Recommend me a novel please

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  • Recommend me a novel please
  • mcboo

    My bookshelves groan under the weight of tomes on ancient history, politics and the like, I dont read nearly enough novels and I think I’m missing out. Anyone recommend me something high quality (so I learn something) but not so hard work that I’m going to lose intrest and give up on. I’m thinking maybe something by Martin Amis or Salman Rushdie (Midnights Children? I do like historical novels) or maybe go back to PG Wodehouse or Evelyn Waugh. I enjoyed The Sword of Honour trilogy so was thinking of having a go at Brideshead Revisited.

    I do like historical novels) or maybe go back to PG Wodehouse or Evelyn Waugh

    Well, apart from you saying it yourself, go back to Wodehouse and Waugh. Never fails!

    For historical novels, try some George McDonald Fraser.

    Premier Icon zippykona

    The flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. They have everything, humour. ,history and plenty of rogering.


    I’m currently reading ‘the handmaids tale’ by Margeret Atwood for the 2nd time. Its a very good book in my opinion.


    Game Of Thrones, George R Martin.

    Excellent in every way.


    Just put down The Road b Cormac McCarthy, finished it in one sitting more or less. riveting


    My stock answer to any “what novel?” request is Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.

    However in this case it fits the bill better than ever as it’s fairly historically “accurate”.


    “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy.

    Hands down, the best book I’ve ever read. Not easy due to a lack of punctuation, but worth persevering with.

    Spoken extract


    I don’t know hat other interest you have but authors I’de recommend that I love are

    Iain Banks – The guys a genius! He also rights sci fi under Iain M. Banks. Never tried that though.

    Christopher Brookmyre – Social commentary, comedy and excellent storylines. Yet another cracking Scottish author.

    Haruki Murakami – Funny, surreal. Legend!

    Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho is one of the greatest modern novel IMHO, but his other work is just as good.

    You’ve probably read them but Junky by Burroughs and 1984 by Orwell are must reads too!

    These novels;/authors may be nothing like what you usually read but are certainly worth a look!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Christopher Brookmyre

    Heh, I’m reading one of his at the moment. He’s an entertaining read.


    Hah George Mac-Fraser, I’ve read practically every word he ever published. Read the Flashman novels back to back in 1992 instead of studying for my finals. Quartered Safe Out here is maybe the finest book on the infantry I’ve ever read……..then there’s the MacAuslin books.

    Cormac McCarthy I had a go at All the Pretty Horses a few years ago………typically for me I got bogged down in it, was just a bit slow for me.

    Tell me more about Brookmyre?

    Premier Icon boxelder

    Ian Banks – The Crow Rd

    Anything by Cormac McCarthy

    Ian McKewan – Saturday

    Ian Rankin – Rebus novels – loads of them

    The Girl with the dragon Tattoo

    Little Green Man by Simon Armitage


    Id look here for a wee bio then read some reviews. It’ll be far better worded than I can put it! 🙂



    Bernard Cornwell’s Authurian trilogy is excellent.


    It’s not in the realms of what you were asking for but Reamde by Neal Stephenson was a ripping yarn.

    If you want historical stuff, his Baroque Cycle books are great but put aside some proper reading time. My last read through took me a couple of months.

    Premier Icon Nipper99

    The Kite Runner and / or A Thousand Splendid Suns both by Khaled Hosseini.

    +1 for Stuartie C’s recommendation: ‘Blood Meridian’ by Cormac McCarthy. The Border trilogy is also excellent, along with ‘No Country…’ and ‘The Road’. You could say I’m a fan. I found I very quickly get into the rhythm of his writing, tho’ agree initially it can seem a bit awkward.

    I’m thinking about Dickens this year – an embarrassing gap in my literary

    Mrs rates the Hosseini books mentioned, but also suggests ‘Life of Pi’ – one of her top 5 fiction books.


    I’ve just started Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
    A bit to early to reccomend but so far so good.

    Brideshead is a wonderful classic
    Early Martin Amis is good… Rachel Papers, and Money etc…
    Anything by Orhan Pamuk – esp “My name is red”
    Some Murukami is good, some is a bit adolescent.

    A couple of American suggestions.

    Newer – anything by Richard Ford
    Older – the longer more serious Raymond Chandlers – esp The Long Goodbye.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    Stuart Mcbride’s logan Mcrae novels or his scifi-“halfhead” all excellent


    Lot of good suggestions here, thanks. Have read a lot of Ian Banks and Rankin, very good…..Rebus makes me homesick.

    Best book I read this year was “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote……Mrs is reading “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, will pick that up when she’s done.

    Anyone read the Jack Aubrey books?


    I read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden 25 years apart and think both are utterly outstanding. I reckon any author who can seem as brilliant to you at 46 as 21 has to be pretty good.


    It might do you some good to read Roddy Doyle’s offerings.. Irvine Welsh is always good light entertainment too


    Just downloading The Long Goodbye to the Kindle, thanks Stoats. Am hoping Chandler is something like Elmore Leonard, who is someone I need to read more of.

    Agreed on Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath ought to be torrid read but its a beautiful book.


