Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1973

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Red Shift is difficult - almost modernist in its elisions and weird temporal structure.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 4 June 2021 13:20 (one month ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2021 13:22 (one month ago) link

I found Red Shift almost totally incomprehensible the first time I read it; I don't think I was expecting to have to pay so much attention to it. Then my brother explained what was going on with Jan's train and the streaks of blue and silver that people kept seeing, and in a sudden flash of illumination I went "Oh, it's 'When the train left the station it had two lights on behind/ the blue light was my baby and the red light was my mind,'" and after that I reread the book and it made much more sense.

Lily Dale, Friday, 4 June 2021 13:51 (one month ago) link

I had no idea I know what you did last summer was a book, let alone a 70s book!

The đź’¨ that shook the barlow (wins), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:05 (one month ago) link

Write-in for Réjean Ducharme's L'Hiver de force, another Québécois lit classic.

pomenitul, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:09 (one month ago) link

I went through a phase of reading all the Lois Duncan books in the library when I was 10 or so, there were only four or five books, the best one was Locked In Time. Pretty sure they were not suitable for a 10-year-old, especially Killing Mr Griffin.

A viking of frowns, (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:11 (one month ago) link

Re-read Rendezvous With Rama a few years ago, it's certainly a page-turner but bloody hell can't ACC give his characters even a little hint of personality? Also the attempts to sex things up here and there are excruciating. I guess this was his (very successful) go at a ready-made blockbuster, hence the never-fails BDO* plot premise.

(*Big Dumb Object, for those not privy to genre terminology)

Best regards, HM Revenue & Customs (Matt #2), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:39 (one month ago) link

Write-in for Réjean Ducharme's _L'Hiver de force_, another Québécois lit classic.

I saw a documentary on this guy and ever since have been completely fascinated. Haven’t finished any of his novels yet though

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:40 (one month ago) link

I've read a few of these: "Gravity's Rainbow", "Fear of Flying", "Breakfast of Champions". Also pretty sure I've read "A Wind in the Door" and "Rendezvous with Rama" but I don't remember them well. I'd be tempted to write in "Siege of Krishnapur" by J.G. Farrell, but probably it's "GR" for me.

o. nate, Friday, 4 June 2021 14:59 (one month ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

― Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.)

Ha, I have a bit of bitterness re Christie Malry because it is the hit and there are a good couple of his novels that are way better, but I'm still voting for it. It is super sharp and expertly constructed.

Loved Crash and Breakfast of Champions when I read them, didn't get through Gravity's Rainbow but it seemed good from the bit I did read - always intended to make time for it but these days my concentration span is so poor I'm not sure if that will ever happen.

The TV adaptation of Red Shift is a great piece of work, but I never read the book, sorry Alan.

emil.y, Friday, 4 June 2021 16:30 (one month ago) link

rendezvous with rama is a fun read.
haven't read anything else here.

wasdnuos (abanana), Friday, 4 June 2021 16:34 (one month ago) link

Big Ballard fan, Crash gets my vote

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Friday, 4 June 2021 19:17 (one month ago) link

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson

For some reason this is the only own of his novels I haven't read. A bit like ignoring the hit and concentrating on the deep cuts.

― Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2021 14:22 (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

i've had the (not worthless) movie on DVD for year and still haven't got round to reading it

Lage Lage Lage Shooting (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2021 19:21 (one month ago) link

I'd love to vote for the Scliar, which I know I liked, but I remember nothing about it, so I'm going with The Great American Novel, the highlight of Roth's mostly ignored/forgotten boffo comedy period.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 4 June 2021 21:15 (one month ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 7 June 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

The Great American Novel, the highlight of Roth's mostly ignored/forgotten boffo comedy period. Intriguing!
I love of some of GR, a few parts, and some of the rest works fairly well, but not enough for me to vote for it. Instead, will go for Great Jones Street: like Americana it's funny, eerie, thoughtful, mobile, and too talky, as the author seems to realize, considering the ending, which kinda works, and the monologues, individually, are pretty good, also conversations. The narrator is an Iggy Dylan, who likes to run around the atage naked, and writes pretty good lyrics. He has a British colleague who specializes in "bitckpicking": fussing with one sweater-pill of the song 'til the whole thing comes unraveled, in a gloriously maddening way. ID goes away, to ponder things, in a walk-up on early 70s Great Jones St. Meets some tawwwky bastards, also his girlfriend visits. Imperfect, but I'm going with it.

dow, Monday, 7 June 2021 01:00 (one month ago) link

oh, how is The Rachel Papers?? Have read that MA's early novels actually don't suck.

dow, Monday, 7 June 2021 01:02 (one month ago) link

Think he had a good run up until Money and then maybe London Fields. *ducks*

AP Chemirocha (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 7 June 2021 01:16 (one month ago) link

In my early twenties I read Slaugherhouse Five, thought it was fine; read Cat's Cradle, thought it was ok; read Breakfast of Champions, thought it was a laugh riot. Of course I don't remember a thing about it now.

I was born anxious, here's how to do it. (ledge), Monday, 7 June 2021 08:49 (one month ago) link

The main thing I remember about it is the naughty doodles.

o. nate, Monday, 7 June 2021 15:20 (one month ago) link

The asshole

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Monday, 7 June 2021 15:21 (one month ago) link

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

System, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 1974

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 8 June 2021 10:19 (one month ago) link


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