Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Which Novella Would You Choose?

Novellas are everywhere this month. For a fun twist on Bibliophile By the Sea's Tuesday Intro meme, I'm asking you to help me choose which one to read next.

"Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet. Hardly had she brought one gentleman into the little pantry behind the office on the groundfloor and helped him off with his overcoat when the  wheezy halldoor bell clanged again and she had to scamper along the bare hallway to let in another guest. It was well for her she had not to attend to the ladies also. But Miss Kate and Miss Julia had thought of that and had converted the bathroom upstairs into a ladies' dressingroom. Miss Kate and Miss Julia were there, gossiping and laughing and fussing, walking after each other to the head of the stairs, peering down over the banisters and calling down to Lilt to ask her who had come."

The Dead
by James Joyce

"There had been a war fought and won and the great city of the conquering people was crossed with triumphal arches and vivid with thrown flowers of white, red, and rose. All through the long spring days the returning soldiers marched up the chief highway behind the strump of drums and the joyous, resonant wind of the brasses, while merchants and clerks left their bickerings and figurings and, crowding to the windows, turned their white-bunched faces gravely upon the passing battalions."

May Day
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, based on the opening paragraph, would you choose The Dead or May Day?
Visit Bibliophile By the Sea for more Tuesday Intro posts.


  1. I have noticed the 42 novellas challenge is going on in full force around the blogging world. Both of your titles are great recommendations that I very much likely will take on, especially May Day. I read two novellas by William Trevor bound in one volume called Two Lives.

  2. Totally The Dead! What could beat James Joyce?!! :--)

  3. Ulysses scarred me for life! There's no way I could ever vote for Joyce.

  4. That's a tough one, but I would go with the James Joyce. Can't wait to hear what you think about whichever ones you chose.

  5. The Dead! Honestly, even comparing only first paragraphs, I vote Joyce.

  6. Based on the paragraphs, I'd go with the Fitzgerald. But then a Joyce novella might be the only way to get through a Joyce!

  7. The Dead, because as great as the beginning is you will love the unfolding, and especially, the end. It is unforgettable.

  8. from what i'm reading of others doing the novella challenge, the joyce is amazing! and i guess since i don't have much experience with fitzgerald.

  9. Here is my suggestion-read the Fitzgerald now and save The Dead to read during Irish Short Stories Week Year II during March 2012!-

  10. The Dead! Even for people previously intimidated by Joyce. The final paragraph will stun you!

  11. Interesting reading challenge! I would select May Day because I recently read The Paris Wife. It has made me want to revisit Fitzgerald.

    Do you have to select from a list?

  12. Matt - This is a great challenge. I'm sure I will end up reading both of these... and extending the challenge beyond the month of August.

    Rhapsodyinbooks - That first paragraph convinced me.

    Softdrink - LOL! All the stories I've read from Dubliners have been very approachable, but you'll never see me crack the spine of Ulysses!!

    Diane - I'll go with Joyce first, but will read May Day soon.

    Nicole - My thoughts, exactly!

    Lisa - LOL! I've read a few of Joyce's short stories, but you'll never get me to read one of his novels.

    DS - I've seen some amazing reviews of The Dead this month. I'm planning to read it this weekend.

    luxehours - We must be reading the same reviews! I love Fitzgerald, too, so I'm going to read both.

    Mel u - Even if I read Joyce now, you can be sure I'll have something else lined up for Irish Short Story Week!

    Frances - Can't wait! I'm loving this challenge.

    Lee - I'm listening to The Paris Wife on audio now - about 3/4 through. The challenge is for Melville House's new Art of the Novella series. I think there are 42 classic novellas included. If you click on the image to the right of my home page, you should be able to get the complete list.

  13. the Fitzgerald,b ecause it's the one I really want to read and I want to know what you think!

  14. Marie - LOL! Joyce's opening pulled me toward The Dead, but I'll definitely read May Day, too. May not get to it this month during the official challenge though...

  15. I have read both of these this month, and I NEVER thought I would say so, but I think the Joyce edges out the Fitzgerald.

  16. Thomas - Never thought I'd see a comment like that from you, either! LOL! I read The Dead today and will get to May Day next week.

  17. I know I'm late. I second softdrink. Joyce - blech.

    I've read May Day. I didn't realize it was a novella--was included in my collection of short stories by Fitzgerald. Or maybe I read a shortened version of it? Anyway, I really liked it--one of my favorite Fitzgerald stories. I do remember it being pretty sad, though.

  18. Trish - I ended up reading The Dead and really liked it! It may just change your opinion of Joyce. Still, don't expect to see my pick up Ulysses - ever!


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