Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1994

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 12
Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore 4
Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi 3
Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks 2
Whatever by Michel Houellebecq 2
How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman 2
The Master Of Petersburg by J. M. Coetzee 1
The Folding Star by Alan Hollinghurst 1
A Frolic Of His Own by William Gaddis 1
The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy 1
Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem 1
Tomorrow In The Battle Think On Me by Javier Marías 1
Piercing by Ryu Murakami 0
The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa 0
The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell 0
Dust And Ashes by Anatoly Rybakov 0
Falling by Anne Provoost 0
Follow Your Heart by Susanna Tamaro 0
A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening by Mário de Carvalho 0
Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah 0
Our Lady Of The Assassins by Fernando Vallejo 0
Of Love And Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Márquez 0
None To Accompany Me by Nadine Gordimer 0
The New Life by Orhan Pamuk 0
My Year In No-Man's-Bay by Peter Handke 0
A War Of One's Own by Lin Bai 0
Jack Frusciante Has Left the Band by Enrico Brizzi 0
The Island Of The Day Before by Umberto Eco 0
Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto 0
A Goat's Song by Dermot Healy 0
Insomnia by Stephen King 0
The Ice Storm by Rick Moody 0
Going Native by Stephen Wright 0
Girl by Blake Nelson 0
Brazil by John Updike 0
Pig by Andrew Cowan 0
The Longest Memory by Fred D'Aguiar 0
Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai 0
Lord Of Chaos by Robert Jordan 0
Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold 0
Pulp by Charles Bukowski 0
One-Way by Didier Van Cauwelaert 0
What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe 0
*** by Michael Brodsky 0
Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd 0
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières 0
The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith by Peter Carey 0
An Unfortunate Woman by Richard Brautigan 0
Tonguing The Zeitgeist by Lance Olsen 0
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwige Danticat 0


Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 11:01 (four weeks ago) link

Feel a bit weird voting for Brautigan when he's been dead more than a decade before publication.

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 11:15 (four weeks ago) link

I've only read Pereira Maintains and found that kinda meh - perhaps more engaging if you'd never heard of Pessoa or much about Portugal during the dictatorship.

I have read some Mário de Carvalho - comedic magic realism, for the most part - but not this one.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 12:56 (four weeks ago) link

oops that first sentence was me, obv, not a quote

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 13:12 (four weeks ago) link

The Folding Star has one of the more credible gay sex scenes I've read in fiction, i.e. silly and hawt.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:23 (four weeks ago) link

a hollinghurst novel with credible gay sex scenes??!?!?!?!? no way!!!!!

j/k

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:26 (four weeks ago) link

for real he's so fucking good at them tho

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:26 (four weeks ago) link

everyone who gets nominated for the bad sex writing award should read hollinghurst for a year as a reward

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:27 (four weeks ago) link

Who Will Run The Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore

^^ this is one of two books i've read on this list, the other being wind-up bird chronicle, which i ultimately hated, so frog hospital it is. one of the best opening paragraphs of any book i've ever read, tbh

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:28 (four weeks ago) link

Pereira Maintains is the best Tabucchi

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:39 (four weeks ago) link

"Wind-Up Bird" is the only one I've read. I guess I liked it well enough to vote for it.

o. nate, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 15:54 (four weeks ago) link

Ooh, welcome back!

I've only read Captain Corelli's Mandolin and the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The former I didn't enjoy at all, the latter I did enjoy but totally get the 'annoying Murakami tropes' thing (it's the only one of his I've read and made me ambivalent about reading more). Trying to work out if the good bits of it are worth a vote, despite the irritating elements.

emil.y, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:38 (four weeks ago) link

Wind-Up Bird is the best Murakami novel I've read, though I know he isn't popular on these threads. Short story collection The Elephant Vanishes was maybe better though.

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:40 (four weeks ago) link

I love Lorrie Moore and couldn't finish Frog Hospital. I may not be mad about her novels.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:40 (four weeks ago) link

i voted Murakami over Houellebecq, two problematic faves

look on my guacs, ye mighty, and dis pear (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:40 (four weeks ago) link

xp

Haven't read all of Moore's novels, but I think I agree: short fiction is where she is strongest. That said, I do like whatever Anagrams is supposed to be.

