The Novels

SnakPatrick White 100th Anniversary Challenge

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The Novels

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Redigeret: dec 5, 2012, 11:30 pm

Happy Valley (1939)
The Living and the Dead (1941)
The Aunt's Story (1948)
The Tree of Man (1955)
Voss (1957)
Riders in the Chariot (1961)
The Solid Mandala (1966)
The Vivisector (1970)
The Eye of the Storm (1973)
A Fringe of Leaves (1976)
The Twyborn Affair (1979)
Memoirs of Many in One (1986)
The Hanging Garden To be published April 2012(Unfinished, posthumous)

I have read The Tree of Man, Voss, The Solid Mandala The Eye of the Storm and The Twyborn Affair. Each one is distinctly different and I loved them all.

dec 9, 2011, 8:04 am

>1 amandameale: - I've also read four but only one mutual title, Voss. The others I've read are The Aunt's Story, A Fringe of Leaves, and Memoirs of Many in One.

dec 9, 2011, 8:10 am

I have read Voss, The Vivisector, A fringe of leaves and Eye of the storm. I have got Riders in the Chariot on my bookshelf and so I will read that one next.

dec 9, 2011, 8:24 am

jargoneer, did vampires feature in any of Patrick's literature?

dec 9, 2011, 8:31 am

>4 baswood: - I'll eat Patrick White's hat, corks and all, if there isn't a vampire reference somewhere in his fiction. Mind you, if I was a vampire Australia probably wouldn't be my choice of residence, for obvious reasons.

dec 9, 2011, 8:40 am

Amanda, thanks for the invite. I had never heard of Patrick White before. Where should I begin? When?

Looking for aboriginal theme, via user reviews, I see Voss & A Fringe of Leaves. The Tree of Man has an Australia outback theme, and apparently has some parallels with my biblical theme. The Twyborn Affair has nice reviews. I'm thinking of starting with one of these four. Suggestions welcome.

dec 9, 2011, 9:15 am

I have The Tree of Man and Riders in the Chariot unread on my shelves. I read Voss last year and was very impressed. So I might aim to read both of these, but Vivisector is very tempting too.

Redigeret: dec 12, 2011, 4:56 am

I've read The Tree of Man (final school exams) and Voss. I got about two-thirds of the way through Riders in the Chariot but decided to take a break and for one reason of another never came back to it.

I've been collected some hardcover editions with the original covers over the past few years - A Fringe of Leaves with a nice Sidney Nolan painting, as well as The Eye of the Storm (Desmond Digby) and The Tree of Man. You can find hardcover versions of some of the later novels with v.good to fine covers for 20 pounds or less.

dec 9, 2011, 3:24 pm

I was going to ask just what Dan did in #6: Where should I begin?

Redigeret: dec 9, 2011, 5:19 pm

I've read The Tree of Man, The Vivisector(many years ago), and The Twyborn Affair (last year, enjoyed it) and am planning to read Voss.

Redigeret: dec 9, 2011, 7:35 pm

#5 & #9 Dan and Rebecca - some of White's writing is quite dense, and some not as much. Perhaps The Twyborn Affair is the most accessible of his novels? Perhaps Voss? Someone else might have a suggestion.

I think I'll be reading The Vivisector, The Aunt's Story and the huge Riders in the Chariot.

ETA: The Eye of the Storm has recently been released as a film, starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. Might be worth considering.

dec 10, 2011, 1:46 am

I think I will join in. I've read several of his novels (The Living and the Dead, The Tree of Man, Voss, Riders in the Chariot, The Eye of the Storm, and A Fringe of Leaves), all around the time he won the Nobel. I reread Voss earlier this year as part of my Australian reading in preparation for my trip. Now that I've been to Australia (and since I was planning to do a lot of rereading in 2012), I want to read/reread more White.

