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1960's/70's novel recommendations

I'm a millennial but have always had an affinity for 60's/70's/early 80's books and cinema. I've been on a quest to build up a nice library of some of my favorite comfort reads from this era that I've somehow lost over the years in moves, breakups, etc. So far I've ordered Joyce Carol Oates' 'Expensive People'; James Baldwin's 'Another Country'; Ira Levin's 'Rosemary's Baby'; Sue Kauffman's 'Diary of a Mad Housewife'; Roald Dahl's 'Kiss Kiss'; Judith Rossner's 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar', and Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood'.

Would love some more recommendations of a similar feel from a similar era.

by Anonymousreply 185March 19, 2024 12:59 AM

I'm biased because I studied her in college and then went into academia, but I love reading Morrison's "Sula" and "Song of Solomon" back to back as a kind of gender focused flipped coin. I'm about ready for a re-read now that I think about it.

by Anonymousreply 1January 6, 2024 11:20 PM

I liked The Left Hand of Darkness

by Anonymousreply 2January 6, 2024 11:20 PM

You might try HAPPY ALL THE TIME by Laurie Colwin, DOLORES by Jacqueline Susann (her take on Jackie O), and of course DL fave ORDINARY PEOPLE by Judith Guest.

by Anonymousreply 3January 6, 2024 11:24 PM

Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives is a fun snapshot of 70s feminist politics in a suburban setting. A quick read and miles better than any of the film adaptations.

by Anonymousreply 4January 6, 2024 11:34 PM

Judith Rossner's "August" from 1983 is a good read.

You might also try Oates's "Mysteries of Winterthurn" from 1984.

by Anonymousreply 5January 6, 2024 11:44 PM

"Desperate Characters" by Paula Fox

"Corregidora" by Gayl Jones

"The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon

"Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner

"Ragtime" by EL Doctorow

"A Sport and a Pastime" by James Salter

"Herzog" by Saul Bellow

by Anonymousreply 6January 6, 2024 11:47 PM

Two books of their time (1970s) that no one reads any more: FEAR OF FLYING by Erica Jong and JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach.

by Anonymousreply 7January 6, 2024 11:48 PM

The Fan by Bob Randall is one I reread every few years. It’s very cleverly written in epistolary style. Yes it’s the basis of the Lauren Bacall film but it’s much better. Despite the format the main characters are very well developed and you also get a good feel for 1970s Broadway

by Anonymousreply 8January 6, 2024 11:57 PM

Seconding Herzog. Very funny and sad.

Other suggestions:

Executioner's Song Go Ask Alice Leah

by Anonymousreply 9January 6, 2024 11:59 PM

Almost any John O'Hara novel. From The Terrace is a masterpiece, I think.

by Anonymousreply 10January 7, 2024 12:12 AM

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

by Anonymousreply 11January 7, 2024 12:25 AM

John Cheever- Falconer and Bullet Park; also his short stories , particularly The Swimmer

by Anonymousreply 12January 7, 2024 12:27 AM

Irwin Shaw's "Rich Man, Poor Man" (1969) is a family saga that reflects a lot of the cultural changes of the post-war period. It may not be great literature, but it's an engrossing page-turner.

by Anonymousreply 13January 7, 2024 12:38 AM

The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton)

The Poseidon Adventure (Paul Gallico)

The Front Runner (Patricia Nell Warren)

Lord Love a Duck (Al Hine)

Ragtime (E.L. Doctorow)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

by Anonymousreply 14January 7, 2024 12:41 AM

Taipan and Shogun by James Clavell

by Anonymousreply 15January 7, 2024 12:47 AM

For horror, there are these two novels by Thomas Tryon:

The Other

Harvest Home

by Anonymousreply 16January 7, 2024 1:10 AM

The Happy Hooker. You can thank me later.

by Anonymousreply 17January 7, 2024 2:21 AM

Little Me by Patrick Dennis.

by Anonymousreply 18January 7, 2024 2:29 AM

Two novels by Herman Wouk - “Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” - sort of appropriate for what is going on in the world today - plus they are really “good reads.”

by Anonymousreply 19January 7, 2024 2:46 AM

Scruples remains the best of the sex-and-shopping genre.

by Anonymousreply 20January 7, 2024 2:57 AM

R20 is correct.

by Anonymousreply 21January 7, 2024 3:02 AM


by Anonymousreply 22January 7, 2024 3:17 AM


by Anonymousreply 23January 7, 2024 3:33 AM

Thanks for all the fantastic suggestions! Been on an amazon buying spree tonight. Keep 'em coming!

by Anonymousreply 24January 7, 2024 5:27 AM

Perhaps the best novel I read last year was Sudden Rain by Maritta Wolff. Though not published until 2005 it was written in 1973 and takes place around then. It's a riveting portrait of marriage and mores in southern California, and the climax is an apocalyptic weather event.

