Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1973

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon 13
Crash by J.G. Ballard 5
Christie Mairy's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson 3
Breakfast Of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut 2
Red Shift by Alan Garner 2
Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke 1
The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis 1
The Princess Bride by William Goldman 1
Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo 1
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown 1
The Great American Novel by Philip Roth 1
Season Of Anomy by Wole Soyinka 0
Japan Sinks by Sakyo Komatsu 0
The Impatient Ones by Yuri Trifonov 0
The Hermit by Eugene Ionèsco 0
Great Destiny by Sonomyn Udval 0
The Future Leaders by Mwangi Ruheni 0
The Chip-Chip Gatherers by Shiva Naipaul 0
The Castle Of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino 0
Xala by Ousmane Sembène 0
Kill Me Quick by Meja Mwangi 0
Requiem For Convoy PQ-17 by Valentin Pikul 0
Psychic School Wars by Taku Maruyama 0
The One Man Army by Moacryr Scliar 0
Mass by F. Sionil José 0
Mararía by Rafael Arozarena 0
Two Thousand Seasons by Ayi Kwei Armah 0
A Man Was Going Down The Road by Otar Chiladze 0
Looking On Darkness by Andre Brink 0
Captain Pantoja And The Secret Service by Mario Vargas Llosa 0
Kram by Hans-Eric Hellberg 0
Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong 0
I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncann 0
Saint Jack by Paul Theroux 0
The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox 0
Sula by Toni Morrison 0
Time Enough For Love by Robert A. Heinlein 0
A Wind In The Door by Madeleine L'Engle 0
The Dressmaker by Beryl Bainbridge 0
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs 0
The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene 0
Temporary Kings by Anthony Powell 0
The Lesbian Body by Monique Wittig 0
The Giants by J.M.G. Le Clézio 0
H by Phillipe Sollers 0
The Oath by Elie Wiesel 0
Momo by Michael Ende 0
The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren 0
Equinox by Samuel R. Delany 0


Daniel_Rf, Friday, 4 June 2021 10:57 (one week ago) link

Been meaning to get into Moacryr Scliar but, due to brexit or pandemic who knows, the online Portuguese bookshop I use has stopped shipping to the UK

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 4 June 2021 10:59 (one week ago) link

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson
Crash by J.G. Ballard
Sula by Toni Morrison
Red Shift by Alan Garner

All good. Only Crash makes me pause, but it's comfortably GR.

Love to read Soyinka and Sembene (the film is all-time)

xyzzzz__, Friday, 4 June 2021 11:05 (one week ago) link

Lots of blanks here for me. I'll go for Ballard though I do love Red Shift.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 4 June 2021 11:09 (one week ago) link

Was waiting to see if anything on this list would draw me away from GR. It hasn't

Lage Lage Lage Shooting (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2021 11:31 (one week ago) link

Not included for obvious reasons:

The Camp of the Saints (French: Le Camp des Saints) is a 1973 French dystopian fiction novel by author and explorer Jean Raspail.[1][2][3] A speculative fictional account, it depicts the destruction of Western civilization through Third World mass immigration to France and the West. Almost forty years after its initial publication, the novel returned to the bestseller list in 2011.[4]

On its publication, the book received praise from some prominent French literary figures,[5][6] but has since then been dismissed by both French- and English-language commentators for conveying themes of racism,[2][7][8][9] xenophobia, nativism, monoculturalism, and anti-immigration content.[1][2][10][11] The novel is popular within far-right and white nationalist circles.[3][12][13]

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 4 June 2021 12:39 (one week ago) link

If his professon was "explorer" then he presumably spent the majority of his career entering other countries, the prick.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 4 June 2021 12:45 (one week ago) link

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Great American Novel by Philip Roth

this is a hilarious juxtaposition imo

imago, Friday, 4 June 2021 12:47 (one week ago) link

anyway, happy to contribute to the blowout

imago, Friday, 4 June 2021 12:48 (one week ago) link

Had to vote Crash for no other reason than that Vaughan died yesterday in his last car crash, but Red Shift ran it close. Garner's in that weird position of largely being thought of as a writer for younger readers, but most everything he did after 1970 or so was distinctly non-YA.

Best regards, HM Revenue & Customs (Matt #2), Friday, 4 June 2021 13:13 (one week ago) link

Red Shift is difficult - almost modernist in its elisions and weird temporal structure.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 4 June 2021 13:20 (one week ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2021 13:22 (one week ago) link

I found Red Shift almost totally incomprehensible the first time I read it; I don't think I was expecting to have to pay so much attention to it. Then my brother explained what was going on with Jan's train and the streaks of blue and silver that people kept seeing, and in a sudden flash of illumination I went "Oh, it's 'When the train left the station it had two lights on behind/ the blue light was my baby and the red light was my mind,'" and after that I reread the book and it made much more sense.

