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Novels with characters who live alone

  1. Mar 27, 2009 #1
    I'm interested in reading novels with characters with certain traits.

    Primary interest: What novels have characters that are single and live alone?

    Primary interest: What novels have characters that are disaffected or alienated?

    Secondary interest: What novels involve involuntary single characters?

    Secondary interest: What novels are about involuntary singlehood?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2009 #2
    Have you read Silas Marner by George Eliot?
     
  4. Mar 27, 2009 #3
    No; I just looked it up on wikipedia. I don't want to read Silas Marner now because it was published in 1861. I am only interested in reading these types of novels with a setting sometime between the 1950s and the present. I live alone. I've always lived alone, and I want something that reminds me of my life. If a book is set in the 19th century, it's just not something that I want. That time is too remote....

    Some might respond, "Oh, these issues are timeless. You might be able to relate to it, even if it's set in the Victorian era."

    My response, "No, thank you."
     
  5. Mar 27, 2009 #4

    Evo

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    Involuntary singlehood?
     
  6. Mar 27, 2009 #5
    My copy was published in 1974. Before I go looking for another one, are there any other primary, secondary or tertiary interests I should be aware of?
     
  7. Mar 27, 2009 #6
    This one? Roberta Leigh is a pseudonym for Steven Hawking.
    http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/roberta-leigh/confirmed-bachelor.htm" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Mar 27, 2009 #7
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Gesture_Life" [Broken]
    I remember reading this some years ago.

    - He's from 1950s (WWII)
    - He's Korean I think who went to Japan and had no parents IIRC
    - He immigrates to America and lives alone
    - He's has a troubled daughter who doesn't live with him (and looks like his dead lover who was a comfort woman)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Mar 27, 2009 #8

    Danger

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    I believe that it's a euphemism for 'geekiness'. :wink:
     
  10. Mar 27, 2009 #9

    turbo

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    Just abandon the aversion to old books and read Walden. It is non-fiction, and it is autobiographical. Thoreau chose to live alone with limited resources, and his diary-like chronicles are inspirational. My wife and I try to live as simply as possible - Thoreau would have understood that.
     
  11. Mar 27, 2009 #10

    turbo

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    Ah, pocket-protector as birth-control. Gotcha!
     
  12. Mar 27, 2009 #11
    If the book was first published in 1861, it means that it was written no later than 1861. This means that either (1) the setting is before the 1950s or, far less likely, (2) it is a sci-fi novel set in a time many, many decades after it was written. Either way, I don't want to read it.

    Yes; I am interested in novels with characters who live alone in a setting in or after the 1950's that is not a sci-fi novel and not a mystery/detective novel. I know most detective novels features detectives who live alone, but that's not what I'm looking for. The type of novels that resonate with me are novels that remind me of my own life, and I'm not a detective. Another requirement of the type of novels that I'm interested in is I'm interested in novels about people who live within society, not people who live in caves or Thoreau living at Walden Pond.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2009 #12
    I forgot about that one. After I read it I went to Walden Pond to see it for myself. This book meets the 'timeless' criterion with ease. As a matter of fact so do all good books. I recommend Silas Marner again.
     
  14. Mar 27, 2009 #13
    You might have to write it yourself. What do you do for a living?
     
  15. Mar 27, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    So, how do you define "your own life"? It sounds like you are interested in people that are considered social outcasts. Are you looking for stories where the loner becomes a hero, or is swallowed up by their loneliness?

    From your criteria
    it sounds like pretty bleak.

    I live alone but I can't relate to what you are saying.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2009 #15

    turbo

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    I have read that one over and over again, jimmy. Thoreau was not as idealistic and independent as some people have painted him, but like you, I found his chronicles to be inspirational. It may not be thrilling to read a list of what he paid for beans, salt pork, etc, but it brings us to a place in which we can evaluate our interactions with society, and how those leverage our interactions with nature.
     
  17. Mar 27, 2009 #16
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  18. Mar 27, 2009 #17

    Danger

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    I haven't read any Thoreau. Loved 'What Do You Hear From Walden Pond' by Jack Douglas, though. It gives a whole new perspective on a thinly disguised Jonathan Winters. :biggrin:
     
  19. Mar 27, 2009 #18

    Redbelly98

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    Have any books been written about Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the "Unabomber"?
     
  20. Mar 28, 2009 #19
    The Stranger by Albert Camus
    Its set in France. Not sure if that's a problem.

    Confessions of a Crap Artist by Philip K Dick
    This is not scifi, though written by a scifi writer. Its about a man who has trouble relating to society and seeks refuge in strange obsessions. This one is not so much about the main character as his observations of the people around him.

    In neither of these are the charaters "forced" to be single if you mean divorced but you might say that the way they look at the world makes them withdrawl from it and avoid or have difficulty with relationships.

    Other than these I can't think of anything at the moment. There really aren't many books out there where the story revolves around being a guy who lives alone, though plenty I could mention where the characters happen to be single and live alone.
     
  21. Mar 28, 2009 #20
    I stock merchandise on the shelves at a grocery store, and I have a second job as a cashier at a fast food restaurant.
     
  22. Mar 28, 2009 #21
    I'd rather it be set in America, but a bigger problem is that it was first published in 1942.
     
  23. Mar 28, 2009 #22

    Astronuc

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    So one is looking for a contemporary novel about an individual living alone in a modern developed, industrial or post-industrial society? Why?

    I think jimmysnyder has a point. There is probably not such a novel, so one would have to write one.


    Try these. One may find that modern day hermits may be motivated by religious convictions or spiritual needs, or the desire to escape.

    Sara Maitland: A very unlikely modern hermit
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...and-a-very-unlikely-modern-hermit-970896.html
    Pioneering feminist author Sara Maitland has swapped the cut and thrust of sexual politics for an isolated cottage and a vow of silence

    A Book of Silence
    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Silence-Sara-Maitland/dp/1847080421/


    The Hermit (Paperback)
    by Ray Holland (Author)
    https://www.amazon.com/Hermit-Ray-Holland/dp/1440456798


    Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings
    http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-037571426x-0
    https://www.amazon.com/Hermit-Paris-Autobiographical-Italo-Calvino/dp/037571426X/
    by Italo Calvino

    Perhaps a classic like "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac


    The Seven Storey Mountain (Paperback)
    https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Storey-Mountain-Thomas-Merton/dp/0156010860
    by Thomas Merton (Author)

    http://ethicscenter.nd.edu/inspires/documents/Thomas_Merton1.pdf

    Also - No Man Is an Island (Paperback)
    https://www.amazon.com/No-Man-Island-Thomas-Merton/dp/0156027739
    by Thomas Merton (Author)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  24. Mar 28, 2009 #23
  25. Mar 28, 2009 #24

    Redbelly98

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    The Vampire Lestat, by Anne Rice.

    The protagonist goes through periods of living alone as well as with various companions.
     
  26. Mar 28, 2009 #25
    I have just the book for you. The main character lives in Brooklyn, keeps a couple of jobs, and lives alone. He wants to find a nice girl and marry, and tries to reach out to women, but never seems to find a lasting relationship. He is so rigid in his ways that the woman invariably gets frustrated and leaves him. Then a really beautiful soul finds him and has the strength to stand up to him and make him more flexible. At the end they realize that they love each other and decide to marry, but she falls ill and dies. Unfortunately, it was published on Dec. 31, 1949.
     
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