Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Top 5 Thursday: Novels or Short Stories Written By Dead Guys


I was inspired by Cate's post on her phobia of the books we should read, but do not: Moby Dick, Ulysses, etc. Being a huge book (most most types of art) snob even I have to admit I haven't read a lot of them, and the ones I did try I generall didn't finish. So here are my top five novels or short story collections written by dead guys to show that I do in fact read other things besides old school muder mysteries and blogs.

  1. C.S. Lewis - The Narnia Chronicles: In my mind it is one long book. These are the stories I have loved since I was a little kid. When I saw they made a movie I was so excited to see the characters I love brought to life. Lewis knew how to write in such a compelling way you felt you were a part of the story. I re-reard The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and found myself on more than one occassion cheering!
  2. James Joyce - The Dubliners: A book that digs deep into the life of an Irish city. He holds no punches and it made him despised by his neighbors. But how he captured their lives! There were times I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. His writing was beautiful and so deep with poetic language the words ring in your ears for months.
  3. Ernest Hemingway - Old Man And The Sea: Hemingway is the Man, probably the greatest writer who actually lived what he wrote about. You felt the pain and frustration of everything the main character went through. Many people thought it was an allegory about the critics who trashed his previous novel. I do not know if that's the case, but it was this novel that re-launched his career.
  4. Truman Capote - Other Voices Other Rooms: He wrote the book at the age of 22. The prose is so old and wise you'd think it was written by an elderly man in his declining years. In a book club I attended we argued for hours over whether this book was really about his own life, but couldn't come up with a consensus. Either way, it's frickin' brilliant.
  5. Edith Wharton - Ethan Frome: This is such a heart breaking story. I had it on my shelf for years and finally set down and couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened to the characters. When they are written so convincingly that you find yourself loving or hating them to such an extreme manner you want to throw the book across the room is very rare.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:26 PM

10 Comments:

Blogger Michelle Fry said...

Edith Wharton is a dead chick but I do agree that she is an amazing writer, one of my favorites.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

didnt see your TT5 first, or would've done it instead - i've got one, too - "top five books from high school".

novels & short stories from dead guys?
* faulkner - anything
* hemingway - almost anything
* fitzgerald - not so much

9:01 AM  
Blogger Logan Bennett said...

Dude I love some of those books, don't know if they would be at the top of my list but they are really good books

10:30 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

GOOD CHOICES! I have started Ethan Frome about four times and always like it but somehow get distracted from it easily. I should really begin it again. I love, love, love James Joyce. He's always on my lists.

10:42 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Michelle,
I meant guy in the generic gender neutral sense. Perhaps I should have put guy and gal? I'm sorry I never read Edith before. Having spent many a winter in new england I found it fascinating.

Rick,
Sorry man, didn't mean to steal your thunder. Know you been busy lately and figured I'd step up to the plate. Great choices for you by the way.

Logan,
It's an Irish thing bro, you'd never understand.

Frankie,
You definately should read it. It's like reading Twain, entertaining, well written, not too heady, but still frickin' brilliant. If you made it through James Joyce's Ulysses I tip my hat to you.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Greycats said...

I would rather stick flaming hot pokers in my eyes than read Ethan Frome again. Oy vey.

I actually run a book club and can give you suggestions if you ever want them. I would suggest reading the Iliad before reading Ulysses. It makes more sense.

8:51 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

You and I already talked, I am going to be checking you guy sout in February.

5:21 AM  
Blogger James said...

Other Voices, Other Rooms... you are right, stunning that it could have been written by someone who was only 22...he was cloistered at a writer's colony at the time.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Cate said...

You're a great advertisement for the dead folks--those were stellar reviews. I'm planning to put some of Capote's books on my list, starting with Other Voices, Other Rooms. I can't even believe that I haven't read him, yet.

2:39 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

James,
I know! And to think of how many people rejected his work at that time up until that point. Read his stories and you'll see the beginnings of his brilliance.

Cate,
Unfortunately his brilliant writing was long eclipsed by his celebrity. He became a characteur of what he really was. That makes him extremely easy to be overlooked.

Capote side note: He appeared in the movie Murder By Death. I recomend it.

3:01 PM  

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