#1
I have a research paper for my LA class on British Literature, and i'm stuck on topics. We had a bunch of options available, but the options i wanted were taken (A Clockwork Orange, Dracula, The Dumb Waiter). Now I'm in need of help, and really don't want to be stuck reading "Grendal."

So here's the requirements;

-Must be BRITISH LITERATURE
-Preferably relatively modern (ie 20th century)
-Has to have a semi-deep meaning (ie, no action novels made simply for action's sake)

I prefer novels that not only have a good plot, but are a bit thought provoking. Favorite works of mine include A Clockwork Orange, In Dubious Battle, Almost everything by Chuck Palahniuk, White Noise, and Catch 22.

Any and all recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance,
RG_FANMAN


PS - DO NOT MENTION HARRY POTTER SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU SEE BRITISH LIT. It's not a serious, nor overtly intellectual series. Not exactly the thing to analyze.
#2
Something by J.G. Ballard?

Alot of his books are very sexual though.

But something like Empire of the Sun is a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences as a P.O.W. in China during WWII when he was just a kid.
#5
Try Robert Harris - Fatherland

It's an alternate history novel set in the 1960s with a Germany that came out victorious of WW2. Really interesting, cleverly plotted, and a thrilling read. A real page turner despite the heavy topic. (check out the crits on amazon)
#7
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

By the way, they're actually beginning to include Harry Potter in the book lists of Children's Lit. classes at the majority of universities now..
#8
Alice in Wonderland- JM Barrie. If you study it properly, it's one of the most interesting books ever written.
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#9
Quote by Kumanji
1984 by George Orwell, although the British culture may be a little hard to penetrate for some...

This or Animal Farm.
there is no fear in this heart.



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#10
Lol, 'British' literature.

Try Orwell if you want something thick with potential analysis.
The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give.
Calm, calm me more; nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

-Matthew Arnold

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
#11
Quote by Kumanji
1984 by George Orwell, although the British culture may be a little hard to penetrate for some...


+ 1

and animal farm

Edit: also, A kestral for a knave
#13
we're doing 1984 later in the year, read lord of the flies, and someone's doing alice in wonderland and animal farm.
#14
hmm.. then maybe Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf? It's a little hard to get through but it's a fascinating read.
#16
As soon as I came in I was going to suggest Nineteen Eighty Four, but seeing as that's not an option, you could try the book that I used for my A level which was Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulkner. It's pretty recent, a war novel and quite thoughtful. Don't know if you would consider it high literature, but it is comfortable reading.
There is poetry in despair.
#17
Quote by tom the taffer
Wuthering heights? Pride and prejudice? Sense and sensibility?

No.

No, no, no, no.

Women can not write novels.

If you want a couple of hundred pages on a dark, handsome man and an intelligent woman with sass but who is held down by her background in a completely unoriginal and uninteresting plot, go for it.

Else just kill yourself. Much preferable to reading a damn Bronte sister or Austen.
The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give.
Calm, calm me more; nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

-Matthew Arnold

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
#18
Quote by tom the taffer
Wuthering heights?


That's more mid 19th century but if that's not an issue then I suppose Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles is also a possibility.
#19
Quote by suthy16
That's more mid 19th century but if that's not an issue then I suppose Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles is also a possibility.


oh aye, my mistake.
And hm, i'm yet to read the d'ubervilles.....
any good?
#20
Quote by tom the taffer
oh aye, my mistake.
And hm, i'm yet to read the d'ubervilles.....
any good?

Eh, it's not too too bad. I wouldn't say it's one of my favourite novels but if you enjoyed Wuthering Heights, Tess is kind of in the same vein. And no worries about the 19th century thing with Wuthering Heights.. it's actually kind of sad that I didn't suggest that myself considering we just read that in one of my classes and I have a midterm on it tomorrow morning...
#21
Quote by tom the taffer
oh aye, my mistake.
And hm, i'm yet to read the d'ubervilles.....
any good?

No.

No, no, no, no.

Return of the Native made me suicidal after the first few pages. Tess of the D'Urbervilles is no different.
The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give.
Calm, calm me more; nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

-Matthew Arnold

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
#22
Quote by Dinkydaisy
No.

No, no, no, no.

Return of the Native made me suicidal after the first few pages. Tess of the D'Urbervilles is no different.

Despite being dangerously misgynist, she is also right Women, for some reason, were seized by a fit of aliteracy throughout the 20th century.
#23
alright, based on the suggestions, Fatherland, and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists sound pretty good. I just read a synopsis of "Tess of the d'Ubervilles" and it sounds like the kind of depressing book that would having me killing myself within the first 2 chapters.

