Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1967

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On the one hand, I haven’t read enough of these to vote informedly. On the other hand, 100 Years of Solitude, obvs.

horseshoe, Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:39 (five months ago) link

The Third Policeman is incredibly strange. I really need to read it again. Haven’t read enough of the others listed to vote though.

Scamp Granada (gyac), Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:41 (five months ago) link

another book I would have assumed was much earlier. I thought most of O'Brien's writing was 20 odd years earlier. Is that way out.

Stevolende, Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:49 (five months ago) link

It was written, like, 30 years earlier but unpublished.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Thursday, 13 May 2021 11:54 (five months ago) link

yes sat in a drawer after being rejected by various publishers - near impossible to choose between that & ice for me

no lime tangier, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:04 (five months ago) link

Was gonna say, the same thing happened to Macedonio Fernandez, but wiki tells me he was still working on The Museum of Eterna's Novel at his death in 1952, so maybe it really took that long to edit the drafts into something publishable.

Mark E. Smith died this year. Or, maybe last year. (bernard snowy), Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:12 (five months ago) link

Right, written between 39 and 40 but published posthumously after the author withdrew the manuscript he couldn't get published at the time.Thought that was odd when I first saw it on this list cos I would have automatically placed it earlier.
Wonder if that affected the way it was read then, context of reception to audience and presumably demographic of audience and things.

Stevolende, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:22 (five months ago) link

Trust you to make us all scroll to the bottom eh

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:24 (five months ago) link

For a peek behind the curtain: the wiki category starts with debut novels, then goes through national categories in alphabetic orders ("American novels of 1967", "Indian novels of 1967", etc.) and then at the end there's a buncha uncategorized novels, usually from countries that haven't got their own category. This is why "world" literature tends to be towards the end of the list, and strangely enough that's where you'll find Irish lit as well - considering the country's literary pedigree I was really expecting "Irish novels of year so and so" to be a regular fixture, especially considering Canada and Australia have this for almost every year.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:30 (five months ago) link

Tournier

pomenitul, Thursday, 13 May 2021 12:48 (five months ago) link

The only one of these I've read is "One Hundred Years of Solitude". It's good, but not sure I can vote in good conscience. Surprised to see some omissions: James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime" and Chaim Potok's "The Chosen".

o. nate, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:06 (five months ago) link

Also I guess Styron's "Confessions of Nat Turner".

o. nate, Thursday, 13 May 2021 13:09 (five months ago) link

Youse should all read Lord of Light tho

Chickpeas, Scamps and Beeves (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 13 May 2021 14:38 (five months ago) link

i'm convinced i should

haven't read a single novel on this list lol

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 May 2021 14:54 (five months ago) link

the brautigan has been recommended to me really often even tho i hate the dude's poetry

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 May 2021 14:54 (five months ago) link

Youse should all read Lord of Light tho

Even if I don't like A Rose for Ecclesiastes?

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:13 (five months ago) link

The Third Policeman!

One Hundred Years of Solitude is probably a greater book, and it's the rare book that has both an amazing opening passage and an amazing closing passage. But I'm much more likely to actually re-read The Third Policeman.

There's lots on this list that I should read but haven't.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:28 (five months ago) link

Oh so totally Third Policeman. Sorry to Brautigan, but no other real contender here (Ice is a Kavan I haven't read yet, despite being p much her most vaunted, so maybe that would be a fight, but it'd have to fight hard to win this one).

I will have to publicly confess this here: I really did not like 100 Years of Solitude. Sorry everybody. I feel bad about not liking it in the same sort of way I feel bad about not liking Hopscotch - like, I should like it? But nope, I do not.

emil.y, Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:44 (five months ago) link

I like some of his short stories a ton, but never made it through Hopscotch, despite liking the idea of Argentine ex-pats in Paris.

Anyway, this is totally TTP.

And, even though I actually like When She Was Good, but don't wanna go there right now.

Working in the POLL Mine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 May 2021 15:59 (five months ago) link

This could be The Owl Service, which haunts me to this day, or 100 Years of Solitude but I think it's actually the Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:16 (five months ago) link

!00 Years---with a shout-out to S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders too, just as true to (its own selected) small town/isolated community thermodynamics, but more reflective than generative, so 100 Years.

dow, Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:28 (five months ago) link

Lord Of Light by Roger Zelazny
Ice by Anna Kavan
The Owl Service by Alan Garner
The Ruined Map by Kobo Abe
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

Why do you do this to me, genuinely don't know which one to pick.

did you hear about the midnight ambler gambler? (Matt #2), Thursday, 13 May 2021 20:34 (five months ago) link

to be clear, I'd consider The Third Policeman if we polled the entire century

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 20:49 (five months ago) link

just the most haunting thing ever written, and it's somehow also hilarious, and lovely

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 20:50 (five months ago) link

Matt #2's list looks pretty good tbh

Working in the POLL Mine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 May 2021 20:50 (five months ago) link

Owl Service also amazing yeah, need to read some of those others. Solitude is like...fine

imago, Thursday, 13 May 2021 20:51 (five months ago) link

I might reread Solitude one day. I will reread The Third Policeman soon - Flann O'Brien on Bicycles is magnificent: https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/comedy/flann-obrien-splits-atom

Ice didn't do much for me, I'll give Lord of Light a go, maybe The Ruined Map too.

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Friday, 14 May 2021 09:53 (five months ago) link

Starting to feel frustrated that I haven't read Marquez so I could defend the non-European/American selection itt

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 14 May 2021 09:56 (five months ago) link

Marquez is good and v different from Hopscotch which I didn't like, yet both are lumped in as Latin America's finest.

Then again Joyce and Proust are lumped in together as modernism but the style and techniques are different, so the problem is wider than that.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 15 May 2021 18:11 (five months ago) link

To clarify, I wasn't trying to draw any comparisons between 100 Years of Solitude and Hopscotch aside from that they were a) books that have been on this poll, b) books that I've not enjoyed, and c) books where I felt that I should have enjoyed them.

emil.y, Saturday, 15 May 2021 18:17 (five months ago) link

Of course, "should have enjoyed them" is a foolish concept that I have imposed upon myself. I suppose I see it more with Hopscotch because I love texts that play with form, but... tbh I didn't see the relevance of that conceit to the book and it just ended up annoying me. But with 100YoS I don't know why I felt I should have liked it aside from the fact that it's been lauded so much, and I usually don't pay any attention to that stuff (see me having failed to read many of the 'classic' works in these threads).

emil.y, Saturday, 15 May 2021 18:23 (five months ago) link

to be clear, I'd consider The Third Policeman if we polled the entire century

― imago

sharpening the contraindications (Aimless), Saturday, 15 May 2021 18:52 (five months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 16 May 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

Emily - sorry shouldn't have picked on your post like that. It was more to do with my annoyance at the wider discourse surrounding Latin American books of a certain period. Both are ofc published during the 60s so maybe that's inevitable.

Totally agree that 100 years is v much lauded, and I freeze myself when talking about that book. I should re-read sometime to see whether it holds up.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 16 May 2021 15:12 (five months ago) link

I loved solitude (but also shd revisit) but agree it’s unhelpful how it can be lumped in with completely different stuff from the same continent - iirc we have done this before with márquez vs borges which is even more... they share a language I guess? I have only read short stories by cortázar, need to change that

This is so the third policeman tho

Pinefox reviews Reviews (wins), Sunday, 16 May 2021 15:22 (five months ago) link

Not that I’ve read that many here lol

I didn’t really like trout fishing at all 😕 and I have a pretty high tolerance for the American experimental novels of this era and their cuteness (I rate Snow White and next year’s nog) so can’t say why it didn’t click. Levin is good but completely eclipsed by the film for me

Pinefox reviews Reviews (wins), Sunday, 16 May 2021 15:33 (five months ago) link

Brautigan really is a pretty twee hippy dude. I love most of his stuff that I've read (there were definitely one or two that didn't land for me but can't remember which ones they were!) but I don't really begrudge people who don't like his work. I think for me if yr cuteness is balanced with enough yearning melancholy then I'm into it, I just don't like happy + cute.

emil.y, Sunday, 16 May 2021 15:49 (five months ago) link

Yeah I can go with that I think - will give him another try

Pinefox reviews Reviews (wins), Sunday, 16 May 2021 16:09 (five months ago) link

I'd maybe go for The Abortion or Sombrero Fallout over retrying Trout Fishing? There are definitely some dated views of women in his work too, but it's more "sad man thinking baout the exotic unknowable creature that is woman" than anything more gross, and I feel like the works are worth letting him have that.

emil.y, Sunday, 16 May 2021 16:24 (five months ago) link

I voted for Trout Fishing but agree that it’s by no means his best. In addition to the two Emil.y mentions I’d recommend Willard and His Bowling Trophies and The Hawkline Monster.

I totally understand why people can’t stick him.

Tim, Sunday, 16 May 2021 16:30 (five months ago) link

I got nowhere with Trout Fishing but loved In Watermelon Sugar and really liked The Abortion. Should probably give Trout Fishing another try.

So the Wind Won’t Blow it All Away is very good but Christ what a bleak book.

JoeStork, Sunday, 16 May 2021 16:40 (five months ago) link

Niver read him, but I've always really liked what might be the original cover of Revenge of the Lawn: 19th Century->Hippie-Era-looking girl in an Early American-looking chair, looking intensely happy about a big uncut chocolate cake (if this doesn't stay posted, it's worth a search)

https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9780671418526-us.jpg

dow, Sunday, 16 May 2021 16:57 (five months ago) link

Also: combo of title x pic, incl. cover colors---!

dow, Sunday, 16 May 2021 17:00 (five months ago) link

Post's enlongation ov image even better maybe

dow, Sunday, 16 May 2021 17:01 (five months ago) link

Gaze into her eyes

dow, Sunday, 16 May 2021 17:02 (five months ago) link

I voted for Trout Fishing but agree that it’s by no means his best. In addition to the two Emil.y mentions I’d recommend Willard and His Bowling Trophies and The Hawkline Monster.

I'd say to anyone who enjoyed The Sisters Brothers, in particular, give Hawkline Monster a try.

Chris L, Sunday, 16 May 2021 17:49 (five months ago) link

I stan for Dreaming of Babylon, but yeah emil.y otm

Working in the POLL Mine (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 May 2021 23:40 (five months ago) link

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

System, Monday, 17 May 2021 00:01 (five months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1968

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 17 May 2021 09:46 (five months ago) link


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