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Old 07-04-2010, 18:12   #61
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Originally Posted by Chocovla View Post
Straight to the point while writing about characters that feel real and believable.

Barrytown trilogy

Blokelit to the max my ultimate guilty pleasure.

High fidelity- Nick Hornby

Daytime soap in the middle ages but oh so addictive. The one book I would love to see a film made of. The sequel World without end was enjoyable but not nearly as good as the first book.

The pillars of the earth- Ken Follett
Interesting. I love the Barrytown trilogy and High Fidelity, so I'll check out your other recommendation

Originally Posted by baffled View Post
Green River Rising - Tim Willocks
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
Same again. Trainspotting is superb and the Wasp Factory is a fine read, so I'll take a look at Green River Rising
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:15   #62
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The Great Gatsby is my clear favourite book - was surprised to not see it mentioned until post #50 - so much loss and longing encapsulated in such a short book, it's amazing - can't seem to keep hold of a copy of this, just bought my 6th or 7th

To Kill A Mockingbird
Slaughterhouse 5

honourable mentions to:
Mother Night (did battle with Slaughterhouse for my Vonnegut selection)
The Grapes of Wrath
Heart of Darkness (HATED this when I read it for A-Level, read it again about a decade later and absolutely loved it - have just bought Madame Bovary on the same basis)

Just reading this thread has given me some (hopefully) good recommendations based on similarities in choice, lots of the books on here I've read and loved, so thanks
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:14   #63
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This is tough and is likely to change right after I post it, but here goes:

Wizard & Glass by Stephen King - King has written so many of my favourite stories and the Dark Tower is my favourite multibook fiction ever, so it was tough picking just one, but this sits nicely between them both. Fantastic, heartbreaking lovestory while building an intricate depiction of Roland's world before he was forced on his quest.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons - This is an absolute flood of ideas, using ones that could easily have been novels in their own right as simple scene dressing. The result is a series of gripping Tales which build an incredibly detailed and ecclectic universe.

Mort by Terry Pratchett - My favourite Discworld usually flops between this and Guards Guards. I've reread this one most though, so I'm giving it the mention here.

Honourable mentions: Guards Guards, obviously and most of the rest of the Discworld novels too. The Stand, IT, The Long Walk, The Shining, Misery, Secret Window Secret Garden, Bag of Bones from King. Most of Lovecraft's work, but one volume that stands out is the Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories (for the Rats in the Walls, the Call of Cthulhu and the Shadow Over Innsmouth). The Sandman (especially Season of the Mists and Brief Lives), Preacher (Until the End of the World, War in the Sun). Cryptonomicon. Amadeus. Hitchiker's. Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. Okay, I need to stop before this becomes a joke.

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Old 20-05-2010, 10:40   #64
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The Neverending Story - Michael Ende

I'm the King of the Castle - Susan Hill

On the Beach - Neville Shute

three books which i can read over, ond over
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Old 27-05-2010, 14:11   #65
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The four I immediately thought of have already been mentioned, which is nice

100 Years of Solitude
Shadow of the Wind
The Stand

and the 'most read' being The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Old 22-12-2010, 10:22   #66
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Originally Posted by baffled View Post
Green River Rising - Tim Willocks
Loved this in my teens but Tim's Blood Stained Kings is a much, much better book. Spoke to him briefly about the distribution of the film version of Bad City Blues, nice chap. I keep meaning to read his medieval story, The Religion.
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Old 22-12-2010, 11:34   #67
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In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

erm... can't think of a 3rd, nothing has gripped me like the two above.
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Old 22-12-2010, 12:20   #68
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limit my favorite books to just three? that's unpossible !!


ok.. here goes.


Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Dune.. no wait, I mean The Nights dawn Trilogy.. no actually Ender's game.. Azimov's Foundation seri.. erm.. The culture novels of Iain M. Ba.. ah.. er.. The forever war? The Belgariad? Diskworld series? Perdido Street stat.. Song of Ice & Fire.. Lord of the ri..wait! I've done that one..

aaaaaargh !! no .. it cannot be done.

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Old 22-12-2010, 12:56   #69
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Originally Posted by kez View Post
I'm the King of the Castle - Susan Hill

books which i can read over, ond over
This was supposed to be our GCSE English set test but we collectively found the start rather stilted and engineered a revolt - having it replaced with To Kill a Mockingbird.

