1000 novels everyone must read: Comedy (part one)

Title: 1000 novels everyone must read: Comedy (part one)

Author: The Guardian Newspaper

Full Text & Source: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/jan/19/1000-novels-comedy-part-one

The Internet, Online, 3/11/2015

Sample Text:

Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim (1954)

Amis’s first and — many would say — best book mixes sexually charged campus novel with angry-young-man critique of academic inertia, bourgeois convention and artistic pretension, with hilarious results. Jim Dixon is a history lecturer at an English university who doesn’t like his job but feels he has to try to keep it, and doesn’t much like his girlfriend either but feels he has to keep her, too, because she is emotionally unstable. The drunken lecture that has the effect of loosening these life-denying knots is a comic tour de force. Stephen Moss

Julian Barnes: Flaubert’s Parrot (1984)

The great French writer Gustave Flaubert always wrote with a stuffed parrot on his desk. Geoffrey Braithwaite, a pedantic and crusty retired doctor, a widower whose unfaithful wife has committed suicide, is obsessed with Flaubert and pursues him and his parrot through a novel that is like the most perfect firework ever exploded into the sky. Flaubert is elusive but astounding, Braithwaite ponderous but heartbreaking, and Julian Barnes is the genius puppeteer behind the scene, telling a tale of misfortune and laughter in precise, sardonic and wondrous prose. An exuberant and joyous novel. Carmen Callil

Martin Amis: Money (1984)

Money is about a fat dumb bloke who hits Manhattan like a steam train — and Christ, does it hit back. As he drunkenly veers between topless bars, limos, clip joints, fast-food shacks and high-end film execs’ meeting rooms, it becomes clear that this is a man, as Amis puts it, addicted to the 20th century: an incarnation of all our greed, lust and stupidity. Yet his story is irresistibly witty and suspenseful; if the plot twists prove too much, you can just lie back and enjoy the gallows humour. Carrie O’Grady

Martin Amis: The Information (1995)

It seemed like life was imitating art when, shortly after The Information scooped a £500,00 advance, Amis publicly fell out with fellow-novelist Julian Barnes. The uncomfortable similarities to this story of enmity between the failing author Richard Tull and the more successful Gwyn Barry were all too obvious. The coincidence didn’t harm sales, but did overshadow the fact that this is one of Amis’s best works. Contemporary critics concentrated on the scandal rather than the prose, but, as is proved on every page, there is one thing that clearly separates Amis from his talent-free protagonists: he can write superbly. Sam Jordison

Beryl Bainbridge: The Bottle Factory Outing (1974)

Brenda and Freda work in London, sticking Italian labels on bottles of Spanish wine, yet even an outing takes them no further than Windsor. Domineering Freda organises the day, while Brenda quietly dreads it. Even when things start to go wrong, Brenda and the others don’t want any trouble and go to great lengths to avoid it. In this taut social comedy, the macabre lurks just beneath everyday drudgery. Bainbridge once worked in a bottle factory, and in this winner of the Guardian fiction prize, her eavesdropping narrative style Natalie Cate

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About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

Irish Writer Website: http://ajdunlea.webs.com/ Twitter: @adunlea Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annettejdunleairishauthor
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