Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1963

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here we go

Poll Results

OptionVotes
V by Thomas Pynchon 6
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut 6
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carré 4
The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas 4
The Grifters by Jim Thompson 2
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima 2
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 2
Hopscotch by Julio Cortazár 1
The Collector by John Fowles 1
The Water Of The Hills by Marcel Pagnol 1
The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen 1
Frost by Thomas Bernhard 1
A Love Affair by Dino Buzzati 0
The Clown by Heinrich Boll 0
Divided Heaven by Christa Wolf 0
Possession by Kamala Markandaya 0
A Time On Earth by Vilhelm Moberg 0
Vicke Viking by Runer Jonsson 0
A Private Matter by Beppe Fenoglio 0
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer 0
The Experience Of Pain by Carlo Emilio Gadda 0
Family Sayings by Natalia Ginzburg 0
Le Fou d'Elsa by Louis Aragon 0
The General Of The Dead Army by Ismail Kadare 0
The Weary Generations by Abdullah Hussain 0
The Razor's Edge by Ivan Yefremov 0
Occasion For Loving by Nadine Gordimer 0
Men In The Sun by Ghassan Kanafani 0
Planet Of The Apes by Pierre Boulle 0
Catherine by Juliette Benzoni 0
The Group by Mary McCarthy 0
The Centaur by John Updike 0
The Time Of The Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa 0
A Summer Bird-Cage by Margaret Drabble 0
Run, River by Joan Didion 0
Le Procês-Verbal by J.M.G. Le Clézio 0
Pan Theodor Mundstock by Ladislav Fuks 0
Kosala by Bhalchandra Nemade 0
Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein 0
The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis 0
Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth by Lloyd Alexander 0
I Am David by Anne Holm 0
The Incomparable Atuk by Mordecai Richler 0
The Unicorn by Iris Murdoch 0
Stig Of The Dump by Clive King 0
Puckoon by Spike Milligan 0
The Moon Of Gomrath by Alan Garner 0
Horse Under Water by Len Deighton 0
Way Station by Clifford D. Simak 0
The Graduate by Charles Webb 0


Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 29 April 2021 10:10 (five months ago) link

Spy Who Came In From The Cold pretty great, a novel about sad people in a sad world.

Think my French wasn't that good yet when I tried to read Planet Of The Apes. Final twist is great Twilight Zone fun.

Was it The Clown I read from Boll? German version of the Angry Young Man novels.

My vote goes for Pagnol; actually two novels, but telling one story and released the same year. A tale of rough edged people in the French countryside, lots of intrigue and bitterness concerning inheritances and such. Really great atmosphere.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 29 April 2021 10:15 (five months ago) link

wow, three or four absolute favourites here, plus one book I hated having to read at school, I Am David.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 29 April 2021 10:50 (five months ago) link

Mishima or Plath, what a dilemma

Call of Scampi: Slack Nephrops (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 29 April 2021 11:32 (five months ago) link

increasingly of the opinion that cat’s cradle is Vonnegut’s best

the mai tai quinn (voodoo chili), Thursday, 29 April 2021 12:21 (five months ago) link

The Favourite Game meant a lot to me when I was younger. I'll let nostalgia prevail.

pomenitul, Thursday, 29 April 2021 12:25 (five months ago) link

Two books here that had a major impact on my reading life: "Cat's Cradle" (This was the book that got me into Vonnegut. One summer when I must have been in middle school or perhaps freshman year of high school I stayed at my aunt and uncle's house in Arkansas for a week. This book was on my uncle's bookshelf, next to his box of Pink Floyd cassettes. I devoured it in a couple of days, as I did with most books I liked in those days.) and "V" (which I read later in college, after encountering "Gravity's Rainbow", so the impact was less immediate, but more of a continuation of my Pynchon fandom).

o. nate, Thursday, 29 April 2021 12:58 (five months ago) link

I will warn you that we're getting very close to the point where I will expect you to include every single BS Johnson and Ann Quin novel so I can vote for them and shout about it.
― emil.y

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5055045-travelling-people

;_;

emil.y, Thursday, 29 April 2021 13:03 (five months ago) link

I'm voting for my absolute favourite Mishima in the end but The Bell Jar is basically perfect and should be acknowledged as such

Call of Scampi: Slack Nephrops (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 29 April 2021 13:08 (five months ago) link

“The Ice Palace”, I love that novel so much, couldn’t vote for any of the other amazing things on this list.

Tim, Thursday, 29 April 2021 13:36 (five months ago) link

I will warn you that we're getting very close to the point where I will expect you to include every single BS Johnson and Ann Quin novel so I can vote for them and shout about it.
― emil.y

Sorry! Would have included it if it had been on the wikipedia list of 1963 novels. If you check whether the following works are categorized in their specific wiki years and, if not, add them they'll be in for sure! :D

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 29 April 2021 15:29 (five months ago) link

Please don’t omit the English self-translation of Beckett’s final novel since the French original wasn’t part of the 1961 poll.

pomenitul, Thursday, 29 April 2021 15:34 (five months ago) link

Don't worry, I remember your distress.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 29 April 2021 15:36 (five months ago) link

Praise be!

pomenitul, Thursday, 29 April 2021 15:36 (five months ago) link

Thanks Daniel - don't mean to be picky as running these polls is probably a fair amount of work, especially now we're in years where the number of novels published is way too many to fit the options limit.

