Jake Conrad

Jake Conrad
Blog dedicated to my writing and whatever else I want: movies, games, books, electronics, music, ... anything Jake. The interior of my mind is a mixture of grindhouse, steampunk, Lovecraft, and 80's pop. Be very afraid.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

100 Best Novels Update

My goal to start down the list of the 100 Best Modern Novels (see prior post http://jakeomatador.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-need-movie-intervention-now.html) got off to a pretty good start over the last 2 weeks as I listened to Joseph Conrad's Nostromo on my commute and started reading Charles Dickens' Bleak House in the bathroom.  I have to admit that I have been pretty bored with both books and had to force myself to finish Nostromo.  I have never been so drowsy on my commute in 6 years, but after drinking a sip of water every 2 minutes and slapping myself repeatedly I finished it.  It is amazing to me that Joseph Conrad learned English in his 20's and yet wrote so many novels.  Nostromo is kind of a masculine tale that takes place on an island.  I thought of Pirates of the Caribean several times as I listened to it because of it's setting.  The main character tries to be honorable but fails.  I have only read one other novel by Conrad, Heart of Darkness, and even though Nostromo is more readable, Heart of Darkness spoke to me more.

Bleak House is more difficult.  I am only a few pages into it and I don't feel like I will finish it.  I read it for 15 minutes and I begin to fall asleep.  It is the story of a multi-generational court case involving so many characters I forget who is who and have to go back and re-read.  It feels like work reading this book, and I work enough at work.  

I also read a book definitely not on the 100 best list, and I have to say I burned through it in days and had a blast with it.  It was Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk and it was gross, disturbing and right up my alley.  Breaking up Nostromo with it was the only way I didn't crash my car.

I picked up Atonement by Ian McEwen and another one I can't remember right now.  I also picked up 2 graphic novels I have already read because I know I'm going to give up on Bleak House.


  1. Dickens is an aquired taste. Don't give up on him yet!

  2. I want to know why Twilight isn't on this list?!! There's a classic right there. Ha ha!