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:56 (four weeks ago) link

and strangest

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 16:58 (four weeks ago) link

Hooray the polls are back! I've only read the banks & the eco & the murakami but at least I haven't read captain corelli's mandolin. It's the only murakami I've read and it didn't do much for me, the eco is mid tier and the banks is very inventive so that I guess.

ledge, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 18:54 (four weeks ago) link

i guess the crossing is the one after all the pretty horses. in which case I've read that, and the banks, obv, and the murakami (can't remember).

i think insomnia is the one after i gave up on Stephen King (last one i read was named after a woman but can't remember if it was Delores or Rose, and i don't recognise the plot of insomnia)

koogs, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 19:27 (four weeks ago) link

I am fond of Gaddis, but that's an uneven novel. I like the Lorrie Moore.

Richard Marxist (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 19:36 (four weeks ago) link

2002 me is all Murakami - that book destroyed me. 2021 is all Lorrie Moore. I'll go with that.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 21 September 2021 19:57 (four weeks ago) link

wind-up bird didn't stick with me much compared to the few others of his i've read

learning from these threads that i haven't actually read many 90s books, just the murakami and i have a vague memory of reading that lethem but have no memory of what it was like

ciderpress, Tuesday, 21 September 2021 20:46 (four weeks ago) link

Have only read the Murakami and McCarthy, the former contains interesting facts about wigs and the latter interesting facts about wolves. I went wigs over wolves but it was a close-run thing.

a flange is gonna come (Matt #2), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 00:29 (four weeks ago) link

(turns out i haven't read the murakami, have read another two, but not that one)

koogs, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 01:19 (four weeks ago) link

Gun with Occasional Music is GREAT and I voted for it. Agree with other Lorrie Moore fans that Frog Hospital isn't the thing of hers to vote for (though I think I liked it.)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 02:40 (four weeks ago) link

quite liked wind-up bird before discovering that every single one of his novels involved a woman who disappeared (and maybe some jazz and probably cats)

enjoyed gun with occasional music but am not comfortable calling it the best of a year

mookieproof, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 02:42 (four weeks ago) link

It doesn't have to be the best of the year, it just has to be the best on this list

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 03:04 (four weeks ago) link

The operative word is "favourite".

ledge, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 07:22 (four weeks ago) link

learning from these threads that i haven't actually read many 90s books

Gotta say, since I started doing these there hasn't been a period where I've been as lost trying to find what to include. Dunno if they truly were bad years for lit, if the good stuff just hasn't been canonized yet or if it's just my ignorance.

Also the UK section is like 70% Doctor Who and Judge Dread novels now.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 09:58 (four weeks ago) link

Interested in Kelman and maybe Hollinghurst

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 10:12 (four weeks ago) link

The Kelman is good, wd've been my other choice

look on my guacs, ye mighty, and dis pear (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 11:09 (four weeks ago) link

quite liked wind-up bird before discovering that every single one of his novels involved a woman who disappeared (and maybe some jazz and probably cats)

enjoyed gun with occasional music but am not comfortable calling it the best of a year

OTM about Murakami. Never got around to the Lethem. Enjoyed many of the others of his I did get to but didn’t feel compelled to read them all.

Okay, I had a very strong recollection of reading the Kelman a few years earlier than the Murakami and indeed the latter only came out in English in 1997.

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 12:48 (four weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

Voted "Wind-Up Bird"

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:58 (three weeks ago) link

The only one I've read is the Lethem and I didn't care much for it.

adam t. (abanana), Thursday, 23 September 2021 07:17 (three weeks ago) link

I should say, the Kelman is also really good, but I can't say I remember much about it, just that I thought the dialect was going to be barrier but it was so well-written that I ended up finding the dialect totally transparent.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 23 September 2021 16:30 (three weeks ago) link

every single one of his novels involved a woman who disappeared (and maybe some jazz and probably cats)

+ spaghetti. + running

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 September 2021 16:32 (three weeks ago) link

think the running is a later (post-2000) development, "exoticised Western pop culture and geography" is a mainstay throughout

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 23 September 2021 16:42 (three weeks ago) link

i know but i couldn't resist listing every murakami touchstone

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 September 2021 16:45 (three weeks ago) link

+ fetishisation of random female body parts e.g. earlobes

a flange is gonna come (Matt #2), Thursday, 23 September 2021 17:37 (three weeks ago) link

+ wells

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 23 September 2021 19:15 (three weeks ago) link

otm

I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 23 September 2021 22:30 (three weeks ago) link

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

System, Friday, 24 September 2021 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1995

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 24 September 2021 13:56 (three weeks ago) link

Pereira maintains is the one I was anticipating in the last thread! Read it earlier this year & loved it, the gradual move away from trivialities is so well controlled (& whether the concerns of the literary mag count among the trivialities is an open q) - I also really enjoyed how the prose style has a superficial similarity to Bernhard but to such different effect

siffleur’s mom (wins), Friday, 24 September 2021 20:33 (three weeks ago) link


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