/ The best book ever written?

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cfer - on 18 Oct 2013
For me it would be the Catcher in the Rye or The Great Gatsby.....

Huckleberry Finn would come a close third
Offwidth - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

Great Gatsby? Seriously?? even the author would be seriously embarrassed with that (although I guess not as much as with those who miss the moral elephant and see a celebration of the rich at the time and are sad they have a bit of bad luck).
andic - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

The Bible
ripper - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: Eastern Grit?
Bob Hughes - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: The Old Man and The Sea
avictimoftheDrpsycho - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

Crime and Punishment
ccmm on 18 Oct 2013 - 212.219.255.65 whois?
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
> The Bible

http://www.jesusandmo.net/tag/bible/

Have you read it all then?
John2 - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: That response comes across as the product of someone who a) knows remarkably little about literary criticism in general b) knows remarkably little about Scott Fitzgerald in particular c) is incapable of understanding the larger themes illustrated by the telling of a story and d) is envious of the rich.
seankenny - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to John2:

Oh come on, Gatsby is not first-rate writing by any stretch of the imagination.
cfer - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny: I wasn't basing my choice on writing but on the story as a whole, although I do personally find the writing very easy to immerse myself in.

I notice everyone critiquing my choice have not offered their own personal choices??
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

For most enjoyable book I'd go with the same, or Perfume by Patrick Suskind.
Rampikino - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

If you are going to look at American fiction then look no further than Steinbeck.

The Grapes of Wrath is a towering novel with wonderfully engaging story-telling that tells a lot more about the moral and cultural compass of the US in a certain era than The Great Gatsby ever will.
seankenny - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:
>
> I notice everyone critiquing my choice have not offered their own personal choices??

Not bothered as it's a dumb-ass question. There are hundreds of "great" books, why should a short novella be any better than a long epic novel, or a book of poetry better or worse than prose? You want different books at different times and places. Life and experience is too vast to be stuck into one "best" book.

Unless you are a fundamentalist.
Offwidth - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to John2:

you forgot e) must have been kidnapped and indoctrinated by communist space aliens.

In response to the other points: a) literary critics are not in agreement as to it's 'greatness', very few place it top, and critcs are certainly not always to be trusted (for instance they were pretty unkind to the work at the time of publication... the book started as a popular and critical flop). b) the man from what I've read seemed really hard on himself and strived to produce a work of literary art, in which I believe he succeeded; yet I think it vanishingly unlikely he would have claimed a 'best' position for his work, good and classic as it undeniably is. c) is childish and needs no reply. d) is so silly it's funny and led to e)
ripper - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: it is an impossible question really - unless you were to sit down and read all or most of the books available side by side, how are you ever supposed to make a true comparison? and even if you did that, you'd probably find you could repeat the exercise later in life and come to very different conclusions.

anyway, some favourites that come easily to mind (therefore heavily weighted towards more recent read):

Moby Dick
Grapes of Wrath (although I actually ENJOYED Cannery Row more at the time)
The Road
James Ellroy's Underworld USA trilogy
The Restraint of Beasts
cfer - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to cfer)

> Unless you are a fundamentalist.

What a stupid statement, and obviously the definition of best book ever is going to vary from person to person but the fact you bothered to respond to the 'dumb ass question' with a negative answer speaks volumes to me, why bother at all?

Offwidth - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: I think you might be muddling 'best' with 'favorite classic' or similar. Quality is not neccesarily linked in any way to the individual reader's enjoyment.
Robin76 - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Rampikino: If you rate Steinbeck I really recommend City of Thieves by David Benioff
seankenny - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

Some of us got over "best XXXX ever" when we were 12....
Only a hill - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:
Currently I am utterly enthralled by Les Miserables and am in no question that it's a masterpiece. Not sure I am qualified to say whether it is the best book ever written, however.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
> Some of us got over "best XXXX ever" when we were 12....