The writing is extraordinarily visceral and the time capsule aspect of it is fascinating. I couldn't put it down. Upon publication, it was critically acclaimed. Brett Easton Ellis is one of its fans.

by Anonymousreply 25January 7, 2024 6:29 AM

Seconding Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, which is a really fun, raunchy read.

by Anonymousreply 26January 7, 2024 6:32 AM

Valley of the Dolls

The Love Machine

My Way of Life Joan Crawford

by Anonymousreply 27January 7, 2024 6:33 AM

The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

by Anonymousreply 28January 7, 2024 6:36 AM

I went through a long phase of buying old paperbacks from those times. More non-fiction than novels, but I was really looking for anything that captured the zeitgeist of the era.

Xaviera Hollander wrote several books besides Happy Hooker and I loved them all.

Everything Jackie Susann is a must, of course, but I really enjoyed "Every Night, Josephine!" I couldn't imagine anything more glamorous than living in a hotel penthouse.

My Face For The World To See by Liz Renay.

Everything Helen Gurley Brown - Sex and the Single Girl, etc.

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

Helter Skelter - Vincent Bugliosi

Even Cowgirls Get The Blues - Tom Robbins

by Anonymousreply 29January 7, 2024 6:58 AM

Google "Irwin Shaw" and "Irving Wallace," prolific writers of fiction in the '60s and '70s.

by Anonymousreply 30January 7, 2024 9:44 AM

Rabbit, Run by John Updike

World According to Garp by John Irving

by Anonymousreply 31January 7, 2024 9:49 AM

“The Thorn Birds” and “Tim” by Colleen McCullough

by Anonymousreply 32January 7, 2024 11:28 AM

Lots of great recommendations here. Brings back memories of some wonderful reads from the time.

by Anonymousreply 33January 7, 2024 12:23 PM

Flowers in the Attic The World According to Garp The Stand The Shining (10 times better than the movie) And my favorite of all time, Sophie’s Choice.

by Anonymousreply 34January 7, 2024 12:34 PM

The Carpet Baggers

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 35January 7, 2024 12:36 PM

Let’s try that again:

Flowers in the Attic

The Stand

The Shining (10 times better than the movie)

The World According to Garp

And my favorite novel of all time, Sophie’s Choice

by Anonymousreply 36January 7, 2024 12:38 PM

Addie Pray - it’s the book upon which the movie Paper Moon was based. The movie only covered the first half of the book.

Confederacy of Dunces.

by Anonymousreply 37January 7, 2024 12:53 PM

Love many of these suggestions: I admire Joyce Carol Oates for her stamina alone and “Expensive People” (an early work) is remarkable as is “Wonderland” I would add anything by Donald Barthelme, Margaret Atwood’s “Edible Woman,” Joy Williams’ “Breaking and Entering,” Roth (not one of my favorite writers but) “Portnoy’s Complaint,” Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children,” and anything by James Baldwin from this period. I’m not a fan of Updike but, if I must, “Couples.”

by Anonymousreply 38January 7, 2024 1:22 PM

I’m seconding R11’s suggestion Flowers For Algernon, but I would say read the short story version as opposed to the novel version.

by Anonymousreply 39January 7, 2024 1:38 PM

"Something Happened" by Joseph Heller

"End Zone" by Don DeLillo

"Play it As it Lays" and "Book of Common Prayer" by Joan Didion

by Anonymousreply 40January 7, 2024 1:43 PM

One huge bestseller was EXODUS by Leon Uris. Has anyone here ever read it? Does it hold up?

by Anonymousreply 41January 7, 2024 1:43 PM

I know it's not a novel, OP, but Linda Lovelace's autobiography is fascinating, if sad. Gives a good picture of the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 42January 7, 2024 2:03 PM

Coincidentally, I just finished Paula Fox's DESPERATE CHARACTERS (1970) yesterday. Judging by all the blurbs on the cover, it appears to be quite the cult favorite of lots of famous novelists and Jonathan Franzen wrote the lengthy intro for the paperback.

The story of a discontented upper middle class couple in Brooklyn and a vivid satire of changing times, I found it rather nasty with one unlikeable character after another. But it's only about 160 pages so I read it to the end. Some here might really love it though.

by Anonymousreply 43January 7, 2024 2:12 PM

r43, there's a fascinating film adaptation of it with Shirley Maclaine and (I think) Kenneth Mars. It is so much of the era it is worth seeing just for that.

