Three of our reviewers reveal their top choices for novels to read over the summer coming! Do you agree with their choices? Second in our line up is:
The Brooklyn Follies – Paul Auster
I recently read The Invention of Solitude (1982), which initiated my interest in his other novels. The Brooklyn Follies (2005) follows the life Nathan Glass, who in his sixties comes back to Brooklyn with the intention of dying in “a quiet place” and of writing “The Book of Human Folly”. In this way the novel also explores the act of reading and the difficulties of storytelling in the line of metafiction. The novel seems to me the perfect summer novel to read: a simple plot, but at the same time it has interesting narrative issues behind the surface that adds something more to the usual story of an old man’s wanderings.
Nausea (La Nausée) – Jean-Paul Sartre
A well-known epistolary novel published in 1938 that always appears on the reading lists of students of both literature and philosophy. Personally, I suggest this novel because it is one of the many great classics that cannot be ignored. I am fascinated by existentialism and Jean-Paul Sartre is one of the most important names in this field. In other words, over all, this novel combines the pleasures of fiction with philosophical touches and for this reason it is a special work that should be read.
Hot Water Music – Charles Bukowski
This collection of short stories, published in 1983, deals with the ordinary lives of penniless Americans, unsuccessful writers and artists, romantic relationships and the abuse of alcohol. All of this with the provocative style and language of Bukowski: the poète maudit (accursed poet), as he has been called. I suggest this book because it depicts the despair and torments of, not only the protagonists of its short stories, but also of a generation of writers and characters from the second half of the 20th century that many writers have attempted to portray but few have succeed in doing so. A classic, any time of year.
Image courtesy of Mo Riza