Who is your favorite author associated with Oxford that is NOT Tolkien?
For sake of space, I've just included 20th century writers, but feel free to name another author with no regard to century.
My favorite writer of this bunch is John Le Carre, hands down. With Dr. Seuss a sentimental, second favorite.
Le Carre, IMHO, writes the best prose I've ever read of a "popular" author. It's almost musical. His insight into the foibles of human nature is unmatched, and his characters are exceptionally well-drawn. Some people have claimed that his plots are difficult to follow, but I, personally, have never had a problem. I think that some readers prefer more action in a spy novel, and Le Carre does tend to be more cerebral, spending more time in letting us know his characters thoughts, rather than their actions, and that will turn some people off altogether.
Everytime I hear of or read about Sayers I'll think to myself "I need to read one of her books" and then promptly forget I thought that. I've read TONS of Agatha Christie since I was a girl, but never any Sayers. Which of her works is your favorite?
The stories do progress chronologically, but they don't necessarily have to be read in order. Of the books which feature just Lord Peter, I would say my favorites are Murder Must Advertise and The Nine Tailors. But if you want to start at the beginning, Whose Body? is the first.
Four of the books feature Harriet Vane. They are not consecutive (stories in which she does not appear were published between the first three) but I recommend reading those at least in the correct order because that way you get the progression of their relationship. Harriet appears in Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night, and Busman's Honeymoon. Gaudy Night is my favorite of these, but it needs to be read after the first two.
I read and discussed quite a lot of his stuff with friends some odd 10 years ago - just before PJs films came out, as I remember. The films then inserted a big refocus of attention on the Inklings and we were all looking at Tolkien in a totally different way then compared to the viewpoint I have on it all right now.
It was more the non-fiction than the fiction - although it was both.
Well, by all means, let's be "equal opportunity" here!
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Bring on those FANTASTIC Cambridge authors!! A.A. Milne, Michael Crichton, Eudora Welty, and Julian Fellowes, to name just a few. Virginia Woolf did not attend, but was associated with the university. Not to forget the poets, of course--Tennyson, Wordsworth, Plath, and Housman and more actors than one could shake a stick at. Even our beloved Gandalf (Sir Ian) attended Cambridge!