Thursday, December 12, 2019

Top ten dinner parties in fiction

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French.

At the Guardian, they tagged ten top dinner parties in fiction, including:
Atonement by Ian McEwan

A sweltering summer day in 1935 with war on the horizon. A grand house. A clandestine affair just begun, a rape about to happen, a world about to unravel – and a very English dinner party in progress: roast meat and roast potatoes, wine not water, the windows won’t open and an aroma of “warm dust from the Persian carpet” Everything important is not being said. A tour de force in which desire, violence and encroaching disaster are accompanied by conversation about the weather and the implacable march of unwanted dishes to the table.
Read about another entry on the list.

Atonement also appears on Mark Skinner's list of ten of the best country house novels, Julia Dahl's top ten list of books about miscarriages of justice, Tim Lott's top ten list of summers in fiction, Ellen McCarthy's list of six favorite books about weddings and marriage, David Treuer's six favorite books list, Kirkus Reviews's list of eleven books whose final pages will shock you, Nicole Hill's list of eleven books in which the main character dies, Isla Blair's six best books list, Jessica Soffer's top ten list of book endings, Jane Ciabattari's list of five masterpieces of fiction that also worked as films, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best birthday parties in literature, ten of the best misdirected messages in literature, ten of the best scenes on London Underground, ten of the best breakages in literature, ten of the best weddings in literature, and ten of the best identical twins in fiction. It is one of Stephanie Beacham's six best books.

Also see Jeff Somers's five most disastrous dinner parties in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue