Friday, March 28, 2014

Six top books about failed marriages

Jean Hanff Korelitz's new novel is You Should Have Known.

One of her favorite books about failed marriages, as shared at The Daily Beast:
The Good Soldier
by Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox Ford’s landmark 1915 novel considers two married couples who are so harmoniously attuned to one another that they rise from the dinner table in silent, un-cued synchronicity. Alas, the decidedly unreliable narrator knows far more about these four than he initially tells, and the truth comes out in a masterful unwinding of secrets and viciousness. One young woman, unfortunate enough to have wandered into this marital minefield, is nearly catatonic by the end of the novel, and can only utter a single word, the divinely appropriate: “Shuttlecocks!”
Read about another entry on the list.

The Good Soldier also appears on Penelope Lively's six favorite books list, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best spas in literature, ten of the best failed couplings in literature, and ten great novels with terrible original titles, and on the Guardian's list of ten of the best unconsummated passions in fiction and Adam Haslett's list of the five best novelists on grief. One line from the novel appears among Stanley Fish's top five sentences.

The Page 99 Test: The Good Soldier.

--Marshal Zeringue