Do you just go by Category:1964 novels? Those types of pages seem to differ a fair bit from 1964 (or x year) in literature pages, and then you have different stuff again in the sub-categories like Category:1964 (or x year) in British (or x nationality) novels. I'm happy to give you a list of Quin and Johnson books and their years if that works for you and isn't a hassle? I can email you or just post them up here in a bit.

emil.y, Thursday, 29 April 2021 15:50 (five months ago) link

I go by the Category: year novels lists, which have sub-sections for debut novels and novels of different countries.

Will include the Quin and Johnson novels if you list them yeah!

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 29 April 2021 16:04 (five months ago) link

I'm just going to go on the dates from their individual wikis, usually I'd double-check accuracy but I'm far too tired rn.

B.S. Johnson:

Albert Angelo (1964)
Trawl (1966)
The Unfortunates (1969)
House Mother Normal (1971)
Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry (1973)
See the Old Lady Decently (1975)

Ann Quin:

Berg (1964)
Three (1966)
Passages (1969)
Tripticks (1972)

Berg vs Albert Angelo, Three vs Trawl and Passages vs The Unfortunates are huuuuuge tussles for me, though I already know which way I'd vote on all three matches (I'll save that for those polls, though - no spoilers).

Thank you so much for taking me into consideration, you're a champ.

emil.y, Thursday, 29 April 2021 16:20 (five months ago) link

The Bell Jar

i enjoy The Group and The Ice Palace and suspect i would also enjoy The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

The Bell Jar is seared into my consciousness from the first time i read it as a teenager. i reread it a few years ago, and it totally held up.

horseshoe, Thursday, 29 April 2021 17:18 (five months ago) link

As usual, several I know only via screen versions, and some I don't remember well enough to vote for, so it's V: for me, peak Pynchon so far---having gotten off the bus, at least temporarily, after Gravity's Rainbow, some of which I greatly enjoyed, but too much got toward inflated density of prose and his post hipster-Lef-Calvinist fatalism seemed like overcooked beefs this time--- while in V, the deadpan humor of yo-yoing Whole Sick Crew x more driven characters and their intrigue kept me balanced enough to get through the subways and bedrooms and alligator sewers and deserts and what not----a minority opinion for sure, but there it is (influenced by being in high school and wanting to sign up with his people)

dow, Thursday, 29 April 2021 19:59 (five months ago) link

I meant "Left," of course, but might as well be Lef (Behin)

dow, Thursday, 29 April 2021 20:00 (five months ago) link

This is really tough. Plath feels slight and Cortazar is an experiment I don't much care for, otherwise I'll stan for everything else I've read

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Grifters by Jim Thompson
The Experience Of Pain by Carlo Emilio Gadda
Family Sayings by Natalia Ginzburg
Hopscotch by Julio Cortazár
The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima
The Wall by Marlen Haushofer

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 May 2021 14:29 (five months ago) link

I'll go for Ice Palace, just over The Wall.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 1 May 2021 14:30 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 2 May 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

This feels like a big year. I went with Vonnegut narrowly over LeCarre.

wasdnuos (abanana), Sunday, 2 May 2021 04:09 (five months ago) link

I read the Bell Jar a couple of years ago, I thought it was (amongst other things obv) an indictment of the male medical establishment - leaping to prescribe ect for depression, turning childbirth into a terrifying ordeal. (Hope I'm not speaking out of turn as a man.)

I took drugs recently and why doesn't the UK? (ledge), Sunday, 2 May 2021 09:56 (five months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 3 May 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

Is this our first tie? Pynchon and Vonnegut,no less: thee Sick Sixties are rolling, Bob! Tough year indeed.

dow, Monday, 3 May 2021 02:20 (five months ago) link

1961 was a tie. Think I forgot to vote for the bell jar here.

I took drugs recently and why doesn't the UK? (ledge), Monday, 3 May 2021 08:29 (five months ago) link

Tons of ties in the early 20th century, mostly because attendance was such that often enough the winner(s) would have two votes.

Thought it weird that Pynchon went underdiscussed itt, always thought of him as an ILB fave.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 3 May 2021 08:49 (five months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1964

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 3 May 2021 10:07 (five months ago) link

I ended up voting for V. Cat's Cradle is one of the Vonneguts I haven't read, and I felt like my other options I read too far back in the past, though I was definitely close to putting my vote in for The Bell Jar. Of the ones I have read more recently, well, I had high expectations for Hopscotch, but... let's just say they were not met.

emil.y, Monday, 3 May 2021 13:50 (five months ago) link


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