If I were to pick a small group of novels containing powerful insights about ethics, these would be on the list:
- "The Warden" by Anthony Trollope. No, it's not about a prison warden. It is about a church warden; a very good man who finds himself accused of unethical behavior.
- "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. Since this classic is packed with wisdom about people and life, it is not surprising that it also has ethical issues. If you've never read it, don't be intimidated by its size.
- "The Caine Mutiny" by Herman Wouk. Due to the fine film with Humphrey Bogart, many people have heard of Captain Queeg and the strawberries. The most important part, however, comes once the court-martial is over and the defense attorney opens up on his clients.
- "Life with a Star" by Jiri Weil. The hero has not been taken to the death camps. He is simply trying to live decently while the world has gone mad and "they" are out to kill him.
- "A Meal in Winter" by Hubert Mingarelli. Another Holocaust novel. Some killers get a chance not to kill. Will they take it?
- "A Good Man in Africa" by William Boyd. Who was really the good man in Africa? You may be surprised by the book's end.
- "A River Town" by Thomas Keneally. Can you do everything right and still lose in a remote Australian town that is beset by moral rot?
Please let me know of any others that you would add to the list.