Tuesday, February 9, 2010

General Fiction – Vladimir Nabokov, Dorothy Parker, Robert Pirsig, John Cowper Powys & Thomas Pynchon

I think the first book of Nabokov’s I ever read was Invitation to a Beheading which I have in an old Penguin edition somewhere, so it will displayed later. What I do have here and now are three of his masterworks, Lolita (Corgi 1969), Despair (Panther 1969) and Pale Fire (Corgi 1966) in old UK paperbacks.

nabokov_lolita nabokov_palefire


Dorothy Parker was a member of the Algonquin Round Table and was noted for her wit. The Portable Dorothy Parker (Viking 1975 edition) is a complete collection of her stories, poems, reviews and articles.


Robert Pirsig is mainly known for one book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was a runaway bestseller in the early 1970s.


Now, John Cowper Powys is an author who interested me greatly in the 1970s. I seemed to have collected quite a few of his books, after reading and being mightily impressed with A Glastonbury Romance. I have a copy of that book in a Picador edition, but as I am planning a separate feature on Picador I’ll be showing the cover of it at a later date.

In the meantime here are three odd editions of his novels, Weymouth Sands (Rivers Press 1973), Porius (Village Press 1974) and The Inmates (Village Press 1974).

powys_inmates1974 powys_porius


Finally, for this post, Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon , the sole novel by this author in my collection. I must admit, Gravity’s Rainbow is one of the few books I could never finish. It put me off Pynchon for life. Below is the 1974 Bantam paperback edition (still in perfect condition!).


Next – Robbins, Runyon, Rushdie and Russian novels

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