Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2009

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel 7
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon 6
Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarczuk 4
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami 4
My Struggle: Book One by Karl Ove Knausgård 4
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies by Seth Grahame-Swift 1
Rhino What You Did Last Summer by Paul Howard 1
The Maintenance Of Headway by Magnus Mills 1
Cain by José Saramago 1
The Book Of Night Women by Marlon James 1
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin 1
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver 1
The City & The City by China Miéville 1
A Gate At The Stairs by Lorrie Moore 1
Summertime by J.M. Coetzee 1
Konur by Steinar Bragi 0
The Emperor Of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg 0
Eyo by Abidemi Sanusi 0
Death By Water by Kenzaburō Ōe 0
Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye 0
Z213: Exit by Dimitris Lyacos 0
Spilt Milk by Chico Buarque 0
Please Look After Mother by Shin Kyung-sook 0
The Crucible by Gong Ji-young 0
Democracy Or Demo Crazy by Seyyed Mahdi Shojaee 0
The Dinner by Herman Koch 0
The Museum Of Abandoned Secrets by Oksana Zabuzhko 0
A Girl In Exile by Ismail Kadare 0
Map Of The Invisible World by Tash Aw 0
The Forty Rules Of Love by Elif Shafak 0
The Dictator's Moustaches by Anna Russo 0
The Method by Juli Zeh 0
I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani 0
Secret Son by Laila Lalami 0
The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan 0
Finch by Jeff VanderMeer 0
Generosity: An Enhancement by Richard Powers 0
The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno 0
The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung 0
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead 0
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 0
Parrot And Olivier In America by Peter Carey 0
Blonde Roots by Bernadine Evaristo 0
The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt 0
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds 0
Frog by Mo Yan 0
Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier 0
Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez 0
The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller 0
After The Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld 0


Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:45 (two weeks ago) link

The City & The City is fine, but I think I prefer Mieville when he's in a 500 page novel with tons of ideas mode rather than pursuing one specific conceit.

Please Look After Mother is a very good novel about generational conflict, tiyl Ozu.

It's gotta be Wolf Hall though, despite Mantel's recent shitty terf nonsense and the fact that the project as a whole - casting a guy who was quite clearly a monster as a misunderstood, sympathetic character - still strikes me as strange.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:51 (two weeks ago) link

i've read two books on this list! and i'm voting for inherent vice bc i hated a gate at the stairs

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:52 (two weeks ago) link

I own about ten of these, I’ve read about four, and the only one I really want to vote for is Rhino What You Did Last Summer. And I reread it recently and this beautiful metaphor always amuses me

Now, I’ve had my share of beautiful women over the years – and a lot of other people’s share as well – but I have to tell you, I’ve never been so gagging for someone in my entire life. Even though all we’re actually doing is holding hands, I’ve a nightstick on me that could put manners on a G7 protest.

suggest bainne (gyac), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:52 (two weeks ago) link

good to have any desire to read mantel driven out of me i guess xxp

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

Boy that Ismail Kadere sure had a long and fruitful career, huh? Should read him sometime.

Rhino What You Did Last Summer included due to that very interesting essay gyac linked a few days ago.

Yes I included Chico Buarque's novel but not Nick Cave's, dealwithit.gif

xposts

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

Voted for 1Q84 because I like the fact that I kept being very confused by the way it seemed extremely clumsy and artificial and yet I kept phenomenally enjoying it and couldn't stop reading it. I like books where I can't explain why they're good!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

But "I Do Not Come To You By Chance" is great and more people should read it!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:54 (two weeks ago) link

Democracy Or Demo Crazy - this guy!

namaste darkness my old friend (ledge), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 14:58 (two weeks ago) link

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is the worst idea ever conceived.

jmm, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:01 (two weeks ago) link



_Rhino What You Did Last Summer_ included due to that very interesting essay gyac linked a few days ago.
xposts


I was wondering this! Ofc I feel the need to point out the conceit is that it’s told to Paul Howard, not written by him! 😶

suggest bainne (gyac), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:02 (two weeks ago) link

_Pride And Prejudice And Zombies_ is the worst idea ever conceived.


It’s awful. I was on some work trip stuck in a hotel in some satellite town somewhere and I bought this in a local WH Smith, literally didn’t finish it, went to sleep early instead.

suggest bainne (gyac), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:03 (two weeks ago) link

Someone bought me Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as a present and I just did not know how to respond to that. Hopefully my face did not betray me.

emil.y, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

voted for the novella exclusively concerned with the technicalities of London bus punctuality, because I could, obvs

imago, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:35 (two weeks ago) link

Ah, the era of monsters crossing over with history in popular novels.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:14 (two weeks ago) link

I’ve read Inherent Vice and 1Q84. Gonna have to think about which I prefer more.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:15 (two weeks ago) link

Had genuinely no idea about Mantel's TERF stuff. Fuck.

