Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1961

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark 8
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 8
The Moviegoer by Walter Percy 3
The Day Of The Owl by Leonardo Sciascia 2
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates 2
Call For The Dead by John Le Carré 1
The Winter Of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck 1
A House For Mr Biswas by V S Naipaul 1
The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs 1
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 1
The Hard Life by Flann O'Brien 1
James And The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl 1
Law And Order by Claude Ollier 1
The Wind From Nowhere by J.G. Ballard 1
The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer 1
Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter 0
Heaven Has No Favourites bu Erich Maria Remarque 0
The Mercy Of God by Jean Cau 0
Witches' Sabbath by Paula Allardyce 0
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch 0
Sunlight On A Broken Column by Attia Hossain 0
Wand Of Noble Wood by Onoura Nzekwu 0
The Thief And The Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz 0
The Jumble Bird by Ismith Khan 0
Red Crag by Luo Guangbin and Yang Yiyan 0
On Heroes And Tombs by Ernesto Sabato 0
Jagua Nana by Cyprian Ekwensi 0
Home Is The Sailor by Jorge Amado 0
The Frolic Of The Beasts by Yukio Mishima 0
The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin 0
The Primal Urge by Brian Aldiss 0
A New Life by Bernard Malamud 0
The Lime Twig by John Hawkes 0
Hombre by Elmore Leonard 0
The Edge Of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor 0
Eat A Bowl Of Tea by Louis Chu 0
Dawn by Elie Wiesel 0
Clock Without Hands by Carson McCullers 0
The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins 0
The Pawnbroker by Edward Lewis Wallant 0
Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein 0
The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie 0
No Fond Return Of Love by Barbara Pym 0
Marnie by Winston Graham 0
Key To The Door by Alan Sillitoe 0
The Judas Tree by A.J. Cronin 0
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford 0
Flight Into Camden by David Storey 0
Adrift In Soho by Colin Wilson 0
Wake In Fright by Kenneth Cook 0


Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 22 April 2021 09:43 (six months ago) link

Voting for the Steinbeck, a heck of a dose of realness for 14 year old Daniel.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 22 April 2021 09:45 (six months ago) link

The Day of the Owl. I'd like to read that Sabato and Mishima

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 April 2021 09:45 (six months ago) link

Read the Burroughs book aged 20 as The Soft Machine are one of my favourite bands, it was my first Burroughs, not sure what I was expecting from it but certainly wasn't that.

Camaraderie at Arms Length, Thursday, 22 April 2021 11:41 (six months ago) link

Wow!

Bewlay Brothers & Sister Rrose (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:02 (six months ago) link

Write-in for Beckett’s How It Is.

pomenitul, Thursday, 22 April 2021 12:18 (six months ago) link

I've read a few of these: Catch-22, The Moviegoer, Revolutionary Road, Stranger in a Strange Land, and James and the Giant Peach. It would probably be between one of the first three. It's hard to compare since I read Catch-22 much longer ago than the other two.

o. nate, Thursday, 22 April 2021 13:09 (six months ago) link

I've read Catch-22 at least four times.

I took drugs recently and why doesn't the UK? (ledge), Thursday, 22 April 2021 13:11 (six months ago) link

MISS JEAN BRODIE

horseshoe, Thursday, 22 April 2021 13:39 (six months ago) link

I need to read all the Sparks

horseshoe, Thursday, 22 April 2021 13:39 (six months ago) link

I've never heard of this "Walter Percy" fellow, is he...

nah jk

Really close between Moviegoer and Severed Head. Both important to me in different ways

Jurassic parkour (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 22 April 2021 14:09 (six months ago) link

I opened the thread thinking I would write in a vote for Peter's Room by Antonia Forest, but then I saw that Catch-22 was on the list.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 22 April 2021 14:18 (six months ago) link

the opening section of mr. biswas is pretty great. i don't think i finished the book though.

wasdnuos (abanana), Thursday, 22 April 2021 14:44 (six months ago) link

Dahl edges out Juster edges out Burroughs for me, not that the latter is especially comparable to the first two.
Even as a major JGB stan I have to admit The Wind From Nowhere was kind of formative, I think he agreed.
Stranger in a Strange Land was wildly profound to me at 15 and wildly embarrassing on a re-read at 20, haven't been there since but I don't think my opinion will have changed much.
The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin, don't know what this is but it sounds great.

john p. coltrane in hot pursuit (Matt #2), Thursday, 22 April 2021 15:02 (six months ago) link

