on me to vote Achebe when "Anthills Of The Savannah" rolls around.

Also haven't read the Fumiko Enchi but I just finished a story of hers from the Penguin book of Japanese Short Stories and that went really hard.

Very weird to see the translated title of the Amado, it's so much about the rhyme (Gabriela Cravo e Canela).

"Our Man In Havana" is hilarious and one of Greene's best but as a non-anglo I'm going to stump for Lampideusa, a very Southern European stoicism in the face of capitalist modernization. Quite a damaging attitude in real life but I rate it as a vibe. Also how crazy is it that there's another novel by the same name released by a Jamaican author in the same year?

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 12 April 2021 10:50 (four weeks ago) link

Our Man In Havana one of my favourite Greenes, all day everyday

Scamp Granada (gyac), Monday, 12 April 2021 11:03 (four weeks ago) link

Just finished The Dud Avocado, the protagonist was likeable and sympathetic enough but I hated all her friends and "friends", and the stories of reeling from bar to bar before winding up in a police cell at 5am were infinitely less fun to read about than I daresay they were to experience.

I've also read the Achebe, Greene, T.H. White and Lampedusa, all good, torn between the last two.

C.P. Snow's "The Conscience Of The Rich"

this must be a short book.

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 12 April 2021 14:06 (four weeks ago) link

The Leopard . The Visconti film deepens the book.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 12 April 2021 14:08 (four weeks ago) link

Protest vote for Claude Ollier's La Mise en scène.

alimosina, Monday, 12 April 2021 14:23 (four weeks ago) link

I've only read Things Fall Apart but I feel comfortable voting for it.

wasdnuos (abanana), Monday, 12 April 2021 14:28 (four weeks ago) link

The Leopard has grown and grown in my imagination so probably that, although could easily vote for the Iris Murdoch. I think Dharma Bums is probably the best of Kerouac and would easily be in my personal canon of mountain climbing literature.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 12 April 2021 16:51 (four weeks ago) link

Things Fall Apart for me although I'm unfamiliar w/ most of these

"Gaspar? No way." (sleeve), Monday, 12 April 2021 16:52 (four weeks ago) link

Another year in which I only know the screen versions: Burt Lancaster v. fine in The Leopard, Alec Guinness likewise in Our Man In Havana(and speaking of Richard Condon, I liked the screen versions of The Manchurian Candidate and Prizzi's Honor)(and I dimly recall liking the movie of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning alright, though Albert Finney was a little tiresome, as usual.)

dow, Monday, 12 April 2021 16:54 (four weeks ago) link

I thiiiink Things Fall Apart is the only one I've read in its entirety. Definitely started Dharma Bums at some point, and maybe a couple of others (the Greene, the Sillitoe?) but I'm not convinced I finished any of them. I didn't adore TFA but I liked it well enough to give it a vote without it being too grudging.

emil.y, Monday, 12 April 2021 18:41 (four weeks ago) link

Oh, ha, I missed the Duras on the list, which I have not read, but a friend is promising to lend it to me soon. I'll come back and report on whether it would have got my vote whenever I get round to it, I guess.

emil.y, Monday, 12 April 2021 18:46 (four weeks ago) link

Nip The Budds, Shoot The Kids by Kenzaburō Ōe
The Getaway by Jim Thompson
Moderato Cantabille by Marguerite Duras
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampideusa

Going for The Leopard here although The Getaway runs it close.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 12 April 2021 21:55 (four weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

Voting for Our Man in Havana, my favorite Graham Greene.

Lily Dale, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:16 (three weeks ago) link

Votes but hard to keep up with these tbh

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:21 (three weeks ago) link

OMIH makes me think of the end of The Lavender Hill Mob. it's Alex Guinness but it's Rio rather than Havana.

koogs, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:25 (three weeks ago) link


It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:54 (three weeks ago) link

Voting The Bell, read it last year and thought it was fantastic, if flawed. Also thought Balcony in the Forest was excellent.

JoeStork, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 07:12 (three weeks ago) link

Even tho I voted Leopard I'll still be pretty happy if Our Man In Havana wins.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:09 (three weeks ago) link

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

System, Thursday, 15 April 2021 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

Something of a dark horse winner there, but certainly deserving enough.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Thursday, 15 April 2021 02:09 (three weeks ago) link

Sadly I have read zero of these.

o. nate, Thursday, 15 April 2021 02:21 (three weeks ago) link

Def try and read Achebe.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 15 April 2021 09:18 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, in retrospect it would've been a bit shameful if the single most acclaimed novel to come out of an entire continent didn't win this.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 15 April 2021 09:26 (three weeks ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1959

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 15 April 2021 12:28 (three weeks ago) link

I've never read a Duras novel I didn't like, but I don't outright love any of them either. Still, I vote for Moderato cantabile.

pomenitul, Thursday, 15 April 2021 13:19 (three weeks ago) link

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