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Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe is the author of seven novels, including The Rotters’ Club and The Closed Circle. He recently received the Samuel Johnson prize for Like a Fiery Elephant, a biography of B.S. Johnson.

Buy Like a Fiery Elephant at Amazon

The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann (Virago, $15). The masterpiece of a writer who deserves a much wider international reputation than she has. A seemingly conventional love triangle made dizzying by labyrinthine narrative tactics and an overwhelming attention to physical and emotional detail.
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Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry by B.S. Johnson (New Directions, $16). Hard to choose a single novel by this great and neglected experimentalist, but this is perhaps the most accessible. Its story of an accountant’s one-man war against society also provides an insight into the terrorist mentality, which makes it topical. The bleak humor gives it enormous energy.
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Mr. Mee by Andrew Crumey (Picador, $15). Like most of the other authors on this list, Crumey is criminally underrated. He writes in the mode of Borges, Kundera, and Pavic, and is almost in the same class. This gem is about a reclusive bibliophile who strays onto the Internet in search of 18th-century rarities and ends up lost in a sea of online porn. It’s warm and wise and funny.
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The Third Policeman

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1982, Janine

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The Fountains of Neptune

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