Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1971

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typing this with one arm hurting intensely because of moderna vaccine and there were 100 books to choose from in the US section alone, yeah I omitted some pretty heavy hitters so I could include Go Ask Alice for the lols, what of it

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson 5
Malina by Ingeborg Bahmann 4
Mrs Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien 2
Rabbit Redux by John Updike 2
Maurice by E.M. Forster 2
The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem 2
The Abortion by Richard Brautigan 2
The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin 1
Grendel by John Gardner 1
Dopefiend by Donald Goines 1
Books Do Furnish A Room by Anthony Powell 1
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor 1
House Mother Normal by B.S. Johnson 1
Chronicle In Stone by Isamail Kadare 0
The Dead River by Jakov Xoxa 0
Behind The Rising Sun by Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu 0
Bano by Razia Butt 0
The Last Salute by Santosh Kumar Ghosh 0
Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey 0
Equal Danger by Leonardo Sciascia 0
This Earth, My Brother by Kofi Awooner 0
Son Of Woman by Charles Mangua 0
North Amerikkkan Blues by Evan X Hyde 0
Maru by Bessie Head 0
Taking Stock by Yury Trifonov 0
Interlok by Abdullah Hussain 0
In A Free State by V.S. Naipaul 0
The Gods Are Not To Blame by Ola Rotimi 0
When The Sun... by Georges Sari 0
Shadows In Paradise by Erich Maria Remarque 0
Group Portrait With Lady by Heinrich Boll 0
Les Bêtises by Jacques Laurent 0
Americana by Don DeLillo 0
The Day Of The Jackal by Frederick Forsyth 0
The Dice Man by George Cockcroft 0
Post Office by Charles Bukowski 0
Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe 0
The Tiger's Daughter by Bharati Mukherjee 0
The Book Of Daniel by E.L. Doctorow 0
Double Or Nothing by Raymond Federman 0
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 0
Jungle Lovers by Paul Theroux 0
Love In The Ruins by Walker Percy 0
Our Gang by Philip Roth 0
A Time Of Changes by Robert Silverberg 0
Wonderland by Joyce Carol Oates 0
Girl, 20 by Kingsley Amis 0
Love by Angela Carter 0
No More Dying Then by Ruth Rendell 0
The Adventures Of Mao On The Long March by Frederic Tuten 0


Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 27 May 2021 12:01 (two weeks ago) link

Voting for Maurice, a totally satisfying end to Forster's career and a breath of happiness at the end of a succession of quite sad books.

Fear and Loathing still great too despite all the terrible influence it's had.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 27 May 2021 12:03 (two weeks ago) link

Equal Danger is the only I've read. It's great but not enough to vote

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 27 May 2021 12:09 (two weeks ago) link

oh shit, dopefiend??? i love dopefiend

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 May 2021 12:29 (two weeks ago) link

Malina

pomenitul, Thursday, 27 May 2021 13:13 (two weeks ago) link

The only one I've read is "Fear and Loathing", which IIRC I consumed in one sitting at my university library one afternoon, didn't even need to check it out.

o. nate, Thursday, 27 May 2021 13:16 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks Pom I didn't spot that. Will vote.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 27 May 2021 14:06 (two weeks ago) link

This is Angela Carter or Elizabeth Taylor, probably the latter.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 28 May 2021 09:43 (two weeks ago) link

Dice Man or Grendel or Rabbit, tough choice

Chickpeas, Scamps and Beeves (Noodle Vague), Friday, 28 May 2021 09:47 (two weeks ago) link

I love the Rabbit books but isn't Redux the one with Skeeter, the African-American Vietnam vet? It's the one I'm most scared of re-visiting.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 28 May 2021 09:53 (two weeks ago) link

Tbf it's been a good length of time but I don't think we're supposed to empathise with Rabbit's racism

Chickpeas, Scamps and Beeves (Noodle Vague), Friday, 28 May 2021 09:58 (two weeks ago) link

Also it's probably not my first choice, behind Grendel and the Dice Man which is a tougher call

Chickpeas, Scamps and Beeves (Noodle Vague), Friday, 28 May 2021 09:59 (two weeks ago) link

Malina, without hesitation.

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Friday, 28 May 2021 16:42 (two weeks ago) link

There are books listed here that I love more than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which is not a lovable book in most regards. For example, both Lathe of Heaven and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont are exemplary in their kind. I would gladly vote for either one.

I voted for Hunter's loathsome book because, against the odds, he found a way to convey to future readers a period that was almost indescribable in its madness. As hard as it may be for anyone who didn't live through it to believe, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a highly accurate description of its moment in time (roughly 1970-71 USA) and preserves how it looked and felt to its participants. It is, as Thompson himself says, far more reportage than fiction. No other book comes closer to speaking for a period that was unspeakable.

