Friday, February 29, 2008


The Rap Sheet has decided to draw up a must-read list of its own, and I think their panel is going to be rather busy sorting out the numerous suggestions. My own suggestion was The Locked Room by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo as a good example of their definitive ten book series of police procedurals.

Ever since that Telegraph article appeared, we have been thinking that it wouldn’t be a half-bad idea to come up with a must-read list of our own. We won’t limit it falsely to 50 books and authors, but will feature as many names as seems appropriate. However, we will restrict this list to one book per author, so it looks like we’ll finally have to answer the question, “Is Chandler’s The Long Goodbye really better than his Farewell, My Lovely?

Read the full post here, and note the link back to this modest blog and this post.


Blogger Philip Amos said...

If this gets a good response, they are going to face a daunting task making up the final list. I shall not be participating for the same reason I was frustrated in my attempts to forward the Blackerton petition to my contacts -- Free Hotmail will not link with Outlook. As this problem only crops up about once a month, it is not going to induce me to pay a subscription, but it is mighty frustrating. Another Microsoftian ploy, I suppose.

If I could send an entry, it would be the first one that came into my mind: Rendell's A Judgement in Stone. Mankell said in an interview that he wants to write a novel in which all is revealed at the very start, but which still compels the reader to forge ahead. Rendell's groundbreaker, with its famous first sentence, is precisely that. What follows is a singularly subtle exploration of class differences/consciousness refracted through 'master-servant' relationships, religion, upbringing, education...and the cumulative effect upon an 'attached' personality. It's relatively short, and one of the benefits thereof is that the first sentence is resonant in the final slaughter.

That, at any rate, is what I would have written had I been able to get to Outlook.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Would you like me to send on your comments Philip?
A Judgement in Stone is a very worthy choice.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

I would indeed, Norm. Thank you for that very kind thought.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

Whoops!! I somehow omitted a rather significant prefix in my first comment. That should have read "...the cumulative effect upon an 'unattached' personality". The psychologists among us would pounce on that, if nobody else.

5:54 AM  

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