The Eye of the Storm was the one I read first, but I don't know that it's necessarily the best one to read first. I'd say go with the one with the description that most interests you.

dec 10, 2011, 4:47 am

What to read first? This is a quote from Magill's Survey of World Literature:
Voss is not only considered Patrick White’s greatest novel, but is most probably the greatest single work of Australian literature.
On the other hand, White expressed a preference for The Aunt's Story.

dec 10, 2011, 11:12 am

When the ones I ordered last night arrive I'll have six of White's novels, and haven't read a one of them yet. I guess I'll take them chronologically by publication date, starting with The Living and the Dead.

dec 10, 2011, 5:10 pm

Amanda - Thanks for inviting me - I have three of White's works on my shelf - The Vivisector, Riders in the Chariot and The Burnt Ones - so will start with one of those.

dec 10, 2011, 7:26 pm

#14 Are you planning to read all 6 in 2012?

dec 11, 2011, 1:32 am

I am sure if Steven03tx sets his mind to it, he'll do that :-).

I have several books by Patrick White, but read none, so far.

dec 11, 2011, 11:15 am

There are only 13 novels to read in total, not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Redigeret: dec 12, 2011, 5:00 am

I've just ordered a v.good 1st edition of The Vivisector (15 pounds + postage on abebooks). I plan to read it and The Eye of the Storm during 2012.

By the way, the Penguin Classics (US) cover of The Vivisector might just be the most ghastly Penguin cover of all time. I wonder what the great man himself would have thought about it.

dec 12, 2011, 8:28 am

Paul - the cover (which is even worse combined with the title) turns me away from the book!

dec 12, 2011, 11:22 am

#16 & 17 - Planning, yes, but who knows what will happen. I've taken up so many groups and challenges lately that something's bound to fall by the wayside.

dec 15, 2011, 6:21 pm

I now have in my hand Voss which seemed to surface here and in LibraryThing and Barnes and Noble listings. I think I can keep track of its location for the couple of weeks until we start reading. At about the time this challenge starts there will also be a reading of Moby-Dick in Le Salon; I don't know which I'll approach first. I'm pretty convinced that I will read Voss, but I have no idea whether I will read on in Patrick White.


dec 15, 2011, 8:03 pm

#22 Well Robert, it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on Voss. Good luck with Moby Dick!

Redigeret: dec 21, 2011, 12:00 am

Thanks Amanda for the invite :) This is a great idea and I have three White novels on my tbr shelf__ Fringe of Leaves, The Twyborn Affair and The Solid Mandala.

I have also read The Tree of Man and The Vivisector with the latter being the most enjoyable as opposed to The Tree of Man which I found very dense.

Of the three unread above which would you recommend I choose for this challenge.....although I think all three are worth a go to mark this special anniversary.

Redigeret: dec 21, 2011, 7:36 am

#24 Jenny, I'm sure you would like The Twyborn Affair. I did love The Solid Mandala but it's been so long I can't remember why. I think the First Tuesday Book Club read it this year? You might like to look at their comments.

dec 29, 2011, 2:20 am

I'm glad the two unread novels of White's that I actually have on my shelves, The Twyborn Affair and The Aunt have already had a mention! Once I finish my current read That Deadman Dance, I'll check out both and read the easiest first ;)
Also, 2012 might just be the year I finish The Solid Mandala, which I was enjoying but found so slow going that other things just overtook it!

dec 29, 2011, 7:24 am

yes KimB you can't rush Patrick.

dec 30, 2011, 7:36 pm

I've just read in the paper this morning that The Hanging Garden, which was found after White's death and kept by his agent for several years, will be published in April 2012. The newspaper says that the novel has been "transcribed" so I don't know if that includes additional writing or what.

jan 23, 2012, 10:55 pm

Well, The Tree of Man just arrived. I can't start now, too many other books going on. Soon thought, I hope.

Redigeret: jan 24, 2012, 6:58 am

Good luck Dan. From what I recall it's quite dense.

Two of us have finished The Aunt's Story!