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KEV67

Best stream-of-consciousness novels

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Which are the best stream-of-consciousness novels. I have only read two: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. I think Trainspotting was stream-of-consciousness. It has been a long time since I read it.

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Wanted to bump this old thread and ask if anyone had any other recommendations?

 

Have became quite interested in this style of writing recently..

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It’s only a short story but I think Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens is really good. It’s very visual and not like anything else I’ve read. 

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On 1/31/2019 at 8:57 PM, Hayley said:

It’s only a short story but I think Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens is really good. It’s very visual and not like anything else I’ve read. 

 

I just google'd this - it's exactly the type of thing I'm looking for, thanks Hayley.

 

I've just bought it so I'll let you know my thoughts soon. :) 

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I thought Faulkner´s "A Light in August" is not only extreme stream of consciousness but so impressionistic that the words jump right into your face! The book is like someone whispering in your ear. "The Sound and the Fury is the pronto- type of the stream of consciousness . I thought it was an easy reading book. Try reading Finnegan`s Wake by James Joyce if really want to read something complicated!

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I have recently finished Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry. It is about a British consul in Mexico around 1938. He is a hopeless alcoholic. It is not an easy read, but the writing is very lyrical. It was like a stream-of-consciousness Graham Greene novel.

 

I read Ulysses by James Joyce earlier this year. Most of it was beyond my reading age, but I liked the bits I understood.

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I like stream-of-consciousness and would recommend Thomas Bernhard, Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground (be aware that this is also existentialism) and Dorothy M Richardson to name a few

 

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On 26/08/2019 at 10:18 AM, jbob40919 said:

I thought Faulkner´s "A Light in August" is not only extreme stream of consciousness but so impressionistic that the words jump right into your face! The book is like someone whispering in your ear. "The Sound and the Fury is the pronto- type of the stream of consciousness . I thought it was an easy reading book. Try reading Finnegan`s Wake by James Joyce if really want to read something complicated!

I have not read any Faulkner. I hear he's good, but I have concluded I do not like stream of consciousness books. I can put up with a bit of free indirect discourse. Is there a book of his you could recommend so I could tick him off the list?

Edited by KEV67

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9 hours ago, KEV67 said:

I have not read any Faulkner. I hear he's good, but I have concluded I do not like stream of consciousness books. I can put up with a bit of free indirect discourse. Is there a book of his you could recommend so I could tick him off the list?


William Faulkner is excellent but very difficult. I first met him in a group read on BGO of The Sound and the Fury. I may well have been the only one of the group that actually enjoyed it. I have read more since. Not all of Faulkner's are stream of consciousness, I don't know if you'd like to start there? Titles are not springing to mind at the moment although I'd say the short stories would be your best bet.

 

I also eased my way into stream of consciousness by another BGO group read of Orlando by Virginia Woolf. Orlando is a very short book so may be ideal. I haven't read any more of her since. 

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10 hours ago, KEV67 said:

I have not read any Faulkner. I hear he's good, but I have concluded I do not like stream of consciousness books. I can put up with a bit of free indirect discourse. Is there a book of his you could recommend so I could tick him off the list?


A Rose for Emily is a short story by Faulkner which is not stream of consciousness. It's available to read online but I'm not allowed to post the link.

 

 

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one I would recommend.
Very good book, if you can stick with it, and when you get the epiphany moments and get what is going on, then it is worth it.

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10 minutes ago, Marie H said:

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is one I would recommend.
Very good book, if you can stick with it, and when you get the epiphany moments and get what is going on, then it is worth it.


I absolutely love this and put it by for a re-read. I was so involved with it I didn't even realise that it was stream of consciousness!

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On 06/06/2021 at 3:27 PM, lunababymoonchild said:


I absolutely love this and put it by for a re-read. I was so involved with it I didn't even realise that it was stream of consciousness!

I’m glad that I sticked with it, as it’s a excellent book :)

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I really want to get into stream-of-consciousness writing but find it quite difficult to follow and read. :( 

 

Any tips for making it easier or any books which are a bit easier to start off with?

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12 minutes ago, Angury said:

I really want to get into stream-of-consciousness writing but find it quite difficult to follow and read. :( 

 

Any tips for making it easier or any books which are a bit easier to start off with?


I started with Orlando by Virginia Woolf. It's short and not hard to understand, imho. From there it's practice.  Dorothy M Richardson (credited with using s-o-c first) isn't hard to understand.  I definitely wouldn't try Ulysses first.

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I always found 'Ulysses' an easy read. It's 'Finnegans Wake' by James Joyce that is real challenge!

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On 7/22/2021 at 12:28 PM, lunababymoonchild said:


I started with Orlando by Virginia Woolf. It's short and not hard to understand, imho. From there it's practice.  Dorothy M Richardson (credited with using s-o-c first) isn't hard to understand.  I definitely wouldn't try Ulysses first.

 

A short book is definitely a good place to start, I shall have a look at Orlando, thanks very much!

 

I might leave Ulysses on my TBR for now..

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Stream of consciousness is very hit and miss with me. But when I do enjoy it, I tend to be completely immersed.

 

The first 15 pages of Herta Müller's 'Land of the Green Plums' was frustrating but gradually I adored it.

 

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