    It might do you some good to read Roddy Doyle’s offerings..

    I’m all ears.

    Premier Icon leffeboy

    If you haven’t read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath then that would fit your bill wonderfully (courtesy of avdave2)

    Agree with above re. Grapes of Wrath – astounding book.

    I also really enjoyed Sebastian Fawkes – Birdsong. The best modern novel for me by far.

    Premier Icon dti

    Child 44 – set in Stalinist Russia.


    Life of Pi is utterly charming

    If you want a proper story to get your teeth into, try the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Its nothing like his other airport fodder….

    The Bookthief – a proper tear jerker!

    1984 – a classic

    Papillion – another epic classic

    The Road – recently made into a film, but the book is way better

    Chickenhawk – great novel about Huey pilots in Nam

    Matterhorn – awesome account of Vietnam through the eyes of a very messed up vet

    Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (the guy who wrote Fightclub). Very odd, but addictive!


    Reading ‘Blood’s a Rover’. The concluding novel of James Ellroy’s The Underworld USA Trilogy. Fantastic noir crime where dubious characters are weaved into Americas dark history during the 60’s.

    Conn Igulden

    nuff said


    Not something I’d generally read, but it was a free Kindle book on my phone, and I really enjoyed it: Dead Line by Stella Rimmington, ex head of MI6. A very good spy novel, written by someone who’s been there and done it. Going to check out her other novels now.

    Premier Icon Riksbar

    +1 for Neal Stephenson. If you’re doing the Baroque Cycle I’d read Cryptonomicon first. A cracking book and sort of a sequel to the baroque books but worth reading before. Anathem is also good but more SF.

    Papillon? I thought the book wasn’t the equal of the film – I don’t think I have ever thought that about a book.

    Premier Icon StefMcDef

    If you like historical novels I’d recommend Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem.

    Also, anything by Sarah Waters – Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, The Night Watch, The Little Stranger. These are a bit more of a romp but still diverting and entertaining and plausibly well researched.

    CJ Sansom’s Winter In Madrid is a decent yarn set in, er winter, in Madrid, during the Spanish Civil War. Alone In Berlin by Hans Fallada is another tale to make you shiver and thank God you never had to live in a totalitarian state. Even more harrowing because it’s supposedly based on a true story.

    The best novel with a broad historical sweep that I’ve read is James Ellroy’s American Tabloid. The way ties in fiction with bits of the past that you think you know a bit about is just mindblowing.

    It’s the first part of a trilogy as well, so plenty more where that came from if you get a taste for it. I haven’t yet got round to reading the next two.

    Maybe more reading and less slack-jawed lurking on Singletrack would be a good idea for a new year resolution, come to think of it. 😕

    Also if you get a taste for Neal Stephenson, check out Snow Crash. More sci-fi than historical but very entertaining and tackles lots of big themes and Very Clever Stuff that it makes your head hurt to think about.


    Just put down The Road b Cormac McCarthy, finished it in one sitting more or less. riveting

    …said the boy, to the man.

    I really enjoyed the Viking stories by Bernard Cornwell…

    McBoo… Read the Aubrey books 3 times.

    The James Elllroy suggestion is a good one, providing you like 4 word sentences… But a real stylist. Great.


    Chickenhawk – great novel about Huey pilots in Nam

    boltonjon names the book that must be named on all book threads – it’s a fantastic read and as you like history it’s perfect.

    Matterhorn is stunning too.

    Will add Riotous Assembly by Tom Sharpe, that and Don’t tell Mum I work on the Rigs are the 2 books that have nearly seen me burst something from laughing too hard


    Chickenhawk I read (and loved) many moons ago. Matterhorn I have ready to read (a lot of folk recommend) but at 700+ pages I want to enjoy some shorter novels that arent about bombs and bullets…..I’ve read a lot of military history and novels.

    Have actually made a NY resolution – only reading fiction in 2012


    dti – Member

    Child 44 – set in Stalinist Russia.

    This is excellent, his second book “The secret Speech” is also good, his third is on my to read list


    I read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden 25 years apart and think both are utterly outstanding. I reckon any author who can seem as brilliant to you at 46 as 21 has to be pretty good.

    +1 (except 35 and 17 in my case).

    Also, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Wonderful, wonderful book.

    Premier Icon LeeW

    Harry Sidebottom, Warrior of Rome series is pretty good.


    Loads of excellent suggestions so far. I’ll add anything by Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha and The Glass Bead Game are two of my favourite books.

    Next on my list of books i ought to read is The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maughn (though what i’m actually reading is The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb).

    I’d also like to read some Waugh. Where’s a good place to start?


    Second my My Name is Red by Orhun Pamuk – fantastic book.

    Also second McCarthy – Blood Meridian is stunning, although Suttree, The Orchard Keeper and The Crossing are probably my faves.

    If you are a fan of 19th century historical faction fiction, The siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell is an excellent read – a bitingly funny, if grim, account of the British in India, by an author whose life was cut tragically short.

    I’m currently waiting on a library copy of The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt – seems to have good reviews.

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