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Favorite Non-Ayn Rand Novel?

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Hugo's Nintey-three, and though it's not a novel, I rank Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac right up there. I've never had a novel or a play bring me to tears until I read Cyrano.

Yes, i would have mentioned Cyrano in a heartbeat, had the question not been for novels specifically. West and I finally saw the Cyrano movie with Jose Ferrer and it is phenomenal !!!!!!

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I am going to have to say that my favorite novel (aside from AS of course) is Dune by Frank Herbert. The entire series is so complex and is extremely well written. Wheels within Wheels!!

If all of you keep saying how good Terry Goodkind is I may just have to pick up one of his novels. I always overlooked his books in the store because I hadn't heard anything good about them.

Another good series to look at is the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan if any of you haven't heard of that one.

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Earthly Powers and The Doctor is Sick, both by Anthony Burgess. Although I disagree greatly with the substance of his novels (with exceptions, so far, to A Clockwork Orange and The Clockwork Testament or [alternative title] Enderby's End), his style is the absolute best I have ever read. No one in my eyes has ever made words so perfect.

Though, I must admit, I need to add variety to my reading. I've been on a Burgess diet a bit too long.

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The Count of Monte Cristo. This book never ceases to amaze me, Edmond Dantes has been a character I looked up to in many ways for years. He is flawed in that he does everything in a selfless fashion, but what he does and the genius of his ideas in the scope of the book is just amazing.

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Probably Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, but I read so many books and like them all for different reasons, so it's hard to say. Terry Pratchett's latest, Nation, is pretty good but I haven't re-read it enough times yet for it to achieve "favorite" status.

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but to answer the question, Sparrowhawk 2: Hugh Kenrick

ED CLINE FTW!!!

My favorite in the series was Book One, and then Books Four and Five.

Hugo's Nintey-three, and though it's not a novel, I rank Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac right up there. I've never had a novel or a play bring me to tears until I read Cyrano.

In regards to Hugo, my favorite is Les Miserables, though I have not read many more of his including Nintey-three. If plays are being mentioned I must then mention three of my favorites, besides Cyrano:

Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck

An Enemy of the People by Ibsen

Emilia Galotti by Lessing

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If plays are being mentioned I must then mention three of my favorites, besides Cyrano:

Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck

An Enemy of the People by Ibsen

Emilia Galotti by Lessing

I must of necessity add Moliere's The School for Husbands. I am currently reading some of Moliere's plays and this one ranks right up there with my favorites!

Also I must put up Shaw's play Pygmalion. The story of Pygmalion was always one of my favorite (like Pyramus and Thisbe) in Ovid's Metamorphoses, I even read a scholarly work tracking the story through the centuries, and Shaw's play never interested me... until I read what Lias VanDamme wrote about it in The Objective Standard journal HERE

Edited by intellectualammo

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Hugo's Nintey-three

Kendall, I just wanted to thank you for posting in this thread. I just finished reading this novel earlier tonight because of it. If I hadn't of seen that someone (whom I'm ever so indebted to) was currently reading Les Miserables, (which I still personally prefer to this one), I probably would never have read/discovered that one myself, either. So thanks, because I got to meet Michelle Flechard:

"What makes a mother sublime is the fact that she is a kind of animal. The maternal instinct is divinely animal. A mother is no longer a woman, she is a female.

Her children are her young."

"Where are you going?" he asked.

"I'm going to look for them," she answered.

He did not try to hold her back.

"She had that dire fatigue which begins in the muscles and finally goes into the bones; it is the fatigue of a slave. She actually was a slave: a slave to her lost children. She had to find them; each moment that passed might mean losing them forever; anyone who has a duty like hers no longer has any rights; stopping to catch her breath was forbidden to her."

Also the intro by Ayn Rand speaks to/for me in different ways:

He helped me to make it possible for me to be here and to be a writer. If I can help anothr young reader to find what I found in his work, if I can bring the novels of Victor Hugo some part of the kind of audience he deserves, I shall regard it as a payment on an incalculable debt that can never be computed or repaid.

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That's a tough one.

* For light literature, almost anything by Terry Pratchett-- SPECIALLY if it has the character Granny Weatherwax (though Tiffany Aching is starting to grow on me).