Fun fact: Paula Fox is Courtney Love's grandmother.

by Anonymousreply 44January 7, 2024 2:16 PM

r44, I actually watched some clips from the MacLaine film yesterday when I finished the book. It does seem to capture its odd tone.

by Anonymousreply 45January 7, 2024 2:22 PM

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

by Anonymousreply 46January 7, 2024 2:42 PM

The Rabbi mystery sleuth series

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 47January 7, 2024 2:48 PM

[quote]Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Rabbit Redux and Rabbit is Rich take you through the late '70s and are really good time capsules.

by Anonymousreply 48January 7, 2024 2:53 PM

Master of the Game and The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon were very popular back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 49January 7, 2024 3:01 PM

The Other by Thomas Tryon

by Anonymousreply 50January 7, 2024 3:04 PM

R41 - I have a gorgeous hardback first edition of Exxodus Thai have been meaning to read - especially now with Israel and Gaza - WHY aid my brain getting smaller? I also have 2 other Leon Uris books QBVII (is that mini series available anywhere?) and MILA 17 about the Holocaust

I LOVED Sophie’s Choice

Another gorgeous Hardback on my shelf - tried it again after the Maui fires - Full of beautiful maps I have that I valiantly tried is James Michener's “Hawaii.” - I wind up on Datalounge

What is that great insult line from “Gypsy?”l - “She reads Book Reviews like ‘they was’ books!”

I was smarter a few years ago. LOVE Valley of the Dolls.

by Anonymousreply 51January 7, 2024 3:08 PM

[quote]I have a gorgeous hardback first edition of Exxodus Thai have been meaning to read - especially now with Israel and Gaza - WHY aid my brain getting smaller?


by Anonymousreply 52January 7, 2024 3:13 PM

I'm surprised Arthur Hailey hasn't been mentioned yet. He was extremely popular in the 60s/70s.

AIRPORT is probably his most well-known title, but I remember really liking HOTEL when I read it eons ago.

by Anonymousreply 53January 7, 2024 3:30 PM

Z for Zachary

by Anonymousreply 54January 7, 2024 3:36 PM

So far unmentioned (or unseen):

Dancer from the Dance - Andrew Holleran

The Women's Room - Marilyn French

The Moviegoer - Walker Percy

A Place to Come to - Robert Penn Warren

The Sweet Dove Died - Barbara Pym

A Boy's Own Story - Edmund White

The Sea, The Sea - Iris Murdoch

Light Years - James Salter

Tapping the Source - Kem Nunn

The Source of Light - Reynolds Price

A Start in Life - Anita Brookner

by Anonymousreply 55January 7, 2024 3:42 PM

Forget the movies, read the book from the '60s -- DUNE.

It'll make you think about a whole new world.

by Anonymousreply 56January 7, 2024 3:46 PM

More Ursula K LeGuin!

by Anonymousreply 57January 7, 2024 3:47 PM

"Play It as It Lays" by Joan Didion (1970)

by Anonymousreply 58January 7, 2024 4:53 PM

Read Jaquiline Suzanne's " Once Is Not enough". It was written in the 70's and I got quite an education from it. It probably doesn't read the same way now, but give it a read.

by Anonymousreply 59January 7, 2024 6:43 PM

[quote] Read Jaquiline Suzanne's

by Anonymousreply 60January 7, 2024 6:54 PM

The Day of the Jackal

That’s how an 11year old me learned the word cunnilingus…although I knew enough then that it wasn’t for me.

by Anonymousreply 61January 7, 2024 7:01 PM

But what about quality writing from the 60s and 70s? Enough about all the trash.

by Anonymousreply 62January 7, 2024 7:01 PM

There's a lot of quality writing on this thread, r62.

There's also a lot of trash. OP did not specify which he wanted, which is creating your problem.

by Anonymousreply 63January 7, 2024 7:08 PM

r6, I know you're right and WW'd your first reply. Thank you for those suggestions (I'm the poster who read Desperate Characters). But I'm just hoping this thread doesn't devolve into the Jacqueline Susanne/Arthur Hailey/Jackie Collins hour.

by Anonymousreply 64January 7, 2024 7:16 PM

The World According to Garp

by Anonymousreply 65January 7, 2024 7:22 PM

Chiming in to recommend Addie Pray, by Joe David Brown. As mentioned above, the film version (Paper Moon) only covered about half the novel. But more to the point, entertaining as the film was, it didn't come close to the wry humor of the novel. Definitely one to seek out!

by Anonymousreply 66January 7, 2024 7:36 PM

Peter Benchley's JAWS

by Anonymousreply 67January 7, 2024 7:42 PM

Go Ask Alice

by Anonymousreply 68January 7, 2024 8:06 PM

Small voice - “Roots”

by Anonymousreply 69January 7, 2024 8:11 PM

If you just want some story, maybe try Evan Hunter/Ed McBain Last Summer and Come Winter.

Trash reading: Jacqueline Susann, of course - The Love Machine, and Valley of the Dolls changed how popular fiction was sold in our society.

Another rec here for Stepford Wives.

Arthur Hailey is an excellent choice too for a multi-plot novel brought together by a common location: Airport, Hotel.

In gay mystery fiction, read samples of Carleton Carpenter's novels, the Dave Brandstetter mysteries by Joseph Hansen, and the Pharoah Love novels by George Baxt. You'll either respond to them and read more, or not.

by Anonymousreply 70January 7, 2024 8:16 PM

Lady by Tom Tryon

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 71January 7, 2024 8:20 PM

After Claude by Iris Owen

Funny and shocking. A woman gets dumped by her boyfriend and tries to get revenge on him and tries to set her roommate up to be sexually assaulted. She finally finds piece as a submissive to a dominant man.

It sounds tawdry, but it reads as sharp satire/character study.

by Anonymousreply 72January 7, 2024 8:44 PM

Charles Portis is a marvelous, funny writer who's finally getting some of the respect he deserves as one of the best American writers of the 20th century. Check out NORWOOD and TRUE GRIT.

by Anonymousreply 73January 7, 2024 9:39 PM

I always enjoyed the novels of Irene Kampen. Her book Life Without George was the basis for The Lucy Show. My favorite was Due to Lack of Interest Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled, which was a fictionalized telling of her return to college in middle age, during the turmoil of the late sixties. A great take on hippie culture and the follies of middle age.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 74January 7, 2024 9:54 PM

William Goldman's BOYS AND GIRLS TOGETHER, from 1964. Five main characters from different parts of the country, all ending up in New York to pursue their dreams. TOTALLY absorbing. Quite of bit of gay content as well, some of it dated but quite realistic for the time. Very cinematic too, as Goldman was a screenwriter - he wrote the screenplays for BUTCH CASSIDY an his other novels, MARATHON MAN and MAGIC. But none of them were as good as this. I picked up the paperback at a drug store in the late 60s and have never forgotten it.

You won't be disappointed - trust me!

by Anonymousreply 75January 7, 2024 10:25 PM

R62 I certainly do not turn my nose up at good midcentury trash.

by Anonymousreply 76January 7, 2024 10:30 PM

Does anyone know GOOD TIMES/BAD TIMES by James Kirkwood? While not exactly a "gay" novel there is much gay subtext in this story about a prep school in the 70s and its obsessive headmaster. I read it when I was young, loved it, and maybe it would be described as YA now.

by Anonymousreply 77January 7, 2024 10:43 PM

There's also his There Must Be a Pony.

by Anonymousreply 78January 7, 2024 10:46 PM

R77 we’ve all seen The Holdevers..

by Anonymousreply 79January 7, 2024 10:47 PM


by Anonymousreply 80January 7, 2024 10:52 PM

Giamatti, you've got no gay subtext.

by Anonymousreply 81January 7, 2024 10:53 PM

Never managed to get a film adaptation, r75

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 82January 7, 2024 10:55 PM

R81 says you

by Anonymousreply 83January 7, 2024 10:59 PM

I second The Women's Room. I've read it many times since it first came out and I get something new from it each time.

You also might want to give Kinflicks a try. A stereotypical southern teenage beauty queen gets into communes, protests, and lesbianism. Great fun!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 84January 7, 2024 11:10 PM

Myra Breckinridge

by Anonymousreply 85January 7, 2024 11:19 PM

Marathon Man

The Godfather

Humboldt's Gift


The Word

Rosemary's Baby

Ice Station Zebra

by Anonymousreply 86January 7, 2024 11:20 PM

In junior high school in the 1960s we were all obsessed with Pat Frank's dystopian novel ALAS, BABYLON.

by Anonymousreply 87January 7, 2024 11:24 PM

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

by Anonymousreply 88January 7, 2024 11:24 PM

R84. It was assigned reading in my Women in Politics course - Poli Sci 150 - @ Cal… well-worth it.

by Anonymousreply 89January 7, 2024 11:28 PM

oh my

by Anonymousreply 90January 7, 2024 11:36 PM

Has anyone read INSIDE DAISY CLOVER by Gavin Lambert? I've been meaning to for years.

by Anonymousreply 91January 7, 2024 11:38 PM

Am I the first poster to mention Mary Renault??

