100 favourite novels

In a few days I’m going to start regularly blogging about the 100 novels that mean most to me, as part of the countdown towards publication of my new novel The Interlude in August. As well as being a marketing exercise (although one friend’s already pointed out that I’m giving a list of 100 books that are better than my own), it’s also a reflection on what I really enjoy in fiction, and a chance to discuss that with others. The idea is nicked from Mark Wood and his wonderful music lists which have inspired and entertained me for the last couple of years.

Here’s how it works. There will only be one book per writer, otherwise the top 15 would probably be Charles Dickens and the rest Agatha Christie, Evelyn Waugh and Stephen King. The list comprises books that I have read – so if there are glaring gaps eg Don Quixote or Moby Dick it just means I’ve not got round to them yet. And they’re all books that I truly love and enjoy – so you won’t be finding any Henry James on here for starters. Some of them made a huge impression on my in my youth, and even though I don’t rate them that highly any more they’ve become part of my literary DNA. The order is a bit arbitrary to be honest, and I’m pretty certain that I’ve forgotten a few things so there may be some kind of coda.

Anyway I hope you’ll enjoy it, make comments and suggestions and maybe discover some books that you hadn’t read before.

Love, Rupert

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