Per a conversation with Jane while shelving:
- stories (particularly set in England, particularly set in manor houses) with layers of history somehow encountering one another [see The China Garden]
- post-apocalyptic novels with some hope preserved, and, ideally a Jeffersonian back-to-the-land…
Okay, I wanna play too :)
- Books narrated by really deranged/inhuman/hard to sympathize with lead characters (Crime and Punishment, Lolita, The Stranger, The Demon’s Lexicon).
- Fate as a theme. Both as a lingering sense of impending doom (Crónica de una muerte anunciada & El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, The Fault in Our Stars) or chance (Paul Auster in general)
- Books within books. No shortage of examples here. :D
- Stories set in a very specific place with a limited cast of characters who can’t leave and are forced to interact: The Plague, Ten Little Niggers, Blindness.
- Attention to language, particularly if it is a made up language. Either because it is relevant to the plot (Nineteen-Eighty Four, The Earthsea series, The Neverending Story) or because it’s used playfully (Cortázar in general)
I’ll add microcasts, particularly of people who wouldn’t normally interact (my brain can’t come up with any literary examples at present, but Lost comes to mind), but I HATE made-up languages. Particularly invented slang, which can so often be done poorly, like in The Maze Runner and that sequel to The Giver.
(But then, I’m not a language person like misslibrelula :)
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