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Thread: Books About Being a Loser

  1. #31
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, to each his own. The characters are Dickension and certainly subject to Dickens' sometimes cartoonish standards of satire. If you don't know and like Dickens, you probably won't get that much out of The Quincunx. As for the book being badly written because you didn't sympathize with anyone, it's not that kind of a novel--by which I mean it rejects/ignores the all too familiar "how to write popular fiction" orthodoxy. It really wasn't intended for that market. Palliser was an obscure academic when he wrote it and was just playing around with postmodern ideas about pastiche (and some ideas of his own). I don't think anyone expected The Quincunx to become a bestseller--especially Palliser. Maybe ten years after The Quincunx, he wrote a (reasonably good) bestseller called The Unburied, which is probably more what you want (the protagonist is likable in any case). Ten years after that he wrote Rustication, which I don't think made much money. The main character is highly unlikable (intentionally) and the tone is nasty without any of The Quincunx's Dickensian charm. I thought Rustication was a better book than The Unburried, but it doesn't surprise me that it didn't sell. The rest of Palliser's books are postmodern academic la-de-da.
    I am sufficiently familiar with Dickens' works that I understood most of what he put in Qunicunx, but one can understand a work of fiction without liking it, and one thing that I didn't like about Pallisser's characters was that they were like Dickens' characters to a large degree. But different people like different things in literature. There even are people who like Romance novels.

    Oh and fun fact, Peter. Palliser has been a resident of the United Kingdom since age three, but he was born in our shared Commonwealth of Taxachusetts. I heard a rumor he was born in Lexington, but I guess it was actually Holyoke. No wonder he's so depressing.
    That's enough to destroy anyone from the outset. Actually, there are some people who grew up in Holyoke who are reasonably nice people.

  2. #32
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    Hey, Dark Muse! Long timely, non?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    There even are people who like Romance novels.
    Now that's just upsetting.

  3. #33
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Yes it has been quite a while

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #34
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Now that's just upsetting.
    The likes and interests of humans are limited in scope.

  5. #35
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    Most books out there. Honestly, why would you be interested in a topic like this when it has been done a million times before. Every book is about a loser who rises up to the occasion to them end up becoming a ascetic.

  6. #36
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    ?Eh nooo!

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    I suggest "Death on the Installment Plan" written by Louis-Ferdinand Céline. But if you decide to read it, know it beforehand that the atmosphere of this novel is extremely gloomy! Also, if you don't have problem with reading a play, "Uncle Vanya" by chekhov is a better choice regarding the atmosphere of the plot.

  8. #38
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    Now that I think of it, Candide is the story of a handful of losers for whom things get worse and worse.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Kratz View Post
    Most books out there. Honestly, why would you be interested in a topic like this when it has been done a million times before. Every book is about a loser who rises up to the occasion to them end up becoming a ascetic.
    Because I can relate to losers, and that's really all I wanna read about.

  10. #40
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    I'd suggest Thomas Pynchon's "V." One of its principal characters is one Mr. Benny Profane, who in addition to being a schlemiel (the Jewish equivalent of a loser, and awkward, bumbling being), he is also in Pynchon's words "a human yo-yo." V, however, is a dense work and requires considerable effort on the reader's part.
    Last edited by laugher; 06-12-2019 at 05:17 AM.

  11. #41
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Burmese Days by George Orwell.
    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

  12. #42
    Registered User wordeater's Avatar
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    The tragic hero was invented by the Ancient Greeks: someone who means well, but who messes up. Examples are Oedipus and Medea. Later examples are Hamlet and Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

    The antihero is typical of the 19th century, especially in Russia: someone who's lazy, selfish or hedonistic, without being thoroughly evil. Examples are Raskomnikov (Crime and Punishment), Oblomov and Anna Karenina. 20th century examples are Humbert Humbert (Lolita), Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye) and Barmadu (Journey to the End of the Night).

  13. #43
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    About half of Shakespeare, most of the Greeks, nearly all of the Norse.

    Otherwise "Money" by Martin Amis, because you might as well enjoy yourself while losing
    ay up

  14. #44
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    About half of Shakespeare, most of the Greeks, nearly all of the Norse.

    Otherwise "Money" by Martin Amis, because you might as well enjoy yourself while losing



    Edit, for heavens sake why does it keep doing that!
    ay up

  15. #45
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    The well meaning hero of Amerika, by Kafka.

    Don´t mind the double posts, prendrelemick. They happen all the time.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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