Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Top 10 Best Novels

This is an idea that caught my fancy - mainly because the revelation of the lists seem to expose aspects of reader's histories and tastes that are surprising.

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

I often re-read this in times of stress - I remember the eve of one final exam at univeristy where I was unable to sleep  and started to read it to calm me down.  Unfortunately this led me to saty up until dawn racing the the end.  When discussiing Lizzie witha froiend at teh time she said 'You sound half in love with yourself'.  Being young and stupid, or younger and stupider, I deined this vehemently, rather than accpet this as simple fact.

2. Scoop, Evelyn Waugh

Henry Boot is an Everyman, plucked from a comfortable home life into unwanted adventure.

3. The Old Devils, Kingsley Amis

Almost any of his books would count, but this captures the trials of age and tricks of memory in a positive light.

4.  Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett

The start of the run of good form in the series, moving and profound as well as funny.

5. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams

A complex time travel plot, and more heart that the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (including a heartbreaking scene on Mauretania seeing the last dodo).

6. Towards the End of the Morning, Michael Frayn

Everday life in a newspaper office, standing for the world of pointless wok.

7. Fatherland, Robert Harris

Alternate history in which the Nazis are victorious and a detective uncovers eveidence of the Final Solution.

8. The Warden, Anthony Trollope

The first and best of the Barchester Chronicles - real people in moral dilemmas.

9. So Much Blood, Simon Brett

A Charles Paris murder mystery set in teh theatrical world.

10. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

Another alternate history about the Second World War, Dick's most coherent novel.


Nearly made the cut: Martin Amis, David Lodge, Philip Roth, Joseph Heller, Barbara Pym
  

4 comments:

Ellie said...

An intriguing list. I love the way you shared with use how important Pride and Prejudice can be to you. Thank you.

Top Ten Novels Blogfest

Madeleine said...

Hi Martin
Thanks for joining in my novel blogfest. There are 2 I recognise that I've also enjoyed 'The Warden' and 'Pride & Prej'. Your others are ones I have not read at all. I have a feeling they would appeal to my husband if he hasn't already read them.
You say you haven't read in 20yrs. Try Cosmic (on my list) You will love it. After all, they say to be a good writer you must read lots ;O)

Martin Locock said...

I have read things in the last 20 years, but somehow few have become favourites (maybe too many were by Ben Elton, Will Self, Nick Hornby ...)

Dave said...

Feet Of Clay is great and I loved Dirk Gently on the radio, the books are high on my list of priorities to read soon.

Dave
Dave Wrote This