And the rest of us don't need "**Just a bit of fun**" to explain something which is clearly that.
tony on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to cfer)
> Currently I am utterly enthralled by Les Miserables and am in no question that it's a masterpiece. Not sure I am qualified to say whether it is the best book ever written, however.

I'd say bits of it were outstanding, and other bits should never have made it into print - could have done with a damn good edit in my view.

It's obviously impossible to say any book is the best, but the book which has affected me most in terms of raw emotion was The Grapes of Wrath. Zola's Germinal and La Terre are up there as well. Then again, there's so much that I haven't read, including, to my shame, Moby Dick, that I'm not really very well-placed to comment.
planetmarshall on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: A Tale of Two Cities. Even if just for the ending.
Only a hill - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
> [...]
>
> I'd say bits of it were outstanding, and other bits should never have made it into print - could have done with a damn good edit in my view.

I agree. Bits of it are at best authorial intrusion. I'm quite enjoying the bad bits though as I find then interesting :-) The book would have worked at half the length.
Only a hill - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to planetmarshall:
> (In reply to cfer) A Tale of Two Cities. Even if just for the ending.

Great book. In fact many of Dickens's novels are amazing (if occasionally flawed).
planetmarshall on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill: Moby Dick, along with Crime and Punishment, falls into the category of books I've read mainly because I felt I probably should, rather than out of any sense of enjoyment. I can't say that I particularly enjoyed either.
cfer - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
> Some of us got over "best XXXX ever" when we were 12....

and some of us act like we are still 12...

ripper - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to planetmarshall:
> (In reply to Only a hill) Moby Dick, along with Crime and Punishment, falls into the category of books I've read mainly because I felt I probably should, rather than out of any sense of enjoyment. I can't say that I particularly enjoyed either.

just goes to show that one man's poison is another's bacon - I loved Moby Dick, haven't read C&P but didn't really enjoy the Idiot, a definite feeling that I just wasn't 'getting' it.

also, forgot to mention another favourite - Heart of Darkness
tony on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to tony)
> [...]
>
> I agree. Bits of it are at best authorial intrusion. I'm quite enjoying the bad bits though as I find then interesting

How far in are you? They get a bit much after a while.

> The book would have worked at half the length.

Yup, that would have worked much better.

Only a hill - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to tony:
I'm about 65% through, at the point where the revolution starts brewing in Paris.
andic - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Craig Mc:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
> http://www.jesusandmo.net/tag/bible/
>
> Have you read it all then?

Oooh ooh, it was a long shot but I got one!! Yay!!
In reply to ripper:
> (In reply to planetmarshall)
> [...]
>
> just goes to show that one man's poison is another's bacon - I loved Moby Dick, haven't read C&P but didn't really enjoy the Idiot, a definite feeling that I just wasn't 'getting' it.


Someone who read and enjoyed C&P told me that she found The Idiot impenetrable. C&P is a masterpiece. I'm reading the Karamazov Brothers which is excellent, although I did skim through the ~18 page religious rant.
ripper - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to ripper)
> [...]
>
>
> Someone who read and enjoyed C&P told me that she found The Idiot impenetrable. C&P is a masterpiece. I'm reading the Karamazov Brothers which is excellent, although I did skim through the ~18 page religious rant.

i wouldn't go as far as to say it was impenetrable, just incredibly long-winded in parts and although mildly interesting, didn't seem to have any real point to it.
gd303uk - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: I like these playful threads, without having read the entire library of books as well as being of feeble mind it is only a subjective opinion I can make on the books I have read , so with that in mind I will offer . The idiot. An interesting take on the Jesus type story and nicely written.

The New NickB - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

I love both of your first suggestions, I confess I have never really read any Mark Twain. Another essential 20th century American work for me would be To Kill A Mocking Bird.

Obviously the idea of best is silly, but it is always nice to share books you love, even if it does make a few poe faced.
The New NickB - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Po-faced.

