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  1. #26
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    I have an inkling that when I read them as a kid, James and the Giant Peach might have been the more gripping, to be honest. But the opening section of The BFG has stayed with me, for one reason or another. I've now got it and a few others in a collection on the Kindle, so when I get round to re-reading it I'll come back here and update, if I remember.

    The Witches on the other hand wasn't so much gripping as traumatising.

  2. #27
    delicatemoth's Avatar
    A lovely sense of entropy here
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    Not necessarily THE ten, but the ones that sprang to mind. I'm not trying to be clever with my Ferrante choice, it's just the only book of hers I've so far managed to snare from the library. The Kelman could equally be 'A Disaffection'. Reading the comments about Dickens above, I do wish school hadn't ruined him for me - I wince every time anyone mentions Great sodding Expectations. Happily I wasn't in the group that did Thomas Hardy. I'm really not sure that literature or any other art form should be taught in schools.

    Bus Conductor Hines - James Kelman
    The Mayor Of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
    Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
    The Universal Baseball Association - Robert Coover
    Our Spoons Came From Woolworths - Barbara Comyns
    The Driver's Seat - Muriel Spark
    The Dark Is Rising (series) - Susan Cooper
    The Martin Beck series - Maj Sj÷wall and Per Wahl÷÷
    Christy Malry's Own Double Entry - BS Johnson
    The Days Of Abandonment - Elena Ferrante

    edit - gonna cheat and choose an 11th, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bola˝o, just so I can thank Sam for introducing me to him.
    Last edited by delicatemoth; 23-09-2017 at 13:28.

  3. #28
    Lang Spoon's Avatar
    Couldn't tell Lou Reed from Doug Yule
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    Oh yes, A Dissaffection. The pipes, the pipes are calling. Have you read A Chancer DM? Somehow it’s Kelman’s funniest and bleakest book.
    Last edited by Lang Spoon; 23-09-2017 at 22:43.

  4. #29
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by delicatemoth View Post
    edit - gonna cheat and choose an 11th, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bola˝o, just so I can thank Sam for introducing me to him.
    Ha! You're welcome. Hilariously I still haven't read anything else by him myself apart from 2666, although I bought a couple in Spanish from a mate who moved back to the UK at the start of this year.

  5. #30

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    Observations, rather than a top ten.

    1. The Kraken Wakes is by far Wyndham's best book and I don't know how anyone can say otherwise *or* why this book gets so little love.
    2. I think of authors as unputdownable, rather than books. Most of Iain Banks would come under this category for me (Use of Weapons would edge it). Same with William Gibson (one the the bridge trilogy would be my favourite) and William Stephenson (Cryptonomicon or Snow Crash, before all his novels included an obligatory 200-page stretch of totally useless writing which could have been dealt with in five pages by someone with an editor worth a damn)
    3. Has no one mentioned Robert Harris? Fatherland comes under "unputdownable" for me.
    4. Recently, probably only Cixin Liu and Elena Ferrante would come close to making this list.

  6. #31
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
    Try to be kind. Even when you don't want to.
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    So that's at least 3 of us who rates Use of Weapons.

    Should we start a thread on it or discuss it here. I was devastated by the ending.

  7. #32
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
    Try to be kind. Even when you don't want to.
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    I really wouldn't want to pick between Kraken Wakes or Day of the Triffids.

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