Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 40

Thread: Books About Being a Loser

  1. #16
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    6,982
    Blog Entries
    423
    dupli
    Last edited by PeterL; 04-02-2019 at 07:28 PM. Reason: duplicate

  2. #17
    "The hunchback of Notre Dame".
    I know more, but this is the most classical one.
    I love it and highly recommend it!!

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ennison View Post
    Is Lucky Jim about a loser? Probably. It too is comic.
    In "Lucky Jim," the main character plays what he's been dealt in a way that he comes out ahead. He really hits the jackpot in the end.

    A novel about a loser is really depressing. I tried to write one myself, but I also quit reading Roth's "Call It Sleep" because it seemed to be about that. For what it's worth, in "Of Human Bondage," the affair Philip has with some worthless girl makes him a loser for as long as that goes on.
    Last edited by SageOfMainSt.; 04-06-2019 at 02:58 PM.

  4. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,998
    Jude the Obscure I had forgotten about. A barrel of laughs it ain't.

  5. #20
    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Over Your Shoulder
    Posts
    289
    Outlaws of the Marsh

    Clockwork Orange
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

  6. #21
    Because I want to read books with characters that I can relate to

  7. #22
    No Longer Human is a good one

  8. #23
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,500
    How about - Post Office, by Charles Bukowski
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  9. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    50
    The entire First Law-trilogy by Joe Abecrombie is, in essence, the story of how losers try to survive as best as they can in a cruel and hard world. And it is well written as well.

    Marcelo, one of the main characters in Intersection Diaries by Tom Fitch is a loser as sour as they can get. And it is a free book for good measure.

    Francis
    "Some things in life need solitude to thrive. Can only flourish in seclusion and loneliness. Without affection hushing and deceptively lulling them to sleep.

    The pursuit of dreams is such a thing."

    Tom Fitch - Intersection Diaries

  10. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    50
    The entire First Law-trilogy by Joe Abecrombie is, in essence, the story of how losers try to survive as best as they can in a cruel and hard world. And it is well written as well.

    Marcelo, one of the main characters in Intersection Diaries by Tom Fitch is a loser as sour as they can get. And it is a free book for good measure.

    Francis
    "Some things in life need solitude to thrive. Can only flourish in seclusion and loneliness. Without affection hushing and deceptively lulling them to sleep.

    The pursuit of dreams is such a thing."

    Tom Fitch - Intersection Diaries

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    9
    um there's this book called "10 things to do before i die"
    "it's kind of a funny story" (they just made a movie about this one)
    "the brief wondrous life of oscar wao"-junot diaz (this book won a pulitzer)
    "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami my favorite book about american dream like https://artscolumbia.org/category/am...-dream-essays/

  12. #27
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    6,075
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    The Quincunx is about a real loser who even drops the ball when everything should go his way.

    https://www.amazon.com/Quincunx-Char.../dp/0345371135
    That's an awesome book, Peter. But I think it's more about the failure of human nature at every level--even among the relatively few positive characters--than the boy being a loser. And for all its horrors it is ultimately (or at least often) a black comedy. It's also a pastiche of one Dickens novel after another. And there are things going on thematically (especially with the conservative and progressive duo who run the Punch and Judy booth) that transcend the boy's fate.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    I was expecting a different ending, but I lost on that.
    I think readers' getting burned on the ending is part of Palliser's metafictional trick. The first half is so horrific that many readers want or expect a Hollywood-ish revenge fantasy in the second (I'm not saying you did--you'll have to tell me). "Oh, the poor boy to have been treated so cruelly," Palliser wants the reader to say, "I hope someone really suffers for this." Which means...

    And the several abortive endings Palliser throws at the reader are metafictional jokes, too. Okay, how would Dickens end the story? Nah. How about Collins? How about...? How about...? In the end he gives you something that is just sort of realistic--at least in the cultural context in which it was written (by which I mean the 1980s). Don't like it? Heh heh.

    Palliser's last novel, Rustication, is more about a loser per se (the boy in The Quincunx is just too David Copperfield to be a real loser--or maybe that's the point. To my principles anyway, the young man in Rustication is a real screw up. He is an opium addict who has just been suspended ("rusticated") from the university in which his vulnerable family desperately needs him to succeed. It's a good novel, but a pale shadow of The Quincunx--and much shorter, which was a disappointment. Rustication is more of a conventional mystery, but there is a big clue--virtually a spoiler--that would only be apparent to those who have already slogged through The Quincunx. It's Palliser's last little Quincunx joke.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 05-11-2019 at 08:23 PM. Reason: I always edit.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  13. #28
    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In one of the branches of the multiverse, but I don't know which one.
    Posts
    6,982
    Blog Entries
    423
    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    That's an awesome book, Peter. But I think it's more about the failure of human nature at every level--even among the relatively few positive characters--than the boy being a loser. And for all its horrors it is ultimately (or at least often) a black comedy. (Don't you love the scene where he is trying to escape an asylum by hiding in a coffin?) It's also a pastiche of one Dickens novel after another. And there are things going on thematically (especially with the conservative and progressive duo who run the Punch and Judy booth) that transcend the boy's fate.



    I think readers' getting burned on the ending is part of Palliser's metafictional trick. The first half is so horrific that many readers want or expect a Hollywood-ish revenge fantasy in the second (I'm not saying you did--you'll have to tell me). "Oh, the poor boy to have been treated so cruelly," Palliser wants the reader to say, "I hope someone really suffers for this." Which means...

    And the several abortive endings Palliser throws at the reader are metafictional jokes, too. Okay, how would Dickens end the story? Nah. How about Collins? How about...? How about...? In the end he gives you something that is just sort of realistic--at least in the cultural context in which it was written (by which I mean the 1980s). Don't like it? Heh heh.

    Palliser's last novel, Rustication, is more about a loser per se (the boy in The Quincunx is just too David Copperfield to be a real loser--or maybe that's the point. To my principles anyway, the young man in Rustication better is a real screw up. He is an opium addict who has just been suspended ("rusticated") from the university in which his vulnerable family desperately needs him to succeed. It's a good novel, but a pale shadow of The Quincunx--and much shorter, which was a disappointment. Rustication is more of a conventional mystery, but there is a big clue--virtually a spoiler--that would only be apparent to those who have already slogged through The Quincunx. It's Palliser's last little Quincunx joke.
    As a pastiche of Dickens, Quincunx is pretty good, but I'm not a Dickens enthusiast. I understand what you wrote about it, and I realized most of that while I was reading it, but it just wasn't a good novel, and the characters were not types with whom I could either identify or feel pity. I was reading it to provide thoughts about it for a friend; if I hadn't been reading it on request, I would have stopped reading after a few chapters.

  14. #29
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    6,075
    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.

    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.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 05-08-2019 at 05:10 PM. Reason: I'm editing to make Peter feel better if he should need to edit.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  15. #30
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Within the winds
    Posts
    8,858
    Blog Entries
    957
    The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole immediately

    I think the Bonfire of Vanities by Tom Wolfe could work as well.

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

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Loser
    By Hawkman in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-15-2011, 07:36 PM
  2. The Voice Of The Loser
    By Koa in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-01-2010, 03:47 PM
  3. Winner/Loser
    By krisgil_aguila in forum General Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-09-2010, 12:08 AM
  4. Loser
    By Libra Swords in forum Personal Poetry
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-04-2004, 09:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •