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Does anyone else have a novel that they read over and over again, and why?

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Posted on 13 Sep 2012 07:50:43 BDT
QBV11 . A historic / modern study on novel of atrocity in World War 2 brought up to date with modern libel case. Not usual re run of Nazi horrors but how it affected people (2 in particular ) many years after the end of war. You WILL NOT put it down I assure you !

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 08:08:18 BDT
Thomas: there was a rather good TV adaptation of QBVII many years ago. Available quite cheaply on Amazon (see below).

1. Qb VII [DVD] [1974] Starring Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, John Gielgud and Anthony Hopkins (DVD - 2011)
Buy new: £5.00

8 new from £4.27 3 used from £3.72

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 08:34:50 BDT
bp says:
For me it has to be 'Alas Babylon' by Pat Frank. I love the characters, and the storyline is one which I get so absorbed into it's like I'm there.
Sadly it has been out of print for some years, but I have worn out a paperback and had to acquire a hardback edition to carry on reading it.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 08:48:29 BDT
The Long Walk by Stephen King.
This was the first novel he ever finished, although it obviously wasn't the first one he published.
I make a note to read it at least once every year, although no reading will obviously be as astonishing as the first one. I just love this book and the characters King created. The suspense during the Walk of what will happen next and who will die is brilliantly conveyed.
I remember feeling physcally and mentally exhausted upon finishing it for the first time as if I myself had perticipated. It's a book I cannot get out of my head and I think a brilliant movie can be made out of this if the right screenwriters, actors and director get involved. Maybe someone like Eli Roth? Frank Darabont again? I hope it happens.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:22:41 BDT
Is this the novella featured in The Bachmann books about a marathon walk where the participants die of one by one ?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:25:00 BDT
When I read recent reviews of "The Hunger Games" it struck me that some aspects of the story were pretty close to "The Long Walk".
Most film/tv adaptations of King's books are rather disappointing--the exceptions being "Carrie" (of course!), "The Mist" and, I think, "Desperation" (thanks to the great Ron Perlman).

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:26:05 BDT
Thank you R.D. I bought this a few years ago .It was well directed and the screenplay was good. But the history of the characters would take far too long to fully do the book justice on the big screen.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:29:38 BDT
I thought "Misery" was good.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 09:32:03 BDT
'A Suitable Boy' by Vikram Seth. Read many times, can dip into it any time and be transported to India. Wonderful epic story, intelligently written, informative, funny, sad .... it's got everything!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:34:14 BDT
You're right Thomas; I had forgotten that one. I'm told "The Dead Zone" is pretty good too, and since it stars Christopher Walken I may well buy it.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:36:54 BDT
You have reminded me of another book I have read several times and must soon re-read: "A House for Mr Biswas" by V.S. Naipaul--a wonderful tragi-comedy.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:40:53 BDT
Yes, Thomas, it is. Although it has been published seperately as well. You are right, though, it is a novella and not really novel-length.
The other stories in The Bachman Books were good too, especially Rage although I don't see today's audiences appreciating that story much after Columbine and other school shootings. Although, I remember at the time identifying with the main character's feelings of isolation and hatred for the stupidity of the authoritarian system where you are not allowed to think for yourself.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 09:46:32 BDT
Thank you Mrs V. Am I off track here or was Apt Pupil not turned into TV film also?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 10:32:13 BDT
Yes - 'A House for Mr Biswas' is also a really good book, and have read many times. Whenever I read anything by Alexander McCall Smith, I am reminded of this.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 11:07:48 BDT
Anita says:
The book I've read many times is definitely *not* the best book I've ever read, rather a guilty pleasure... two books, really.

Three Comrades by Remarque and Airport by Arthur Hailey <blush>

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 11:31:30 BDT
Anita: really no need to blush! I think most readers have "guilty pleasures". Mine include Stephen King, Graham Masterson and H.P.Lovecraft--althiough I also often re-read Dickens, Trollope, Gissing and other classics. Does anyone here share my love for Gissing's "New Grub Sreet" and "Born in Exile"?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 12:52:03 BDT
Yes, you're right. It was quite a good movie as well with the great Ian McKellen as the Nazi. It was directed by Bryan Singer somewhere early noughties, I think.
I think it starred Brad Renfro as the young "apt pupil" who has since passed away.
Apt Pupil was from Different Seasons, though and not The Bachman Books. The other three stories from Bachman Books were Rage, Roadwork and The Running Man (made into a terrible Schwarzenegger movie).
Different Seasons was a great collection as well, also novellas. Have you read Everything's Eventual, a collection of short stories which were all brilliant.
I am currently re-reading King's 11/12/63 about the Kennedy assassination. Some people call King a guilty pleasure, but I find him a very talented and fabulous writer and there's no need to feel ashamed reading him. After all, the man did win countless awards, including the National Book Award which is like the Pulizter Prize for authors.
I read so-called "serious" writers as well (love Tolstoy and Steinbeck) but King will always have a soft spot in my heart. He basically started my love for reading.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 13:56:45 BDT
I have a number of James Michener books which I read over and over again. He did such extensive research aand led such an interesting life that you can't fail to broaden your knowledge. This may be why his characters are so well-drawn and believable and his non-fiction is so readable. He truly is my favourite author, although, sadly, no longer with us.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 15:01:48 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Pride & Prejudice - there is always something new to find. I used to re-read Tanith Lee's Drinking Sapphire Wine annually for about 8 years or so - I bought a second copy because I was worried about it collapsing on me. Since buying a kindle I have re-read a lot of children's fiction including Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess and The Secret Garden and the LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables books (actually I still had them all in tree-form so I do re-read them anyway).

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 16:36:05 BDT
Persuasion , a classic
lady Chatterly's Lover
On Chesil Beach, a reminder to always be honest to yourself first in love , to communicate with the one you love and always try to live the imagined life. Tess
Tess of the D'urbervilles. , look after yourself first no one else will.

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 19:05:02 BDT
Ian Scott says:
I must say these are some of the best recommendations I've ever read. With brilliant reasons why the books need to be read. They've caused maybe more activity on the 'Add to basket' button than I can afford. But at least I'm excellently set up for the long, dark Swedish winter ahead.

Thanks for all of the responses.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 19:25:17 BDT
So spill the beans, which are on your list.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 20:48:23 BDT
Ian Scott says:
Well, all of yours are on there. I kind of feel guilty that I haven't read at least three of them, so that is being rectified. And I could definitely do with some help in the communication field, so the fourth is on there too.

Thanks for the tips.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2012 12:03:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Sep 2012 12:22:06 BDT
Roma says:
The Great Gatsby.Chacun a son gout. This has to be one of my least favourite novels. I agree it is well written and portrays well the shallowness and materialism of that era. However, for me its success is its failure. I didn't like any of the characters. I accept I amn't meant to, but I find it difficult to relate to a novel when I couldn't care less what happens to the characters.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2012 12:13:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Sep 2012 12:21:10 BDT
Roma says:
To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, an amazing novel, the reading of which makes you a better person. If only all the racists out there could be influenced by it. Atticus Finch is a great example of the meaning of right thinking and true courage. Absolutely love his courtroom speech. Also the neighbour who is determined to be be morphine free before she dies. Another example of the hidden courage so many people have that is never displayed.

I saw a theatrical version of this in the Glasgow Theatre Royal many years ago, featuring a Welsh choir. It was awsome. Even although I knew the novel well, I was still literally on the edge of my seat.

If she did write only this novel I wonder why. Better one brilliant novel than a hundred mediocre ones.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  145
Total posts:  218
Initial post:  10 Sep 2012
Latest post:  11 Dec 2013

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