by Anonymousreply 92January 7, 2024 11:38 PM

Larry McMurtry - Terms of Endearment, All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers

by Anonymousreply 93January 8, 2024 12:03 AM

Ross MacDonald was a wonderful writer of hardboiled private detective fiction that had real literary depth. His great theme was dysfunctional families and many of his best novels were written in the 60s. The Far Side of the Dollar is probably my favorite, but also check out The Chill, The Zebra-Striped Hearse, and Black Money.

by Anonymousreply 94January 8, 2024 1:06 AM

In Cold Blood

To Kill A Mockingbird

Slaughterhouse 5

by Anonymousreply 95January 8, 2024 1:14 AM

Ruth Rendell, author of wonderfully dark psychological suspense novels, wrote a lot of her best work during this period. Judgment in Stone is her masterpiece, but also check out Lake of Darkness and A Demon in My View.

by Anonymousreply 96January 8, 2024 1:26 AM

And don't forget Cat's Cradle, R95!

by Anonymousreply 97January 8, 2024 1:28 AM

Wide Sargasso Sea

The Bell Jar

by Anonymousreply 98January 8, 2024 1:36 AM

Julian Symons seems pretty much forgotten now and I guess he was never that big in the US but his Hitchcockian mysteries and thrillers of the 60s and 70s are brilliant if you can find them anywhere. The Belting Inheritance, The 31st of February, The End oif Solomon Grundy, The Blackheath Poisonings are just a few of my favorite titles.

For Brit mystery fans, I also loved Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe mysteries.

And, of course, Ruth Rendell. '

by Anonymousreply 99January 8, 2024 1:41 AM

Most of Agatha Christie' s best work was published decades earlier, but she still churned out some good novels during this period. Some of the best were The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (a Miss Marple mystery), Endless Night (a stand-alone mystery), and Curtain (the final Hercule Poirot novel, written in the 1940s but not published until 1975) .

by Anonymousreply 100January 8, 2024 1:43 AM

John Irving's "The World According to Garp": A 29th century, Dickensian novel

Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds": a good page turner

For good horror...Stephen King's novels.

There was another novel like a King horror. It was about the disappearance/murder of a young woman in the 1920s or 1930s in a New England town. A group of friends who are now upstanding citizens of the town were responsible for it and are covering for each other. A young guy investigates it, and there is a woman who may be the reincarnation of the murdered woman. Not literature, but a good page turner. Anyone remember the title? Circa 1979/1980. It was made into a film.

by Anonymousreply 101January 8, 2024 2:14 AM

[quote] Ross MacDonald was a wonderful writer of hardboiled private detective fiction that had real literary depth. His great theme was dysfunctional families and many of his best novels were written in the 60s. The Far Side of the Dollar is probably my favorite, but also check out The Chill, The Zebra-Striped Hearse, and Black Money.

The Chill is my favorite. The ending blew me away--I did not see it coming, but it made perfect sense.

But all the books in that series are great (though you named most of my favorites).

by Anonymousreply 102January 8, 2024 2:15 AM

The Glass Inferno

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 103January 8, 2024 2:27 AM

“Fear of Flying” is terrible and boring. I tried it a few years ago and all that analyst shit was the worst.

by Anonymousreply 104January 8, 2024 2:51 AM

BOYS AND GIRLS TOGETHER would have made a great miniseries. And it was not nearly as dark and depressing as the reviews made it sound.

by Anonymousreply 105January 8, 2024 4:13 AM

The Stand by Stephen King. The Shining is better but by now everyone has seen the movie.

by Anonymousreply 106January 8, 2024 4:42 AM

Wow - I love this thread - it brings back memories of books that I have read and enjoyed - but wow - so many now that I would love to jump into now!

by Anonymousreply 107January 8, 2024 5:22 AM

The Serial by Cyra McFadden is hilarious and a perfect encapsulation of a particular Southern California locale and a very post-60s vibe.

I love Laurie Colwin’s work and am really happy to see her mentioned here.

I’d include Bobbie Ann Mason’s work from the early 80s as well, particularly In Country.

by Anonymousreply 108January 8, 2024 5:24 AM

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein.

by Anonymousreply 109January 8, 2024 5:27 AM

1978, I was 15, I randomly found this book series at Waldenbooks in my local Orange County mall. Didn't have the guts to buy it there, so I hit up a used bookstore, snagging it for just 50 cents in paperback. Got home, tore through it. Even though I didn't totally get all the ins and outs of post-war New York City's gay scene, those sex scenes were downright thrilling and hit me in all right places. It might not be a literary masterpiece, but it did land a spot on the New York Times bestseller list back then, and for that horny teen, it was a godsend.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 110January 8, 2024 5:39 AM

R102, I agree about the ending of The Chill--it"s an all-time banger.

