Saturday, April 07, 2018

Novels as Guides to People

Let's stipulate that if you want to get to know people you need to "get out among 'em" and keep your eyes and ears open. That said, the books of certain novelists are treasure chests of insight. Aside from Shakespeare's plays, I've found the work of these novelists to be particularly informative on the nature of people:
  • Anthony Trollope. [The Way We Live Now, Barchester Towers, The Warden]
  • Charles Dickens [Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, The Pickwick Papers]
  • John Updike [The "Rabbit" series]
  • Leo Tolstoy [War and Peace]
  • Edwin O'Connor [The Last Hurrah, The Edge of Sadness, I Was Dancing]
  • Jiri Weil [Life with a Star]
  • Olivia Manning [The Balkan Trilogy, The Levant Trilogy]
  • John Steinbeck [East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath]
  • Ernest Hemingway [short stories]
  • Ralph Ellison [Invisible Man]
  • Patrick O'Brian [The Aubrey-Maturin novels]
  • Rose Tremain [Restoration]
  • Tom Wolfe [Bonfire of the Vanities]
  • William Makepeace Thackeray [Vanity Fair]
  • Flannery O'Connor [short stories]
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez [Love in the Time of Cholera]
  • George Orwell [Nineteen Eighty-Four]
  • Arthur Koestler [Darkness at Noon]
  • Joseph Conrad [Heart of Darkness]
  • Christopher Isherwood [The Berlin Stories]
  • Robert Graves [I, Claudius and Claudius The God]
  • Henry Fielding [Tom Jones]
Your additions?


Daniel Richwine said...

Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.

Michael Wade said...


Excellent choices but those are not novels!