Recommended Reading List
Exploration and Discovery
- Iain Banks - The Crow Road
A brilliant dark comedy novel which is something of a family history, with a young man setting out to uncover a dark family secret that no one wants to talk about. He is aided by a book left by his lost uncle, a biography of his family called The Crow Road, which slowly enables him to unravel the complex threads concealing a tragedy in the families recent history. It mixes humour and tragedy with ease, a classic piece of Banks that is probably one of the best novels he has written. [in print - UK]
- Jonathan Carroll - A Child Across the Sky
A highly original and unusual novel about a man's quest to uncover the facts
behind his friend's suicide. He is left a trail that begins with three blank
videos, that gradually fill with material the closer he gets to the
realisation of what he must do. A mix of angels and premonitions, built over
the top of an almost faustian sub-plot, together create a novel with an almost
dreamlike quality. One which might be considered complex but for the lucid
prose that carries it along at a rate of knots. [out of print]
- William Hope Hodgson - The Night LandThis novel starts brilliantly and with a great power, the strange future in which it takes place is well drawn and wrought with a dark atmosphere that it sustains superbly. And this time Hodgson's awkward prose can almost add to the genuine atmosphere of strangeness. Though as ever Hodgson's female characters are his real weakness, and halfway through the book begins to degrade into a mysogonistic mess, as the journey through the Night Land takes second place to Hodgson's quite bizarre concept of Love. It doesn't really pick up again until the closing segments. Which is a shame, as this could have been a real masterpiece.
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