Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tagesmann

Nominations for the 1st BGO Book Group Read of 2011

Recommended Posts

The subject of the next read is novels written between the two world wars.

 

In deciding whether a book qualifies, I think we can be fairly relaxed and allow both books written and books first published between the wars.

 

Please include a brief synopsis and reason for your nomination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to suggest Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. First published in 1937 - assume it was writen around the same time.

 

Set in the deep south of the USA this is a story of a young black girl whose grandmother tries to set on a safe and steady road with an arranged marrage. The girl, Janie, is wilful and has other ideas about what life ought to offer and runs off with another man. The story follows her life with him as they build a business together in an all black township - yet she is still an appendage and not an equal partner. When he dies Janie takes up with a younger man. Always she is seeking love and respect.

 

Read this at Uni for American Litereature and found it a very powerful and inspirational story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sun Also Rises (aka Fiesta) - Ernest Hemingway

Written 1925/6

Paris in the twenties: Pernod, parties and expatriate Americans, loose-living on money from home. Jake is wildly in love with Brett Ashley, aristocratic and irresistibly beautiful, but with an abandoned, sensuous nature that she cannot change.

 

When the couple drifts to Spain to the dazzle of the fiesta and the heady atmosphere of the bullfight, their affair is strained by new passions, new jealousies, and Jake must finally learn that he will never possess the woman he loves.

 

Powerful, intense, visually magnificent, Fiesta is the novel which established Ernest Hemingway as a writer of genius

 

Although I am aware of several novels by Ernest Hemingway I have never read any of them, nor AFAIK, seen film/TV versions. I picked this title because of its association with Spain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Maltese Falcon - by Dashiell Hammett, 1930

 

From Wiki-

 

'The Maltese Falcon is a 1930 detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask. The story has been adapted several times for the cinema. The main character, Sam Spade, appears only in this novel and in three lesser known short stories, yet is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard-boiled private detective genre – Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe, for instance, was strongly influenced by Hammett's Spade. Spade was a departure from Hammett's nameless and less than glamorous detective, The Continental Op. Sam Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice. He is the man who has seen the wretched, the corrupt, the tawdry side of life but still retains his "tarnished idealism".

 

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Maltese Falcon 56th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.'

 

I've never read any of Hammett's work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Wiki:-

 

It tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune), his relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism. The novel provides an excellent portrait of the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what would soon be known as Café Society. As with all of his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and is also an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy that were further explored in Tender Is the Night. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.

 

A bit selfish 'cos I just got this out of the library, have read The Great Gatsby a few times, a great period book about sad, broken people, a bit like Breakfast at Tiffany's.

He writes a good tale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From Wiki:-

 

It tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune), his relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism. The novel provides an excellent portrait of the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what would soon be known as Café Society. As with all of his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and is also an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy that were further explored in Tender Is the Night. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.

 

A bit selfish 'cos I just got this out of the library, have read The Great Gatsby a few times, a great period book about sad, broken people, a bit like Breakfast at Tiffany's.

He writes a good tale.

 

You beat me to it, I was going to suggest this!

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would nominate (with no hope of success) Famine by Liam O'Flaherty.

 

Famine is a novel by Irish writer Liam O'Flaherty published in 1937. Set in the fictionally named Black Valley in the west of Ireland during the Great Famine of the 1840s, the novel tells the story of three generations of the Kilmartin family.

 

In a review for the Irish Times, author John Broderick said of the novel's character: "Mary Kilmartin (the heroine) has been singled out by two generations of critics as one of the great creations of modern literature. And so she is."

 

Multiple copies are available cheaply through abebooks.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivy Compton-Burnett, Men and Wives (1931)

 

'Well, Buttermere, this is a day that is good to live and breathe in, that makes a man feel in his prime. Standing here in front of my house, I feel as young as when I moved into it thirty years ago, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty nine. What aged man would you take me to be, as I step as it were casually into your view?' Sir Godfrey Haslam stepped, though hardly in this manner, through the window of his dining-room, and stood to face or to pass his butler's scrutiny. 'I'll wager not fiftysix. But that is what I am. Six anfd fifty the month before last. Well, what would you say, Buttermere?'

 

People give themselves away by their speech in ICB. And there's plenty of it, most of her books being dialogues between very close relations who are not always as nice as they seem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been meaning to read The Sun Also Rises for ages so I second that one.

 

There are many others that sound great and only one I've already read - Their Eyes were Watching God - a fantastic read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to put forward Aldous Huxley's masterpiece Brave New World, published in 1932, for consideration.

 

Synopsis from amazon.co.uk

 

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

 

Lady L's often told me to read EM Forster. I was going to nominate A Passage to India, but it has been a Book Group choice already!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always wanted to read Brave New World. At school we had a choice of Animal Farm or this, and the class voted for the animals, I think we thought it would be cute!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to close nominations tomorrow. So far we have seven nominations of which four have been seconded (sort of). They are:

 

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Huston

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - seconded

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett - seconded

The Beautiful and The Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald - seconded

Famine by Liam O'Flaherty

Men and Wives by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley -seconded.

 

If anyone wishes to nominate a book or second one please do so soon.

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×