My Favourite Books (Part II)

Last April I devoted a blog post to some of my favourite books. This week sees the second instalment. Here are six more of my favourite books. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

Published in 1939, The Day of the Locust is a short, plotless and poignant novel with a surreal aspect, that is prescient in its prediction of the Hollywood-obsessed society of today.

My Review: Talented artist Tod Hackett has relocated to Los Angeles where he is working as a movie set designer. Tod develops an infatuation for Faye – a beautiful, blonde and brazen aspiring actress, and sometime call girl. When her father, a vaudevillian reduced to selling…(more)

Genre: Not sure

 

Junky by William S. Burroughs 

Junky

Junky is a semi-autobiographical novella, in which the author successfully utilises a detached journalistic approach to capture the obsessive nature of addiction.

My Review: Set in 1950s America and Mexico, Junky is a confessional novella about drug addiction. Its protagonist Bill Lee chronicles his drug-centred existence, which entails searching for his daily fix, scoring, and intravenous drug consumption…(more)

Genre: Transgressive

 

The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck

Though The Wayward Bus is not one of Steinbeck’s best known novels, it is a thoroughly compelling and enjoyable read. Steinbeck displays his deep understanding of human nature at every turn.

My Review: An unlikely group of characters are travelling through rural South California by bus.  In his unique style Steinbeck proceeds to explore each personality in intricate detail; their inhibitions, motivations, intimate thoughts and hopes for the future…(more)

Genre: Not sure

 

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

FightClub

Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work is about a nameless narrator, who starts a fight club with a charismatic anarchist by the name of Tyler Durden. Their fight club concept soon spreads across the nation.

My Review: The protagonist, who remains nameless, is an insomniac leading a bland corporate existence, investigating accidents for a car company, whose only concern is profit. Unable to find meaning in a faceless consumerist society, he instead seeks solace in…(more)

Genre: Transgressive

 

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

The captivating prose and vivid descriptions allows the reader an appreciation of the nature of urban poverty during the early twentieth century.

My Review: George Orwell’s first published novel, Down and Out in Paris and London, is an account of the author’s time spent living in abject poverty, first in Paris and later in London. Having spent his savings and with tutoring work having come to an end, Orwell is…(more)

Genre: Memoir

 

Ham On Rye by Charles Bukowski 

Ham On Rye

Ham On Rye is a coming-of-age story, in which the protagonist views himself as an intruder, refusing to adhere to society’s expectations. It is written in the author’s trademark economy of prose style.

My Review: Ham On Rye is a semi-autobiographical account of Bukowski’s formative years in his home city of Los Angeles. The story follows the early life of the author’s alter ego, Henry Chinaski, starting with his earliest memories, then through his school years…(more)

Genre: Semi-Autobiographical/Transgressive

 

Click here to read part one.

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