This week’s Fallout 5 are chosen by author Lyndsay Faye. Her works include Jane Steele, a Novel which re-imagines Jane Eyre as a heroic vigilante murderess. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

Lyndsay Faye’s Fallout 5:

1. The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle:  OK, yes, this is a great many more volumes than one book, technically, but editions containing all the tales exist, so it sneaks in by a hair.  I’ve been rereading the Holmes tales since I was a kid, and I passionately adore them.  The arc of the series is a portrait of a truly beautiful friendship, and they’ve made my world an infinitely better place. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

sherlock holmes collection

2. The Lord of the Rings by J. R.R. Tolkien:  Again, I’m so completely cheating, but this is one story arc!  The universe of Middle Earth is such a marvelous one, and peopled with so many unforgettable characters.  The themes of courage and self-sacrifice are gorgeous, the danger palpable, the prose lush, and the stakes couldn’t be higher: we’re saving the world here.  And there’s a giant spider.  What’s not to love? (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

the lord of the rings

3. The Complete Poems of T. S. Eliot: I didn’t get into Eliot until college, but from the time I read “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” I was totally hooked on his language and his imagery.  Often when I’m in the mood I’ll crack that one open, or marvel at the dark beauty of “The Hollow Men,” or pore over my notes from the course I scribbled all over “The Waste Land.”  His vision might be sweeping, but his word choices are microscopically apt. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

ts eliot

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté:  It might be guessed that I’d pick this one since my fifth novel, Jane Steele, reimagines Eyre as a heroic vigilante murderess!  Jane is dear to me for so many reasons—its feminism, its brooding sensibilities, its impossibly Byronic manchild of a love interest.  I can’t think of a better book to pick up on a dark and stormy night, sipping a little brandy for fortification. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)

jane eyre

5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov:  All right, yes, this might seem like a very odd choice to many.  But while Nabokov’s most controversial story is a horrific portrait of a sexual predator, it also contains some of the headiest, most elevated prose in the history of the English language, as far as I’m concerned.  Its wit, its unflinching honesty, its brutality, and yes, its beautiful words make it one of the greatest novels of all time. (Amazon UK/ Amazon US)




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