What's It All About, Althea? (Aimless), Friday, 28 May 2021 17:51 (two weeks ago) link

Malina, without hesitation.
― heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table)

yes, maybe my favorite of the decade.

vivian dark, Friday, 28 May 2021 20:37 (two weeks ago) link

"The less I think of my early books," the happier I am, Delillo once said. I haven't read End Zone (wouldn't mind if I came across it), but recall Americana (and Great Jones Street) are funny and thoughtful and eerie, though diffuse--you have to make your way through clusters of talky characters in different locales in different cities, traffic patterns--like some Altman movies of that era ("Let's record more dialogue!")--but there are bits I really want to quote here and somewhere else, but won't because they deserve exactitude, and someday I'm gonna buy those books back for it---if you like him at all, check them out, but I can't quite bring myself to vote for Americana, without re-reading---I don't even remember much about how it ends, ditto Fear and Loathing--I'm more inclined to vote for that one anyway. but will pass this year.
The Book of Daniel is a pageturner and *kinda* good, if sentimental, about the Rosenbergs-based couple's early years, but too exploitational, kinda splattery, re the kids--can see how the real Rosenbergs' sons (not son and hot,crazy daughter, as in the book) objected. (They were adopted by Abel Meeropol, the brave high school teacher who earned much ire for writing the words to "Strange Fruit"---not much like the hapless, quickly wilting, pipe-smoking, New Yorker-reading sweater Dad in the book.)

dow, Saturday, 29 May 2021 06:03 (two weeks ago) link

Are all pennames being replaced by birth ones or something. Haven't seen Luke Rhinehart refered to otherwise.

Stevolende, Saturday, 29 May 2021 06:16 (two weeks ago) link

Are all pennames being replaced by birth ones or something.

No.

Haven't seen Luke Rhinehart refered to otherwise.

Blame the wikipedia entry - if it had been structured as written by Luke Rhinehart (a pen name for George Cockcroft) I'd have put it as Rhinehart.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 29 May 2021 12:11 (two weeks ago) link

I suspect Tom Sharpe wouldn't be as enjoyable to read as he was when I was 14, were I to attempt such a thing.

adrian "voodoo" chiles (Matt #2), Saturday, 29 May 2021 13:05 (two weeks ago) link

In contrast to 1970, I have read quite a few of these - not sure which to vote for though (either Brautigan or Le Guin)

The Dice Man by George Cockcroft Luke Reinhart - Read this when I had just dropped out of uni (or possibly just before) - was very impressed with the concept, if not necessarily the execution, and did actually try living the dice life for a couple of months, sad to report nothing interesting came out of this, just several bad decisions.
Post Office by Charles Bukowski This is the essential Bukowski book isn't it? "This is presented as a work of fiction and dedicated to nobody." - a long time since I read this and not sure if it would hold up, like Miller it has been a bad influence on many young men for sure. Feel like it might be worth taking a look at again someday anyway.
Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe Like Matt I read this as a teenager and found it hilarious, though even then I realised it wasn't exactly great literature, not going to dare go back to this one.
The Abortion by Richard Brautigan B-grade Brautigan, so still excellent, this is a story about a man taking his girlfriend to Mexico for an abortion, he lives in a library where people can leave their unpublished manuscripts. More than half the slim volume is a description of his short walk from the library to the car. This is a good mid-point between the slightly-too out-there 60s stuff and the sad, wistful later books, would suggest it as a nice starting point, maybe.
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson Another one I haven't read for 20 years, suspect this is still good.
The Lathe Of Heaven by Ursula K Le Guin My favourite Le Guin sci-fi novel, a man finds his dreams can re-shape reality and his psychologist takes advantage to reshape the world as he would like it to be. Again, this was brilliant when I was a teenager, curious to see if I still feel this way now.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 29 May 2021 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

Just realised these are all books I read between about 1995 and 2001.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 29 May 2021 14:54 (two weeks ago) link

Lathe of Heaven is a bit too much of a pkd tribute to be in my top le guin, though as such a tribute it is excellent. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH getting my vote as an all time great kids book.

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Saturday, 29 May 2021 15:42 (two weeks ago) link

PKD without the hint of whining misogyny though.

adrian "voodoo" chiles (Matt #2), Saturday, 29 May 2021 17:38 (two weeks ago) link

(he didn't always do that: for inst., Mary of Mary And The Giant is one no-b.s. tough cookie, and he seems to approve) Lathe of Heaven was also a 70s PBS movie or mini-series; I've watched some of it on YouTube.

dow, Saturday, 29 May 2021 21:08 (two weeks ago) link

It's funny what you wrote about The Abortion, Camaraderie, because that was my first Brautigan book. We read it aloud to each other at my nerdy summer camp when I was 15, totally changed my life. (I think Confederate General from Big Sur is my fave Brautigan, tho)

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Sunday, 30 May 2021 17:21 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 31 May 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

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

System, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1972

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 11:10 (two weeks ago) link


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