Given it is a literary thread, I'll try and spell correctly for once.
Pedro50 on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
>
> Obviously the idea of best is silly, but it is always nice to share books you love, even if it does make a few poe faced.

As in Edgar Allan. Clever.
Postmanpat on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

shadow the Sheepdog by Enid Blyton.
Sean Kelly - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: There are not many climbing books that have had me reading throughout the night but 'Touching the Void' was one, (well before the fame it achieved).
As for non-climbing, there was a biography by a Hungarian who spent 20 years in the Gulag, before Tito met Kruschev on a train and slipped him a scribbled name across the table, and his incarseration was ended. Perhaps some else will recall the title, but a riviting book and all fact.
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Graham Mck on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

Well he seem to like non fiction books - don't they qualify as books? Anyway he does have a bit of a point about literary types looking down on the less literary. I mean, this type of thread does just that, doesn't it? :)
The New NickB - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Sean Kelly:
> (In reply to cfer) There are not many climbing books that have had me reading throughout the night but 'Touching the Void' was one, (well before the fame it achieved).

I thought the fame was almost instant, in won the BT and the NCR prizes and sold oodles of copies in the year of publication.
Sean Kelly - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB: I obviously read it just days after it was published. I had some knowledge about what was happening as I had seen some news about Joe's trip in the climbing press. We had a special reading week at school that week, so I took it in to read to the kids. I choose the passage where Simon cuts the rope...The kids were impressed that you had swearing in literature, not just in the schoolyard!
mikehike on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:
For me

Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
by Lansing, Alfred

A must read for non fiction adventure buffs
Bulls Crack - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to Robin76:
> (In reply to Rampikino) If you rate Steinbeck

And who doesn't?

Portrait of the Artist as Young Dog - Dylan Thomas
Cannery Row/Sweet Thursday - Steinbeck
Great expectations
bradzy_c - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: +1 for The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Mooncat - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

I'd go for Kidnapped by R L Stevenson.

For those who criticise Hugo's rambling in Les Miserables, apparently he was paid by the word, hardly surprising he went on a bit.
Tom Last - on 18 Oct 2013
In reply to bradzy_c:
> (In reply to cfer) +1 for The Road by Cormac McCarthy

That was such a let down.
Mal Grey - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

Is the "Best" book the same as the "most enjoyable" book?

The New NickB - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Mal Grey:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
> Is the "Best" book the same as the "most enjoyable" book?

If you want it to be!
Steve Perry - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

Fiction - Moby Dick
Non Fiction - Stalingrad or Berlin by Antony Beevor.
Offwidth - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

Of course on a forum we can say red is blue if we want (even if Coel will be along with spectral measurements soon after to show its not) , however, to show why it's best not to say enjoyable means best, lets consider the possible difference. The book which IS very commonly at the top of critic's lists is Ulysses, now has anyone here managed to enjoy it ? In terms of sheer raw enjoyment mine would be my first big colouring-in book (and stickers were great). Pooh (sic) faced it may be but some of the greatest minds of humanity devoted their lives to the novel and their works deserve more than crayons. If quality is unimportant we lose art, science, civilisation .......
Andy Clarke - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I've read Ulysses a couple of times and it remains one of my favourite novels. Have always enjoyed modernist/ avant-garde writing, which certainly isn't to everyone's taste. Count myself a massive Joyce fan, but was eventually defeated by Finnegans Wake.
Other favourites:
Thomas Pynchon: Gravity's Rainbow
David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest
Offwidth - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Andy Clarke: I couldn't even get started on Finnegan's Wake and I did enjoy Barefoot in the Head and Ridley Walker. The intellect and control required to write such work is seriously impressive.
The New NickB - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

The point is it is totally subjective. Both how we define best and what an individual thinks is a great.
Offwidth - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

