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The ten best (alternative)novels for the well-read.

The ten best novels for the well-read will, probably, have been read by those well-read so and so’s. So, I thought to suggest the ten best novels that the “seemingly” well-read may not have (read).
An Alternative ten best novels if you like.
I thought to start you off easy with a short novel by William Peter Blatty called simply

“The Redemption”


THE REDEMPTION opens in the world's most oppressive and isolated totalitarian state: Albania in the 1970s. A prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is held by state security. An unsettling presence, he maintains an eerie silence though subjected to unimaginable torture. He escapes - and on the way to freedom, completes a mysterious mission. The prisoner is Dimiter, the American 'agent from Hell'. The scene shifts to Jerusalem, focusing on Hadassah Hospital and a cast of unusual characters. All become enmeshed in a series of baffling, inexplicable deaths, until events explode in a surprising climax.
Told with unrelenting pace, THE REDEMPTION's compelling, page-turning narrative is haunted by the search for faith and the truths of the human condition.
The ultimate detective story. Does God exist?

Feersum Endjinn. By Iain M Banks.


Count Sessine is about to die for the very last time.... Chief Scientist Gadfium is about to receive the mysterious message she has been waiting for from the Plain of Sliding Stones.... And Bascule the Teller, in search of an ant, is about to enter the chaos of the crypt.... And everything is about to change.... For this is the time of the encroachment and, although the dimming sun still shines on the vast, towering walls of Serehfa Fastness, the end is close at hand.
The King knows it, his closest advisers know it, yet still they prosecute the war against the clan Engineers with increasing savagery. The crypt knows it too; so an emissary has been sent, an emissary who holds the key to all their futures.
The ultimate speculative science fiction novel of all time.


Miss Smillas feeling for Snow. By Peter Hoeg.



One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.
A wonderful look into another world, another state of being.


The Snow Child. By Eowyn Ivey.


A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska, Eowyn Ivey's THE SNOW CHILD was a top ten bestseller in hardback and paperback and went on to be a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?
Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairy tale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic.

The Letters of Malachai Malagrowther by Sir Walter Scott (?)




This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. Sir Walter living in London took notice of the Bank of England's attempts to keep down “The rebellious Scots” and so wrote these letters under an assumed name to make his eloquent points.
An unequaled wordsmith. Shakespeare be damned.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axel Sund.




With a serial killer on the loose Detective Kihlberg must delve into a nightmare world of hidden lives, lost identities and secret rituals... This is the world of the Crow Girl.
It starts with just one body - the hands bound, the skin covered in marks.
Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is determined to find out who is responsible, despite opposition from her superiors. When two more bodies are discovered, it becomes clear that she is hunting a serial killer.
With her career on the line, Kihlberg turns to psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Together, they expose a chain of shocking events that began decades ago - but will it lead them to the murderer before someone else dies?
The ultimate tense, shocking, Scandinavian thriller.

Candide By FMA De Voltaire



The French satire Candide, or l'Optimisme was first published in 1759 by Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. Numerous translations of the novella exist today. The English titles of these translations are Candide: or, All for the Best, Candide: or, The Optimist, and Candide: Optimism. In Candide, a gentle man clings tenaciously to the idea that his life is "the best of all possible worlds" despite being battered and slapped by fate from all sides. This eighteenth-century classic, which initially appears to be a funny, bantering story, is actually a vicious, satiric jab at the philosophical optimism that argues all tragedy and human misery is a result of a kind cosmic plan. The timeless story of Candide by the French philosopher is quick, humorous, and frequently provocative.
Just the truth.


The History of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.




Published in 1776 when the midday sun was approaching on Britain's empire. A commanding time in British history and perhaps also a time when someone could take command of the story of Rome like The Master of a ancient ship. It is the utmost confidence of the prose style that is inspiring and compelling - you want to believe in what he is saying whether it is true or not. And most of it is still beyond doubt even today. Who cares - what an amazing story and what a wonderful way to discover the power of language.
Much maligned these enlightened days but still rich in history and very beautifully written.

Oresteia by Aeschylus.




Aeschylus (525-c.456 bc) set his great trilogy in the immediate aftermath of the Fall of Troy, when King Agamemnon returns to Argos, a victor in war. Agamemnon depicts the hero's discovery that his family has been destroyed by his wife's infidelity and ends with his death at her callous hand. Clytemnestra's crime is repaid in The Choephori when her outraged son Orestes kills both her and her lover. The Eumenides then follows Orestes as he is hounded to Athens by the Furies' law of vengeance and depicts Athene replacing the bloody cycle of revenge with a system of civil justice. Written in the years after the Battle of Marathon, The Oresteian Trilogy affirmed the deliverance of democratic Athens not only from Persian conquest, but also from its own barbaric past.
Haunting how great this ancient work still applies and resonates today.
And so, lastly, I thought to add a splendid work that is current, pertinent to all that is happening in our current human, societal, climate and political predicament.

Existence by David Brin.




OUR CONTINUED EXISTENCE WAS NEVER A GIVEN.
Year after year, humanity has survived the main pitfalls awaiting us - natural disasters, nuclear war, rising seas. But when an alien artefact is found floating in Earth's orbit, it pushes our troubled world to the brink of chaos.
Is this a message in a bottle bringing peace and enlightenment from the stars? Or a warning, threatening to destroy what little stability mankind has achieved? The world is divided - holding its breath. Soon we will know the secret of existence.
Brilliant and gripping, David Brin's novel of the near future is the work of a modern Master of Science fiction.
Are my selections better than the well-known classics, I believe that they are.
Better than A Tale of Two Cities, Wuthering Heights, and The Glass bead Game. War and Peace, Moby Dick, MacBeth and Being and Nothingness?
I’m going with a yes though many may disagree.
Read these books and consider for yourself. I suspect that you will agree with me.
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