Great -- and Way Too Often Overlooked -- Novels by Famous Authors
Here are five stepchildren -- terrific novels overshadowed by their creators' more famous or better-selling works:
1. No Name (1862), by Wilkie Collins. Collins's The Woman in White and The Moonstone are giants of sensationalist fiction, but No Name, a dizzying spiral of impersonation and revenge, is just as good.
2. Victory (1915), by Joseph Conrad. Most critics prefer Lord Jim or Nostromo, but I agree with F. R. Leavis's assessment of this novel about self-exile as "the one that answers most nearly to the stock notion of [Conrad's] genius."
3. The Children (1928), by Edith Wharton. Late in her career, after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence, Wharton wrote this tragicomedy in which a lonely bachelor gets caught up in the tangled lives of a group of kids.
4. The Water-Method Man (1972), by John Irving. The World According to Garp was Irving's breakthrough book, but this early, mordant comedy about a grad student in English is his best.
5. The March (2005), by E.L. Doctorow. Ragtime is a modern classic, but this recent Civil War novel runs a close second in Doctorow's oeuvre.
If you have your own candidate for a slighted novel by a well-known writer, please let us know about it!
-- Dennis Drabelle
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: C | February 28, 2008 2:10 PM
Posted by: Shirley S | February 28, 2008 4:56 PM
Posted by: drabelle | February 29, 2008 2:41 PM
Posted by: basil | February 29, 2008 4:11 PM
Posted by: Mark Tarallo | March 1, 2008 12:19 AM
Posted by: drabelle | March 1, 2008 10:21 AM
Posted by: Barbara | March 1, 2008 7:03 PM
Posted by: Michael Bartley | March 3, 2008 3:59 PM
Posted by: Bill | March 4, 2008 1:59 PM
Posted by: Shirley S | March 6, 2008 4:22 PM
Posted by: celebrity testimony iceberg | April 3, 2008 5:50 AM
Posted by: john d. | April 7, 2008 9:49 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.