Frederic Tuten is an author and a 2002 Pulitzer Prize juror. His most recent novel, The Green Hour (W.W. Norton & Co., $25), was published in September.
The Third Policeman by Flann OBrien (Dalkey Archive Press, $13). No one but the other Irishman James Joyce has ever made the English language sing the way OBrien does. A whimsical, chilling tale of murder, insane pedantry, time and infinity, and the souls poetry.
Gold Fools by Gilbert Sorrentino (Green Integer Press, $15). Every sentence of this 400-page pseudo boys adventure western is an interrogation. You do the answering and blend with the imaginative, comic tale, which includes gold hunts, campfire tales, and Freud.
Shadows on the Hudson by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Dutton/ Plume, $15). Singers most profound and mesmerizing novel. The threatened extinction of a religious and cultural heritage, the struggle and the renewal of faith, war, holocaust, the irrationality of our passionsall subjects born from the love story of Singers fascinating, bedeviled characters, who live their consuming dramas in the little planet of Manhattan.
The Last Days by Raymond Queneau (Dalkey Archive Press, $12). A young student comes to Paris, lives in a dump, squanders his time in a cafe whose habitués include a charming swindler and a racehorse-betting barman who never seems to lose. An education in love and daydreams told with demotic grace and internal bite.
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis Ferdinand Céline (New Directions, $14). Célines Journey to the End of the Night is also my journey, one I never would have taken without him. The novels protagonist, the world-traveling, anarchic vagabond Ferdinand, radiates all the bitter, lyrical, joyful melancholy of the last century. This novel takes your heart away while enriching it forever.
Loves That Bind