The Classics Club Spin #28

Rien ne va plus…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 28th Spin, and my 11th. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before next Sunday, 17th October. On that day, the Classics Club will post the winning number. The challenge is to read and review whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List by 12th December, 2021.

I missed the last few spins partly because of my general slumpiness over the last year and partly because recently they’ve seemed more like speed-reading events with very short deadlines, which is not how I like to read classics. Happily this one gives a full two-month timescale which is much more to my preference. I only have ten books left on my first list now and am hoping to read at least five of them before the year ends so I should theoretically be able to fit in whichever the spin picks quite easily – unless it lands on the lurking monster I’ve been evading for the last five years! So no doubt that’ll be the one… 😉

* * * * *

1) and 11) Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

2) and 12) The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw

3) and 13) Rabbit, Run by John Updike

4) and 14) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

5) and 15) Children of the Dead End by Patrick McGill

6) and 16) No Mean City by Alexander McArthur and H. Kingsley Long

7) and 17) The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr

8) and 18) The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham

9) and 19) The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

10) and 20) The Drowned World by JG Ballard

* * * * * * *

Which one would you like to see win?

73 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #28

  1. I have an Alfred Bester on my list too (The Demolished Man), so I am hoping that one or maybe The Drowned World wins.Though Mansfield Park was also one of my favourite novels for a long time, and I retain a lot of fondness for it, so I would be happy to see that win too!

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    • I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Alfred Bester, or if I did I don’t remember it. But The Drowned World sounds good. I love Mansfield Park and have been kind of holding it back to the end of my list as a reward to myself for finishing… 😀

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    • I never understand why people don’t seem to like Mansfield Park so much – I love it, and think poor Fanny is a very underrated heroine! I have a feeling Children of the Dead End might be deeply depressing, but we’ll see…

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    • I love Mansfield Park, so I’ll be quite happy if it comes up – I’m overdue for an Austen re-read! And the John Dickson Carr would be very acceptable too – he’s become a firm favourite of mine over the last couple of years. 😀

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        • Fanny is definitely a bit insipid in comparison to the other heroines, but I quite like that – she seems to me to be quite realistic in her own quiet way. She’s a bit more like a Dickens heroine in her sort of pathetic droopiness. Oh dear, I’m not selling her very well, am I? 😉

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          • See, this is what I’m missing. I found her to be superficial and unbelievable and this puts me in the minority. I am hoping I can see her as realistic as it looks like she’s supposed to be. At least there is the play’s scenes regardless of how I find her…I loved all that! haha 🙂

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            • Ha, yes, that’s the thing about these older writers – there’s so much in their books that even if one bit is disappointing there’s always plenty more to hold your interest! Tragically I’ll be reading The Young Lions instead… blast those Spin Gods! 😉

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  2. You do have some good choices here, FictionFan! I can see any one of them for you. I hope you get Mansfield Park – I mean, you know, Jane Austen and all. But then, Tiger in the Smoke really shows Allingham, and then there’s the James Baldwin. Hmm…. Well, whichever one you get, I hope you’ll enjoy it.

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    • I’m pleased I still have some good stuff at the end of my list – I tried hard not to leave all the worthy ones to the end! I’ve deliberately held Mansfield Park back to be a kind of reward to myself for making it through, and I’m looking forward to reading Tiger in the Smoke soon whether it comes up in the spin or not. I haven’t read anything by James Baldwin so that will be a new experience… 😀

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  3. Quite a lot of nice ones there, so you can’t go far wrong. Agree with all the Mansfield Park, John Dickson Carr, Tiger in the Smoke and James Baldwin lovers… but am also curious about the Ballard, which I haven’t read.

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    • I’m pretty sure I read and enjoyed some Ballard in my teen years when I went through a big sci-fi phase, but if I read this one I don’t remember it at all. The vintage crimes will almost inevitably be fun! I haven’t read any Baldwin so that will be a new experience, and a re-read of Mansfield Park is always a joy… 😀

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  4. I want to know which one is the lurking monster?! At the moment I’m loving everything Jane Austen so I hope it’s Mansfield Park, and because I’m looking forward to your review. I’m not putting my lurking monster on my list!

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    • Haha, that would be The Young Lions – 800 pages about the experiences of various people fighting in WW2 – what was I thinking?? It has great ratings though, and I can’t put it off much longer… 😉 I’ve been holding Mansfield Park back to give myself a reward for getting towards the end of my list so I’ll be more than happy if it comes up. I’m well overdue for an Austen re-read… 😀

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  5. I have Go Tell It on the Mountain on my regular list, but I don’t think I listed it for the spin. You have a few I’m not familiar with. I’ve read Mansfield Park and The Tiger in the Smoke, and also Rabbit, Run, but so long ago I can’t remember it very well. I like some of those covers, especially the one for The Drowned World, although I’m not familiar with the author.

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    • The ones you’re not familiar with are probably the obscure Scottish classics – I got a bit carried away with them when I made up my list! I love Mansfield Park, and have also read and forgotten Rabbit, Run before – hmm, maybe it’s not very memorable… 😉 The lighter vintage crime and sci-fi ones are always fun so any of them would be welcome too.

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  6. I want you to get the Updike. I have the first three “Rabbit” books in a single volume that’s been sitting on my shelf for several decades!! Maybe you could inspire me to dust it off. 😉

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    • I’ve read Rabbit, Run before but don’t remember much about it – and I don’t think I either loved it or hated it at the time. But I’ve read a lot more American lit-fic since then and am a bit more in tune with it so I’m hoping I get more out of it this time round!

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    • Any of those would be great! Tiger in the Smoke should be fun and I love Mansfield Park, so a re-read of it is always welcome. I’ve also read Rabbit, Run before long ago, but don’t remember much about it, so it would be like reading it for the first time… 😀

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    • I haven’t read anything by James Baldwin and I feel that’s a serious omission, so I’ll be quite happy if it comes up. But one of the vintage crime or sci-fi books would be very acceptable too – and easier to fit in!

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    • I haven’t read any Baldwin and I feel that’s a serious omission so I’ll be quite happy if the spin picks it. Because I’m so near the end of my list I’ll be reading it soon anyway, whether it wins or not… 😀

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  7. I’ve only read Mansfield Park and Go Tell it on the Mountain so I’d love to see what you think of those! But I’ll be eager to read your review either way.

    I haven’t been participating in Spins recently either…. just haven’t wanted the time pressure.

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    • Because I’m so near the end I’ll be reading all of these books in the next three or four months anyway, so reviews will be forthcoming!

      Yes, I used to love the Spins, but really I find they nearly always land on a book I’m not in the mood for. Naturally this time it landed on my lurking monster… 😱

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  8. The only book off your list I have read is Mansfield Park and while probably my least favourite of Austen’s novels it would still be a nice, easy result for you. Good luck – I hope it doesn’t land on that lurking chunkster! 🤞😅

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  9. Very few of these I’m familiar with, I”m almost certain I haven’t read a single one so I’ll be excited to see what you land on regardless. Go Tell It On a Mountain strikes me because I think I’ve read a recent review of it, so I’d like to see your thoughts specifically!

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    • I haven’t read any of James Baldwin’s stuff but he does sound good, so I have high hopes for Go Tell It on a Mountain. Some of the others are either genre fiction or obscure Scottish classics so I’m not surprised you haven’t read them, but hopefully some of them will deserve the classic label… 😀

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