Novels with characters who live alone

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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?
 
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?
Have you read Silas Marner by George Eliot?
 
Have you read Silas Marner by George Eliot?
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."
 

Evo

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Involuntary singlehood?
 
I am only interested in reading these types of novels with a setting sometime between the 1950s and the present.
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?
 
This one? Roberta Leigh is a pseudonym for Steven Hawking.
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/roberta-leigh/confirmed-bachelor.htm" [Broken]
 
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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)
 
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Danger

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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.
 

turbo

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My copy was published in 1974.
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.

Before I go looking for another one, are there any other primary, secondary or tertiary interests I should be aware of?
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.
 
Just abandon the aversion to old books and read Walden.
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.
 
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.
You might have to write it yourself. What do you do for a living?
 

Evo

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The type of novels that resonate with me are novels that remind me of my own life,
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
Primary interest: What novels have characters that are disaffected or alienated?

Secondary interest: What novels involve involuntary single characters?
it sounds like pretty bleak.

I live alone but I can't relate to what you are saying.
 

turbo

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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.
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.
 

Danger

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I forgot about that one. After I read it I went to Walden Pond to see it for myself.
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:
 

Redbelly98

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Have any books been written about Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. the "Unabomber"?
 
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.
 
You might have to write it yourself. What do you do for a living?
I stock merchandise on the shelves at a grocery store, and I have a second job as a cashier at a fast food restaurant.
 
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Its set in France. Not sure if that's a problem.
I'd rather it be set in America, but a bigger problem is that it was first published in 1942.
 

Astronuc

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I'd rather it be set in America, but a bigger problem is that it was first published in 1942.
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-entertainment/books/features/sara-maitland-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

For the last eight years, though, her name has been missing from publishers' catalogues, literary festivals and BBC guest lists. Her new memoir, A Book of Silence, explains why. Since 2000 Maitland, now 58, has been making radical changes in her own life: first a move to the Northamptonshire countryside as her marriage disintegrated; then the start of her search for silence in a house on top of a County Durham moor; and, finally, another step away from the world to an isolated old shepherd's house in Galloway, the bit of Scotland where she had originally grown up among the local gentry. She now prays for three hours each day and spends 80 per cent of her time in silence. She has no TV or radio, nor "a major breakthrough for the powers of hell", as she describes them when I asked for her mobile number so we would not miss each at our meeting place.
A Book of Silence
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1847080421/?tag=pfamazon01-20


The Hermit (Paperback)
by Ray Holland (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1440456798/?tag=pfamazon01-20


Hermit in Paris: Autobiographical Writings
http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-037571426x-0
https://www.amazon.com/dp/037571426X/?tag=pfamazon01-20
by Italo Calvino

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


The Seven Storey Mountain (Paperback)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156010860/?tag=pfamazon01-20
by Thomas Merton (Author)

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

Also - No Man Is an Island (Paperback)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0156027739/?tag=pfamazon01-20
by Thomas Merton (Author)
 
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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.
 
I'd rather it be set in America, but a bigger problem is that it was first published in 1942.
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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