Lily Dale, Friday, 4 June 2021 13:51 (one week ago) link

I had no idea I know what you did last summer was a book, let alone a 70s book!

The 💨 that shook the barlow (wins), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:05 (one week ago) link

Write-in for Réjean Ducharme's L'Hiver de force, another Québécois lit classic.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:09 (one week ago) link

I went through a phase of reading all the Lois Duncan books in the library when I was 10 or so, there were only four or five books, the best one was Locked In Time. Pretty sure they were not suitable for a 10-year-old, especially Killing Mr Griffin.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:11 (one week ago) link

Re-read Rendezvous With Rama a few years ago, it's certainly a page-turner but bloody hell can't ACC give his characters even a little hint of personality? Also the attempts to sex things up here and there are excruciating. I guess this was his (very successful) go at a ready-made blockbuster, hence the never-fails BDO* plot premise.

(*Big Dumb Object, for those not privy to genre terminology)

Best regards, HM Revenue & Customs (Matt #2), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:39 (one week ago) link

Write-in for Réjean Ducharme's _L'Hiver de force_, another Québécois lit classic.

I saw a documentary on this guy and ever since have been completely fascinated. Haven’t finished any of his novels yet though

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:40 (one week ago) link

I've read a few of these: "Gravity's Rainbow", "Fear of Flying", "Breakfast of Champions". Also pretty sure I've read "A Wind in the Door" and "Rendezvous with Rama" but I don't remember them well. I'd be tempted to write in "Siege of Krishnapur" by J.G. Farrell, but probably it's "GR" for me.

o. nate, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:59 (one week ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

― Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.)

Ha, I have a bit of bitterness re Christie Malry because it is the hit and there are a good couple of his novels that are way better, but I'm still voting for it. It is super sharp and expertly constructed.

Loved Crash and Breakfast of Champions when I read them, didn't get through Gravity's Rainbow but it seemed good from the bit I did read - always intended to make time for it but these days my concentration span is so poor I'm not sure if that will ever happen.

The TV adaptation of Red Shift is a great piece of work, but I never read the book, sorry Alan.

emil.y, Friday, 4 June 2021 16:30 (one week ago) link

rendezvous with rama is a fun read.
haven't read anything else here.

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 4 June 2021 16:34 (one week ago) link

Big Ballard fan, Crash gets my vote

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Friday, 4 June 2021 19:17 (one week ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

― Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:22 (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

i've had the (not worthless) movie on DVD for year and still haven't got round to reading it

Lage Lage Lage Shooting (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2021 19:21 (one week ago) link

I'd love to vote for the Scliar, which I know I liked, but I remember nothing about it, so I'm going with The Great American Novel, the highlight of Roth's mostly ignored/forgotten boffo comedy period.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 4 June 2021 21:15 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 7 June 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

The Great American Novel, the highlight of Roth's mostly ignored/forgotten boffo comedy period. Intriguing!
I love of some of GR, a few parts, and some of the rest works fairly well, but not enough for me to vote for it. Instead, will go for Great Jones Street: like Americana it's funny, eerie, thoughtful, mobile, and too talky, as the author seems to realize, considering the ending, which kinda works, and the monologues, individually, are pretty good, also conversations. The narrator is an Iggy Dylan, who likes to run around the atage naked, and writes pretty good lyrics. He has a British colleague who specializes in "bitckpicking": fussing with one sweater-pill of the song 'til the whole thing comes unraveled, in a gloriously maddening way. ID goes away, to ponder things, in a walk-up on early 70s Great Jones St. Meets some tawwwky bastards, also his girlfriend visits. Imperfect, but I'm going with it.

dow, Monday, 7 June 2021 01:00 (one week ago) link

oh, how is The Rachel Papers?? Have read that MA's early novels actually don't suck.

dow, Monday, 7 June 2021 01:02 (one week ago) link

Think he had a good run up until Money and then maybe London Fields. *ducks*

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 7 June 2021 01:16 (one week ago) link

In my early twenties I read Slaugherhouse Five, thought it was fine; read Cat's Cradle, thought it was ok; read Breakfast of Champions, thought it was a laugh riot. Of course I don't remember a thing about it now.

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Monday, 7 June 2021 08:49 (one week ago) link

The main thing I remember about it is the naughty doodles.

o. nate, Monday, 7 June 2021 15:20 (one week ago) link

The asshole

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Monday, 7 June 2021 15:21 (one week ago) link

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

System, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1974

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 10:19 (one week ago) link


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