1 Feb 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Dazzling Debuts

Right so after a few intense working weeks with lots of traveling and on the homefront lots of ilness (why do those things happen at the same time? Flying with a migraine is very very unpleasant...)
Things seem to be going better now and what better way to celebrate that than to participate in today's Top Ten Tuesday?
This fantastic meme was created at The Broke and The Bookish - http://www.brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/ - a blog that you must visit!

This weeks subject is Favourite debut novels (from any author, any year). I have not included one-hit-wonders because that just didn't feel fair...
Here we go:

10) Evelyn Waugh: Decline and Fall
Satirical and extremely funny, making a fool of almost every character in the book, Waugh somehow manages to make this more than a comedy. A great reminder of all the trouble, naivety, pretentioness, laziness and greed can get you into.

9) Tamora Pierce: Alanna: The First Adventure
Pierce demonstrated from this first novel about Alanna and the kingdom of Tortall that she has a gift for making fantasy worlds come to life. From this book onwards the world of Alanna, her friends and family become better and better.

8) Alan Warner: Movern Callar
I think cool is the word to describe this novel about Morvern, a Scottish girl who steals her dead boyfriends unpublished novel and goes on a lifechanging journey.

7)Martin Amis: The Rachel Papers
Have just read this one and will review it this week. A really good novel about a teenage guy who falls in love or becomes infatuated with the slightly older and infintely more sophisticated Racel.

6) Dodie Smith: I Capture the Castle
A magical coming-of-age tale about Cassandra and her bohemian family. Smith later wrote "101 Dalmatians" and I still feel cheated that she did not write more.

5) F Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
More of a literary institution than a novel really. This book came to define an age and I think almost everyone who have taken a literature class has heard about it.

4) Michel Faber: Under the Skin
A seriously scary and uncomfortable read that nonetheless is fascinating and hard to put down. My stomach still turns when I think about it...

3) Karen Blixen: Seven Gothic Tales
Originally published under the name Isak Dinesen to disguise the gender of the author, this collection of short stories is a masterpiece from one of the greatest storytellers ever!

2) J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
From the very first HP novel, Rowling had her Hogwarts universe created down to the very last hair on Dumbledore's head. The magic began in this book which certainly did not seem like the work of a beginner!

1) Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
This one is defitnitely one of the best debut novels ever. Full of emotions with enchanting, real characters and a great plot. The strength of this novel is the characters and many authors can only dream of bringing to life characters with as much skill and charm as Austen does in this her debut novel.

So which ones are your favourite debut novels of all times?


  1. Nice list...I didn't realize Decline and Fall was Waugh's debut. It was a neat satirical novel...I reviewed it a few months ago.

    On a side note, Gatsby is not Fitzgerald's debut, that would be This Side of Paradise, but Gatsby IS a fantastic book.

    I have Morvern Callar at home, so I'm looking more forward to reading it now...and I saw the Rachel Papers movie years ago, but have never read the book.

  2. I was wondering why I hadn't seen Gatsby on more lists. Still a great one!

  3. I've not read most of your choices... so many of the lists have been so similar, it's nice to see one that's different.

  4. Sense and Sensibility is on a lot of lists. I've never read I Capture the Castle, but it sounds interesting. Great list, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. Thanks for your comments. Feel embarrassed to have included Gatsby now - my mistake! I Capture the Castle is really wonderful and so is Morvern Callar, definitely recommend reading them.

  6. Well, you and my friend D schooled me on this one: I didn't realize that Sense and Sensibility was Austen's first! Are you sure that Gatsby was Fitzgerald's debut? And I'm going to put I Capture the Castle on my to-read list.
    L @ www.whatsheread.blogspot.com