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Favorite Non-Ayn Rand Novel?

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

I paraded there in 1988 while stationed in Lahr W Germany. It was an unreal feeling walking through the trenches, considering I was reading the book at the time of the parade.

The monument is my favorite of all such works of art.

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J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is about the only book I've ever read twice, save Rand's material.

Moby Dick, War and Peace, Dune, Chronicles of Narnia, Pilgrim's Progress, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe were all memorable.

I do not recall by whom they were written, the stories that told the tales of Greek Mythology stir pleasant recollections of pre-teen readings.

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Another Mockingbird fan!

I would say my top books are To Kill A Mockingbird, Sherlock Holmes, Crime and Punishment and the Dante Club. My favorite authors are Doestovsky, Rand, Grisham and Clancy

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The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian -- Master and Commander is the first.

The two protagonists are not Objectivist heroes -- in fact, the author goes out of his way (too far in my opinion) to 'humanize' his characters with 'flaws', which then have no bearing on their behavior 99% of the time. What they are is Men of the Enlightenment, and this is dramatized in every possible way, in the context of an amazingly thorough re-creation of the early nineteenth century. Astonishing, laser-sharp writing, in which every word counts.

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The Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian -- Master and Commander is the first.

The two protagonists are not Objectivist heroes -- in fact, the author goes out of his way (too far in my opinion) to 'humanize' his characters with 'flaws', which then have no bearing on their behavior 99% of the time. What they are is Men of the Enlightenment, and this is dramatized in every possible way, in the context of an amazingly thorough re-creation of the early nineteenth century. Astonishing, laser-sharp writing, in which every word counts.

Yes, superior writing, if not the heights of heroism we are used to. The series is great historical Naval fiction which I've always been drawn to.

I have at least dozens of favorites, but one that I recommend is "A Soldier of the Great War" by Mark Helprin. He wrote this fat novel at about 20 years old, and I could not believe his talent. His, and his protagonist's, 'sense of life' is very Romanticist, I thought.

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A Conferacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

I've reread this book every year for more than 20 years now.

I still laugh out loud the whole way through.

"you can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces."

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I have been trying to read Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac and the classical Satyricon as well as Ovid's Metamorphosis but as you all know that is a lot of reading.

[Cyrano is really great but I have on read the opening scenes and it is hard for me to read in the format of a play. Great stuff as far as I can tell!

Oh, and Goethe's Faust is great! I would also like to get my hands on a good copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera!

That's all that is on the top of my list for now! :thumbsup:

Edited by Cherring109

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Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

There are so many more... I just love good books. I don't hold Ayn Rand to the top of my list because I don't really feel enamoured of her writing style a lot of the time. She was certainly a much better writer than most, but I don't place her narratives in the category of "The Masters". Nevertheless, I very much enjoy the philosophical refinement I gain from her novels. She is, overall, I think, the best at solidifying a philosophical system in a fiction.

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John Fowles is one of my favorite authors and "The Magus" is in my top 5 favorite novels of all time. I first read it when I was in high school (about 16 years young) and have reread it three times since then. I love Fowles' writing style which so expressive, honest, and descriptive. I love his ability to construct an original plot that is such a beautiful blend of philosophical inquiry, suspense, romantic exploration, and internal conflict.

Particularly regarding "The Magus", I fell in love with Nicholas Urfe, the protagonist, who is such an irrational, contradiction-riddled character that I couldn't help but see shades of myself and others around me in him. His ethical system that guides his life seems to be at timse Objectivist, at times Nitzchean, and other times a a Don Juan sort of subjectivist who is unknowingly in self-destruct mode.

His constant love for freedom is to be admired, however his dishonesty about his feelings with the two love interests in the novel are dreadful, manipulative, and evil. His commitment to his selfish interest and rejection of his parents' lessons of DUTY to God and Country are praiseworthy but his poetic cynicism, and masquerade of pathological victimization is juvenile, spoiled, and evasive.

I don't love this book because Nicholas is an ideal Man, like Roark or Galt, but rather because of Fowles fierce and deep portrayal of a flawed man who in the end learns a lesson about himself, abour freedom, and about love.

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I love really anything by Salman Rushdie. He's just an incredible storyteller; I can't help but be completely immersed in any world that he creates. My favorite is probably Midnight's Children, but everything I've read by him has been fantastic.

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Ayn Rand recommended Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Stevenson. Although I have seen the movie, I did not realize how bad the movie was until I read the book. It is a short story. Stevenson wrote it in 3 days, and then edited it for approximately 6 weeks. If you have not read it, you should. Miss Rand recommended the story in Fiction Writing, a course that she had given during the late '50's or early '60's (approx.). Let me know if you have read it, or if you do, let me know what you think.

