My Five Favorite Reads of 2013 (So Far, Cause it Ain’t Over Yet!) by Richard Godwin
I am a pretty eclectic reader and like to skip between genre and styles, but these novels have really stood out for me in different ways. They may not have all been published this year but they are the best books I’ve discovered in 2013.
The Nobel Prize winner has written an intense and moving study of marginalisation and reputation and in this novel he digs into the psyche of disgraced Professor Lurie. The protagonist wrecks his life when he sleeps with a university student, is sacked from his job, ridiculed by his ex-wife and goes to visit his daughter, from whom he is alienated. Chilling and gripping, told entirely in the present tense, the novel is a great portrait of the troubled late 20th century male.
I am a huge Burke fan and this is one of his finest novels. Told with his incredible lyricism it is heartfelt and profound. Robicheaux’s dilemmas keep building in a story that is as evocative as it is troubling. This is as tight and good as it gets by Burke.
Leonard is perhaps the most disciplined crime writer out there, never a loose line or indulgent storyline. I loved this novel for its humor, fast pace and realism, a classic.
DeLillo’s style is extraordinary and this 70s classic is both hilarious and so true it’s like watching a reality TV show. It centers around the decision of the lead singer of a rock band to withdraw from public life, resulting in his increased celebrity. As rumors circulate that he has been seen stealing a pineapple in Fresno, and he’s now gun running, he hides out in his girlfriend’s flat in New York while contemplating the meaning of fame.
One of the great Noir novels, as hardboiled as they come. This story is both intense and sharply observed. Cain writes with passion and precision about lust and greed. Steamy and tight, intimate and with great dialogue, you know the characters are going to mess up. And of course the law comes knocking.
Have you read any of the above novels? What’s your favorite read of 2013 so far?
Richard Godwin is the author of critically acclaimed novels Apostle Rising and Mr. Glamour. One Lost Summer is his most recent release. Set in a heat wave, it is very much a summer read, a noir story of fractured identity and ruined nostalgia. Learn more and order your copy here. He is also a published poet and a produced playwright. His short stories have been published in over 29 anthologies, among them his own anthology of stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man. You can find out more about him at his website www.richardgodwin.net, where you can also read “Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse”, his series of highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.
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