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10 to read before the apocalypse?

  • 03-11-2002 6:52pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭Caesar_Bojangle

    What ten books would you consider as a must, to be read in ones lifetime?



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 justlurking

    Only book you need to read is Naive.Super by Erlend Loe. Genius Norweigan writer. Nuff said.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 620 ✭✭✭deco

    Dante - The Divine Comedy

    Think that would be rather fitting

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭Red Devil

    Seriously though The Divine Comedy is worth checking out and is not too heavy.

    There are so many and not enough time, I don't read as much as I should but off the top of my head

    Lord of the Flies: reread it recently and it is a classic
    Animal Farm
    Catch 22
    The Color Purple
    The Crying of Lot 49
    King Lear

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭Caesar_Bojangle

    The Color Purple

    Seen the movie, its more of a womans book so i was told.

    Maybe you could elaborate more on the books by giving a brief description so we know before we try.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭Red Devil

    Took the synopsis from Amazon

    The Color Purple

    Set in the segregated world of America's "Deep South", this work tells the story of Celie. Raped by the man she calls "father" and having had her two children taken from her, she meets Shug Avery - a glamorous singer and magic maker, and discovers the love and support of a woman.

    I have never seen the film properly but The Color Purple is a powerful read. As far as I know, Spielberg cut out the sexual relationship between the two main female characters so i don't know what way that affected the film.

    It will probably appeals more to women but it ain't Penny Vincenzi or cathy Kelly. Some have described it as anti-male.

    written in a series of letters, The style of writing is brilliant, each letter contains the voice or the character who has written it and as they change and develop the style changes.

    It questions race, relationships, religion, sexuality and the power structures that all these are based upon.

    The Crying of Lot 49

    The Synopsis
    This short fable followed Pynchon's first novel "V." First published in 1966, it is a surreal comedy satirizing Californian life. Oedipa Maas, a recent heiress, pursues enquiries into the nature of her inheritance and the motivation of her dead lover and is led on an ambiguous trail of clues.

    Don't know how to describe this. It is weird but wonderful. It is a commentary on the society of the 60's and the ideologys of the time. Part mystery novel and part everything else. Impossible for me to describe without thinking about for a week and writing a bloody essay. Deals with complex scientific theorys which i could not get my head around and yet I began to grasp some part of the concept.

    At times you feel it is completely off the wall but it is hilarious and thought provoking and well worth reading....

    I'll elaborate more when i think about what it means!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭davej

    I'd find it very hard to choose just 10. But included in my favourite books would be:

    Lord of the Rings (tolkien)
    Notes from the underworld (dostoevsky)
    The man in the High Castle (Dick)
    Dune (Herbert)
    Heart of Darkness (Conrad)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭johnnynolegs

    Magician by Raymond E. Feist

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,399 Mod ✭✭✭✭Thanx 4 The Fish

    The series or just the first book ?

    Was gonna say the wheel of time, by the time armageddon comes Jordan may not be finished the last book yet so will have to skip that one.

    LOTR is a must read though.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭johnnynolegs

    i would say just the first book would suffice - and when i say first book i mean the european version cos do u know in the US they split magician into 2 books Magician:Apprentice and Magicion:Master

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,980 ✭✭✭meglome

    I'd say War and Peace, I'd be so pissed off by the end maybe dying wouldn't be so bad :D.

    Really though

    Lord of the Rings (which I have read but love)
    A load of stuff by Isaac Asimov which I keep meaning to read.
    The more recent books by Stephen King and James Herbert

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,838 ✭✭✭DapperGent

    The Lord of the Rings
    A Bright Shining Lie
    The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman
    Freedom at Midnight
    Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars
    Captain Corelli's Mandolin
    The Covenant
    A Suitable Boy

    Are the best books I can recall at present.

    Perhaps the Wheel of Time might sneak in if Jordan takes his head out of his ass and stops padding the bejaysus out of his trul;y confused storyline.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,558 ✭✭✭✭Dont be at yourself

    Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy - and if you possess the right equipment, could even help you escape the apocalypse!