So in your world the big colouring-in book is potentially the greatest work of literature? In fact books probably would never have happened as we would still be admiring pretty rocks and would never have got round to developing language at all. So I'm sticking to the elitist line that educated opinions are more important and enjoyment is only part of the picture. Neither art nor science is democratic and pretty much everything that's great needs talent and understanding to develop and some of it can be pretty tricky to appreciate.
1poundSOCKS - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: It would be great if you could give us a list of UKCers who are qualified to respond to this thread? I wouldn't want to offer a worthless opinion because I'm not educated enough to have one.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

It's really hard to decide between The Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.
Offwidth - on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS: I don't know. Not me for sure in terms of defining a best book but I do know enough to understand why some are most likely not and that horribly elitist as it is that some opinions are more informed than others.
Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

...also one could say "I dont know what the best book is but such and such should be up there".... "Not sure what's best but my favorite classic is....." or start a thread on favorite books or similar. I dont even mind people trying to define what they think is best providing they accept reasoned responses from others who have a different view. In the end what annoys me most is those who clearly mistake "best" with "what I most like" which is a thought plague in modern society.
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1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: I love colouring books, big, small whatever. No reason. :)
jasonC abroad - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Mooncat:
> (In reply to cfer)
>

> For those who criticise Hugo's rambling in Les Miserables, apparently he was paid by the word, hardly surprising he went on a bit.

He must have made a mint then, I've never met somebody who could say in 10, 000 words something that could be said in 100, some of his chapters just went on and on and on. They should have paid him for the quality of the writing rather than the waffle.


Dave Garnett - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to John2)
>
> Oh come on, Gatsby is not first-rate writing by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, after hearing several times over the last year that it was the greatest American novel ever written I finally picked it up in an airport recently and... really enjoyed it. Crisp writing style, nice observation, subtle moral argument and quite a neat story economically expressed.

Can't be a truly great book though because it's far too thin.
Donnie - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer: Porbably not the greatest book ever written but my current favority - Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago.
Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett: Of course it could be all of that and not strictly speaking a contender for the first of the first rate books (only a few mean folk would deny it has acheived a classic status). Yet in a (company that publish the book arranged) top 100 best books list based on the opinions of a group of authors it ended up second (to Ulysses) and so top of the american list (in a list notably also lacking non-americans... and women): that did surprise people!
Trangia - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to andic:
> (In reply to cfer)
>
> The Bible

Steady on!

Would you really put it up there with "Alice in Wonderland?" or "Mein Kampf"?
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Trangia: Surely it's Morrisey's Autobiography...instant classic.

Obviously we can only go on what we have read, and as such my highlights would be

Classic - Crime and Punishment, fantastic palpable stress
Novel - Shogun, rip roaring adventure in the far east , epic
Suprise - Independent People, totally swept me off my feet, I think would appeal to a lot of people on this site
Didn't get - Catch 22 ...funny?

and a shout for Quo Vadis. Beautifully written religious epic

The New NickB - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to The New NickB)
>
> So in your world the big colouring-in book is potentially the greatest work of literature? In fact books probably would never have happened as we would still be admiring pretty rocks and would never have got round to developing language at all. So I'm sticking to the elitist line that educated opinions are more important and enjoyment is only part of the picture. Neither art nor science is democratic and pretty much everything that's great needs talent and understanding to develop and some of it can be pretty tricky to appreciate.

You seem to be answering a completely different question and taking yourself far too seriously whilst you do it.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB: Yeah, I'm not sure who gets to decide who this elite group are, presumably they're self-elected (i.e. not democratic).
planetmarshall on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Sean Kelly:
> (In reply to cfer) There are not many climbing books that have had me reading throughout the night but 'Touching the Void' was one, (well before the fame it achieved).

Oh you massive hipster :) Why is it important to have read the book before it was famous?

Currently reading M. John Harrison's 'Climbers', which I think is great. Certainly more enjoyable than Moby Dick.

Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

The original question from the OP is a serious and very difficult one that has nothing to do with me despite ad hominen posts. The validity of opinions on the answer to it should absolutely not be democratic. Firstly, a good number of people cannot understand anything beyond the surface level of the writing, of those that can, a lot are not interested in novels, of those that are, the majority will have barely scratched any version of a modern canon (such that we could even consider taking their views seriously). When we are at the serious level I'd say those that have made a career of studying, or producing acclaimed novels or working in some area relating to such books should get their views taken more seriously than the average enthusiastic amateur. Its hardly an uncommon opinion in the field nor would it be disimilar to most climbers views on the validity of climbing opinion from non-climbers or inexperinced climbers.
bradzy_c - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Tom Last: Only to the uncivilized ;)
Mark F - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:

I can't claim to have read enough to comment on the 'best' book ever, but my personal favourites would include Steinbeck - 'East of Eden' and 'Grapes of Wrath', Harper Lee - 'To Kill a Mocking Bird', Louis de Bernieres - 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' and Thomas Mann - 'Death in Venice'.
felt - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Everyone:

It's Moby-Dick, not Moby Dick.

Re Gatsby, great book, certainly not the greatest, but has one of the best last sentences ... ever. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

I can't say which book is the greatest ever, if there is one, but it's very clear to me which are not.

If we are to have composite books I can't see any better than Shakespeare's Complete Works.
Only a hill - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
The thing is, though, that these deeper levels of meaning are often invented by critics or readers themselves reading things into the stories that the author never intended. I'm not saying that's a bad thing (it's arguably what art is all about), but I think personal experience is paramount and I object to bring told about the deeper levels of a novel by someone else.

Speaking as an author, I've been asked about deeper levels of meaning and themes in my own book that I certainly had no idea were there. Art is subjective.
The New NickB - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

It is not a serious question, on anything more than a very simplistic level, it is a ludicrous question. I certainly could take seriously anyone who tried to answer it in any way more serious than "books that I think are very good".

I wouldn't take seriously anyone who tried to tell me the best climb either, regardless of how experienced they are.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: If you're going to be so serious, then it's obvious that nobody is qualified to answer the question, because nobody has read every book ever written.

Different people will have different preferences, and they'll look for and rate books based on those preferences. Authors might have a lot in common with each other in what they look for in books. It doesn't make them right (there is no right answer).

This is about climbing isn't it. You're part of a self-elected elite aren't you? :)
Only a hill - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
Just noticed some errors in my previous post - I beg to be excused as I'm on my phone!
Dave Garnett - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> The thing is, though, that these deeper levels of meaning are often invented by critics or readers themselves reading things into the stories that the author never intended.

Yes, but I've heard critics discussing the Baz Luhrmann Gatsby film debating whether Gatsby... well, I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it but let's say they were implying that the book left room for doubt about a pretty specific issue that is made explicitly clear. It occurred to me that they were actually reading less into it than was there!
Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

"nobody is qualified to answer the question" an argument easily applied about anything where knowledge and skill matters and so clearly nonsense. In practice some people get taken more seriously than others and quite right too. Ive already placed myself in the middle ground (knowing some but not enough to define the best)

In reply to Only a Hill

That your work claims no hidden depth doesn't mean the same applies to all.
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Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB: It's not only serious it is exactly the issue in microcosm that is considered in any literary awards. The 'answers' given may not recieve universal agreement (unsurprising) but they are rarely idiotic (as is common here). A closer equivalent in climbing might be the Piolet D'or (certainly not something containing miniscule intelligent design like 'the best climb').
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: So you do actually believe that using knowledge and skill we can find, objectively, the best book ever written? Ah, well. :)
Offwidth - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I think you can produce serious contenders within a canon with reasons for that and that awards seriously help the production and reward of quality work.
seankenny - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
>I think personal experience is paramount and I object to bring told about the deeper levels of a novel by someone else.


I don't object to smarter, better read and more sensitive people alerting me to things in books which I might never have seen or considered.
seankenny - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> When we are at the serious level I'd say those that have made a career of studying, or producing acclaimed novels or working in some area relating to such books should get their views taken more seriously than the average enthusiastic amateur.