Did you know that they were going to make a movie of The Chill starring Bette Davis as Mrs. Bradshaw? Ah, what could have been! It could have been her last great role. She would have slayed

by Anonymousreply 111January 8, 2024 2:16 PM

[quote]There was another novel like a King horror. It was about the disappearance/murder of a young woman in the 1920s or 1930s in a New England town. A group of friends who are now upstanding citizens of the town were responsible for it and are covering for each other. A young guy investigates it, and there is a woman who may be the reincarnation of the murdered woman. Anyone remember the title?

GHOST STORY by Peter Straub. One of my favorite horror novels, along with the previously mentioned THE OTHER by Thomas Tryon.

by Anonymousreply 112January 8, 2024 2:25 PM

The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren.

by Anonymousreply 113January 8, 2024 2:29 PM

The "The Fan" by Bob Randall.

It was the first epistolary novel I ever read, and I loved the structure and, of course, the diva the fan worshiped. I googled Randall to see what else he'd written. According to Wikipedia, he wrote and produced "Kate and Allie," a sadly forgotten TV show. And I was sorry to find that he died in 1995 as a result of AIDS complications.

by Anonymousreply 114January 8, 2024 4:55 PM

One The is sufficient, r114.

by Anonymousreply 115January 8, 2024 4:56 PM

^^^ You tell 'em, Miss Vance!

by Anonymousreply 116January 8, 2024 6:59 PM

Doctor Rat, by William Kotzwinkle

by Anonymousreply 117January 8, 2024 8:19 PM

Where The High Winds Blow, by David Walker

by Anonymousreply 118January 8, 2024 8:26 PM

Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg is a great noir/horror detective novel.

by Anonymousreply 119January 8, 2024 8:51 PM

Thank you, R112.

"Ghost Story" scared the shit out of me!

by Anonymousreply 120January 12, 2024 1:00 AM

R120-However, I tried to revisit it recently and it doesn't hold up. Others have done horror so much better than Straub.

by Anonymousreply 121January 12, 2024 2:05 AM

Any recommendations for novels written or set in 70s Los Angeles?

by Anonymousreply 122January 12, 2024 2:33 AM

“Suffer The Children”. John Saul

“Suffer The Children Some More”. John Saul

“I’m Making Money, Find Me More Kiddies To Torture” John Saul

by Anonymousreply 123January 12, 2024 2:52 AM

R122, Play It as It Lays and Tapping the Source, both mentioned upthread, are set in 70s-ish LA and were published during that period. I'd recommend both. Also Maritta Wolff's Sudden Rain, Eve Babitz's Eve's Hollywood, Carolyn See's Golden Days, Kate Braverman's Lithium for Medea, and Pynchon's Inherent Vice, which is set in '69 LA.

by Anonymousreply 124January 12, 2024 3:08 AM

"Play It as It Lays" by Joan Didion

"The Goodby People" [sic] by Gavin Lambert

"Sudden rain" by Maritta Wolf

"Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon

"Daisy Jones and the Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

by Anonymousreply 125January 12, 2024 3:09 AM

Gorgeous list, R125

by Anonymousreply 126January 12, 2024 4:25 AM

The family of Max Desir

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 127January 12, 2024 4:32 AM

[quote]Any recommendations for novels written or set in 70s Los Angeles?

Joseph Wambaugh's books.

by Anonymousreply 128January 12, 2024 5:02 AM

“The Sword of Shannara” didn’t take place in Los Angeles, but it was a blockbuster in ‘77

by Anonymousreply 129January 12, 2024 5:04 AM

122 - I read it years ago and really enjoyed it “Where the Truth Lies” by Rupert Holmes. ….

by Anonymousreply 130January 12, 2024 7:42 AM

Non-fiction but very LA:

The White Album - Joan Didion

Slow Days, Fast Company - Eve Babitz

by Anonymousreply 131January 12, 2024 9:15 AM

I can't believe no one has mentioned Crowned Heads by Thomas Tryon. 4 novellas about tragic Hollywood actors: A Russian actress who never ages; A Marilyn Monroe character who goes crazy in Mexico with a horrible tragic ending; a former child star who disappears and a Fred Astair-like actor who gets invaded by a Manson=like gang. Wonderfully gothic and campy at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 132January 13, 2024 12:42 PM

R132 That sounds AMAZING. Just ordered!

by Anonymousreply 133January 14, 2024 12:31 AM

"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" by Hannah Green. Kind of grim, but has a very 70s feel to it.

by Anonymousreply 134January 14, 2024 1:11 AM

[quote]BOYS AND GIRLS TOGETHER would have made a great miniseries.