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In a way a hope I haven't found it yet. Perhaps I'm not discerning enough ,but my favorite is usually the one I am currently planning to finish. I especially enjoy series , there is nothing like knowing there is more to come. Reading the Sparrowhawk series by Ed Cline as they were being published was an exhausting exercise in patience.

Great thread for finding promising future favorites.

Just add to the naval fiction fans Forrester's Horatio Hornblower series was very enjoyable.

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I love some already named (Cyrano, Scaramouche, Les Miserables, Count of Monte Cristo), and I just added a few above to my Goodreads "wanna-read" list. 

Some additions:

 

Trustee from the Toolroom - by Nevil Shute

The Scarlet Pimpernel - by Orczy

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I'm fond of Comrade John by Merwin & Webster.  Rand named the same authors' Calumet 'K' as her favorite novel, and I suspect that Comrade John is where she got the idea of architectural ghosting in The Fountainhead.  Herman Stein and Beechcroft in the novel are satires of Elbert Hubbard and Roycroft.  Also A Tale of the Wind by Kay Nolte Smith.  It's a multigenerational story of life in the 19th-century French theater, from Hernani to Cyrano.

Edited by Reidy

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I don't have ranked favorites but among the novels I like are Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and some of the sequels; Donald Westlake's crime novels about Parker, written as Richard Stark, and some of his stand-alone novels; some of Lawrence Block's crime fiction; Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason novels; Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels; Isaac Asimov's novels; the mammoth Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (I'm about halfway through, and yes, it does have more words than Atlas); Colleen McCullough's series of novels about ancient Rome.

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I'm just interested to hear what your favorite novels not written by Ayn Rand are. Right now, mine is Catcher in the Rye. I think many Objectivists would be able to relate to it in some ways. If Dominique is Ayn Rand in a bad mood, Holden Caufield is Dominique in a bad mood.

 

My favorite novel not written by Ayn Rand, is definately this one,  "Hunger for Atlantis

 

 
This a recently book that I take very seriously and regard it to be among the very finest and most important books one can read in Romantic Realism today. It was recently published. I've just reviewed it myself on Amazon, my 5 star review is HERE
 
 
 
Here are a few excerpts from the book: [no spoilers]
 

 

I wish to draw your attention to the School for Self-Esteem. The School is an excellent example of thriving children. Much smarter than the average child, they develop because they are given the freedom to develop. No hands force them. There are no ‘Hands All Over’ making them disciplined. They discipline themselves. They work peacefully. They are free to choose. No one tells them what to do. No one should tell us what to do.
 

 

They were very quiet, going about their work with reverence. They treated the learning tools delicately, as if the tools were sacred icons. They selected objects from the shelves. When  they were finished with didactic tools, they returned them, carefully placing the objects where they had found them. They talked quietly to others, in hushed tones, expressing their admiration for each other's work.

 

Professor Vandemeer thought that it seemed as if the workshop were not a part of a school - but that it were part of a temple. He thought that the children seemed happy, as if happiness came from work that they were doing. They were proud, as if pride came from how well they did their work.  They weren't striving to outdo their peers, but as if they were trying to outdo themselves; from a standard or a measurement that did not come from a teacher, not from the others, not from external surroundings - but that came from within.
 

 

He was driven with the thought that one day he would achieve his objective; his mind was the only motive force he knew; his will had kept him up throughout the night, the tortuous days, the long years.   He was driven by the pleasure of achieving according to his highest ability.
 

 

She simply wanted to be happy.  She stood on the cold earth, on the unforgiving and unyielding earth.   All she had was one simple desire: to do whatever was right.
 

 

Brock’s selection of paintings and sculptures at Sans Soucie portrayed a strong link to reality.   A man looked like a man, a woman like a woman, a flower like a flower:—shapes of objects as they appeared in reality—knowable images. […] Every artistic image had a strong resemblance to real life.
 

 

Danicka had replied, “Mrs. Glasson, there are no such things as natural ideas already imprinted on the mind.   The mind begins as an empty slate.   You can’t awaken what’s not there.”
 

 

He loved his work.   His rewards came from his sense of purpose, his accomplishments; and from his greatest tool: his mind.
 

 

One evening, she said to him, “Wouldn’t it be better to be happy today? Doing whatever you really love? Do it for yourself. Not others.” He studied her while she was speaking. “Like the children at the School for Self-Esteem. Shouldn’t you do it for yourself? Not for glory in the eyes of others. Use your mind to its greatest ability. Do it for the present moment. Wouldn’t that take care of the future? Do it today and tomorrow, everyday, one day after another. The future is just a collection of days. If you add up the days that you’re happy, you’ll be happy all along.
Edited by intellectualammo

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