BTW, I like Don Delillo's style (reading White Noise once was a bit confusing, but the second time I realized it was pretty friggin incredible). How are his other books? And Is Kurt Vonnegat British? I know, kinda random, but Slaughterhouse 5 seems to be a highly recommended book, and I figured this might be a good time to read it.

Thanks so far for the suggestions guys. The other book i would have read (Grendal) got kinda boring after the first 100 pages (he's basically just a whiny prick who kills a bunch of people...big whoop).
#24
vonnegut isn't british. obviously, you can't do delillo either, though he's swell.

i wouldn't recommend reading the ragged trousered philanthropists to be honest. it isn't really all that good. ooh er, get me .

maybe try some conrad. heart of darkness is a bona fide classic and there are lots of interesting issues to get stuck into. if you wanted to read something thats really quite modern, how about some kazuo ishiguro? remains of the day is pretty interesting, though how much you could say about it in an essay is up for debate i suppose, it would be more difficult than something more established.

i know its an obvious one, but why not try some james joyce. i mean, i know he has a reputation for density and blah blah blah that might put you off, but its not like you have to read finnegan's wake or anything. ulysses is not nearly as dense as people make out, and even if you don't want to get stuck into that you could try something more straightforwards, maybe portrait of the artist as a young man. he might well fit in with a lot of the other stuff you like too.

there are definitely lots of options. i just gave a few that might work and that you might not have thought of. i wouldnt bother with orwell to be honest because, well, yknow. its a bit overdone. i'm aware that so are the things i mentioned, but its different, i guess.
my name is matt. you can call me that if you like.
Last edited by Gurgle!Argh! at Feb 20, 2008,
#26
/\ Brave New World's been taken, although now that I know what' it's about, I really want to do it. Sounds like my kind of novel.

/\/\ Joyce seems pretty interesting. "Portrait of the Atrist..." seems like it's pretty interesting. I'll see about that. And it's odd Delillo isn't british, because that was one of my required readings for my BRITISH LITERATURE Class....God, my school really needs to get it's **** together. >_<

Thanks for the recommendations guys.
#27
the adventures of lord iffy boatrace by bruce dickinson the lead singer of iron maiden. if you read that you'll have to get an A!
#28
Quote by Kumanji
Despite being dangerously misgynist, she is also right Women, for some reason, were seized by a fit of aliteracy throughout the 20th century.


Virginia Woolf >>>>>>> You

You could do Conrad, athough he can be pretty hard to get through. Also, even though he's 19th century, Dickens is fantastic. If else fails, do Shakespeare.
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#29
Quote by Gurgle!Argh!
maybe try some conrad. heart of darkness is a bona fide classic and there are lots of interesting issues to get stuck into.

If your brain hasn't turned to mush by the end of it..
#30
How about Lanark by Alasdair Gray. I enjoyed reading it and its got a lot of stuff to do with 'people trying to love' in it. (He's Scottish, so obviously it's British literature)

here's ma post from the "literature thread', lol:

Finished Lanark, really liked it!

There's an epilogue (about 10 chapters before the end of the book because 'Mine is too important to put at the end of the book') where Lanark meets the author, who explains why the book is the way it is to the character. It also has a surprisingly happy ending, after questing for all of his book he finds love and sunshine. A good line from the book that I can jsut copy of wiki, cause my copies at my mum's now:

"Who did the council fight?"
"It split in two and fought itself."
"That's suicide!"
"No, ordinary behaviour. The efficient half eats the less efficient half and grows stronger. War is just a violent way of doing what half the people do calmly in peacetime: using the other half for food, heat, machinery and sexual pleasure. Man is the pie that bakes and eats himself, and the recipe is separation."
"I refuse to believe men kill each other just to make their enemies rich."
"How can men recognize their real enemies when their family, schools and work teach them to struggle with each other and to believe law and decency come from the teachers?"
"My son won't be taught that," said Lanark firmly.
"You have a son?"
"Not yet."

If any of that makes sense
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#31
Quote by Child In Time
Alice in Wonderland- JM Barrie. If you study it properly, it's one of the most interesting books ever written.



Alice in wonderland is by lewis Carroll
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#32
Quote by Dinkydaisy
No.

No, no, no, no.

Women can not write novels.

If you want a couple of hundred pages on a dark, handsome man and an intelligent woman with sass but who is held down by her background in a completely unoriginal and uninteresting plot, go for it.

Else just kill yourself. Much preferable to reading a damn Bronte sister or Austen.



Mary Shelly is ace. I say to you, 'pish!'.

*sorry for multiple posts*
On vacation from modding = don't pm me with your pish