Epic sequences to immerse yourself in

(52 Posts)
NothingIsOK Wed 21-Sep-16 21:50:41

Hello book people of mn. I didn't know you were here before today, but I'm very glad to find you.

I am currently obsessed with reading sequences of novels. Preferably great long series covering generations or a whole patch of time and place.

Does anyone else have this particular literary itch?

My current find is the Rougon-Macquart sequence by Zola. I've just finished The Belly of Paris. Three down, 17 to go and I couldn't be happier. There is something so comforting about knowing I won't run out of great reading material for good while.

What other great sequences might I have missed? Happy to share my previous finds if there are other posters interested.

YesILikeItToo Wed 21-Sep-16 21:53:58

A Dance to the Music of Time, by Anthony Powell. To be honest, it's such a long time since I read them that I can't tell you much about subject or style, but I remember being absorbed. There are 12.

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 08:13:40

Thank you. I've read that one, and really enjoyed it. There's that rather odd blokewho marries a foxy lady, Widmerpool

Cazalets?

It's by Elizabeth Jane Howard, first one is The Light Years. Starts in 1930s, goes through to 60s, big sprawling family saga.

Northernpowerhouse Thu 22-Sep-16 08:26:48

Yes second Cazalets saga. Read them years ago and loved them.

PepeLePew Thu 22-Sep-16 08:32:11

Barchester Chronicles. I love Trollope but I know he isn't everyone's cup of tea.

And - totally different but completely absorbing - The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I am not a lover of fantasy books but these had me hooked in an up all night kind of way. They cover multitudes of times and places. There are other worlds than these...

YesILikeItToo Thu 22-Sep-16 10:13:01

After Anthony Powell, I started on Simon Raven's Alms for Oblivion. Was enjoying that a lot, although didn't finish for reasons unrelated to literature. There are but 9.

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 11:12:21

Done cazelets, and loved them. Wonderful, and lasts ages.

Barchester chronicles - not sure I've read all of them. Are they a read in order sort of thing? I've got a feeling I've done som wolf them a good few years back, but probably out of order.

Simon Raven - score, as I've never even heard of these! Will investigate to queue up for the desperate day when Zola runs out.

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 11:13:30

Not sure about Stephen King. I'm still a bit traumatised from reading pet semetary when I was a teenager.

YesILikeItToo Thu 22-Sep-16 12:37:26

There are 20 books in Patrick O'Brien's naval series about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin. There is a limited scope because they are all set at pretty much the exact same stage of the Napoleonic wars. And most on the same boat. It's not the same sort of saga at all. But the central relationship is great and they are packed with incident. I recommend them on many a thread.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 22-Sep-16 12:40:32

Susan Howatch's Starbridge series is excellent.

The Mapp and Lucia novels are hilarious.

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 12:48:23

Re Jack Aubrey, I've been avoiding it because I have issues with hangings, and someone told me there were ever such a lot of them in those stories. Is that true?

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 12:49:34

Starbridge I've not come across, thank you.

Mapp and Lucia I think I've read two. Are there more then? I do remember them being very funny.

YesILikeItToo Thu 22-Sep-16 12:53:06

I'm not sure, I'll look into it though, I've got a gift-book style thing with maps and plot summaries somewhere around here.

YesILikeItToo Thu 22-Sep-16 14:04:30

I've checked, and unfortunately the plot summaries are not detailed enough to let me say what to expect in this regard - it certainly could be true.

Canyouforgiveher Thu 22-Sep-16 17:05:04

I think there are 4 or 5 Mapp and Lucia novels

John Galsworthy's forsythe novels are also good.

People like the Outlander series. I read the first one but gave up on the second.

The Rumpole novels are also great and lots of them.

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 18:40:49

This is lovely. Keep em coming! I'm getting all over excited - saddo!

Canyouforgiveher Thu 22-Sep-16 19:43:12

Oh, how could I forget. Jane Smiley recently finished a fabulous trilogy Some Luck. It is set in a farming family in the mid west US and goes from the 1920s right through to 2019 so a tiny bit into an imagined future. You follow the characters in the family all through their lives.

Yes, yes, yes to The Dark Tower.

Pet Sematary is rubbish. The Dark Tower is superb.

Has anybody mentioned Shardlake?

PepeLePew Thu 22-Sep-16 20:03:25

Barchester Chronicles would be best read in order I think.

And the Dark Tower isn't at all scary in that way. There is no horror in the traditional sense. If (when?!) you start, don't be put off if The Gunslinger doesn't do it for you. It's short and quite different to what follows.

PepeLePew Thu 22-Sep-16 20:04:14

Remus, I forgot about Shardlake. I really enjoyed all of them.

dun1urkin Thu 22-Sep-16 20:06:00

I came on to say Dark Tower (not horror!) and Aubrey-Maturin.

I can't remember hangings in the Aubrey-Maturin books particularly. There could be one or two, but there aren't many opportunities seeing as though they're at sea a fair bit grin

NothingIsOK Thu 22-Sep-16 20:17:09

I hated Shardlake, so much that I'm slightly offended by it still being on my purchased list. Also didn't get along with the Jane Smiley trilogy, though I can't for the life of me remember why, apart from that I'm a picky bugger.

Sounds like the Stephen King and the Aubrey ones need to go on my list.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now