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Topic: books with passion, not necessarily romance

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Subject: books with passion, not necessarily romance
Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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In trying to decide what things I like best in a book, I've decided that passion is one of them.  By passion I mean like an intensity... but not like romance, cuz I don't like romance novels.  For example, two of my favorite books are The Count of Monte Cristo and Wuthering Heights.  One is a passion in revenge and vengeance and is very smart.  The other is an intense love/hate between two people that spans a lifetime. 

What other books are there with this similar trait?  Contemporary or classic.

Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott.  Not the best book, and it builds to a climax that's very confusing because it wasn't really finished before her death.  But it's about an abusive ex-lover (husband, maybe? can't remember) hunting down the main character.

I know I'm overlooking some more obvious ideas, but they aren't popping out of my mind at the moment.

OK, thought of something: I just finished Mysteries of Winterthurn by Joyce Carol Oates.  The passionate love interest isn't the main focus, but it's definitely a complicated, weird one that lasts the span of the 500-page book.  Oh, and Possession by A.S. Byatt also has something of this theme because the modern-day protagonists are still focused on a relationship from the past.

Edited again to add:  How could I forget about The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton?



Last Edited on: 9/17/08 7:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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Thanks!  Those sound like exactly what I'm looking for!

Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
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Oh!  Possession is the book that the movie was based on with Gwyneth Paltrow!  I didn't know it was a book first.  I also don't remember what it was about but I remember I realllly liked the movie.

 

As for The Age of Innocence, I think I may have read part of that in high school maybe?  I know I wrote  a paper about Edith Wharton.  I don't remember it at all though.

Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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Also, Gone with the Wind and Lolita might be ideas.

I still feel like there are some better suggestions, but my brain isn't clicking.

Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
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You've given me a lot already!  I love Gone with the Wind.  Lolita is one I've added to my reminder list.  I wasn't sure what it was about but I wanted to read it before reading Reading Lolita in Tehran.

Date Posted: 9/17/2008 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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I really liked Possession the movie, too, but I liked the book better.  I thought that the male main character was more believable (more fleshed out).

The Age of Innocence is about a guy named Newland Archer who is supposed to marry a nice society girl but is drawn to a bohemian-type countess and has to choose.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 9/17/2008 11:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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How about House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.  Kind of sad, but has that intensity, I think. 

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
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I have 2 suggestions for you.  First, A Simple Plan by Scott Smith.  I couldn't put this book down.  Far from a romance of any kind, it's about one man's obsessive and crazy passion to get to keep a big pile of money he finds.   Loved it!!

I also recommend The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain.  Don't be turned off by the title, as I was (for some reason, the title has always bugged and baffled me).  Yes, it's about two passionate people having a torrid fling, but it's dark and "noir" and just a very readable page-turner.   It is in NO WAY a romance.   I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I hope so.  Happy reading!



Last Edited on: 9/18/08 5:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Passion
Date Posted: 9/18/2008 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2008
Posts: 26
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If you are looking for something more recent try The Shadow of the Wind  by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  It is a mystery made for a booklover.  Taking place in 1945ish Barcelona.  I read it within a few days while visiting a friend.  When I finished all I could do was put it down and say "wow". 

If you like Arthurian Legend stuff, The Mists of Avalon by Maion Zimmer Bradley is a great read. 

Historical fiction I recommend The Pillars of the Earth by Follett.

I know there are others that I have read but at themoment I'm drawing a blank.

I do agree that Wharton writes very passionate books, and you can't go wrong with classics like Postman, Lolita, and Gone with the Wind.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
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Thank you so much everyone!  They all sound great!

Date Posted: 9/19/2008 9:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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You also might try Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I can't believe I'm actually recommending this book because I have serious problems with its philosophy, but there's no doubt it's about passion and being true to it.  And it was much easier to read than I thought.

 

No Country for Old Men I recommend without qualification.  It's got plenty of adventure and intensity, and though the relationships between people do not have the centrality that they do in a book like Wuthering Heights, there is an inescapability to them.

 

Edited to add:  The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Maybe this is the one I've been trying to think of all along!



Last Edited on: 9/19/08 9:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/19/2008 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/8/2007
Posts: 8,523
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You know, I had always heard of Atlas Shrugged but never knew what it was until recently.  I think I may have added it to my RL or WL.  Sounds interesting.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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The Telegraph has a story about the 50 greatest villains in literature.  There's probably some good overlap with passionate stories.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/09/20/bovillains120.xml