I’ve been avoiding this thread, or avoiding posting in it, because… I honestly wouldn’t know where to start. I can’t really do this without giving at least ten answers; there is no way I could mention just one or two favourite novels. I honestly don’t have just one book that is so much more important to me than the others. But you have to start somewhere, right?
Before I do, though: some brilliant choices here already. I read The Crow Road after Mike talked about it, and it definitely ranks amongst my favourite novels now. And Tolkien has certainly had a big influence on my life, as has Pratchett (where Pratchett is concerned: “Small Gods” for me, or maybe “Men at Arms”. He was at his peak back then).
So, this is one novel that completely threw me, that took me and turned me inside out and didn’t let go again. “L’Étranger” by Albert Camus uses the point of view of a detached outsider to examine morality and meaning, and it always struck a note with me. A lot of 20th Century literature deals with life’s lack of meaning, but Camus’ voice has always been special to me in the way this novel rails against false morality and hypocrisy just as much as the absence of God, and of meaning in life.
“MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure.”