Looking for more fantastic adventure literature. Any suggestions?
June 17, 2006 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Looking for more fantastic narrative adventure literature. Any suggestions?

I'm not sure what to call the genre, but I like those long, winding narratives usually told from multiple voices. Some example: Paul Auster's "Mr. Vertigo", Nicholas Christopher's "A Trip to the Stars", Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "La Sombra del Viento (The Shadow of the Wind)". Can you guys think of any other books like these? I just read Michael Chabon's "The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay". I didn't like it very much, but I think it also fits the genre.
posted by BigBrownBear to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I haven't read any of the books you listed, so I don't know how well this fits in with those, but Pynchon's Mason & Dixon is a wonderful "long, winding adventure narrative." And there is a mechanical duck.
posted by scarylarry at 9:46 AM on June 17, 2006


Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume
posted by goo at 10:13 AM on June 17, 2006


The abridged Journey to the West called Monkey.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:25 AM on June 17, 2006


Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa.
posted by misteraitch at 10:26 AM on June 17, 2006


the baroque cycle should keep you busy for a while.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 AM on June 17, 2006


Tad Williams' Otherland series is sci-fi in packaging, but definitely fantastical too.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:48 AM on June 17, 2006


Perhaps Wilkie Collins' "The Woman In White"? Definitely fits the winding narrative told by multiple narrators criteria.
posted by justkevin at 11:21 AM on June 17, 2006


i just finished correli's mandolin after amassing several recommendations from good friends, and i loved it. it certainly meets your criteria of multiple narrative voices and many story/plot lines. well written also (...but it is sort of a love story set in wartime, something to consider if you're not into such things).
posted by garfy3 at 11:23 AM on June 17, 2006


i dont know any of these - which is great! I'll check them out. Any other suggestions are appreciated!
posted by BigBrownBear at 12:57 PM on June 17, 2006


The Manuscript Found in Saragossa looks very interesting!
posted by BigBrownBear at 12:59 PM on June 17, 2006


You should check out anything by Amitav Ghosh. I really liked In an Antique Land and The Calcutta Chromosome. I would also recommend Brian Kiteley's I Know Many Songs But I Cannot Sing.
posted by mattbucher at 1:36 PM on June 17, 2006


I second Wilkie Collins. His prose is beautifully clear, if that matters.
posted by futility closet at 1:39 PM on June 17, 2006


The Manuscript Found in Saragossa looks very interesting!

It's also a terrific film.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:07 PM on June 17, 2006


Vikram Chandar's Red Earth and Pouring Rain. It's lots of stories-within-stories rather than one big one, but it might suit you.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:39 PM on June 17, 2006


D'oh! Vikram Chandra.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:40 PM on June 17, 2006


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke.

What didn't you like about Kavalier and Klay? I thought it was terrific. It prompted me to try "Wonder Boys", but that didn't do anything for me despite my having enjoyed the film.
posted by hwestiii at 4:32 PM on June 17, 2006


Carter Beats the Devil
posted by SPrintF at 5:51 PM on June 17, 2006


re: kavailier and clay - i thought the writing was somewhat stilted and kept losing interest at various points throughout the story. anyone who liked it should try some of the other books I listed above - all of which, I think, are better written and more exciting.
posted by BigBrownBear at 2:40 AM on June 18, 2006


English Passengers, by Matthew Kneale. Sounds like it's just what you're looking for.
posted by greatgefilte at 8:27 AM on June 18, 2006


Stuff by Andrea Barrett. I'd recommend Voyage of the Narwhal.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:38 AM on June 18, 2006


I did not see this listed, forgive me if I am being redundant, but Rashoman, by Ryonosuke Akutagawa, both in book and film is a wonderful mutliple perspective narrative. Then read all the Akutagawa you can find.
posted by coevals at 2:45 PM on June 18, 2006


Daniel Mason's debut novel, The Piano Tuner, is the mesmerizing story of Edgar Drake, commissioned by the British War Office in 1886 to travel to hostile Burma to repair a rare Erard grand piano vital to the Crown's strategic interests.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:39 PM on June 18, 2006


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