Best debut novels?

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The Bluest Eye is an obvious one...

The Brainwasher (Twilight), Monday, 2 October 2006 02:53 (thirteen years ago) link

The Recognitions
The Naked & the Dead

ramon fernandez (ramon fernandez), Monday, 2 October 2006 03:14 (thirteen years ago) link

Tristam Shandy

Aimless (Aimless), Monday, 2 October 2006 03:33 (thirteen years ago) link

Ripley Bogle, by Robert McLiam Wilson.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Monday, 2 October 2006 05:48 (thirteen years ago) link


ledge (ledge), Monday, 2 October 2006 08:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Three Junes, by Julia Glass

llj (llj), Monday, 2 October 2006 13:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Are you asking for the best novels that also happen to be first novels, or instances of an author's first novel being the best of his or her other works?

franny (frannyglass), Monday, 2 October 2006 14:30 (thirteen years ago) link

Either way, I second The Recognitions.

And Janet Frame's Owls do Cry.

franny (frannyglass), Monday, 2 October 2006 14:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh, and Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane.

franny (frannyglass), Monday, 2 October 2006 14:41 (thirteen years ago) link

I haven't finished writing it, yet.

SRH (Skrik), Monday, 2 October 2006 15:07 (thirteen years ago) link

How about best first novel, and best only novel and brilliant on both counts:

Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole

KylieC (mydogmo), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 05:24 (thirteen years ago) link

the tin drum

anthony easton (anthony), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 08:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell.

Ionica (Ionica), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 09:02 (thirteen years ago) link

I knew someone would say Confederacy of bloody Dunces.

franny (frannyglass), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 12:17 (thirteen years ago) link

er, hoity!

What's wrong with Confederacy?

Another best book, first book, only book:

Keri Hulme
The Bone People

KylieC (mydogmo), Thursday, 5 October 2006 03:04 (thirteen years ago) link

The Bone People is awful. I don't know how I managed to finish it.

Ray (Ray), Thursday, 5 October 2006 05:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Parts of it are pretty awful and even deliberately so - the author refused to edit unncessary waffle/bad writing and shopped around until she found a publisher willing to take it. Well obv. she didn't think it was awful but others beg to differ.

salexandra (salexander), Thursday, 5 October 2006 07:41 (thirteen years ago) link

Haha that post could have done with some editing: unnECessary

salexandra (salexander), Thursday, 5 October 2006 07:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Anyway, one debut novel I have recently enjoyed was White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It was clever and funny, although tended to lag towards the end.

salexandra (salexander), Thursday, 5 October 2006 07:45 (thirteen years ago) link

Kylie Keri Hulme published another book last year or the year before, Stonefish, it's lovely.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 5 October 2006 11:33 (thirteen years ago) link

What's wrong with Confederacy?

Well, I shouldn't be so snarky, really. I know tons of people think it's wonderful, but it's one of the few books that I actively hate. I threw it at a wall.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 5 October 2006 14:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Vargas Llosa's "Time of the Hero"--maybe my favorite of his books.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Omensetter's Luck
Invisible Man

ramon fernandez (ramon fernandez), Friday, 6 October 2006 10:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Mysteries of Pittsburgh

The Twenty-Seventh City

The Mad Puffin (The Mad Puffin), Thursday, 12 October 2006 17:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Wow - she finally published it! I will look it up!

KylieC (mydogmo), Saturday, 14 October 2006 00:46 (thirteen years ago) link

What's wrong with Confederacy?

Well, I shouldn't be so snarky, really. I know tons of people think it's wonderful, but it's one of the few books that I actively hate. I threw it at a wall.

I think we may have had a thread about it at some point. I can't stand it either. But I kind of recognise that it must not be a bad book, because of everyone I know who has read it, I think I'm the only one who actively hated it.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Saturday, 14 October 2006 05:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Confederacy of Dunces...

I do know other people who think it's crap, but I know more people who think it's OMG amazing. I suspect most of them only think that because it won the Pulitzer.

franny (frannyglass), Tuesday, 17 October 2006 10:40 (thirteen years ago) link

housekeeping, marylinne robinson

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 17 October 2006 13:08 (thirteen years ago) link

i too am hostile to 'confederacy'.