Might give it another go 20-0dd years later!
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Old 21-02-2011, 21:21   #70
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High Rise - JG Ballard
Popcorn - Ben Elton
Papillon - Henry Charriere

Honorable mentions:

My Dark Places - James Ellroy
This Is Your Life - John O'Farrell
Any PG Wodehouse

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Old 21-02-2011, 22:14   #71
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Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
It's Not ABout The Bike - Lance Armstrong
The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
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Old 24-02-2011, 18:55   #72
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My favourite genre is adventure stories, and the book that is my #1 favourite is River God by Wilbur Smith which skillfully combines adventure and Egyptology (another favourite subject of mine) perfectly. Smith brings to life the characters, settings and smells of the time and pins them to an epic odyssey full of betrayal and intrigue, with undoubtedly his best character creation in the slave Taita as the focal point. Part of a trilogy of sorts with Warlock and The Quest (you can also consider it a 4-book series with the more recently set - but related - tale The Seventh Scroll.

Smith has been a bit predictable and not at the height of his writing powers lately, but both that series and my second favourite book saw him at his peak. If he was better known in the US I have no doubt someone would have made some of his stuff into movies.

So my #2 favourite: Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith - is an amazing swashbuckling, high-seas tale - set in 1667 with the protagonists at sea with a licence to trade with the India Trading Company and also to hunt down ships deemed the enemy of England, it has the usual Smith sense of epic, with a good pace and lots of derring do, conflict, back-stabbing, sex, sea battles, & sword fights. Forms an epic trilogy with Monsoon and Blue Horizon taking in Arabia, The Cape of Good Hope, the Robber's Road, & Southern Africa amongst the locations. Blue Horizon perhaps just begins to show Smith's writing style becoming a little predictable (a lot of his characters have always been larger-than-life stereotypes but written well enough to carry the plot) - but it's still a very good book and finishes off a masterpiece of an adventure epic.

Choosing a third book is hard - Hitch Hikers is a perennial favourite, and I love a lot of the adventure/thriller output of Alistair MacLean, John Buchan, Frederick Forsyth, Fleming and more - and I haven't even mentioned fantasy like Discworld or sci-fi by the likes of Asimov, Dick & Clarke. But my #3 favourite is a book that just resonated with me, in it's utterly real and convincingly bleak portrayal of abject and total hopelessness - and still continues to have relevance in today's CCTV-infatuated society. Like the modern classic that is Cormac McCarthy's The Road this book never pulls it's punches or shirks from it's relentlessly bleak tone. However, unlike McCarthy, who even in the depths of misery allows the reader just a hint of 'hope', in 1984 Orwell unequivocally removes all hope as he firmly places the jackboot on the reader's face and keeps it there. I guess it's a rather nihilistic choice!
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:05   #73
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Gizmo, I agree river God was excellent but towards the end of the series I found myself very disappointed as things became ever more unbelievable

But its between that and birds of prey for my number 3 choice

Number 2 is the conquer series by conn iggulden. Wolf of the plains describes the rise of the Mongol nation. I've still to read the last of the series but have find them excellent so far. Related is the emperor series, following the end of the Roman republic and the life of Julius Caesar

Number 1 is his dark materials trilogy by Phillip pullman. Possibly swayed by happy memories of where I read it, but excellent sorry telling that really got imagination fired up and always wanted to read the next chapter.
Shame the movie soured the first book.

Edit: having read the thread and been reminded of so many, I reserve the right to change.

Must really try to read catch 22 again, I think I enjoyed it before

Last edited by BigDonut; 10-02-2012 at 01:12.
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Old 16-07-2015, 12:52   #74
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Was going to start one of these

How Steeple Sinderby Wanders Won the FA Cup - JL Carr
The Dogs of War - Frederick Forsyth
World Without End - Ken Follett
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Old 25-08-2015, 07:01   #75
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Just getting back into it after many years, but still love these when I did a lot of reading.

Good Omens by Pratchett/Gaiman

Swan song by Robert McCammon (fantastic book which would make an amazing tv show)

Kestrel for a knave by Barry Hines.

Oh and Riotous Assembly/Indecent Exposure by Tom Sharpe. Brilliant books.
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