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Guardian 1000 Novel Challenge (G1000): List of books

April 24, 2009

I signed up for Biblio Files’ Guardian 1000 Novel Challenge (here). I decided that all the books chosen would be ones that I hadn’t heard of before. It was hard because I had heard of most of the books before.

  • Jacques the Fatalist: and His Master – Denis Diderot (Comedy)

This got my attention because of a) the title and b) it’s supposedly a pre-curser to post-modern literature (although post-modern lit. isn’t always a good thing). I read an extract and it does seem playful, witty and philosophical.

  • The Crime of Father Amaro – Eca de Queiros (Crime)

I’ve hardly read any Portuguese writers so I thought this would be interesting. I like my crime fiction to be challenging and this seems to fit that criteria.

  • Any Human Heart – William Boyd (Family & Self)

This reminded me of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time in that it follows a character through his life (actually Dance to the Music of Time follows hundreds of characters) but the point still stands.

  • The Transit of Venus – Shirley Hazzard (Love)

This has mixed reviews mainly because of Hazzard’s writing style. I read an extract and it didn’t bother me so looks good.

  • Kindred – Octavia Butler (Science fiction & Fantasy)

This looks like a powerful story written in a genre I love. As I’ve said before science fiction isn’t just about space fights and alien babes.

  • Go Tell it on the Mountain – James Baldwin (State of the Nation)

This seems like a spiritual twin to Kindred. I suppose just because of the whole issues; the struggles of black Americans, racial prejudice etc.

  • The Bamboo Bed – William Eastlake (War & Travel)

I’ve read Dispatches, and I loved that. The off-kilter depiction of Vietnam was great, so this looks to be similar to that.

  • To Each His Own – Leonardo Sciascia (State of the Nation)

I chose this one for no other reason that it looks interesting.

  • Riddley Walker – Russell Hoban (Science fiction & Fantasy)

The entire novel, it seems, is written in a Kentish accent (although when I read an extract I kept doing a Scottish accent in my head).

  • Remembering Babylon – David Malouf (State of the Nation)

I’ve forgotten what this is about. I chose it quickly. I’m sure its good.

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