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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Mission Impossible: educate me in 6 weeks (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Mission Impossible: educate me in 6 weeks
ooh aah
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In April I'm moving out to China, which will obviously restrict the amount of literature I'll have access to. So I've decided I'm going to read as much as I possibly can before I go. Now I'm aware that I'm not really that well read, and that was made even more obvious looking at the Booker thread yesterday.

What I'm after are 20thC classics (and any 21C classics too) and you can be really obvious with your recommendations.

(although to narrow it down a bit, really obvious stuff I have read include; Catcher in the Rye,
Orwell, Heart of Darkness, Catch-22, Graham Greene, The Outsider, and Murakami)

[ 13.03.2008, 12:04: Message edited by: ooh aah ]

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smallweed
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Pale Fire and At Swim-Two-Birds would be alongside Catch-22 as my top thre from the twentieth century, I think.

Sunset Song is the finest Scottish novel of last century.

Nostromo or Lord Jim are better / more typical of Conrad than HoD.

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smallweed
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post-war, you probably don't need to bother with anything that isn't American.
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Pants
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I think Martin Amis's Money is a modern classic, ooh aah.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Ditto Pale Fire and At Swim-Two-Birds

Also;

Ulysses (but perhaps too long...)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Lolita
Ada or Ardour (Nabokov)
American Pastoral (Roth)
The Plot Against America (Roth)
The Human Stain (Roth)
I Married A Communist (Roth)
The Blind Assassin (Atwood)

and, above all (it's tiny, it'll take up almost nothing of your limited time)

Ill Seen, Ill Said (Samuel Beckett)

Are you including poetry in "literature"? If so, try Heaney's Opened Ground, the Ezra Pound Cantos, and T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets.

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lyra
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Read some women! Iris Murdoch. Margaret Atwood.
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Felicity, I guess so
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John Dos Passos USA
E.L. Doctorow Ragtime
" World's Fair

Gabriel Garcia Marquez - anything
Jonathan Lethem The Fortress of Solitude
James Ellroy - anything

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lyra
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Patrick White - The Vivisector
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lyra
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Oh also Primo Levi - If This Is A Man/The Truce and also The Periodic Table.

and something by Vonnegut

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lyra
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And The Inimitable Jeeves, at the very least.
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blackdogbeak
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Life A Users Manual by Georges Perec is fantastic.
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Lardinho
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Jesus, Toro. He's only got 'til April, and you put two different Joyce books there. I'd still be struggling through page one of Ulysses, I think, in April.

What they all said about At-Swim-Two-Birds and Lolita, of course.

I'll continue to rave about The Bridge Over The Drina by Ivo Andric; various of Ismael Kadare's books, particularly Broken April and The File on H; and The Good Soldier Schweijk by Jaroslav Hasek for your 20th century eastern European classics.

And, above all else, as mentioned elsewhere:

If This Is A Man by Primo Levi.

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Lardinho
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And yes, probably Vonnegut.

Of modern British fun to read stuff, obviously David Mitchell. I think John Lanchester's Fragrant Harbour and particularly The Debt To Pleasure are both magnificent.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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yeah, scratch Ulysses.

Since we're talking east europeans, replace with Kundera. Immortality or The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting.

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Inca
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I haven't read Immortality, but toro is quite right in recommending the Book Of Laughter and Forgetting. Everyone talks about The Unbearable Lightness of Being but the former is better.
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