DESERT ISLAND BOOKS: Contemporary
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Hundred Years of Solitude.
Wild demented storytelling. A book about family, politics, the human condition (solitude), the nature of male and female. Poetic, earthy, surreal and hilarious.
See also: Autumn of the Patriarch / Love in the Time of Cholera
"A Garcia Marquez Page"
- Gene Wolfe: The Book of the Long Sun (Nightside the Long Sun; Lake of the Long Sun; Calde of the Long Sun; Exodus from the Long Sun; On Blue's Waters).
A mixture of Proust and Isaac Asimov, with Chestertonian Catholic symbolism thrown in. Unforgettable characters pursue their strange fates in a monumental, culturally intricate world that is a ship. Wolfe meditates on the horrors of politics and war, on the demands of pursuing peace, on Greco-Roman sacrifice, on the humanity of animals, on the relations of male and female, on revelation and computers, on the theology of the Outsider.
See also: The Book of the New Sun (The Shadow of the Torturer; The Claw of the Concilator; The Sword of the Lictor; The Citadel of the Autarch; The Urth of the New Sun) / Soldier of the Mist; Soldier of Arete / Free Live Free
"A Wolfe Page"
The Whorl -- Archives of a Mailing List devoted entirely to The Book of the Long Sun
- John Irving: A Prayer For Owen Meany.
A grotesque hilarious and heart-breaking defense of faith.
"An Irving Page"
- Ursula Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness.
A haunting examination of the nature of male and female; a gripping tale of survival on an ice world; an unflinching look at the totalitarian state; a Taoist meditation on opposites.
See also: The Lathe of Heaven / Buffalo Gal Won't You Come Out Tonight
"A Le Guin Page"
- John Le Carre (David John Moore Cornwell): Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
I've read Tinker Tailor six times at least. Le Carre is the Balzac of the modern spy novel.
See also: The Honourable Schoolboy
"A Le Carre interview"
- Borges: Fictions.
Magnificent critiques of simple, obvious "reality."
See also: The Aleph / Collected Fiction
"A Borges Page"
- Robertson Davies: Fifth Business.
Funny and very strange. These characters stick with you. This book treats: magic, saints, myth vs. history, morally loathesome people, Christianity, Christian hypocrites, vengeance, madness, the unlived life.
"A Davies Page"
"A Davies Bio"
- P.G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse: Right Ho Jeeves.
"A Wodehouse Page"
"A Wodehouse Bibliography"
- Powell: A Dance to the Music of Time.
A twelve-volume novel that is a comic novel and at the same time very serious.
"A Powell Site"
- Shaara: The Killer Angels.
A moving look at some of the main characters of the battle of Gettysburg. Shows that beyond good guys and bad guys is tragedy for everyone in war.
- Flannery O'Connor: Short Stories
Hilarious and frightening examinations of fallen people receiving Christian grace.
DESERT ISLAND BOOKS: Classics
- Dickens: The Pickwick Papers See also: David Copperfield / Great Expectations
"A Dickens Page"
- Kipling: Short Stories / Kim / The Jungle Books
"A Kipling Page"
"A Kipling Page"
- Cervantes: Don Quixote
- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): Huckleberry Finn See also: Tom Sawyer
"A Twain Page"
- Marcel Proust: The Remembrance of Things Past
"A Proust Page"
- Cao Xueqin: The Dream of the Red Chamber (aka The Story of the Stone )
- Hugo: Les Miserables
- Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday See also: Stories
"A Chesterton Page"
- Maupassant: Stories
- Chekhov: Stories
- Stevenson: Stories
"A Stevenson Page"