Interestingly, I sometimes think of authors themselves as the ultimate "enthusiastic amateur".

The New NickB - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Literary awards, be it the Orange, the Booker, the BT only consider a tiny proportion of books published, usually in niches and almost certainly from a single year. The Piolet D'or is similar, all are controversial, even based on the limitations in scope. You have nicely pointed out why it is sillto take OP too seriously.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Offwidth: But who gets to choose the contenders? And who gets to define 'best'?
Smelly Fox - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:
The Third Policeman, by Flann o'Brian

Trist
seankenny - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> (In reply to Offwidth) But who gets to choose the contenders? And who gets to define 'best'?

Cultural servants of the hegemon no?

You really should do a sociology degree.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny: Just taken the Wiki fast-track course. :)
Only a hill - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
> >I think personal experience is paramount and I object to bring told about the deeper levels of a novel by someone else.
>
>
> I don't object to smarter, better read and more sensitive people alerting me to things in books which I might never have seen or considered.

Neither me, but what I do object to is people telling me what I 'should' be thinking, feeling, or discovering when observing a work of art. For me all art is in the eye of the beholder...

I also like the comment above about authors being the ultimate enthusiastic amateur. It's a great description of the majority of authors I think.
seankenny - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

It shows :)
Only a hill - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
>
> Literary awards, be it the Orange, the Booker, the BT only consider a tiny proportion of books published, usually in niches and almost certainly from a single year. The Piolet D'or is similar, all are controversial, even based on the limitations in scope. You have nicely pointed out why it is sillto take OP too seriously.

^^ This.

A huge amount of high quality literature is produced every year. Only a tiny proportion comes to the attention of such bodies, and the bestseller lists are not necessarily indicators of quality, as successful marketing does not = quality literature.
seankenny - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
>
> Neither me, but what I do object to is people telling me what I 'should' be thinking, feeling, or discovering when observing a work of art. For me all art is in the eye of the beholder...

I've never really found that in much literary criticism or even just informed writing about books. But then I certainly don't believe "it's all in the eye of the beholder". History, culture, whether the author was working within or reacting against a particular tradition all count.


>
> I also like the comment above about authors being the ultimate enthusiastic amateur. It's a great description of the majority of authors I think.

All that means is they follow their nose rather than fitting their work for a PhD. Not that they would disregard the PhD holders.
1poundSOCKS - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to seankenny: It might be more useful if you could explain what you're talking about?
Sarah G on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to the OP;

The Wind in the Willows.

Sx


999thAndy on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to cfer:
I must confess I was disappointed with "Little Miss Naughty". And the pictures were rubbish too.
Sarah G on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

<<chortles>>

Sx
Bulls Crack - on 23 Oct 2013
> In reply to the OP;
>
> The Wind in the Willows.
>
> Sx

In repl Sarah G
Great choice peerless imo
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to the thread:

not sure if its been said already, and not trawling through all 100 posts at this time in the morning to check, but

the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

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In reply to cfer: Entirely personal and like films I change my mind frequently. Not long finished 'The Book Thief' I thought it great and would love to see it made into I film !
ice.solo - on 28 Oct 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to andic)
> [...]
>
> Steady on!
>
> Would you really put it up there with "Alice in Wonderland?" or "Mein Kampf"?

It goes perfectly in between
Mike Highbury - on 28 Oct 2013
In reply to Allan McDonald (Gwydyr MC):
> (In reply to cfer) Entirely personal and like films I change my mind frequently. Not long finished 'The Book Thief' I thought it great and would love to see it made into I film !

'... Would love to see it made into a film' is quite the perfect reply to the question.
Al Evans on 28 Oct 2013
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
> (In reply to the thread)
>
> not sure if its been said already, and not trawling through all 100 posts at this time in the morning to check, but
>
> the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

It made a great radio series and a not too bad TV series, but a terrible film.

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