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 Post subject: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:17 am 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 pm
Posts: 2598
Each one of us has a favourite novel... or, as the choice can prove to be arduous, several favoruite novels! :D :D
Here is an article about this topic, but I am sure some amongst you might find that their favourite novel has not been listed! :wink:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksb ... iddlemarch


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:22 am 
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Lots of good books on the list but for my personal list I would want to replace more than 50% of them. One of my all time favourite books would probably be considered very light weight and frivolous but it makes me laugh and I can't imagine not reading it at least once a year :?


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:46 am 
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It is extremely difficult to choose a favourite novel but some books speak and pull chords that others never get near.Those novels have to speak to you with all your upbringing and baggage that makes you who you are.Over the years one of my favourite genres has been Anglo Indian literature, books written in English by Indians.Amongst these authors who have been read literally by millions if not billions over the years has been Kushwant Singh the former Editor of the Hindustan Times and The Illustrated India Weekly.I have tried to read every book he has ever written and he was a prolific writer.His finest work in my opinion was" I Shall Not Hear The Nightingale" .The novel is mottled with various expressions of culture, religion, patriotism, pride, and love. The novel beautifully depicts elements of ‘Indianness’, in large proportions.It is set in Amritsar in the Punjab in the early 20th Century.

The novel is about the story of conflicts - between commitment and patriotism, compliance and independence, old and young, and above all between British and Indians. The book kicks off with Sher Singh, son of a loyal British magistrate named Buta singh, who is conspiring to organise a revolution against British rule in India. The story progresses through the ideology and conflicts, between a father and his son and their social commitments.

The plot is rich with its illustrations on Indian culture, particularly depicting Sikh life in ancient India. Complementing the central plot, the author has also portrayed the silent tale of the women in the family. The priorities, emotions, and lifestyle of Champak, Sher's wife, and Sabhrai, Sher's mother has been captured in a moving way. Including several revolutionary speeches and dialogues, the book can be treated as a representation of two major parties that existed in India - the pro-British and the anti-British.

The novel is not that well known outside India but the author is regarded as one of Indias finest writers of the modern generation.

Sadly the author died recently but he wrote his own epitaph.

"Here lies one who spared neither man nor God;
Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod;
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun;
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun."

_________________
In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:45 am 
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Hi Quasimodo, :D

Thanks for such an excellent book review! I confess my total ignorance concerning Indian literature. When the excellent film Gandhi was released in 1982, I read a lot around Gandhi and some of his books too. Also, due to the high profile of Mother Theresa during that decade, I read about the slums in Calcutta (books like La cite de la joie by Dominique Lapierre (tranlasted into English under the title: City Of Joy )) and some of the spiritual books written by Mother Theresa herself.
I can see I have so much more to discover and appreciate… Sadly, one human life won’t be enough! :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Why on earth is "Heart of Darkness" on the list? I've just finished it, having been inspired to read it by the recent R4 production of Orson Welles' screenplay. It's an absolute stinker. I was expecting better, we did "The Secret Agent" at school a few decades ago and that's a hundred times better. HOD is definitely one of those books that's flattered by its screen adaptations.


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
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mike1880 wrote:
Why on earth is "Heart of Darkness" on the list? I've just finished it, having been inspired to read it by the recent R4 production of Orson Welles' screenplay. It's an absolute stinker. I was expecting better, we did "The Secret Agent" at school a few decades ago and that's a hundred times better. HOD is definitely one of those books that's flattered by its screen adaptations.


H.o.d. is a guilt novel, us Brits thrive on a bit of guilt, even when it is presented in a somewhat naieve way and poorly written. Also so many people have studied it at school they can confidently throw it in their list as a way of upping the overall average intellectual content of their favourite reads. I, like doodles, am perfectly happy to list total trash as my favourites, but a lot of people feel threatened by lists, particularly the journalists compiling them, so they throw in a whole heap of what they perceive to be highbrow or controversial books to create a shield around the true reality of their personal choices.
Also the word "favourite" is ambiguous and subjective, a favourite may be a book that inspired you, made you laugh or cry or had you pinned to the edge of your seat, but it may also be a book that brings back fond memories that have little to do with script but rather more to do with where or when it was read or even the person who gave you the book.
Most importantly a personal list of favourites should never be criticised by others, it's an emotional choice and very individual opinion that reflects that person's feelings in the snapshot of time they wrote it. When a list is presented to you just smile sweetly, scan it for one book you recognise or enjoyed and focus on that.
Lists can and do change depending on our mood at the moment we were asked to form the list, the way we process our memories and interpret the contents of the books we have read will evolve, nothing s set in stone and changing your list is absolutely ok too.


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:16 am 
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+1 southbucks - really well said!

One of my all time favourite books is the "Angel and the Soldier Boy"...I used to read often to the boys - I say read - it has no words, just beautiful illustrations, so the story can change slightly each time. Another is "A bad start for Father Christmas"...it is a tradition that we read it on Christmas Eve and still has the capacity to make us all peal with laughter as we chorus in together...but would either appear on any list? No. Because those that are trying to impress others would sniff widely at them.

My "list" is ever growing - some reflect moments in time - others get added as I read them - the book Biko (Cry Freedom) resonated widely with me, as did "Madiba's Long walk to Freedom", as they reflected the Africa I know. Memoirs of a Geisha took me into another world. The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge, is one I have mentioned on here often - a classic from my youth that I cannot tell you how much I loved, but I suspect would be panned as being politically incorrect in places.


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:25 am 
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SB3 I couldn't agree more about people putting so called highbrow books on these
lists because they feel they ought to.

I withdrew from my book club several years ago as people seemed to be choosing what we read according to whether the book had a medal winning sticker on the cover! Having read "Rebecca" as a hormonal teenager I thought that reading it as a married middle aged woman might be interesting but this idea was turned down. This was the final straw for me, a decent book rejected as it hadn't won a prize.

Having failed my own challenge to read W & P by the time I hit 50 I am very pleased to hear that the BBC are helping me out by screening a TV adaptation in the New Year :lol:

I am more than happy to reveal that my favourite "lightweight" book is The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. I read it at least once a year and it always makes me laugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:44 am
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doodles wrote:
Lots of good books on the list but for my personal list I would want to replace more than 50% of them. One of my all time favourite books would probably be considered very light weight and frivolous but it makes me laugh and I can't imagine not reading it at least once a year :?


With you on that one as my all time favourite is "Good Omens"!


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 Post subject: Re: Favourite novel?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:01 pm
Posts: 437
doodles wrote:
Lots of good books on the list but for my personal list I would want to replace more than 50% of them. One of my all time favourite books would probably be considered very light weight and frivolous but it makes me laugh and I can't imagine not reading it at least once a year :?

+1

I never read much until the Penguin Pound Classics were introduced. Always looking for a bargain, I bought the thickest book I could find - David Copperfield - and have been hooked on the classics ever since (though I can't read anything by the Brontes). In hindsight, it was an obvious progression as I have read (and watched!) A Christmas Carol every year since I was a teenager.

Current favourite is Life of Pi though :-)


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