In that case, The City & The City.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I kinda felt I had to include Pride & Prejudice & Zombies just because it was such a product of its time but not expecting anyone to vote for it.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:35 (two weeks ago) link

i want to re-read a gate at the stairs; i remember liking it quite a lot but all i have seen is ppl say they dislike it

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

it's definitely likable, i just hated the bloggy voice it was written it and also the emotional manipulation toward the end

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:02 (two weeks ago) link

both pet peeves of mine where i can see someone else approaching them and thinking it was down-to-earth and moving

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:03 (two weeks ago) link

The City & The City is fine, but I think I prefer Mieville when he's in a 500 page novel with tons of ideas mode rather than pursuing one specific conceit. Despite a few stumbles, and initial handicap of East European cop with slight garble, you betsky, which I got used to, he's got enough ideas 4 hot pursuit of alt-polcier, which I'm a sucker for anyway ( incl. Yiddish Policemen's Union, The Demolished Man, more in that sense Blade Runner than source Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) Also, as usual, I'm voting for the only one I've read (will try Inherent Vice again: more weird detection, after all!)

dow, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:03 (two weeks ago) link

Inherent Vice v. Wolf Hall.

hocus pocus, alakazam (PBKR), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:25 (two weeks ago) link

watching the Inherent Vice film made it pretty clear I'd not have to read the book tbh

imago, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:31 (two weeks ago) link

The book is better

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:43 (two weeks ago) link

you're wrong lj it's worth reading

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:45 (two weeks ago) link

and despite PTA lifting whole chunks of the text verbatim, the two have a completely different vibe

Number None, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:45 (two weeks ago) link

As much as I like Lorrie Moore, A Gate At The Stairs read like an experiment in a voice and style that she couldnt' bring off.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:45 (two weeks ago) link

inherent vice is so good

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:46 (two weeks ago) link

Brooklyn was a minor thing quite well done, like the film adaptation.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:46 (two weeks ago) link

Oh yeah, nice film. Especially liked speculating about how things went after the ending.

dow, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:52 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I liked Gate at the Stairs but couldn't get past the extent to which it is not as good as classic LM

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:59 (two weeks ago) link

I gave up after about 50 pages of Brooklyn, it was like reading an album by The Lighthouse Family.

namaste darkness my old friend (ledge), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:02 (two weeks ago) link

Was between Wolf Hall, City & the City, and Lacuna for me of the 7 I'd read. Voted Lacuna.

Jaq, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:57 (two weeks ago) link

I missed Brooklyn. I liked it a lot (and the film).

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 19:58 (two weeks ago) link

Huh. I would've guessed "My Struggle: Book One" would be the one to beat before reading this thread. Guess it's not as popular as I thought. It gets my vote over "The City & the City" which is the only other one I've read.

o. nate, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:08 (two weeks ago) link

“My Struggle” is definitely something I intend to read.

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:26 (two weeks ago) link

I was going to suggest The Other City by Michal Ajvaz, and The Golden Age for 2010, but I guess they were written a while earlier and those were only the English publication years.

1Q84 basically made me lose interest in Murakami altogether, the first book was enjoyable enough but it was an utter slog by the end.

It’s kind of dumb but I loved Lethem’s Chronic City when I read it.

JoeStork, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:29 (two weeks ago) link

I recall enjoying 1Q84 but can't remember why it needed to be almost 1000 pages long. On reflection it probably didn't. The City & The City, like most Miéville post The Scar, is a great idea in search of a point. Er, that's all I've read! Which is two more than the 2008 list so at least I get to vote this time.

foley track out of sync (Matt #2), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 21:53 (two weeks ago) link

oh i’ve read my struggle book one and have never felt the need to read the rest. it was pretty good still

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 21:57 (two weeks ago) link

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead vs Wolf Hall with Plow just winning out.
1Q84 is the only murakami book I don't like.

oscar bravo, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 22:58 (two weeks ago) link

Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård
Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård Knausgård

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 23:07 (two weeks ago) link

My Struggle book one is really great - I have read most of the others, enjoyed them all, but the first is clearly the best

Zelda Zonk, Tuesday, 16 November 2021 23:08 (two weeks ago) link

I finished My Struggle, is the best I can say about it.

The Fat Years is an interesting alternate history of China (post Tiananmen) which is very informative about the actual pre Tiananmen history.

I'm also dithering between Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead and Wolf Hall but going for the latter.

namaste darkness my old friend (ledge), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 10:33 (two weeks ago) link

that name again is Mr Plow...

only one i've read 8(

(and then only last year)

koogs, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 11:49 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

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

System, Friday, 19 November 2021 00:01 (one week ago) link

Lots of voters this time, good.

dow, Friday, 19 November 2021 15:36 (one week ago) link

I love Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead, it's my favourite of his; a great book about music, food, adolescence. As I was reading it, it really reminded me of Richard Ford: it has that feel of a writer setting out to document in detail the everyday events of a few characters over a few weeks. I've since learned of the history between Whitehead and Ford, so the comparison is pretty screwed.

fetter, Friday, 19 November 2021 16:32 (one week ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2010

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 23 November 2021 15:23 (one week ago) link


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