Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ten of the best modern Victorian novels

Paraic O’Donnell is a writer of fiction, poetry and criticism.

His essays and reviews have appeared in the Guardian, The Spectator, the Irish Times and elsewhere. His first novel, The Maker of Swans, was named the Amazon Rising Stars Debut of the Month for February 2016, and was shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category. O’Donnell's latest novel is The House on Vesper Sands.

One of the author's ten top modern Victorian novels, as shared at the Guardian:
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge (1998)

Shortlisted for the Booker prize five times, it was not until after her death in 2010 that Bainbridge was finally honoured with a specially created award. Although it was chosen from among her novels by a popular vote, Master Georgie is one of Bainbridge’s most challenging and austere works. Indeed, she herself remarked that most people needed to read it three times before they understood it. She may have been right. With its carefully modulated perspectives and slyly observed details, this refracted Bildungsroman follows a young surgeon’s almost helpless progress towards the muck and depravity of the Crimean war, and it reveals new and brilliant facets no matter how often you come back to it.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Master Georgie was Erica Wagner's bad Booker beat.

--Marshal Zeringue