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timschochet

Political Novels- How many of these have you read?

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In no particular order, these books are considered the best and most famous political novels ever written:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

The Children of Men by PD James

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Primary Colors by Joe Klein

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Lincoln by Gore Vidal

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

 

Which of these have you read? What did you think of them? Which ones did you like the best? The worst? Share your thoughts in this thread.

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For me:

LOVED

Animal Farm

Atlas Shrugged

To Kill A Mockingbird

Invisible Man

Les Miserables

 

LIKED

Brave New World

V for Vendetta

The Handmaid's Tale

Lord of the Flies

War and Peace

Darkness at Noon

It Can't Happen Here

All the King's Men

Native Son

The Plot Against America

 

DID NOT LIKE

The Trial

1984

Primary Colors

 

HATED

Catch-22

Heart of Darkness

 

The rest I have not read.

 

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

My favorites off of this list would be The Trial and Heart of Darkness, both of which I love. 

1984 is really good because of Newspeak, the memory hole, the two-minute hate, and other stuff that's still highly-relevant.  It's depiction of totalitarianism isn't as relevant today as it was during the cold war.  

Brave New World is interesting because I think most people would be greatly challenged to explain what, exactly, is bad about the world described in the book.  The story is sort of like Minority Report where it's just taken for granted that this is bad, but it's not obvious why.  This one could be read as refutation of utilitarianism, and maybe that was Huxley's intent for all I know.  

I really loathe Native Son.  If you're in the market for something to read, there is a novel called Erasure by Percival Everett that eviscerates it.  

To Kill a Mockingbird is a really good story for high school freshmen.  So is Animal Farm.   

I have to be honest and say that Catch-22 never really clicked with me.  

I recall enjoying Invisible Man and The Plot Against America, but it's been too long since I've read them to remember much.  I can't even recall if I liked The Scarlet Letter or Lord of the Flies.   

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37 minutes ago, timschochet said:

In no particular order, these books are considered the best and most famous political novels ever written:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell***

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury***

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Animal Farm by George Orwell***

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand***

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

The Children of Men by PD James

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy***

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Primary Colors by Joe Klein

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren***

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee***

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison***

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Lincoln by Gore Vidal

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov***

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad***

 

Which of these have you read? What did you think of them? Which ones did you like the best? The worst? Share your thoughts in this thread.

I’m not sure some of these are really political but ok thereyago.

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Half the books on your list are not what I would consider to be a "political" novel.

Even "Lord Of The Flies", with its obvious allegories to modern political parties, is not political aside from its thesis that factions are bad and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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3 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Half the books on your list are not what I would consider to be a "political" novel.

Even "Lord Of The Flies", with its obvious allegories to modern political parties, is not political aside from its thesis that factions are bad and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I actually agree with you. But all of these books appear in several lists of the “best political novel” which is why I included them. 

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10 minutes ago, McJose said:

wat

1984 is a brilliant novel.  But for me to like a novel I have to enjoy reading it. I didn’t enjoy reading this novel. It’s dark and depressing. I like to look through it sometimes and find quotations and stuff, but that’s not the same thing. 

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Loved The Trial.

Liked Animal Farm.

Have tried multiple times to read Catch-22 but just never got into it. Which is surprising because many people that I know have similar tastes as I do love this book.

The rest either have not read, or read/skimmed in high school and don't really remember.

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8 minutes ago, timschochet said:

1984 is a brilliant novel.  But for me to like a novel I have to enjoy reading it. I didn’t enjoy reading this novel. It’s dark and depressing. 

Well, at least now I know where your dislike of Heart of Darkness comes from.

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14. My favorites were Catch 22, Darkness at Noon and The Master and Margarita. The first and last of the 2 aren’t just political but wildly funny.

I never cared for Lord of the Flies.

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

I’d like to think so. But it’s apparently not the same as Mr. Heller’s. 

My guess is you wouldn’t like Master and Margarita than either 

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18 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

You hated Catch 22? You don’t have a sense of humor?

I'm in the same boat - didn't find it the least bit funny.  :shrug: 

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1 hour ago, [scooter] said:

Half the books on your list are not what I would consider to be a "political" novel.

Even "Lord Of The Flies", with its obvious allegories to modern political parties, is not political aside from its thesis that factions are bad and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What makes a novel political is interesting. Is All Quiet on the Western Front or Johnny Got His Gun political?

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Really enjoyed the book.  Very thought provoking and creative.

1984 by George Orwell - Incredibly well thought out book that I re-read after Trump took office and found a lot of similarities.  Can't say it was an enjoyable read, but thought it was a very astute imagining of such a society.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Did not like this book.  Was hard to finish in high school, and harder to finish when reading it "for fun".  

Animal Farm by George Orwell - Another of the read in high school, re-read a few years ago books.  Slightly enjoyable.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand - Really enjoyed this book.  Don't accept the political premise it's promoting, and skipped over some of the lengthy prose/diatribes, but really enjoyed the narrative/plot/characters.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Enjoyed this book, find myself referencing characters or objects in the book in normal conversation.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - Tried several times to read this but just can't get past the initial time commitment to get into the book.  I read long books regularly, but for some I have to mentally prepare myself to spend hours paying attention to things that aren't incredibly interesting until I get to a point where the book pulls me in.  Haven't done it yet.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - One of my all-time favorite books.  Top-notch satirical/ironic humor.  Great political commentary.  Just an all around excellent book that makes me laugh out loud sometime while reading it.

