Friday, September 24, 2021

Six Books

Here's a question about staying power. 

WATERSHIP DOWN has been out nearly fifty years now. THE LORD OF THE RINGS is more popular than ever after more than sixty years.

So, of the books listed below, which do you think will stand the test of time and still be read twenty, thirty, forty years from now?


Ben AaronovichThe Rivers of London series


Susanna ClarkJonathan Strange and Mr. Norell


Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games


Jonathan Howard — Johannes Caball, Detective;  'Jonathan Caball and the Blustery Day' and other stories (uncollected)


Daniel O'MalleyThe Rook


Philip Pullman Northern Lights.

--John R.

--current reading: "A Long-Expected Party"

--last day at Marquette 


Mykhailo Nazarenko said...

Susanna Clarke and only Susanna Clarke, I'm afraid. (And I'll be very disappointed if Pullman's trilogy stands the test of time.)

Paul W said...

Well, your two examples are not just read but very widely read. All of them will still be read, but I don't believe they will be widely popular. I truly love Clarke & Howard's work, and i believe Collins' work is far, far better then most similar 'popular' YA sci-fi. But Clarke is too difficult to ever be widely popular, and Howard's work is too unique.

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Mykhailo

I agree that Clarke looks to be well on her way.

And yet re. Pullman it's easy to forget that it's been a quarter century since his book debuted. It's possible to build a case that he's established in England but not over here (yet), despite accoutrements like the film, the series, the play, and what looks like the start of a critical tradition.
--John R..

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Paul

"All of them will still be read": that wd make me happy.

The two I suspect won't be widely read but still highly respected by those who seek them out are the Jonathan Howard and the O'Malley.

Time will tell.

--John R.