* "Baudolino" by Umberto Eco, I love the man's style

* "The Baron in the Trees", "Invisible Cities", "Mr. Palomar", "If on a winter night a traveller..." ,"The Castle of Forked Destinies", and "Cosmicomics" by Italo Calvino. Calvino was a fervent socialist in his youth when he wrote "And afterwards, the Crow", but his political convictions rarely (if at all) came up in his later works, which are instead filled with great imagination and inventiveness, and some very memorable characters. Cosmicomics has to be one of the most creative things I have ever written, as it is a series of fictional stories based on concepts of physics, evolution and science where the concepts themselves become personified -- in a very picturesque manner, too. Who would have thought that the Big Bag happened out of a desire to make noodles? in Invisible Cities he takes on the role of Marco Polo describing a large number of cities to Kublai Khan, each one different and with its own features. It turns out that each 'city' is... well, you'll have to find out for yourself. "If On a winter's night" has to be one of the most delightful exercises of literature ever undertaken, I would call it a love-letter to readers and to authors alike:

(From the blurb):

The Reader buys a fashionable new book, which opens with an exhortation: "Relax. Concentrate. Dispel every other thought. Let the world around you fade." Alas, after 30 or so pages, he discovers that his copy is corrupted, and consists of nothing but the first section, over and over. Returning to the bookshop, he discovers the volume, which he thought was by Calvino, is actually by the Polish writer Bazakbal. Given the choice between the two, he goes for the Pole, as does the Other Reader, Ludmilla. But this copy turns out to be by yet another writer, as does the next, and the next.

The real Calvino intersperses 10 different pastiches--stories of menace, spies, mystery, premonition--with explorations of how and why we read, make meanings, and get our bearings or fail to. Meanwhile the Reader and Ludmilla try to reach, and read, each other. If on a Winter's Night is dazzling, vertiginous, and deeply romantic. "What makes lovemaking and reading resemble each other most is that within both of them times and spaces open, different from measurable time and space."

* "Scaramouche" by Rafael Sabatini: One of Sabatini's best period romances. When his best friend, a young clergyman, is killed in a mockery of a duel by an arrogant noble, just to quiet his eloquent expressions of democratic ideals, Andre-Louis Moreau vows revenge. From that point, through meteoric careers as a consummate actor and scenario writer, then as a fencing master, and finally a politician, the brilliant Moreau keeps thwarting the aims of the aristocratic Marquis de la Tour d'Azyr. On part with Sabatini's other famous romance novel, "Captain Blood".

* "Letters from a selfmade merchant to his son" by G. H. Lorimer: Not strictly a novel but a book belonging to the epistolary genre- a self-made merchant writes to his college-educated son, Pierrepont, concerning many things about life and the world of business in general. it is a delightful book from the turn of the century. Some quotes:

"A mistake sprouts a lie when you cover it up. And one lie breeds enough distrust to choke out the prettiest crop of confidence that a fellow ever cultivated."

"Education's a good deal like eating- A fellow can't always tell which particular thing did him good, but he can usually tell which one did him harm."

*Oh yes, and Asimov, almost anything he wrote, but in particular his Robot stories.

Edited by kainscalia

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Interesting question.

I like a wide variety of books for a variety of reasons. Not all of them are high literature and not all of them necessarily stay 100% within my ideals.

When I am feeling anxious or unsure, I get into a survivalist frame of mind and I need some roots-and-berries stories of self sufficiency that I can live through and find reassurance in. So, I turn to prehistoric fiction like Clan of the Cave Bear or pioneer stories as simple as Little House on the Prairie or post apocalyptic fiction that is not grim, such as The World Made By Hand.

When I am comfortable, I appreciate good writing with exacting detail. Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserables, Anne of Green Gables are some of my favourites. I dislike a lot of modern fiction, as I find it focuses on ugliness or pain. I used to read a lot of Stephen King as a teenager and I can't stand it any more. I plan on reading War and Peace as soon as I am finished my current book (Biography: Ayn Rand and the World She Made.) I hope War and Peace is excellent.

When I am slightly bored, which is often, I turn to science fiction and fantasy. J.R.R. Tolkien, Gregory MacGuire, Arthur C. Clarke, Susanna Clarke. I need to read Asimov. When I'm getting down or pessimistic, I will read some Star Trek fiction, even though I know its pulp. I love STNG and the clarity and optimism of that world, and it is comforting to buy a ticket on those Star Ships sometimes.

Listing these things, I realize why Atlas Shrugged has been my favourite novel for ten years. It takes my entire mind, no matter what my situation and mood: anxious, appreciative, and other. It covers the romantic spirit, the excellent language, the survivalist, the post apocalypse, the science fiction...

D.R.

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Hmm... Starship Troopers, Earthblood, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, The Final Blackout, Vimy, Old Yeller...

I really need to read some classics, well except for classic Sci Fi. :D

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Hmm... Starship Troopers, Earthblood, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, The Final Blackout, Vimy, Old Yeller...

Heck yes, Vimy is excellent! I worked there as a tour guide last summer. It was an absolutely surreal experience.

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