Mick

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Mick
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Arts & Culture > Poetry & Prose > Novels
 

Novels


Just one more book I stopped reading: Slowness, by Milan Kundera. Not sure what’s wrong with me that I cannot enjoy the modern novel — or at least, modernism in a novel. The nonlinear timelines, and being stuck in either a character’s mind and his narcissistic obsessions or else a narrator’s mind. Few grounded scenes or action. I think I read Ulysses in my youth, but I didn’t like it either.

I can handle the style in short stories, because the short story is so different. But an entire novel, no. All I seem to like are really old books, even (or especially) with those intrusive narrators who comment on all the characters whenever they like, like the book Middlemarch or anything by Thomas Hardy.

Even Stephen King has changed this way — I think his best novel that is grounded in real time and plot was Salem’s Lot. Since then they’ve become more and more nebulous, and much, much longer books. But that’s because they don’t bother editing him, really. They let him ramble on.

I’d be interested to hear what others think of novels they’ve read lately.


posted on May 18, 2017 10:10 AM ()

Comments:

Kundera is one of my top authors. I read him when he first went to Paris from his homeland after '68. His earlier work there had translation problems,so he learned French and began writing in it instead of his native Czech. There was a good motion picture made of his THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING. Slowness was written entirely in French and is a later work.
comment by jondude on May 19, 2017 7:48 PM ()
Jeri and I are always commiserating about how hard it is to find a good book these days. Sometimes I have luck with Scandinavian authors: Joe Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Arnaldur Indridason, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Kjell Eriksson and the venerable Sjowall and Wahloo, who are Dutch. I download books by these authors from the Las Vegas library, ebooks and audio books.
comment by troutbend on May 18, 2017 2:48 PM ()
No, I like an old fashioned good reads like novels by Lee Smith. I just
finished Guests on Earth and loved it. Mysteries by Ruth Rendell. I just
read a modern on called Killing Adonis by J. M. Donellan. I liked it. Don't do space, spies or vampires. English cozies are just my speed.

comment by elderjane on May 18, 2017 2:19 PM ()
I have NEVER, could NEVER. not read a book until the end just like I can't/won't walk out of a movie no matter how bad it is!! I am an optimist and keep hoping.
comment by greatmartin on May 18, 2017 2:15 PM ()
Genre novels are going to be action and reality-based, yes. I know the Jane Whitefield novels by Thomas Perry, they were good. Spy stories are great -- speaking of TV, which you clearly weren't -- have you seen any of the Bletchly Circle series? It's on Netflix and it is great. A bunch of female codebreakers from WWII.
comment by drmaus on May 18, 2017 10:55 AM ()
I've been turned on to spy and mystery and love the works of Thomas Perry, the late Vince Flynn (his Mitch Rapp series taken over by Kyle Mills), David Baldacci, Daniel Silva (Israeli spy master stories), John Sandord.

A friend gave me a book by a woman writing about her rural youth and coming of age. It's a tone poem. Although it is well written, I can't get interested in the characters, hard as they struggle, and noble as they are, and as insightful as they grow to be. They aren't doing anything is what I am saying.Ho-hum. Where is the action.
comment by tealstar on May 18, 2017 10:19 AM ()
oops. reply above.
reply by drmaus on May 18, 2017 10:55 AM ()

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