Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top ten talkative novels

Frederic Raphael is probably best known as the author of Glittering Prizes and its sequel Fame and Fortune. This month, he publishes a third volume in this series, Final Demands. He also collaborated on Stanley Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut. "Dialogue in a novel is like stained glass, the surrounding prose is there to frame and support it," he tells the Guardian in the prefatory remarks to his top ten list of talkative novels.

One novel on the list:
Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

O'Hara was a keen observer, above all of the Pennsylvania Dutch inhabitants of the town he called Gibbsville (a permeable disguise for his birthplace, Pottsville). He could mimic local speech and vocabulary so that the reader can overhear it. The story of the life and death of Julian English is a masterpiece of erotic suggestion and narrative economy.
Read about another book on the list.

Appointment in Samarra is one of Tom Wolfe's five most important books.

--Marshal Zeringue