Burroughs' cut-up trilogy reminds me of Metal Machine Music, in that you think differently after experiencing it. I actually felt my brain making new connections while reading The Soft Machine.
Revolutionary Road is a very well-written book, but I felt like Yates had purposely stacked the cards against the characters; he's conflicted between care and contempt for them. It's certainly worth reading.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 22 April 2021 15:30 (six months ago) link

Catch-22 v. gratifying read during 60s, whatever politics and generational experience (as Altman's M*A*S*H* would be a little later, for my Dad and his buddies, def not hippies or peaceniks). Ditto The Moviegoer in early 60s New Orleans on the eve of destruction but also well into it, in that baroque-and-them-some-NOLA-as-part-of-Lousiana-heritage way (see also nonfiction classic The Earl of Louisiana, by AJ Liebling, kind of bridge between a kind of Old Journalism and The New). Fave character is the narrator's Grandmother, AKA The Prince of Denmark (also Lost Cause) to him, prob based on the author's Uncle William Alexander Percy, the Mississippi Medici up to a point, and himself author of Lanterns on the Levee
But that one's a little floaty, and the one I've read much more recently than the others mentioned, that really grabs me and holds on, incl. through some jumps, "spoilers" but not really, not the way she does it, serious and comic as these first two, is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

dow, Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:01 (six months ago) link

Dad and his buddies WWII and/or Korea vets.

dow, Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:04 (six months ago) link

Well I'm sure some people were offended by the ending of Catch-22, but before that, military logic and resulting situations seemed to be accepted as reflecting personal experience or plausible of it and other experiences w institutions, and the title and its conundrum kept turning up for quite a while---to this day, I guess--hasn't been that long since I heard it, though not from a kid---like "drinking the Kool-Aid" and of course, of much more venerable origin, though maybe mainly modern common usage, "gaslight."

dow, Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:15 (six months ago) link

The kids like that one!

dow, Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:16 (six months ago) link

Weird how much better 61 is than 60 for me. Anyway, much as I love Revolutionary Road, it's the absolutely singular Phantom Tollbooth for me here, nothing else remotely of its kind exists, RIP NJ.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:18 (six months ago) link

The Hard Life is usually rated as the least of Flann O'Brien's novels, but I think that is unfair. It is a deeply humorous book, but without O'Brien's usual extravagance. There are many more influential and acclaimed books on this list, but the voting is for our "favorite". I love The Hard Life immoderately!

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Thursday, 22 April 2021 20:26 (six months ago) link

Read Miss Jean Brodie too, should've voted for that.

(Might fuck about and read Catch-22 someday)

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 April 2021 21:57 (six months ago) link

should've voted for that.

Voting for The Day of the Owl was more than justifiable. A great book.

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Thursday, 22 April 2021 22:01 (six months ago) link

Catch-22 is a book I quit reading for my mental wellbeing. (P.S. I am currently reading The Iron Dream.)

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 23 April 2021 04:54 (six months ago) link

Call for the dead is such a wonderful little spy novel although there’s a few here I could do with rereading, catch-22 for one.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Friday, 23 April 2021 09:36 (six months ago) link

Call for the dead is such a wonderful little spy novel although there’s a few here I could do with rereading, catch-22 for one.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Friday, 23 April 2021 09:36 (six months ago) link

Call for the dead is such a wonderful little spy novel although there’s a few here I could do with rereading, catch-22 for one.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Friday, 23 April 2021 09:36 (six months ago) link

A triple post must be some kind of record.

American Fear of Scampos (Ed), Friday, 23 April 2021 09:37 (six months ago) link

almost like someone planned for you to do that

~~walks sadly down the streets of some central European city~~

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 23 April 2021 09:39 (six months ago) link

Catch-22 is a book I quit reading for my mental wellbeing.

"It will not be forgotten by those who can take it" - New York Times, on the back of my copy.

I took drugs recently and why doesn't the UK? (ledge), Friday, 23 April 2021 09:55 (six months ago) link

MISS JEAN BRODIE

― horseshoe, Thursday, 22 April 2021 13:39 (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

imago, Friday, 23 April 2021 10:00 (six months ago) link

Voting for The Day of the Owl was more than justifiable. A great book.

― sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Thursday, 22 April 2021 bookmarkflaglink

Totally, not much of a regret. I would've tried to vote for Equal Danger in the later polls.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 23 April 2021 10:30 (six months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 25 April 2021 00:01 (six months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 26 April 2021 00:01 (six months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1962

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 26 April 2021 08:54 (six months ago) link

smdh at Walter Percy. Wasn't that Liberace's real name?

A Stop at Quilloughby (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 29 April 2021 00:03 (five months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Walker Percy. To help with the searching.

Working in the POLL Mine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 15 May 2021 17:42 (five months ago) link


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