Sam's Blog

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How About UNDERrated Books?

Posted by samgr on March 11, 2008

I was going to write about more things I thought were overrated, but I couldn’t go through with it. I’ve decided that talking about things that are UNDERrated is less misanthropic. You can make the point that a lot of people don’t know about something, rather than helpfully pointing out that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

Anyway, my underrated book nomination is Loving, by Henry Green. It’s probably one of my favorite… I dunno… four or five books I’ve ever read, and not many people have even heard of it. It’s about a manor house in Ireland during World War II, and it’s written in this pretty much indescribable style — strange and sparse, mostly dialogue, but also occasionally wildly lyrical and descriptive to the point of being bizarre. The tone actually reminds me of Shirley Jackson, although I’m not sure why; it’s obviously not a horror book in any way.

Come to think of it, I may not be using “underrated” correctly. I think there are probably not many people who have read Loving and think it’s bad… Whatever, the real title of this post should be “Loving: A Book that I Like.”

Seriously though, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is stupid.

“Come along then.” said Jonathan. “Climb with me away from the ground, and we’ll begin.”
“You don’t understand. My wing. I can’t move my wing.”
“Maynard Gull, you have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way. It is the Law of the Great Gull, the Law that Is.”
“Are you saying I can fly?”
“I say you are free.”



2 Responses to “How About UNDERrated Books?”

  1. Barbara said

    So, have you read other Henry Green books? Amazon lists 4 or 5 other novels with similar names (Concluding, Living, etc.) and an autobiography. Any recommendations? I liked Loving very much.
    My current under-read book recommendation is The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead, a sort of science fiction story about elevator inspectors in an alternative America. Read it, everyone!

  2. Aureolezg said

    thanks much, dude

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