“Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book.”
Mark Z. Danielewski
The answer to this is actually “all the books”.
- Perdido Street Station – China Mieville. Perdido is such a baggy, sprawling novel, so immersed and immersive, and so unlike anything else – I can only imagine that there is much left to find within its pages.
- Night Film – Marisha Pessl. I love Pessl’s writing: it’s intensely readable, very modern and very clever. Her novels are like literary puzzle-boxes, and Night Film also has an intoxicating darkness to it.
- House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. Another novel full of dark corners and textual mysteries; another puzzle-box of wonders, and one of my favourite novels ever. You could study it for years and not discover all it has to say.
- Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov. OK, there’s a theme here. Pale Fire is yet another piece of postmodernism, interrogating the truth of text and the gaps between words. It’s fascinating and twisted and black as night.
- Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell. See everything that I said above. Also, Robert Frobisher. And Sonmi-451. And just everything, really.
- The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson. Another hugely immersive world, one which asks us what’s real and what’s not, and a great play on Tolkien.
- A Madness of Angels – Kate Griffin. Just as a light read, perhaps: an immensely satisfying piece of urban fantasy, its prose sing-song and ragged, its magic as fascinating and perfect as anything you could ask for.
- Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens. I’ve read this a few times, but Dickens’ sentimentality and his almost grotesque characterisation are irresistible.
- Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen. I always want to reread Northanger Abbey. It’s just so much fun: frothy and funny and satirical and sharp.
- The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon. A brilliant and unsettling romp about the postal service, and Jacobean revenge drama, and rubbish bins, and just give it a try. Mysterious and glitteringly clever.
(The theme of this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)