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Old 09-12-2013, 06:32 AM
 
Location: An Island with a View
758 posts, read 871,076 times
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Too often I flipped through pages of the so-called “best sellers” these days and got a little disappointed. The plot sounded interesting enough but the delivery wasn’t really working for me. Generally speaking, I find it difficult in discovering a really good novel nowadays.

So please name your favorite novelist (past or present) and one of his/her best works, thanks.

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Old 09-12-2013, 07:06 AM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
64,830 posts, read 61,108,373 times
Reputation: 78999
Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Crusoe View Post
Too often I flipped through pages of the so-called “best sellers” these days and got a little disappointed. The plot sounded interesting enough but the delivery wasn’t really working for me. Generally speaking, I find it difficult in discovering a really good novel nowadays.

So please name your favorite novelist (past or present) and one of his/her best works, thanks.

My favorite novelist is a historical fiction writer named Sharon Kay Penman. The Sunne In Splendour is a good example of her work.

My all-time favorite book is another historical novel called The Heaven Tree, originally written as a trilogy but now published as one volume. It was written in the 1960s, but takes place in the 12th century. This book contains the best death scene I've ever read.

The author's name was Edith Pargeter. She later became better known under the name of Ellis Peters for writing short mystery novels set in medieval times with a detective monk named Brother Cadfael, but The Heaven Tree was a beautifully written, complex story.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,273 posts, read 33,206,581 times
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Thomas B Costain. The Tontine or The Darkness and the Dawn
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,445 posts, read 12,068,986 times
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Hemingway - The Old Man and The Sea
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 77,742,504 times
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Cormac McCarthy. "Blood Meridian", or "Suttree".
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:50 PM
 
15,971 posts, read 19,252,347 times
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James M. Cain--Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice or Mildred Pierce
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:57 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,273 posts, read 33,206,581 times
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I think that Dick Frances is skilled as a writer. His style is very accessible, but on top of a good story, I am always delighted by his mastery of words and imagery.

Any of his early books are good. The last few, where his son took over some or all of the writing are clunky. The son just doesn't have the talent.

I'm afraid that, being a writer myself, I sometimes have to stop and admire the craftsmanship and if it is really well done, I have to stop and ask "What have you done there? How did you do it?"
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
5,096 posts, read 3,388,253 times
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I would recommend, "The Forge of God," by Greg Bear. Don't read the sequel, "Anvil of Stars."

I read hardly anything except science fiction and fantasy, and can't stomach much else, least of all other forms of fiction, but I think "The Forge of God" is written well enough that most people would enjoy it.

There is also, "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating" by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, which is nonfiction, and sounds mind-numbingly dull, but it isn't. It's the story of a woman with an illness which left hear nearly incapable of movement. She learned much about a snail she kept as a pet, because one of the few activities she had the energy for was watching that snail.

If you're interested in a genre that might be described as poetic, action-oriented fantasy, there is "Sharp Teeth" by Toby Barlow. It will probably seem like nonsensical gibberish for the first couple chapters or so. After that it should become more clear.

Last edited by Clintone; 09-14-2013 at 10:57 PM..
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:27 AM
 
19,179 posts, read 58,287,507 times
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For style, I'm always feeling like I'm snuggling into a comfy chair in front of a fireplace when I read H. Rider Haggard.

H. Rider Haggard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OOOH!!! Just found that link has the link to project Gutenberg versions of the stories, including some new to me!!

What I always enjoy discovering are the links that come from a great idea or a great writer. For instance, Haggard was undoubtedly an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs Edgar Rice Burroughs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia who Ray Bradbury claimed " was, and is, the most influential writer, bar none, of our century."

Greg Bear is very good. Personally, I love the Kornbluth/Moore short stories, which have a taste of O. Henry in them.

The fantasy genre gets increasingly difficult for me to enjoy because it has become so generic. I think I wore out my fantasy neurons reading the "Dragonriders of Pern" series long ago. Baen's "1632" is decent.

A sad fact of marketing is that killing off a popular protagonist is not economically viable. Conan Doyle found that out and was fortunately able to write more short stories that were true to the character and yet were not overdone or recycled plots. That isn't always the case. By the end of the Dragonriders, I was ready to play Saint George just to be done with them.
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:52 PM
 
1,696 posts, read 1,539,707 times
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Well, there's always *my* books...but that would be advertising!

In fantasy, I love Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. But you've got to be on your toes because they make a lot of references to famous books/movies/themes while keeping the story and the characters interesting.

In mystery, I'm enthralled with the Peculiar Crimes Unit, a series by Christopher Fowler. Very well written.
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