Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1991

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis 4
Generation X: Tales For An Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland 2
Gringos by Charles Portis 2
Regeneration by Pat Barker 2
Mao II by Don DeLillo 1
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis 1
Jernigan by David Gates 1
The Famished Road by Ben Okri 1
The Gospel According To Jesus Christ by José Saramago 1
Little Pilgrim by Ko Un 0
I, Anna Komnene by Vera Mutafchieva 0
The General Is Up by Peter Nazareth 0
The Gardens Of Light by Amin Maalouf 0
The Following Story by Cees Nooteboom 0
Far From Medina by Assia Djebar 0
Educated Youth by Ye Xin 0
Outcast by Shimon Ballas 0
The Polish Rider by Antonio Muñoz Molina 0
Yellow Peril by Bao Mi 0
Wild Beast by Wang Shuo 0
The Cursed And Killed by Viktor Astafyev 0
The Swan by Guðbergur Bergsson 0
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder 0
The Shrimp People by Rex Shelley 0
The Scent Of The Gods by Fiona Cheong 0
Rivers Of Babylon by Peter Pišťanek 0
Ring by Koji Suzuki 0
Requiem: A Hallucination by Antonio Tabucchi 0
Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo 0
An Act Of Terror by Andre Brink 0
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley 0
Divina Trace by Robert Antoni 0
The Last Voyage Of Somebody The Sailor by John Barth 0
He, She And It by Marge Piercy 0
The Firm by John Grisham 0
Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold 0
Yoruba Girl Dancing by Simi Bedford 0
How The García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez 0
Charlie Peace by Paul Pickering 0
Imajica by Clive Barker 0
Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe 0
Absolution by Olaf Olafsson 0
Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell 0
The Van by Roddy Doyle 0
The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur 0
The Story Of Mr.Sommer by Patrick Süskind 0
Onitsha by J.M.G. Le Clézio 0
All The World's Mornings by Pascal Quignard 0
Wise Children by Angela Carter 0
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez 0


Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 August 2021 12:43 (one month ago) link

VOTE SARAMAGO

I know militant atheism is pretty boring now but dude was a total badass for launching this bomb into a still very militantly catholic Portuguese society, garnering him condemnation from the church and intervention from the Portuguese government, which had the book removed from the shortlist for a European literary prize. Also it's beautifully written.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 August 2021 12:47 (one month ago) link

Yoruba Girl Dancing is also very good, a story of a Nigerian teen who moves to the UK; really thought it had been written decades earlier. One thing that stuck with me is the description of British kids having to eat unappetizing sludge called porridge, and this being consumed regardless of the heat.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 August 2021 12:48 (one month ago) link

Tous les matins du monde by Pascal Quignard aka one of the greatest living writers.

pomenitul, Friday, 6 August 2021 12:54 (one month ago) link

Haha, the English Wikipedia article on Quignard only consists of three paragraphs and the longest mostly discusses the film adaptation. Then again, I have no idea whether his style works in translation, so wedded it is to the French language and its etymological sedimentation.

pomenitul, Friday, 6 August 2021 13:07 (one month ago) link

Could be the year I've read the least of since this series began - have only read American Psycho and Time's Arrow and wouldn't particularly want to stan for either

Zelda Zonk, Friday, 6 August 2021 13:43 (one month ago) link

I've only read "Mao II", and that was quite a while ago.

o. nate, Friday, 6 August 2021 13:48 (one month ago) link

I've only read The Van, and while I actually liked it a lot I'm guessing it probably wasn't the best book of the year.

Lily Dale, Friday, 6 August 2021 14:45 (one month ago) link

famished road is sitting there, unfinished, on the bookshelf 25 or more years after i started it, sorry ben

(july 1994 it says inside, so just over 27 years).

time's arrow and gen x are the only others i've read.

koogs, Friday, 6 August 2021 14:46 (one month ago) link

the subtext of this poll is the chad world literature reader vs the virgin anglo only reader

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 August 2021 14:49 (one month ago) link

Regeneration > Gen X / Wise Children / American Psycho. Don't remember much about Gen X or Wise Children, Regeneration is great stuff though. I'm better at reading foreign fiction these days but these polls suggest I have some way to go, Saramago's near the top of my to-read list now - xp lol.

