(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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