(O­rig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Usenet's net.­books.)

Of course we read­...

Gra­ham Green->e<-'s stuff keeps get­ting bet­ter as he gets old­er, all his best stuff dates from post-retirement age. His last book, Don Quixote, is a treat. Often un­der­rat­ed is the com­ic nov­el Our Man in Ha­vana. Any col­lec­tion of Greene short sto­ries is well worth read­ing. And for any­one who has en­joyed a few of the book­s, his au­to­bi­ogra­phies, A Kind of Life and Ways of Es­cape, are ter­ri­fic.

Other au­thors worth draw­ing at­ten­tion to:

R.K. Narayan. Comes from Madras, In­di­a, writes smal­l, per­fect nov­els about a smal­l, imag­i­nary In­di­an city named Malagudi. Some of most fine­ly craft­ed prose you're like­ly to run across. Al­so, drop­ping his name is worth 50 brown­ie points in any gath­er­ing of lit­er­ati, as he is 3rd world and ob­scure as well as be­ing great - due for a No­bel one of these years. Of spe­cial note are The Pain­ter of Signs and The Holy Man.

Gene Wolfe. Although Wolfe is in fact fa­mous most­ly for sci­ence fic­tion, some of his stuff is too good for any gen­re. Notable are the two non-SF nov­els Peace and The Devil in a For­est (The lat­ter is based loose­ly on the Christ­mas Carol 'Good King Wenceslas'). Al­so per­haps the finest straight SF nov­el ev­er writ­ten, The Fifth Head of Cer­berus.

And one over­rat­ed poseur:

D.M. Thomas.


Tim Bray

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August 31, 1983
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