The big contemporary novel is a perpetual motion machine that appears to have been embarrassed into velocity. It seems to want to abolish stillness, as if ashamed of silence. Stories and sub-stories sprout on every page, and these novels continually flourish their glamorous congestion.
It makes me itchy, this wry fatalism, but it doesn't make me itch nearly as much as the heroes of so many other modern novels for whom stalking the savage libido is more fun than kinship or community; who will leave town either to find their callow selves, as if they'd lost anything important, or, more transgressively, to kill a bear, a bull, a whale, a unicorn, a hippogriff, a signifier or, preferably, their fathers.john leonard
The glittering structure of her cultivation sits on her novels like a rather showy icing that detracts from the cake beneath.Louis Stanton Auchincloss
All novels are about certain minorities: the individual is a minority.
Elizabeth Hand is one of American literature's finest prose poets of the fantastic. Her novels are powerfully lyrical, suffused with visionary agony and dreamlike eroticism; in her hands, myth reattains the nightmare energy of its origins, staining the present and the future with atavistic hues of blood.elizabeth hand
Suspending moral judgment is not the immorality of the novel; it is its morality. The morality that stands against the ineradicable human habit of judging instantly, ceaselessly, and everyone; of judging before, and in the absence of, understanding. From the viewpoint of the novel’s wisdom, that fervid readiness to judge is the most detestable stupidity, the most pernicious evil.Milan Kundera
If there's a stack [of novels to review], the unpromising stuff goes at the top and the promising stuff goes at the bottom. That way, I am eager to finish Overwrought Romantic Mary Sue Fantasy because I know that will let me read Niche Product That Only the Author, James and Some Guy at JPL Likes.james nicoll
But the novels of women were not affected only by the necessarily narrow range of the writer's experience. They showed, at least in the nineteenth century, another characteristic which may be traced to the writer's sex. In Middlemarch and in Jane Eyre we are conscious not merely of the writer's character, as we are conscious of the character of Charles Dickens, but we are conscious of a woman's presence of someone resenting the treatment of her sex and pleading for its rights.virginia woolf
Readers of novels are strange folk, upon whose probable or even possible tastes no wise book-maker would ever venture.E(dward) V(errell) Lucas
American men do not read novels because they feel guilty when they read books which do not have facts in them.
No one goes to the toilet in novels. You'd think none of us had bladders.Germaine Greer
All those words of praise they use for novels – spare, economical. Why should I shell out £17 for economical?howard jacobson
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.john rogers
I have made up my mind to like no novels really, but Miss Edgeworth's, yours and my own.Maria Edgeworth
Mr. Aldous Huxley, who is perhaps one of those people who have to perpetrate thirty bad novels before producing a good one, has a certain natural but little developed aptitude for seriousness.
Somehow, women’s romance novels are not titled He Stopped When I Said “No”. They are, though, titled Sweet Savage Love, in which the woman rejects the hand of her gentler lover who saves her from the rapist and marries the man who repeatedly and savagely rapes her. It is this “marry the rapist” theme that not only turned Sweet Savage Love into a best-seller but also into one of women’s most enduring romance novels.warren farrell
In science he could see nothing useful to mankind. ...He advised the scientist the surgeon the teacher and the artist to go and live as the poor live and try to minister to their actual wants instead of counting up insects chemically analyzing the contents of the Milky Way painting water nymphs and historical pictures writing novels and composing symphonies.
He was a confidence-man, pauper, tutor, blackmailer, paedophile, translator – and author of seven novels and a number of short stories. Rolfe was a trickster whose failed life stank to himself as to the few friends whom he had and betrayed. But he was a fascinating figure: a bore, but also a pseudo- Borgian freak whose vindictiveness and paranoia have deservedly become legendary.
Not a single one of our ancient sources indicates that Jesus was married, let alone married to Mary Magdalene. All such claims are part of modem fictional reconstructions of Jesus' life, not rooted in the surviving accounts themselves. The historical approach to our sources may not be as exciting and sensationalist as fictional claims about Jesus (he kept a lover! he had sex! he made babies!), but there's something to be said for knowing what really happened in history, even if it is not as titillating as what happens in novels.
Aphorisms are bad for novels. They stick in the reader’s teeth.
What are American dry-goods? asked the duchess, raising her large hands in wonder and accentuating the verb. American novels, answered Lord Henry.
I am no novel reader – I seldom look into novels - Do not imagine that I often read novels - It is only very well for a novel.
I can't believe that people really prefer to go to the concert hall under intellectually trying, socially trying, physically trying conditions, unable to repeat something they have missed, when they can sit at home under the most comfortable and stimulating circumstances and hear it as they want to hear it. I can't imagine what would happen to literature today if one were obliged to congregate in an unpleasant hall and read novels projected on a screen.milton babbitt
I do not care for the big 'ideas' of novelists. novels are wonderful, of course, but I prefer newspapers.