Novels you've read that have left the deepest impression

LacrimæRerum

New Member
What about also mentioning the books we've read that have left the most boring impression? For me I think it was "L'étranger" by Camus. But, thankfully, unlike One Hundred Years of Solitude, it's short.

Edit: Oh, "L'assomoir" by Zola, too, which wears well its name. Still slightly less boring than "L'étranger", though, if I remember correctly.
And I was thinking whether I should get L'estranger.

Perhaps La Nausée by Sartre. I never got beyond the first ten pages, unfortunately. Maybe I'll try it again today. Who knows?


"Hier maman est morte". I remember that line but not much else about it.
I read quite a bit of García Márquez when I was learning Spanish 20-odd years ago. Magic realism never really floated my boat, but for someone reared on the mainstream of 18th-20th century European fiction he evokes a refreshingly different world. He has a masterly prose style too.
Was 100 years of Solitude the best of Márquez you read?

I do agree that he writes well. But it should have some sort of interesting plot to keep on to, because I'm not reading poems. Speaking of magical realism, I *think* I might prefer the Tin Drum.
 

Wyandotte

Member
You certainly are a learned bunch. :cool: I tremble at the mere name of Hegel, never mind trying to read anything with a title like Phenomenology of the Spirit.

I was quite taken with Fathers & Children by Turgenev. And at the opposite end, Remember Me by Fay Weldon. Reading that latter was like accidentally stepping through a weird "portal" of some kind.

Hope to see more entries here, especially anything that was translated into Latin just for the hell of it and "easy" to understand.
 

limetrees

Civis Illustris
You certainly are a learned bunch. :cool: I tremble at the mere name of Hegel, never mind trying to read anything with a title like Phenomenology of the Spirit.

I was quite taken with Fathers & Children by Turgenev. And at the opposite end, Remember Me by Fay Weldon. Reading that latter was like accidentally stepping through a weird "portal" of some kind.

Hope to see more entries here, especially anything that was translated into Latin just for the hell of it and "easy" to understand.
You can read Spinoza direct in the Latin!
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
apart from previously mentioned
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Recently read Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Definitely not a book for minors.
 
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Tironis

Civis Illustris
. . . Hope to see more entries here, especially anything that was translated into Latin just for the hell of it and "easy" to understand.
1608409293878.png
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
We're talking impact, right? Not necessarily 'I recommend' or 'Greatest novels'? And, 'life-changing' rather than 'very exciting'?
With that proviso, Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. Both the book and the author have many, many flaws. But it cured me with one sentence of any tendency to religion.

Dostoyevsky made a great impression on me as a teenager (in English, of course, though those who know Russian say he's a poor stylist and I might not be missing much, apart from the evocative names). Never got on with The Idiot, though, undoubtedly my fault.

There must be others, but none spring to mind at present as worthy of being especially singled out.

What about also mentioning the books we've read that have left the most boring impression?
Middlemarch. Pride and Prejudice. Anything by Henry James.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
Just thought of another. Jude the Obscure, and to a lesser extent other Hardy novels -- on the great impression side, to eliminate potential ambiguity. Though it's Jude that's singled out by the Hardy haters as particularly drippy and awful.

Oh, and Dickens -- I worked my way through most of the novels as an adolescent. I've forgotten a great deal, though.

Amongst the moderns -- Iain Banks, if only for Complicity. Also Christopher Brookmyre deserves a mention. I read one of his weaker ones to start with, so discovered the other, better ones much later than would have been the case if I'd picked a different one. They're uneven and a tad formulaic after a while, but A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away is brilliant.

And Trollope for the overrated pile. Admittedly, the only one I suffered through was Can You Forgive Her? (I wouldn't if I could only remember what she did), which Trollope lovers say is one of the lesser lights.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

μεσσηγυδορποχέστης
What was that sentence?
One of the characters said that if God expected us to pick the right religion or end up in hell, it was a pretty sloppy way of running a universe. At the time I read it, I agonised over the idea that one of the world's religions was the right one (assuming that there was a god or gods, and one of the established faiths had got it right, of course) but there was not the slightest reason for betting on any particular horse, as it were, unless I received some sort of divine sign. Which I hadn't. So from then on it seemed logical to put the whole thing on hold until I did.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Gabriel García Márquez, Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
As I may have mentioned before, that one felt like a hundred years of boredom to me, though I read it long ago and I guess I might react differently if I read it again.
 

Clemens

Member
Les Liaisons dangereuses
Vanity Fair
The Name of the Rose
(read in English translation)
À la Recherche du temps perdu
American Rust

金閣寺 (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, read in English translation)
Moby Dick
Love in a Cold Climate
L'histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane
The Fruit of the Drunken Tree


I have a facsimile of the 1610 edition of l'Astrée, but I can never plow all the way through it, despite more than one attempt. The writing is great, but the plot doesn't really interest me.
 

rothbard

Civis Illustris
Staff member
As I may have mentioned before, that one felt like a hundred years of boredom to me, though I read it long ago and I guess I might react differently if I read it again.
So you would agree with Borges:
Jorge Luis Borges dixit:
Yo pienso que García Márquez es un gran escritor. Cien Años de Soledad es una gran novela, aunque creo que con cincuenta años hubiera sido suficiente.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
As I may have mentioned before, that one felt like a hundred years of boredom to me
I presume you are not a huge enthusiast of realismo mágico or Ibero-American writers::(:
 
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