    I haven't read any other books - bar maybe Lord Of The Rings - that I would recommend as essential.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 29 Mr White

    Greatest story ever told

  • Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 32,387 Mod ✭✭✭✭DeVore

    Stephen Hawking - A brief history of time.
    The Lord of the rings.
    To Kill a MockingBird
    Chung Quo
    The Selfish Gene - (Dawkins... this book will change your view of the world).
    The Player Of Games (Ian M Banks)
    Excession (Mr Banks again)
    The Art of War
    Calvin and Hobbes: Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"?

    I've read them all, and I suggest you dont if you are afraid of having your world view changed.

    Cool topic, can wait to see other peoples list...


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,229 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    Tough question and I'd probably give ten different books if asked next week.

    1. Ulysses - James Joyce: An obvious choice I guess, but you can never get tired of it. So much there that endless re-reading will still uncover new things.

    2. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon: Someone else mentioned him. A huge book, essentially a drug fuelled quest to find an uber-V2 rocket at the end of world war II.

    3. Underworld - Don DeLillo: Massive work on late twentieth century America. It has it all, nuclear weapons, serial killers, baseball and waste disposal.

    4. Company- Samuel Beckett: Could have chosen any one of his. Short, sparse and beautifually written

    5. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller: Hilarious anti-war satire

    6. New York Trilogy - Paul Auster: Three very strange detective stories.

    7. Crime & Punishment - Dostoyevsky: He's brilliant on human nature with a bizarre religious streak.

    8. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera: Philosophical meditations combined with a twisted love story.

    9. The Clay Machine Gun - Victor Pelevin: Great young Russian writer. This is his best one.

    10. The Book of Evidence - John Banville: Art appreciation and murder.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭thedrowner

    james joyce-ullyses

    j.r.r.tolkien-the lord of the rings trillogy

    catcher in the rye (cant remember who its a poet and i know it!)

    catch 22

    hitchkikers guide to the galaxy

    books that i should have read!
    books that i ahve read:

    the anne of green gables series

    anything by marion keyes just for the humour

    interview with a vampire-anne rice

    harry potter's

    pride and prejudice

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭thedrowner

    ahhh can i have 11?
    watership down (richard adams), thats my favourite book!

    if not, i replace marion keyes with that.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭johnnynolegs

    no u can't have 11

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,818 ✭✭✭Bateman

    Nineteen Eighty Four (Orwell)
    The Plague (Camus)
    The State and Revolution (Lenin)
    Animal Farm (Orwell)
    One Hundred Years of Solitude (García Marquez)
    McBeth (Shakespeare)
    The Anarchist Cookbook (Powell)
    Year 501; The Conquest Continues (Chomsky)
    George's Marvellous Medicine (Dahl)
    Lord of the Flies (Golding)
    Dubliners (Joyce)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭shotamoose

    -Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
    -Complete Prose - Woody Allen
    -Complete works - Shakespeare. (Kind of a cheat, but you can buy it as a single book, and you can't really leave him out, can you)
    -Best of Myles - Flann O'Brien
    -Our Dumb Century - The Onion (best history book I've read ;) )
    -Revolution In The Head - Ian MacDonald
    -The Big Book of Hell - Matt Groening
    -V for Vendetta - Alan Moore and David Lloyd (the graphic equivalent of Catch 22? Phenomenal)
    -Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon (very funny, occasionally very boring, but worth taking just because of the imagination and the encyclopaedic knowledge within)

    Tenth Place between Slaughterhouse 5, White Teeth, Catcher in the Rye, The Language Instinct. I'm sure I've left something great out...

