1. Crystal
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    Crystal Member

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    Books with no plots?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Crystal, Dec 20, 2012.

    Or I should say, strays from the "plot" & kind of meanders its way through, I like those kind of books. Examples being: Infinite Jest, Ulysses, Gravity's Rainbow, Naked Lunch, S.J. Perelman in some ways. Any ideas? I'm actually reading GR now & going on to Jest afterwards, so obviously I'm in no hurry (Though I read five hours a day daily as I have NOTHING to do, the goal is bring events to Absolute Zero...) Thanks everyone.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Samuel Beckett's trilogy of Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable. Molloy is by far the easiest of them, and The Unnamable is the hardest. I might even say that The Unnamable is a harder read than Ulysses.

    Another book is Proust's In Search of Lost Time. At 1.5 million words (around 4300 pages for the English translation), it'll keep you busy for a long time.
     
  3. Mouthwash
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    Mouthwash Member

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    The last three books in the Dark Tower series. Don't read them, though, they're horrific.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hey, I'm reading Gravity's Rainbow now - too! You could check out John Hawkes The Cannibal - which I don't
    think has a real plot it's pretty surreal.
    or Nicholas Baker - Room Temperature.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I hear The Game of Thrones series meanders a lot :D
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    John Hawkes has a habit of meandering. Whistlejacket does it, too, as does The Lime Twig. I mean, things happen in these books, but not really enough to constitute a plot in the usual sense of the word. These novels function more as exercises in prose than as tightly-plotted fiction. Fortunately, Hawkes was a master stylist and his books were short ...
     
  7. Crystal
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    Crystal Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I actually have the boxset of Game Of Thrones so won't get into that. Ah yes, I forgot I have In Search Of Lost Time too. I just made around 15 grand from a case (dad died, don't want to get into) so I've been getting every book/move I've ever dreamed of. So I guess for now first GR, then IJ, & finally Proust's series. I'm also buying Beckett's material now (all 3 since I like collecting.)
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you haven't bought it already and if you don't mind spending a little extra, I would suggest going for the hardcover edition published by Everyman's Library. It contains all three books.
     
  9. Rose Hunt
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    Rose Hunt Member

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    Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. I kept rereading large passages of the book trying to figure out where I went wrong with my reading. LOL It wasn't my reading that was getting lost.
     
  10. Crystal
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    Crystal Member

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    Yeah, I like these books because they tend to be great "mind benders" always switching narratives over & over again, you'll be in a completely different scenario a couple page turns later & it finds its way into your writing...I guess since I'm more a "spiritual" writer(or perhaps related to mechanics due to my "Limbo/Bardo state, four years now, I'm 21") than one aiming to get published (at this point in my life atleast, perhaps as I further along things will change) so I tend to just change projects all the time.
     
  11. Rose Hunt
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    Rose Hunt Member

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    There is nothing wrong with that! I want to be a good writer, one with a nice following, but I am happy to just write. If I worry about writing for a publisher then I won't be able to enjoy it as mmuch. Of course, I do want to be published.
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Ulysses and Gravity's Rainbow have plots.
     
  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know about Gravity's Rainbow, because I haven't read it (I have a copy, and it glares at me every time I pass my bookcase), but I do know Ulysses. It has a plot, but it's such a big book with such a tenuous, threadbare plot that it almost qualifies as a book about everything except its plot. Oh, well. That's Joyce for you.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah, that's what I always respected most about Joyce to be honest. The plot is the least important part of his novels (well, Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses anyway, I lord only knows what was happening in The Wake). Gravity's Rainbow also has a plot, but it is presented more as a series of characters and moments that all combine to make a plot rather than being a plotted story with characters.
     
  15. Crystal
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    I know it has a plot, obvious all books must have some "plot"(well perhaps Ulysses is the closest to having no true "plot" or "goal oriented direction") the rockets are a continuous theme I'm seeing so far into Gravity's Rainbow, but it also seems that there are such an onslaught of different characters & events that just find there way in the book almost randomly...it has my head in knots really, but it's nowhere as hard as Ulysses & surprisingly I'm able to remember a good portion of what I've read so far...I've also cried four times already into this book so it really is holding a special place for me & I will never forget it. (just finished the toilet part & I noticed a huge difference in his writing, seems much more aggressive.)
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    When reading that part I couldn't get over the fact that that bit inspired the famous toilet scene in Trainspotting. Not my favorite scene in the book must be honest, though it told me things I never knew about FDR!
     
  17. Crystal
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    Crystal Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you there, I thought it was a bit too crude perhaps...before then it seemed so much more celestial & tranquil, then that hits you like a freight train...but I understand.
     
  18. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I would say The Unnamable by Beckett is probably the closest book to having no plot. It's basically just a narrator sharing his thoughts. There's no real setting either. This is why I would say it's a harder read than Ulysses.

    One of the cool things about Ulysses is that Joyce changes his writing style throughout the book. The beginning is much more structured, whereas the end is basically pure stream of consciousness.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A plot is a literary dynamic consisting of an actor, a goal or objective, a motivation, and an opposition. I think you will be hard-pressed to find a novel that contains no plots, although I have seen "short stories" consisting of little more than description, and thereby lacking plots.

    If you mean story lines which don't hang together by any clear logic, your search may be a bit easier.
     
  20. Knarfia
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    Catcher In the Rye, although I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it (mostly because I kept plugging along, thinking that he must be leading up to something.)
     
  21. the antithesis
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    the antithesis Member

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    /URL]
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    ** Clearly this does not in any sense qualify as "Books with no plot". Please stay on topic.
     

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