Book Chat: Books I've Read That I Think Are Underrated
This book chat was started by the splendiferous Misty at The Book Rat in this video. The topic was a little difficult for me because I realised that I haven't read and loved many underrated books! I am obviously just too mainstream. My list will comprise of books which I don't see talked about very much on the blogosphere or in Top 10 lists, or books my famous authors that are a little overlooked.
Title: The Adventures of Caleb Williams: Or, Things as They Are
Author: William Godwin
Why I Think it is Underrated: Did you know that William Godwin was Mary Shelley's father? I didn't until a couple years ago, because his novel, the FIRST EVER mystery novel, isn't too well known. Definitely not a classic like Frankenstein. I read it a couple of years ago and, while not a quick read, I was fascinated and really enjoyed it.
Title: The Uninvited Guests
Author: Sadie Jones
Why I Think it is Underrated: J'adore this novel. It is just fantastic. Yet it only has a rating of 3.19 on Goodreads!? How!? To be fair, it was only released a couple of months ago, but it is still a travesty. If you enjoy literature from the start of the twentieth century/ Oscar Wilde/Jane Austen/Atonement by Ian McEwan you should definitely read this one. The characters are fantastic and it is just a wonderful farcical story.
Title: Poor Things
Author: Alasdair Gray
Why I Think it is Underrated: Alasdair Gray is a Scottish author who I probably never would have heard of it I hadn't gone to University in Glasgow. But seriously, you are missing out if you haven't read this novel. It is SO GOOD. Here is a synopsis of the plot:
Inside the memoir is the story of McCandless, an acquaintance named Godwyn Bysshe Baxter who takes a suicide victim, gives her the brain of her unborn child to create a promiscuous and brutal girlfriend.
And that doesn't even begin to express how mad and wonderful this novel is.
Author: Alan Moore
Why I Think it is Underrated: Everyone knows Alan Moore's other graphic novels such as 'V for Vendetta' and 'Watchmen'. They are classics and are absolutely brilliant. But so is 'Lost Girls' which is definitely not one for the faint hearted or anyone easily offended by nudity and acts of a sexual nature. It is a graphic novel depicting the sexually explicit adventures of three important female fictional characters of the late 19th and early 20th century: Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan. They meet as adults in 1913 and describe and share some of their erotic adventures with each other. The art is sumptuously wonderful, and I love the different slants Moore has on such famous stories.
Title: Pale Fire
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Why I Think it is Underrated: OK, so I think this one is rated highly by everyone who has read it and I reckon it is taught a lot at University. However, 'Lolita' tends to be the book by this author that everyone knows about and has read, whereas 'Pale Fire' is absolutely GENIUS. It is metafiction at its absolute best and the word Novelception springs to mind. Book within a book within a book. Intricately woven with Nabokov's masterful hand, it is a JOY.
Author: Craig Thompson
Why I Think it is Underrated: Graphic Novels are generally underrated, but Craig Thompson's 'Blankets' has been quite well covered in the media. His second book, 'Habibi' is just as good and astonishingly different. The synopsis from Goodreads:
Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.
Author: Jean Rhys
Why I Think it is Underrated: This book is well known so it's not really underrated, but I do think that everyone who reads 'Jane Eyre' should also read this! 'The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell-- Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of a locked-up woman amd Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust.' Hard to read but so worth it.
Title: Shadow on the Wall
Author: Pavarti K Tyler
Why I Think it is Underrated: This book hasn't been out for very long, but I haven't seen too many reviews or many people reading it, which is a shame because it is really an incredible novel. Again, if you don't like violence or sex you may have a hard time with this one. It recently won the General Fiction/Novel category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, so hopefully more people will start reading it!
Title: The Custom of the Country
Author: Edith Wharton
Why I Think it is Underrated: I think a lot of people have read 'The House of Mirth' and 'The Age of Innocence' by Wharton, but this book tends to get overlooked a little bit. It shouldn't because it is a great story and you will definitely fly through it. And it has characters you will grow to absolutely detest and despise, which I think is always the mark of a good book :-P
Let me know if you agree with these or which books you would choose!