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Help me decide on a book to take on holiday next week

(164 Posts)

A real, live book - not Kindle. Has to be one I've not read before and has to be big. Ideally it will - be well written without being literary, have either a who-dunnit or historical or dystopian or apocalyptic element to it, or indeed all of those.

Things that would tick those boxes but that I've already read are:
Anything by Wilkie Collins
The Passage / The Twelve
CJ Sansom's Shardlake books
This Thing of Darkness

Don't fancy sci-fi at the moment and don't want anything in the best seller lists.

Thanks in advance.

Kasterborous Sun 06-Apr-14 15:55:02

What about Dominion by C J Sansom?

overthemill Sun 06-Apr-14 15:59:52

I've just started and am loving Middlesex by Jeffrey eugenides. It's huge! Also chimera by John Barth was a jolly good read though a while ago

Read em all - but thank you. smile

MrsBungle Sun 06-Apr-14 16:11:58

I don't know if this will be up your street at all but it is historic! Mary queen of scots by Antonia Fraser. It's a big book and I found it riveting!

Dwerf Sun 06-Apr-14 16:14:16

Swan Song - Robert McCammon, it's like Stephen King's 'The Stand'

Have read the Antonia F one. Not read, 'Swan Song' and have been meaning to, so thanks for the reminder about that.

Blimey - Swan Song is £18 on Amazon!!! Won't be buying that then. smile

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 17:03:03

Is it that time again, Remus? grin

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 17:08:55

How do you reconcile "Don't want to read sci-fi" with "Want to read dystopian or apocalyptic"?

Cheboludo Sun 06-Apr-14 17:37:39

You've probably read these already but I'll suggest Flicker by Theodore Roszak and/or James Ellroy - the Dudley Smith trio comes in one edition or The Cold Six thousand and Blood's a Rover are both pretty long.

I didn't like House of leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski but loads of people rave about it.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 17:59:02

Swan Song is £6.17 on the Kindle. Just sayin' grin

DuchessofMalfi Sun 06-Apr-14 18:25:00

You've probably already read it but - Restoration by Rose Tremain, and the sequel Merivel? Very interesting period in history.

Just read Restoration and enjoyed it, planning to read Merivel shortly.

Read, 'Restoration' but not the follow up. Not sure I fancy Rose T right now though.

Not read any of those, Cheb. Will look.

Cote - fancy more sort of urban dystopia than sci-fi right now, I think.

And it is ALWAYS that time - have avoided it for ages by only reading non-fiction and re-reads.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 20:08:54

By "urban dystopia", I get the feeling that you are referring to something YA and terribly juvenile grin but if you would like to read from a master before he went senile, read some of the earlier books of William Gibson: Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and Idoru are some of the best. Very urban, near future, dark, gritty. The books that started the genre.

I can't quite fit it into a genre, but I would also recommend for you J G Ballard's book of short stories called Vermillion Sands.

Can't read Ballard. Tried two and thought they were both awful. Don't want YA now either. Fed up of just about everything; don't really know WHAT I want.

Dilidali Sun 06-Apr-14 20:20:30

Something funny? Sue Townsend-the woman who webt to bed for a year?
Just bought Rachel Joyce: Perfect (I adored her previous one: the unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry)

Dilidali Sun 06-Apr-14 20:21:05

*went to bed for a year

Didn't like Harold Fry, though tbh I only tried it because a friend lent it to me. Not my sort of thing, but thanks for trying. No to Sue T - deffo not what I'm after. Want dark, gritty, maybe Victorian-esque, deffo no fluff.

Thanks for trying - am bloody awkward, sorry.

MrsMystery Sun 06-Apr-14 20:26:27

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey


Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize 2013.

Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

So beautiful to read, I recommend it!

Finickynotfussy Sun 06-Apr-14 20:29:39

I loved The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon and it fits your criteria, I think. Or how about some more Wilkie Collins - The Moonstone is the best, in my opinion.

CoteDAzur Sun 06-Apr-14 20:30:04

Remus - Give that book a chance. Borrow it from the library, read a few pages. It is very different than Ballard's usual weirdness.

Parliamo Sun 06-Apr-14 20:30:04

In the name of the rose by Umberto Eco? Is literary, but I don't remember it being heavy going.

evelynj Sun 06-Apr-14 20:31:20

The wind up bird chronicle? I love Murakami & this is my fave, fantastic translator & sort of book where bits of it will stay with you forever.

Liked the snow child but it's not that long iirc. Yy to Middlesex

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