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,564 ✭✭✭Typedef

    1984 -- George Orwell.
    Consider Phleabas -- Iain M Banks.
    The Wasp Factory -- Iain Banks.
    Revelation Space -- Alastair Reynolds.
    IT -- Stephen King.
    The Player of Games -- Iain M Banks.
    The Stand -- Stephen King.
    FatherLand -- Robert Harris.
    The Foundation series -- Isaac Asimov.
    Neuromancer -- William Gibson.
    Weaveworld -- Clive Barker.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 103 ✭✭poobags

    I'd go for

    100 years of Solitude by Gariel Gracia MArquez


    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by H>S>T

    just for a list of things to take before those four bastards and their horses come for ya.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,684 ✭✭✭tHE vAGGABOND

    Dubliners (Joyce that anyone can understand, yet still brilliant)

    Lord of the Rings (best book ever)

    The miracle of Castel del Sangrio (best football book ever written)

    Angela’s Ashes – amazing, impossible to put down insight into ye olde Ireland

    Tim Pat Coogan – Ira/Michael Collins/DeValera/Where ever Green is worn
    (Cheating as I cant pick the best out of the above, so Im taking them all! My fav writer, where would our knowledge of modern Irish history be without him!)

    Great Expectations (Dickens best book? Yes IMHO)

    Barrytown Trilogy (I’m cheating here, as I like all 3 books, so Im picking the 3 in one volume!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,335 ✭✭✭Cake Fiend

    Read Terry Pratchett's Good Omens and you won't feel so bad about it.

    I'm not bothered to put 10 up, but I'd throw A Clockwork Orange in there to be honest.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 741 ✭✭✭michaelanthony

    Lolita - it's a masterpiece

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭Caesar_Bojangle

    Angela’s Ashes

    He truly was a dirty bstrd, the things he did to himself in fields. Great book all the same

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭Shilo

    Mmmmm, books!

    1) The Temple Of My Familiar - Alice Walker.

    2) The Lymond Series...there are 6 of them. They're clever, funny, beautifully written and put you right in the middle of the 16th century. - Dorothy Dunnett.

    3) Anything by Stephen Fry cos he's hilarious.

    4) The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera.

    5)Solomon Gursky Was Here - Mordechai Richler. (Just a wonderful story...engrossing and very well written.)

    6) A Skin Diary - John Fuller. (Story of a pregnant girl in Wales in the early years of the last century, written in diary format by the awareness of her growing child. Yep, sounds poncy but is something to go back to over and over again. )

    7) Catch 22 - Joseph Heller. (Should be on the Leaving Cert list or somehow made compulsory reading!)

    8) Do Calvin & Hobbes count as reading? If not, I think they should!

    9) Tongue First - Emily Jenkins. Book about how we see our physical culture. For example, why is/was it seen to be okay to get your ears pierced but not your nose? She also looks at tattooing, sensory deprivation and drug use from alcohol to heroin. Not as stodgy as I've made it sound! :)

    10) Anything by Mary Daly if you feel the need for mental gymnastics and can cope with the intense and militant feminism, not to mention the words she's invented to help elucidate on her ideas. Should all be read with her 'Webster Intergalactic Wickedary' by your side. (It's a dictionary she compiled to go with her writings.) Despite being ferociously intelligent and formidably academic (weeeeell, she only has 7 degrees...), she does have a wonderful sense of humour.

    That was harder than I though it'd be....

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 209 ✭✭Johnny Gomez

    1. Lord Of The Rings - Tolkien
    2. The Hobbit - Tolkien
    3.Catcher In The Rye - J.D Salinger
    4.IT - Stephen King

    Thats all I can think of right now, I'll have the rest soon.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,025 ✭✭✭✭byte

    Don't have many faves as yet except e by Matt Beaumont and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.

    I see lot of you recommend Catch 22 which I bought 6 months ago but haven't read! I started it but after about 20 pages got bored with it. I must give it another chance as I seem to be missing something! Would like to read Tolkien books too!

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 116 ✭✭Terran

    1) Lord of the Rings (J.R.R Tolkien)

    2) The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

    3) Foucaults Pendulum (Umberto Eco)

    4) Dune (Frank Herbert)

    5) Ullysses (Joyce)

    6) Northern Lights (Phillip Pullman)

    7) The Subtle Knife (Phillip Pullman)

    8) The Amber Spyglass (Phillip Pullman)

    9) The Blue Nowhere (Jeffery Deaver)

    10) Nightfall (Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg)

    The above books are truly some of the best books available.