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Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Marlene Huggins rated it liked it May 15, Kayla rated it it was amazing May 12, Mara Herrera rated it it was amazing Jan 31, Jessica Elliott rated it it was amazing Mar 06, Tay marked it as to-read Mar 02, Nikki marked it as to-read May 12, Pooja Pariath marked it as to-read Apr 20, Nico Sy marked it as to-read Jan 09, Lanae Sheppard marked it as to-read Feb 05, Joyful Hawbaker marked it as to-read Mar 21, This unusual writer excels at the creation of skewed, dreamlike parallel worlds.
In his fourth novel, the rootless, emotionally frozen Martin Blom is blinded by a stray bullet: his doctor warns of hallucinations of vision, and indeed he soon finds that he can see — but only in the dark. A new nocturnal existence and highly charged affair with a nightclub waitress follow, in a phantasmagorical meditation on repression and transgression, absence and invisibility.
Hank Morgan, an engineer from 19th-century Connecticut, is knocked out in a crowbar fight and mysteriously transported to sixth-century England. Vonnegut considered Sirens of Titan to be one of his best books , ranking it just below Slaughterhouse-Five. Featuring a dimension-swapping ultra-rich space explorer who can see the future, a robot messenger whose craft is powered by UVTW the Universal Will to Become and the newly established Church of God the Utterly Indifferent, Sirens of Titan manages to be classic 50s pulp, a literary sleight of hand, a cult novel of the 60s counterculture and unmistakably Vonnegut all at the same time.
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Young Jakob von Gunten enrols in a sinister academy that touchstone of Germanic fiction in which students learn how to be good servants. Kafka and Hesse were big fans of the Swiss writer; film-making duo the Brothers Quay turned the novel into a mesmerising stock-frame feature in Waters followed the rollicking Tipping the Velvet with this sombre, beautifully achieved meditation on love and loneliness set in the milieu of Victorian spiritualism.
Waters exploits the conventions of the ghost story to moving, open-ended effect, recreating a world of fascinating detail and beguiling mystery. On his return he reports that he has travelled to the year , Mankind has evolved into hyper-decadent Eloi and hyper-proletarian Morlocks, who live underground. The Eloi fritter, elegantly, by day. The Morlocks prey on the Eloi cannibalistically by night. Before returning to his own time, the Time Traveller goes forward to witness the heat death of the Solar System. At the end of the narrative, he embarks on a time journey from which he does not return.
The most read, imitated and admired invasion fantasy of the 19th century. The Martians, a cold-bloodedly cerebral species, driven by the inhospitability of their dying planet and superior technology, invade Earth. Their first cylinders land at Horsell Common and are followed by an army of fighting machines equipped with death rays. Humanity and its civilisation crumple under the assault, which is witnessed by the narrator, a moral philosopher.
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The novel can be read as an allegory of imperialism. The Sword in the Stone was initially published as a stand-alone work, but was subsequently rewritten to become the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King. Only at the end of the book is it confirmed that the boy will grow up to be King Arthur. Kathryn Hughes Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Originally published in four volumes, this far-future story presents a powerfully evocative portrait of Earth as the sun dies.
Using the baroque language of fantasy to tell a story that is solidly science fiction, Wolfe follows Severian, a professional torturer exiled to wander the ruined planet and discover his fate as leader and then messiah for his people. Complex and challenging, this is perhaps one of the most significant publications in the last three decades of sci-fi.
Triffids are possibly escapees from a Soviet laboratory; their takeover begins when a meteor shower blinds everyone who witnesses it. Bill Masen owes his survival to the fact that he was in hospital with his eyes bandaged at the time. CA Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. It emerges, six months later, that every fertile woman in the village is pregnant. As they grow up with terrifying psychic powers, a perceptive Midwich citizen, Gordon Zellaby, contrives to blow them up and save humanity.
What did the Soviet censors find so offensive? Until, that is, the mathematician D falls in love.
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Bakha, 18, is strong and able-bodied. He is a latrine cleaner, a Dalit, an untouchable, and the novel traces a day in his life. Deep in thought and enjoying a sweet jalebi, Bakha brushes against a Brahmin. A novel written, some would say, before the genre was properly invented.
Set in Surinam, which the author may or may not have visited, its hero is a highly cultivated African prince who is brought to the West Indies as a slave. They marry but, unwilling to have his children raised in servitude, Oroonoko raises a slave rebellion.
It is and while the Irish war of independence rages outside the gates of their County Cork home, Sir Richard Naylor and his Anglo-Irish family continue their privileged life of tea and tennis. Afrikaner teacher Ben du Toit lives a comfortable life in s Johannesburg. Yet his family do not want to look and his search for the truth makes him dangerously vulnerable. Nonetheless, Shirley is an important social novel, set in Yorkshire during the Luddite riots at the end of the Napoleonic wars, which revolves around two questions: the social consequences of industrialisation and the position of women.
Paul Laity Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.
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Unable to reconcile his religion with his homosexuality, Kenneth Toomey wanders the world from the Paris of Joyce and Pound, via Nazi Germany and heyday Hollywood, to Malta where — mottled, sallow, emaciated — he awaits his death, sure of only one thing: that evil is innate to humanity. Claire Armistead Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Middle-aged Jeeter Lester is an impoverished cotton farmer. He married his wife, Ada, at the age of 11 and the couple have had 17 children. Incest rages in the Lester household.
Tobacco Road created an image of poor white trash that is still with us. Nicholas Lezard Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. His novel is set on Haiti, an island steeped in myth and voodoo. Ti Noel is a slave when a rebellion begins in Having lost his job he moves in with his daughter on her remote farmstead, but then is a helpless bystander when three black men arrive and rape her.
His life is becoming a tuition in humiliation. Yet the bleakness of any paraphrase is belied by the beautiful exactness of the prose, which mimics the intelligence and coldness of the protagonist. But the Magistrate is also a servant of the empire and his intervention in the case of a barbarian girl teaches him lessons about himself as well as the workings of power.
Bill is kind. Bill is benevolent. Technology with a human face. Only luck rescues her, and makes her penitent. The tale is the more compelling because she is looking back ruefully on her misadventures in older age, examining her own motives with withering candour.
This novel really does attempt an anatomy of post-war America. It also combines the trickery of post-modern narration — a reverse chronology, sudden shifts of narrative perspective, interpolated passages of documentary reconstruction — with a simple and alluring fable. For the spine of this huge book is the story of what happens to a famous object, the baseball hit into the stands to win the World Series for the New York Giants in , just as the Soviet Union is successfully testing an atomic bomb.
Attuned like no other novel to the perplexities that hum away at the margins of everyday experience, White Noise remains the most precise, and killingly funny, portrayal of the way we live now.
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Lindesay Irvine Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The titular cities are Paris and London. It is the best and worst of times: the age of revolution. The doctor, whose wits are gone, is rescued by a lawyer, Lorry, and brought to England with his daughter, Lucie. A classic novel that helped to give lawyers their bad name. Bleak House is a vigorous satire on the old court of Chancery and the self-serving, pocket-lining nonsenses of the profession practiced there.
Richard Carstone and Ada Clare are wards of the court in the eternal case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce; thrown together, they secretly marry. Also central are their friend, Esther Summerson, who nearly marries out of respectful devotion but loves another, and Lady Dedlock, who has a deep secret uncovered by the ruthless barrister Tulkinghorn.