I agree.

In 1976, it was announced that NBC and MTM Productions were developing it as a 12-hour miniseries, but it never aired.

Strange that it's never been adapted; it's well-suited.

by Anonymousreply 135January 14, 2024 2:44 AM

CROWNED HEADS is very good - however, the actor whose home is invaded is based on the very real Ramon Navarro. This chapter is quite gruesome IIRC. I remember being pretty shocked by it at the time, and I'm not easily shockable.

The first chapter, FEDORA, is of course based on Garbo. Billy Wilder made it into a very awful 1978 film, with William Holden looking at his absolute alcoholic worst.

by Anonymousreply 136January 14, 2024 3:03 PM

R135-That's probably because the book was by the insufferable William Goldman, who thought he was God's gift to screenwriters. He fucked up more projects than he finished.

by Anonymousreply 137January 15, 2024 2:29 AM

Thank you @R131 and @R124 and @R128 and @R131

by Anonymousreply 138January 15, 2024 3:46 AM

Oh boy - I fell down a rabbit hole looking up Thomas Tyron’s books! But please - please - can someone give me a spoiler - in the book “ Lady” - what was the big twist? What was her secret?

by Anonymousreply 139January 15, 2024 5:56 AM

To my utter amazement, my local library carries CROWNED HEADS. I put it on my request list and it should be ready in a day or two. They have LADY and HARVEST HOME as well.

Hopefully the temps will be out of the fucking SINGLE DIGITS by then!!!

by Anonymousreply 140January 15, 2024 6:35 PM

To me, Tryon's novels read like screenplays, much like the novels of Jacqueline Susann and Judith Krantz.

by Anonymousreply 141January 15, 2024 6:39 PM

The Dispossessed by U K Le Guin.

She based a main character on an old family friend, some guy named Oppenheimer.

by Anonymousreply 142January 15, 2024 8:49 PM

I just finished CROWNED HEADS, which I got from my local library. It was a first edition copy from 1975, and as has been discussed in another book thread, the first impression I had when I opened it was how dense the print was - not that it was tiny or difficult to read, but the pages were just full of text - all 400 of them. Margins, but no white space like you see in most books today. It was a little jarring.

There were four separate novellas, with just small bits of cross referencing, all of them extremely vivid and well written. But I have to say the final one - "Willie" - was very, VERY difficult to read. It was as gruesome as I remembered it (if not more) and bordered on torture porn, except for the fact that Tryon was a really, really good writer. But be advised -it is not for the squeamish.

I'm going to move on to HARVEST HOME next.

by Anonymousreply 143January 31, 2024 10:55 PM

Kinflicks by Lisa Alther. A hilarious lesbian coming-of-age tale.

by Anonymousreply 144January 31, 2024 11:16 PM

Ignore any book recommended by posters who write the title in capitals.

by Anonymousreply 145January 31, 2024 11:18 PM

Two of my favorite Philip Roth novels: Letting Go and Goodbye, Columbus.

by Anonymousreply 146January 31, 2024 11:18 PM

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. Another hilarious coming-of-age lez novel. Whatever happened to this kind of writing?

by Anonymousreply 147January 31, 2024 11:22 PM

"Serpentine" (nonfiction) by Thomas Thompson.

Many more to come. What a great thread!

by Anonymousreply 148February 1, 2024 1:10 AM

Surprised no one has yet mentioned two biggies from 1973: THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT by Sidney Sheldon; and THE FIRST DEADLY SIN by Lawrence Sanders. Both of them made very shitty movies, but the books were great. And both authors cranked out sequel after sequel, but these first two were their best work.

by Anonymousreply 149February 1, 2024 10:57 PM

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, by Laird Koenig

by Anonymousreply 150February 1, 2024 11:01 PM

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin

The Andromeda Strain

Anything by Irving Wallace, or Arthur Hailey, or Alistair MacLean.

by Anonymousreply 151February 11, 2024 4:12 PM

The Seven Minutes

by Anonymousreply 152February 11, 2024 4:13 PM

"The Friends of Eddie Coyle" by George V. Higgins.

The movie was good. Mitchum was incredible. The book was better.

by Anonymousreply 153February 11, 2024 4:20 PM

r101 I think I saw that movie, the movie was called Ghost Story the novel is by Peter Straub (Stephen King's pen name)

by Anonymousreply 154February 11, 2024 4:58 PM

r146, I read Roth's LETTING GO when I was in college in the early 70s and enjoyed it, but read it again last summer and LOVED it. Got so much more out of it with more age on and wisdom .

