1977 club and a true bargain

I had missed most of their previous year clubs when Simon and Karen have run them so when they announced the next in April after managing to do 1968 last month. They have chosen 1977 as the next year as with my 68 entries I have chosen the published year of the book in the original language I found three and have two already and will keep the other as a surprise.









The first is The end of the family story By Hungarian writer Peter Nadas, I reviewed his masterpiece Parallel stories an epic in every sense. This is his debut novel and set in the stern Stalinist period of the 1950’s. One man’s story Simon has a dead mother and a father locked up !









The second choice Takes me to Latin America and Jorge Amado the Brazilian writer that had been nominated a number of times for the Nobel prize. I have read Dona Flors by him and have another book by him on the shelves, but haven’t reviewed him yet and be nice to add more Brazilian writers to the blog.









Not for 1977 but a bargain find today was the first edition of Anna Kavan Ice which is considered a masterpiece of genre-defying lit.



A pile of Burgess nearly at 100


Well 25th February sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Anthony Burgess one of the most influential writers of the last hundred years . He wrote from Sci fi , lit and historic fiction . From tales in Shakespeare’s day to the future and violent gangs Burgess had an impressive output I have tried to add his books over the years but when I saw the anniversary was near last year i decide to up my buying now having 26 novels two of those include the Malay trilogy and the enderby books adding to a total and 31 novels of the 35 he wrote also have two non fiction books his 99 novels and a book about language also a short story collection. With a month to go I plan from next month to read one a month for the next few years.

I’ve 99 novels and Anthony burgess isn’t one of them


Well I’ve  spun on Jay Z’s lyrics  in the title of this piece I’ve long wanted to get hold of the book by Anthony Burgess the best 99 novels in English since 1939 . As a fan of Burgess own work , but also aware that he was quite the cultural commentator back in the day.I felt his choice of 99 novels maybe an interesting list to look at and to work through.I often say I want to try to add a few English novels and as I am of the opinion that nothing of any weight has been written since Burgess passed this looks like the list for me .The bold ones are books I own. I have read a number as well.

  • Party Going, Henry Green
  • After Many a Summer, Aldous Huxley
  • Finnegans Wake, James Joyce
  • At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brien


  • The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  • Strangers and Brothers (to 1970), C. P. Snow(most of these I have )


  • The Aerodrome, Rex Warner


  • The Horse’s Mouth, Joyce Cary
  • The Razor’s Edge, Somerset Maugham


  • Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  • 1946

  • Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake


  • The Victim, Saul Bellow
  • Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry


  • The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene
  • Ape and Essence, Aldous Huxley
  • The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
  • No Highway, Nevil Shute
  • 1949

  • The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
  • The Body, William Sansom


  • Scenes from Provincial Life, William Cooper
  • The Disenchanted, Budd Schulberg


  • A Dance to the Music of Time (to 1975), Anthony Powell 3 of 4 collect vols 
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
  • The Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight (to 1969), Henry Williamson
  • The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk


  • Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Groves of Academe, Mary McCarthy
  • Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor
  • Sword of Honour (to 1961), Evelyn Waugh


  • The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler


  • Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis


  • Room at the Top, John Braine
  • The Alexandria Quartet (to 1960), Lawrence Durrell
  • The London Novels (to 1960), Colin MacInnes
  • The Assistant, Bernard Malamud


  • The Bell, Iris Murdoch
  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Alan Sillitoe
  • The Once and Future King, T. H. White


  • The Mansion, William Faulkner
  • Goldfinger, Ian Fleming


  • Facial Justice, L. P. Hartley
  • The Balkans Trilogy (to 1965), Olivia Manning


  • The Mighty and Their Fall, Ivy Compton-Burnett
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  • The Fox in the Attic, Richard Hughes
  • Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White
  • The Old Men at the Zoo, Angus Wilson


  • Another Country, James Baldwin
  • An Error of Judgment, Pamela Hansford Johnson
  • Island, Aldous Huxley
  • The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
  • Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov


  • The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark


  • The Spire, William Golding
  • Heartland, Wilson Harris
  • A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood
  • The Defence, Vladimir Nabokov
  • Late Call, Angus Wilson


  • The Lockwood Concern, John O’Hara
  • The Mandelbaum Gate, Muriel Spark


  • A Man of the People, Chinua Achebe
  • The Anti-Death League, Kingsley Amis
  • Giles Goat-Boy, John Barth
  • The Late Bourgeois World, Nadine Gordimer
  • The Last Gentleman, Walker Percy


  • The Vendor of Sweets, R. K. Narayan


  • The Image Men, J. B. Priestley
  • Cocksure, Mordecai Richler
  • Pavane, Keith Roberts


  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles
  • Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth


  • Bomber, Len Deighton


  • Sweet Dreams, Michael Frayn
  • Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon


  • Humboldt’s Gift, Saul Bellow
  • The History Man, Malcolm Bradbury


  • The Doctor’s Wife, Brian Moore
  • Falstaff, Robert Nye


  • How to Save Your Own Life, Erica Jong
  • Farewell Companions, James Plunkett
  • Staying On, Paul Scott


  • The Coup, John Updike


  • The Unlimited Dream Company, J. G. Ballard
  • Dubin’s Lives, Bernard Malamud
  • A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipaul
  • Sophie’s Choice, William Stryon


  • Life in the West, Brian Aldiss
  • Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban
  • How Far Can You Go?, David Lodge
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole


  • Lanark, Alasdair Gray
  • Darconville’s Cat, Alexander Theroux
  • The Mosquito Coast, Paul Theroux
  • Creation, Gore Vidal


  • The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies


  • Ancient Evenings, Norman Mailer

So that is the list it is more than 99 novels aa a number of the books is a series of Novels like the Powell , Williamson and Snow all of which are ten or more novel series. So I plan to work through this over next few years as a challenge. Anyone else like this list ?

March 2018
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