Brit Lit

A place to discuss your favorite authors and poets, Christian and secular

Postby ich1990 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:18 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus (post: 1460047) wrote:I've only ever read G.K. Chesterton's A Man Called Thursday but it was very good, if rather odd.
That was a pretty good introduction to his style. Chesterton has so much bubbling enthusiasm in his writing that it tends to wander, whether he is writing a novel about a nightmare or not. That being said, if you want something a little less crazy at the end, and a little more religiously engaging you can try his novel The Ball and the Cross which is my personal favorite.

If you want non-fiction, you can't do better than Orthodoxy, which sounds scary but really isn't. Orthodoxy is pure brilliance, I recommend every Christian read it. I know a lot of people recommend Mere Christianity as the best "introductory" Christian apologetic text, but Orthodoxy holds up better and is, I think, more convincing. Many Atheists and such are very adept at countering logical arguments. They aren't used to trying to counter Chesterton's "common sense" so it kind of blindsides them.

Mouse2010 (post: 1460709) wrote:Those of you are fans of Chesterton and Waugh should check out Rumer Godden's novels. Her style is nothing like theirs, but her religious sensibilities are similar (she's another British convert to Roman Catholicism, though a few decades later than Waugh, Greene, and Chesterton). One of her distinctive traits as a novelist is a focus on children --including child narrators-- in novels which are otherwise really for adults, such as the Battle for the Villa Fiorita, which is a fairly unusual novel about adultery. The Greengage Summer is really good, as is In This House of Brede.
Thanks for the recommendation. As a fan of Greene, Waugh, and Chesterton, I will certainly give her writing a shot.
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Postby Maledicte » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:19 pm

More faves:

PD James - one of my favorite mystery writers. Packs so much depth in every book.
John Connolly - Author of two of my favorite fantasy novels ever - The Book of Lost Things and The Gates. Was never really too interested in his suspense fiction though.

Also, since Dracula was mentioned. I thought it was boring at first (I watched the movie and wondered where all the, ahem, juicy parts had run off to >_>) but the novel gets creepier the more I read it. Very cool because I believe it was one of the first novels that told its entire story through "official" and personal documents.
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Postby Mouse2010 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:33 pm

Maledicte (post: 1461299) wrote: Very cool because I believe it was one of the first novels that told its entire story through "official" and personal documents.


If you like that style, check out the Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, which appeared a couple of decades before Dracula. It's a mystery rather than a supernatural thriller, though.
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Postby QtheQreater » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:44 pm

Charles Williams' "Descent into Hell" and "War in Heaven" are pretty interesting fiction with regards to the supernatural. A little difficult to follow at some points, but I liked them. Williams was a member of the Inklings, right along with C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and others.
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Postby Maledicte » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:30 am

Mouse2010 (post: 1461397) wrote:If you like that style, check out the Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, which appeared a couple of decades before Dracula. It's a mystery rather than a supernatural thriller, though.

Cool, I'll have to look that one up.
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Postby Agloval » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:57 pm

The Moonstone is definitely a fun read. If I remember rightly, it's a detective story from a time when people were still figuring out what detectives were.

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I am a fan of a great many British writers, because my reading habits are pretty insular. But since I habitually regard British books as simply books, with no trace of the exotic, perhaps I should make a slightly out-of-bounds recommendation.

I enjoy pretending that Raymond Chandler was technically British. He wasn't, but he received some of his education here (at Dulwich, which is sixty or seventy years too young to be a proper school but is still, y'know, okay) and worked here at the Admiralty and then as a journalist before returning to the US. I like to think that his sensitivity to and vigorous use of American English was partly due to his experience in the UK, letting him hear it from the outside, so to speak.

Anyway, his novels and short stories are very entertaining, and quietly interested in the scarcity and strangeness of good. His essay 'The Simple Art of Murder' is a nice, accessible argument for hardboiled crime fiction, and contains one of the best accidental descriptions of the world's broken state that I've read.

It's also the essay in which he remarks that '[t]he English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.'
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Postby the_wolfs_howl » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:33 am

aliveinHim (post: 1460781) wrote:Trust me, you'll love it. I had nightmares when I first started reading it but then I got used to it.


I was kind of the opposite - at first I wasn't affected, but as I read more and more, the cover (which depicted Dracula's face) freaked me out. Then, a week after I'd finished the book, I had a nightmare about it that remains to this day the worst nightmare I've ever had. I even woke up gasping for breath, something that's never happened before or since.

Dracula is awesome.
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