Libby is one of the most memorable 20th century female characters ever written. Shame he didn't feature more women sympathetically in more of his novels (not that I've read everything he wrote so I could be missing something).

by Anonymousreply 155February 11, 2024 6:38 PM

Peter Straub was not Stephen King's pen name R154.

by Anonymousreply 156February 11, 2024 6:50 PM

Humboldt's Gift

by Anonymousreply 157February 11, 2024 8:57 PM

"when I was in college in the early 70s" - Very elderly, no wonder you use all caps.

by Anonymousreply 158February 12, 2024 5:07 PM

Once Is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann

by Anonymousreply 159February 12, 2024 10:18 PM

Recently watched "Murder on the Orient Express" (1971), if that qualifies.

Had never seen it before and liked it.

by Anonymousreply 160February 13, 2024 2:40 AM

Ooops! Sorry. OP mentioned cinema.

by Anonymousreply 161February 13, 2024 2:54 AM

Thomas Tryon’s The Other

by Anonymousreply 162February 13, 2024 3:20 AM

Reader’s Digest

by Anonymousreply 163February 13, 2024 3:21 AM

Up Your Ass by Valerie Solanis

by Anonymousreply 164February 13, 2024 6:51 PM

r158, I am elderly, soon to hit 75, and very proud of it and all I've accomplished in my life. Wealthy and healthy in retirement and happily spending my days reading wonderful, stimulating fiction and generously contributing a lot to these book threads.

What's your story?

by Anonymousreply 165February 13, 2024 7:14 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 166February 13, 2024 7:22 PM

The Magus

by Anonymousreply 167February 16, 2024 9:23 PM

Once Is Not Enough.

by Anonymousreply 168February 24, 2024 4:18 AM

Burnt Offerings.

by Anonymousreply 169February 24, 2024 4:18 AM

"The Mephisto Waltz" by Fred Mustard Stewart.

by Anonymousreply 170February 24, 2024 4:20 AM

John Fowles' "The Magus" is a great pick, R167. He has gone out of fashion now (and I doubt he'll be "rediscovered") but that is such a fascinating novel.

by Anonymousreply 171February 24, 2024 7:41 AM


Blue Movie

by Anonymousreply 172February 24, 2024 9:31 AM

I was a big fan of the Allen Drury political novels.

by Anonymousreply 173February 24, 2024 9:38 AM

[quoteFalling Angel by William Hjortsberg is a great noir/horror detective novel.

And the basis for the movie Angel Heart

by Anonymousreply 174February 24, 2024 1:53 PM

Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see the Tales of the City books mentioned. The first two are a perfect encapsulation of life in 1970s San Francisco. The third (Further Tales) isn’t as good but does manage to bring in cult leader Jim Jones as a main character. After that the quality fluctuates as the characters move into the 80s but on the whole the original series is a lot of fun and very ‘comfort food’ reading. (I haven’t read the more recent books that continue the series)

by Anonymousreply 175February 24, 2024 2:05 PM

This thread inspired me to reread Thomas Tryon's work. I finished CROWNED HEADS and am now on ALL THAT GLITTERS. They are very absorbing - the kind of books you can really fall into, especially if you love Old Hollywood tales. Thankfully my local library had both of them. Very enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 176February 24, 2024 4:17 PM

R169, I didn’t know that Burnt Offerings was a novel. The movie scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.

by Anonymousreply 177February 24, 2024 4:31 PM

R177, it’s been awhile since I read it but as I recall the movie stays fairly close to the book. They made the deaths and finale more cinematic and the creepy hearse driver was created just for the film. It’s an interesting read having seen the movie many times but I’d say it’s a rare case where the film improves on the book

by Anonymousreply 178February 24, 2024 5:35 PM


So much better than the awful film.

by Anonymousreply 179February 24, 2024 5:40 PM

Love Story

by Anonymousreply 180February 25, 2024 4:01 PM

R179. I’m currently reading the love letters of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy and they were good friends of Gavin Lambert—they mention his “new novel” (Daisy Clover) in favorable terms—and they could both be pretty catty when they didn’t like something.

by Anonymousreply 181February 25, 2024 5:36 PM

I was bored today so am rereading The Love Machine by Jacqueline Susann, it still is good

by Anonymousreply 182February 25, 2024 6:22 PM

R174 William Hjortsberg wrote some great shit and then simply disappeared. WTF.

by Anonymousreply 183February 26, 2024 3:13 AM

I've been rereading Jackie Susann's books and the best are Valley of the Dolls and The Love Machine.

by Anonymousreply 184February 29, 2024 10:35 PM

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.

by Anonymousreply 185March 19, 2024 12:59 AM
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