Believe me, grow a lemon tree. (ledge), Friday, 6 August 2021 14:52 (one month ago) link

This is the year of books I dug when I was in college and remember nothing about now (Famished Road, Gen X, Mao II, Am Psych)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 6 August 2021 14:54 (one month ago) link

Gigachad only reads novels written in undecryptable cipher, obv.

pomenitul, Friday, 6 August 2021 14:58 (one month ago) link

This list pitched a no-hitter on me.

it is to laugh, like so, ha! (Aimless), Friday, 6 August 2021 19:40 (one month ago) link

only read five, am psycho the funniest of them, times arrow the best sentences.

oscar bravo, Friday, 6 August 2021 20:14 (one month ago) link

Gringos is not the best Portis but is still great.

Chris L, Saturday, 7 August 2021 15:29 (one month ago) link

Yeah Gringos is very fun, it got my vote

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Saturday, 7 August 2021 16:01 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 9 August 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

I luv u drunk Karl

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 August 2021 00:03 (one month ago) link

Never read Gringos but I imagine it’s got to be better than Masters of Atlantis.

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 9 August 2021 00:09 (one month ago) link

Nothing is better than Masters of Atlantis except maybe Dog of the South.

Chris L, Monday, 9 August 2021 05:36 (one month ago) link

!

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 9 August 2021 13:01 (one month ago) link

I think the '90s are mostly going to be me being unenthusiastic about middlebrow pap. I've read a few but nothing I'd call good.

Time's Arrow - maybe the only Amis that I feel like I'd still be into if I re-read again, as I am a sucker for a formal conceit, but eh, it was an awfully long time ago I read this. And as I said in the other thread, fuck Amis.

American Psycho - the way in which the writing's slick glossiness reflects the vapid and hollow milieu it sets itself in is v apt and well done. Everything else, eh. Also fuck Ellis.

Regeneration - might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't been forced to study it in class, but my recollections of this are entirely that it was an excruciatingly boring read. As far as I'm aware Barker isn't a hugely terrible person, though, so there is that in its favour.

emil.y, Monday, 9 August 2021 18:47 (one month ago) link

damn what a shitty year lmao

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Monday, 9 August 2021 20:42 (one month ago) link

I recall the kerfuffle over the Amis book having cribbed its conceit from all three of Vonnegut, Dick and Ballard, but now since a proper writer was doing it all was well. Shit, that was 30 years ago? *checks mirror*

the people of dorchester are marching upon us (Matt #2), Monday, 9 August 2021 21:21 (one month ago) link

Eh, I don't feel like time-slippage/backwards story-telling needs to be a proprietary thing. Vonnegut, Dick and Ballard are all much better writers than Amis, though, and I can just imagine the wankery of that discourse about "proper writers".

emil.y, Monday, 9 August 2021 21:24 (one month ago) link

I loved Pat Barker's WWI novels, and he gets the queer nuances right, sez this queer who was neither British nor alive in 1916.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 August 2021 21:42 (one month ago) link

(Pat Barker is a lady, which i didn't realise until recently, because wwi war poets struck me as a man's subject)

that said, a Google image search makes her look like two different people. but both of them are female.

koogs, Monday, 9 August 2021 21:53 (one month ago) link

here's where I admit to enjoying Generation X

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Monday, 9 August 2021 22:01 (one month ago) link

i think i'd've enjoyed it more if i hadn't read microserfs first

koogs, Monday, 9 August 2021 22:46 (one month ago) link

It’s either Time’s Arrow or Jernigan for me, I guess.

No Particular Place to POLL (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 9 August 2021 22:54 (one month ago) link

Heard of Quignard and quite like to read him and not sure why I've not come round -- see there is quite a lot in translation.

I've only read the Tabucchi. Like but won't vote for it. Like Emily finding this period a tad barren.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 9 August 2021 23:13 (one month ago) link

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

System, Tuesday, 10 August 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

Like fuck is American Psycho better than the Saramago, grumble grumble.

I recall the kerfuffle over the Amis book having cribbed its conceit from all three of Vonnegut, Dick and Ballard, but now since a proper writer was doing it all was well.

I thought Ballard and, to a lesser extent, Vonnegut were always seen as Proper Writers?

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 10 August 2021 10:02 (one month ago) link

I thought I’d voted for sure. :(

pomenitul, Tuesday, 10 August 2021 11:26 (one month ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1992

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 10 August 2021 14:32 (one month ago) link


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