Primary Colors by Joe Klein - Read it years ago, didn't leave a lasting impression.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Another all-time favorite of mine.  Distilled integrity, honor and justice in narrative form.  Parts of it still make the room i'm in get dusty and choke me up.

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - More enjoyable read for pleasure than in high school.  Still, nothing too terribly noteworthy that sticks with me from the book.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - Top 5 of my all-time favorite books.  Amazing plot, characters, prose...Loved so many of the characters, so many heart-tugging situations.  Just a gem of a novel.

 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

1984 by George Orwell - loved

Animal Farm by George Orwell - liked

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - loved

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - disliked

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - loved

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne - hated

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - liked

 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

For me:

 

HATED

Catch-22

Heart of Darkness

 

The rest I have not read.

 

 

How could you hate Catch-22? That seems incomprehensible to me.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

In no particular order, these books are considered the best and most famous political novels ever written:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

 

 

 

 

These are the ones I've read. Of them, my favorites were Catch-22, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Handmaid's Tail. My least favorite was All the King's Men. Really didn't like that book.

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1 hour ago, IvanKaramazov said:

 

Brave New World is interesting because I think most people would be greatly challenged to explain what, exactly, is bad about the world described in the book.  The story is sort of like Minority Report where it's just taken for granted that this is bad, but it's not obvious why.  This one could be read as refutation of utilitarianism, and maybe that was Huxley's intent for all I know.  

:lmao: No-strings sex, drugs, and no parents?  What's not to like!

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4 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

For those who liked Catch 22, read The Master and Margarita. It’s like the Russian version of Catch 22 on steroids.

You know those zany Russians and their world-famous sense of humor.

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

You know those zany Russians and their world-famous sense of humor.

Right! That’s the craziest part. I mean one of the main characters is a cat the size of a pig who enjoys vodka, walks on 2 legs and carries a pistol.

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1 minute ago, Ilov80s said:

Right! That’s the craziest part. I mean one of the main characters is a cat the size of a pig who enjoys vodka, walks on 2 legs and carries a pistol.

I want to party with that cat!

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1 minute ago, John Blutarsky said:

I want to party with that cat!

His name is Behemoth and he’s Satan’s assasin so watch out 

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26 minutes ago, adonis said:

 

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - Top 5 of my all-time favorite books.  Amazing plot, characters, prose...Loved so many of the characters, so many heart-tugging situations.  Just a gem of a novel.

 

I hadn't heard the news yet when I started this thread, but Victor Hugo would be a very sad man right about now if he were alive.

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36 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:
1 hour ago, [scooter] said:

Half the books on your list are not what I would consider to be a "political" novel.

Even "Lord Of The Flies", with its obvious allegories to modern political parties, is not political aside from its thesis that factions are bad and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What makes a novel political is interesting. Is All Quiet on the Western Front or Johnny Got His Gun political?

To me, the essence of a political novel is that it shows the inner workings and failings of the political side of the government.

To that end, I think you could argue that both books are political novels, although the argument is stronger in favor of Johnny Got His Gun. The second half of that book is a harsh criticism of bureaucracy and a strong advocate for concepts of individual liberty.

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6 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

To me, the essence of a political novel is that it shows the inner workings and failings of the political side of the government.

To that end, I think you could argue that both books are political novels, although the argument is stronger in favor of Johnny Got His Gun. The second half of that book is a harsh criticism of bureaucracy and a strong advocate for concepts of individual liberty.

I think AQOTWF certainly exposes issues with nationalism.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

I hadn't heard the news yet when I started this thread, but Victor Hugo would be a very sad man right about now if he were alive.

I was a little concerned about that character when I heard about the fire.  Hope he's ok.

Edited by adonis

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Read most of them. 

Brave New World, 1984 and To Kill a Mockingbird are probably my favorites.

Atlas Shrugged was self indulgent crap passed off as literary genius by people who want to look smarter than they are or sound more interesting than the pile of sawdust their real personality imitates.

And War and Peace was just brutally painful to slog through. Like Moby Dick type of awful. 

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9 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

Atlas Shrugged was self indulgent crap passed off as literary genius by people who want to look smarter than they are or sound more interesting than the pile of sawdust their real personality imitates.

You complete me.

Les Mis (unabridged!), Heart of Darkness, 1984 and Mockingbird here.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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I would also add The Quiet American by Graham Greene. It’s written in 1955 and pretty accurately predicts the upcoming American blunders in SE Asia.

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On 4/15/2019 at 4:09 PM, Yankee23Fan said:

Atlas Shrugged was self indulgent crap passed off as literary genius by people who want to look smarter than they are or sound more interesting than the pile of sawdust their real personality imitates.

I wish I could like a post more than once.   

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On 4/15/2019 at 1:08 PM, timschochet said:

In no particular order, these books are considered the best and most famous political novels ever written:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 by George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Trial by Franz Kafka

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

The Children of Men by PD James

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Primary Colors by Joe Klein

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Lincoln by Gore Vidal

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

 

Which of these have you read? What did you think of them? Which ones did you like the best? The worst? Share your thoughts in this thread.

1. The bold ones

2. I generally thought well of them, except Ayn Rand

3. Lord of the Flies.  Poor Piggy

4. Anything by Ayn Rand

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