13
Jul
09

Favorite Novels – Part 2

Let’s continue my list of my favorite novels from last post.

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas. I’m not enough of a douche to write out the French title instead. I’ve been recently rediscovering this book; it’s absolutely fantastic. For me, what makes this one great is the way in which it satisfies so many wishes at once. It’s an adventure story, a sprawling epic with lots of great characters, and a pretty serious revenge tale. I love this story so much that I’ll unconditionally love almost anything that models itself after it. If you haven’t read this one, check it out… it’ll be the fastest 1200 pages you ever read.

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller. It took me a while to get around to reading this classic, but it completely belongs on this list. It might be the funniest book I’ve ever read. It’s a strange kind of a funny too, that biting and revealing kind of funny that can be depressing to some. The book does take a turn towards the end as it becomes more serious and the full impact of the story sinks in, so just be prepared for that. This book did make me want to run out and read more of Joseph Heller’s work, since I don’t get the feeling he’s a one hit wonder, but I have yet to read anything else by him.

Perdido Street Station – China Mieville. What!? A fantasy book that ISN’T the Lord of the Rings on the same list as so many literary powerhouses!? Yup, it’s my list. I’m rather picky about my fantasy books, but as far as I’m concerned China Mieville is the best thing to happen to the genre in a long time. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s an adventure tale set in a completely new universe that has equal parts fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Part of why this book lingers with me is Mieville’s ability to conjure up beautifully gross images. There are many many moments from this book that will stay with me for a long time.

High Rise – JG Ballard. I’ll be honest, this one was a total toss up between High Rise and Crash. High Rise wins only because it has what is probably my favorite opening sentence of all time : “Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr. Robert Liang reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months”. I’m just going to leave it at that, if that doesn’t make you want to read the book, nothing else will. I hear there’s a movie being made by the guy that directed Cube… awesome!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick. I really don’t get most of the appeal of Blade Runner. There is kind of a legendary mineshaft post that is waiting to be written on that subject. I do like the source book quite a bit though. It’s one of those stories where even the little throwaway ideas are intensely interesting. One of these ideas, the concept of “kipple”, or junk and nonsense that just builds up endlessly is a really cool one. This is a must read for any appreciator of sci-fi.

Okay so that’s my list of my favorite 10 novels… I left a few out, but that’s what you have to do in a list I guess. It is subject to change, since I could be forgetting some, or I could find new ones in the future. I have a list of short stories as well, but I’ll save that for later.

I hope a few people go away from this with a tip or two as to what to read this summer. 🙂

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