Josh (Josh), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 06:29 (thirteen years ago) link

Confederacy is crazy overrated.

horseshoe (horseshoe), Tuesday, 24 October 2006 03:17 (thirteen years ago) link

two months pass...
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer

A Personal Matter, Oe Kenzaburo

silence dogood (catcher), Thursday, 18 January 2007 03:09 (thirteen years ago) link

A Personal Matter, Oe Kenzaburo

I just acquired this from my parents' bookshelf. Talk about it some more.

wmlynch (wlynch), Thursday, 18 January 2007 06:35 (thirteen years ago) link

It's highly possible that Lautreamont wins, but then that's the dramatic teenager in me I guess, more than anything, and these are pretty good I think:

Charles Portis, 'Norwood'
Joe Brainard, 'I Remember'
Robert Walser, 'Jakob von Gunten'
Amos Tutuola, 'Palm Wine Drinkard'
Italo Calvino, 'Nest of Spiders'
Stephen Crane, 'Maggie: A Girl of the Streets'
Thomas Pynchon, 'V'

...Is 'Drowned World' Ballard's debut? -- if so, then that one too. I agree that D. Mitchell's debut is amazing, but am surprised none of the Brits have mentioned 'Wasp's Nest' yet.

Michael J McGonigal (mike mcgonigal), Thursday, 18 January 2007 09:21 (thirteen years ago) link

Did Brainard write anything other than the "I Remember" books? It would never have occurred to me to think of that as a "debut" (or a "novel").

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 18 January 2007 15:14 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm fairly sure A Personal Matter wasn't Oe's debut. I think it was (maybe) the first of his novels to be translated to English?

Either way, it's terrific.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 18 January 2007 15:18 (thirteen years ago) link

I don't know Wasp's Nest do you mean Wasp Factory because that would be an excellent choice.

Edward Trifle (Ned Trifle IV), Thursday, 18 January 2007 16:18 (thirteen years ago) link

My choices would be The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker and Lemprière's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk.

Edward Trifle (Ned Trifle IV), Thursday, 18 January 2007 16:21 (thirteen years ago) link

You're right, "A Personal Matter" wasn't his Oe's first novel, oops.

Now that I think about it, it should have been obvious giving the novel's content.

The story is, in reference to wmlynch's request, the most aptly named story of all time. It recounts Oe's struggle with the ultra-masculine feelings that come from being young and successful with his impotence in the face of having a braindamaged child.

This is a struggle Oe takes us through in most of his work, and as he does, you get the feeling that writing is what he's doing to get himself through life, with little regard for the reader. I love him.

silence dogood (catcher), Thursday, 18 January 2007 16:39 (thirteen years ago) link

I've not read any of Oe's other stuff, but he's clearly fantastic. The description of the hangover was one of the most physically harrowing things I've ever read.

I still have not read Mezzanine, even though I love Nicholson Baker. It makes me feel like a bad person.

franny (frannyglass), Thursday, 18 January 2007 18:46 (thirteen years ago) link

Ah that Oe book sounds fantastic. I'll get around to reading it soon.

wmlynch (wlynch), Friday, 19 January 2007 01:13 (twelve years ago) link

x-p1: Ahh sorry yeah I meant 'Wasp's Factory'

x-p2: Joe Brainard has written a LOT, actually, almost all of it "little books." And yes it is def. a stretch to call it a novel -- well, OK it's actually *incorrect* to call it a novel but I just love his work a lot lot lot. If you ever find the 'Collected Writings' book that Kulchur released in the early '70s or the 'New Work' book on Black Sparrow around the same time, pick them up.

Michael J McGonigal (mike mcgonigal), Friday, 19 January 2007 02:45 (twelve years ago) link

The Moviegoer

do i have to draw you a diaphragm (Rock Hardy), Friday, 19 January 2007 03:08 (twelve years ago) link

Controlled Burn by Scott Wolven (granted, he hasn't written anything else yet...)

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 19 January 2007 12:58 (twelve years ago) link

Tom McCarthy, Remainder.

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Saturday, 20 January 2007 18:53 (twelve years ago) link

Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

stet (stet), Saturday, 20 January 2007 19:23 (twelve years ago) link

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Sunday, 21 January 2007 03:43 (twelve years ago) link

twelve years pass...

I got a few.

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 2 May 2019 10:17 (eight months ago) link

lot to check out! was portrait of the artist.. omitted on purpose?

some faves

Sarah Hall, Haweswater
Alasdair Gray, Lanark
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends
B.S. Johnson, Travelling People
Flann O'brien, At Swim Two-Birds
Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry

devvvine, Thursday, 2 May 2019 11:09 (eight months ago) link

the last samurai >>>>

imago, Thursday, 2 May 2019 11:17 (eight months ago) link

is it time to admit that i found the last samuari pretty insufferable; expected to love it after all the talk i'd read on here

devvvine, Thursday, 2 May 2019 11:23 (eight months ago) link

haha it is very annoying, but in a way that i love (and am)

imago, Thursday, 2 May 2019 11:24 (eight months ago) link

loved when it would stray into the tangential stories, but man that kid..

should add sebald's vertigo as well

devvvine, Thursday, 2 May 2019 11:28 (eight months ago) link

Hunger, Knut Hamsun

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 2 May 2019 23:29 (eight months ago) link

Marilynne Robinson – Housekeeping was a good call!

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 2 May 2019 23:31 (eight months ago) link

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