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Malcolm Bradbury Short Stories Themes

Which three books should every high school student in America be required to read in order to be able to graduate, and why?

My choices for 3 books are based on the books that affected and moved me as a teenager. Being Australian, they may not all be well known to foreign readers.1. 'Power without Glory' by Frank Hardy - This classic novel was based fairly closely on real events and people in Melbourne in the 1940's. It is gritty and full of authentic characters and a timeless story of corruption and greed and what happens to those who seek it and are trodden down by it. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pow... ]2. 'My Brother Jack' by George Johnson - another book set in Melbourne, the first in a trilogy. The characters, again are very authentic and the tale, full of truths about life and the human conditon.[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_... ]3. 'Tess of the d'Urbevilles' - This book of course is the Thomas Hardy classic. The power and drama of this book gripped me as a teenager, and I still remember vividly scenes and relationship dynamics between the central characters. The plight of Tess and particularly the flawed self righteous character of Angel Clare, haunted me for many years. (I also learned the word 'prestidigitation' from this book. (Angel Clare: "What gross prestidigitation is this?") Love that word...As an addendum, because the first two were Australian. I would include 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding. (every teen should read this! Particularly now as the situations in the book correspond to what happens all too often on the web) Also, I would include 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell, for almost the same reasons. The lessons of these books are timeless.

What are the best time travel stories ever made?

There have been a lot of time travel stories, and the matter of which is "best" depends on what you're looking for. The best written time travel stories are almost certainly Connie Willis's Oxford time travel novels, in which near future historians from Oxford University travel back to study England's past. Short story collection Fire Watch and twin novels Blackout and All Clear are set in WWII. To Say Nothing of the Dog is a comedic novel set in Victorian times. My favourite is Doomsday Book set in the 1300s.Other famous examples of time travel in literature include Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity, Heinlein's All You Zombies and By His Bootstraps, Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, Arthur C. Clarke's All The Time In the World,  HG Wells' The Time Machine (and sort-of sequel, Christopher Priest's The Space Machine). Less well known but perhaps better at pushing the paradoxes of time travel are Charles Stross's novella Palimpsest and Iain M. Banks's Transition   (arguably). If you go onto television, Star Trek had a number of time travel stories, and there was Quantum Leap, but the daddy of TV time travel is Doctor Who. The Doctor's timey-wimiest moments are probably in the episodes Blink, The Pandora Opens / The Big Bang, Under The Lake / Before the Flood and The Day of the Doctor. Moving on to film, special mentions for Safety Not Guaranteed for keeping you guessing as to whether it's actually about time travel, and to Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits for just being charming (and check out what the Castle of Ultimate Evil is made of) but not really about time travel. The recent X-Men: Days of Future Past had some nice touches, but was really just a way to retcon the series. I would say that the best movies for time travel are Looper, Twelve Monkeys, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure ("remember the bin") and Primer. The first three of those are notable for how far they go to explore - within their own rules - what you can and can't do with time travel. But they've got nothing on Primer. Made for $7,000, Shane Carruth's film makes no concessions to its audience - you may need to watch it multiple times to understand what's going on at all. But it is probably the most thorough and logical exploration of time travel ever committed to film.

What are some books a well- read person shoulfd read?

To Chuck-
Thank-you for such a complete list! I have sadly already read only 5 of those many many books on your list- eeek! I have some trips to the library to make!!

What are the ten best English language novels?

Purely opinionated, but these are high opinions. I also assume you mean classics of English literature.Ulysses, by James JoyceFor Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest HemingwayThe Great Gatsby, by F. Scott FitzgeraldOne Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García MárquezTo Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper LeeThe Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. TolkienAtlas Shrugged, by Ayn RandCatch-22, by Joseph HellerBrave New World, by Alduous HuxleyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Samuel “Mark Twain” ClemensThere are many more, but these are some at the top of my favorites.