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Thread: I'm looking for.... ?

  1. #1
    Word Dispenser BookBeauty's Avatar
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    I'm looking for.... ?

    Hello!

    I'm looking for some personal recommendations from you!

    I am a voracious reader of classical literature, and most genres belonging to this category is of interest.. But to be a little more specific: I am looking for something a little obscure, less known.. Like an undiscovered gem that you feel has been under-appreciated, under-read or simply overshadowed by all the well-known classical novels.

    Thank you.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde.

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    Here are some obscure books that I really liked:
    • Argonautica (also known as Argonautika or Jason and the Golden Fleece) by Apollonius of Rhodes
    • Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
    • Romola by George Eliot
    • The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
    • New Grub Street by George Gissing
    • Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
    • The Fall of a Titan by Igor Gouzenko
    • Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell
    • Three Came to Ville Marie by Alan Sullivan
    • The Barsetshire Novels (there are six of them) by Anthony Trollope
    • The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
    • The Complete Short Stories by Mark Twain
    • Ben Hur by Lew Wallace
    • The Virginian by Owen Wister

  3. #3
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    I don't know how obscure you want to get, but here are some lesser known gems:

    Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (John Banville)
    Galveston by Nic Pizzolato
    The Devils by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    After Dark, My Sweet by Jim Thompson
    Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
    Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
    Funeral Rites by Jean Genet
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor

  4. #4
    Classical and obscure? How about _Tale of Genji_ (by Murasaki Shikibu; Japan, c. 1000 AD); as well as any other classical Japanese literature (this was my major in college)?
    Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
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  5. #5
    Word Dispenser BookBeauty's Avatar
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    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for all the suggestions!

    There are quite a few interesting pieces here that I haven't read yet. Very exciting!

    I think I'll start with the most intriguing ones:

    -Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell
    -Romola by George Eliot
    -Funeral Rites by Jean Genet
    -The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet


    Quote Originally Posted by LurgidVogon View Post
    Classical and obscure? How about _Tale of Genji_ (by Murasaki Shikibu; Japan, c. 1000 AD); as well as any other classical Japanese literature (this was my major in college)?
    Ah yes, I read Genji as a kind of doorway into japanese literature. I've also read Taketori Monogatari & The Tale of the Heike.


    Other than those three above my japanese reads have been more modern and limited to authors like Murakami, Soseki, Kawabata, Mishima.. And that's all I can remember right now.. Oh, and Kobo Abe of course. I very much enjoyed their ''The Woman in the Dunes.''

    If you have any other suggestions.. Please do share them.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde.

  6. #6
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I have started reading the 1001 Nights based on information from another thread. I have also enjoyed Amal Bhakta's retelling of stories from the Bhagavatam. I don't suspect these are overlooked except that they were not originally in English.

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    somewhere else Helga's Avatar
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    this is obscure because it's Icelandic I guess but I would recommend anything you can find by Sjn, he is brilliant in his prose and style and very odd. His most recent novel is called Moonstone, I think it has been translated, it is beautiful and about being gay in Iceland during the first World War. Everything he has written is about everything, you can easily get lost trying to figure his books out, one of my teachers at university warned us about writing our thesis about Sjn because of his complexity, some did though.
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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I thought The Netherworld by George Gissing was rather good, though gloomy.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Overlooked, neglected, and fallen from favor...

    A Glasgow Trilogy, by George Friel
    The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
    Crome Yellow, by Aldous Huxley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    Overlooked, neglected, and fallen from favor...


    Crome Yellow, by Aldous Huxley
    Yes, yes, YES!!! Crome Yellow is a wonderful novel and, in my opinion, much better than Brave New World: urbane, witty and beautifully written. Some critics think this was Huxley's best, if judged purely as a work of art. Brave New World may have more important things to say, and Point Counter Point may be more experimental and original, but Crome Yellow is his most polished, perfect work.

    I'd also put in a plug for Edward St Aubyn's Melrose novels. They are dark, but superb and will certainly be considered satiric masterpieces in years to come. I am surprised they aren't better known.

  11. #11
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Currently reading Charles Reade's The Cloister and the Hearth which I once got about half way thu over 40 years ago and find it a little easier now with some life experience to bolster me up. I'm treating it this time like a soap opera with characters coming and going.

  12. #12
    Word Dispenser BookBeauty's Avatar
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    Thank you all for sharing your ideas with me. I appreciate this kindness tremendously.

    I've read four of the novels suggested since I started this thread, I found Romola and Keep the Aspidistra Flying out of those to be quite enjoyable, especially Romola so much so that I intend to check out some of the authors other works at some point.

    Will be giving The Nether World, and Crome Yellow a try next. Nether World seems kind of dickensian at first glance, which is a good thing.
    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. ~Oscar Wilde.

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Good choice! I reckon "Romola" is George Elliot's best work.

    Let us know what you think as you read .
    ay up

  14. #14
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    It has to be said that Romola is usually reckoned Mary Ann Evans' ("George Eliot") least typical work. It is the only one not set in England and in the period of her own or her parents' lifetime.

    A work I found fascinating and unknown is Belchamber by Howard Sturgis. Here's a review http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n19/alan-ho...dont-ask-henry

    And for novelists who were thought great in their day and have all but disappeared there's Thackery (Vanity Fair) and Scott (The Heart of Midlothian or Old Mortality).
    Last edited by Jackson Richardson; 07-27-2015 at 03:45 PM.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    The Reddleman Diggory Venn's Avatar
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    "I am looking for something a little obscure, less known.."

    I give you these, which I personally enjoyed. Admittedly, a couple are rather "Boys Own" style adventures:

    Uncle Silas - Sheridan Le Fanu (1864)
    Melmoth The Wanderer - Charles Maturin (1820)
    Allan Quatermain - H.Rider Haggard (1887)
    Catriona - Robert Louis Stevenson (1893)
    Joseph Andrews - Henry Fielding (1742)
    Agnes Grey - Anne Bronte (1847)
    Two On A Tower - Thomas Hardy (1882)
    Sylvia`s Lovers - Elizabeth Gaskell (1863)

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