PDA

View Full Version : 1940s-set Novels




























Rocketblast
06-30-2010, 08:20 AM
Can anyone recommend any good novels set in the 1940s? Preferably British Home Front, maybe a bit of romance, but any suggestions would be good.

Personally, I would recommend Andrea Levy's 'Small Island', which the BBC recently made into a 2-parter.

dhermann1
07-01-2010, 08:42 PM
Anything by Graham Greene.

The Wolf
07-02-2010, 12:23 AM
I think you'll probably enjoy "The guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer andGAnnie Barrows.

Sincerely,
The Wolf

Shangas
07-02-2010, 01:16 AM
They're not novels, but you may be interested in the TV series "Foyle's War". It's about a police detective and the cases he solves on the British homefront during the Second World War.

Puzzicato
07-02-2010, 02:20 AM
I think you'll probably enjoy "The guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer andGAnnie Barrows.

Sincerely,
The Wolf

That's a lovely little book!

Most of Mary Wesley's books - I'd start with The Chamomile Lawn.
Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers (moves around a bit, but there is a good chunk of the action set in the 40s) and Coming Home.
Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off
And to keep you busy for quite some time, Anthony Powell's 12 volume Dance to the Music of Time, which goes from the early 30s to the mid 60s but spends most time in the 40s.

Rocketblast
07-03-2010, 05:49 AM
That's fantastic - I will look into some of those. I have read a bit of Graham Greene, and I read Camomile Lawn years ago but may look into some of their other novels. I have just found a series of novels by Margaret Mayhew on Amazon which look promising.
I feel a shopping spree coming on!
Thank you all - keep suggestions coming please!

Corky
07-03-2010, 08:00 AM
We had the opportunity to meet Alan Furst (http://alanfurst.net/index.htm) last month. An amazing fellow and a world-class storyteller.

Alan's newest book is Spies of the Balkans (http://www.amazon.com/Spies-Balkans-Novel-Alan-Furst/dp/1400066034).

http://alanfurst.net/images/balkans_cover_2.jpg

If you love espionage novels, you will have noticed that just about every author in the genre is plugged as "the new LeCarre," or "as great as LeCarre." We think that only one author really deserves that praise, and that author is Alan Furst. Furst's ten novels all take place before and during WWII in Europe. From Paris to Belgrade, from Warsaw to Rome, Furst's accidental and sometimes dark and reluctant heros wage war against Hitler not on the front lines, but in elegant hotels, neighborhood cafes and back alleys of Europe's great cities. Furst is a masterful novelist whose books have the unnerving and uncanny ability to place the reader in the streets of Nazi-occupied Europe in WWII, right there next to living and breathing Resistance fighters. Furst creates tension and momentum so palpable that the reader looks for cover in a doorway—and a gun. His new novel, Spies of the Balkans, turns Greece"s Salonika into the world's most dangerous and thrilling place. Fiction doesn't get better than this.

You may wonder "If this guy Furst's novels are so good,why haven't any of them been made into movies?"

Dick Clement (a British screenwriter whose credits include, The Bank Job, Across The Universe, and Tracey Takes On, with Tracey Ullman) currently has a deal with the BBC to begin filming one of Furst's novels next year.

Look for it to appear on Masterpiece Theater sometime in the future.

Smithy
07-03-2010, 08:14 AM
Alan Furst

Furst's novels are brilliant (I'm a fan) but not Home Front or set in wartime Britain which seems to be what the original poster is after.

Rocketblast, just a few that I would recommend are "The Burning Blue" by James Holland, "That Summer" by Andrew Greig (this has quite a passionate romance in it), "Under an English Heaven" by Robert Radcliffe, and "The Fire Fighter" by Francis Cottam (set during the Blitz in London).

HTH a little bit.

Creeping Past
07-03-2010, 09:49 AM
Blackout in Gretely (http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/p/j-b-priestley/blackout-in-gretley.htm), by J B Priesetly is a must. (Not to be confused with the "Blackout of Gretely", the famous earthquake-inducing garage rock howler (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqNNByKxE_g&feature=related) from Gonn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GONN), the best band ever from Keokuk, Iowa.)

Marla
07-04-2010, 01:22 PM
My favorite British Home Front novel is Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther, the book on which the Academy Award winning movie of the same name (with Greer Garson) was based.

The book gives insight into what life was life for average families in Britain during WWII. I highly recommend it!

Good Ol' Days
07-04-2010, 10:53 PM
One book that I'm reading right now is 'Suite Francaise' by Irene Nemirovsky. It definitely is worth a read..so yeah, I recommend it!

Rocketblast
07-05-2010, 04:17 AM
One book that I'm reading right now is 'Suite Francaise' by Irene Nemirovsky. It definitely is worth a read..so yeah, I recommend it!
Oh yeah, I read Suite Francaise and it's great - and her story is so fascinating as she was sent to Auschwitz before being able to publish the novel.

Edward
07-22-2010, 03:28 PM
My favorite British Home Front novel is Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther, the book on which the Academy Award winning movie of the same name (with Greer Garson) was based.

The book gives insight into what life was life for average families in Britain during WWII. I highly recommend it!

If memory serves, Ms Garson holds the record for the longest acceptance speech in Oscar history for that win - 2hours and 20 mins, according to what I read! :eek:

AmateisGal
07-22-2010, 05:57 PM
The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva. It's set in Britain during WW2. It's a thriller, though, so not sure if that's exactly what you're looking for...

Story
07-22-2010, 07:21 PM
"Eye of the Needle", Ken Follet

Milu
07-23-2010, 12:23 AM
This is the first draft of a novel I wrote. I'm finalising it over the next few weeks.


http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=12893

Shangas
07-23-2010, 01:38 AM
"Eye of the Needle", Ken Follet

I strongly recommend this novel. I've read it myself several times. It's an excellent WWII homefront spy/espionage book and thrilling to read.

Just a note - It may be tricky to find. I'm not sure if it's still in print.

Rocketblast
07-23-2010, 02:11 AM
Thank you for all these suggestions - my birthday is coming up in a few weeks and my Amazon wish list is now bursting at the seams with 1940s novels!

AmateisGal
07-23-2010, 07:08 AM
I strongly recommend this novel. I've read it myself several times. It's an excellent WWII homefront spy/espionage book and thrilling to read.

Just a note - It may be tricky to find. I'm not sure if it's still in print.

I second the recommendation. There's plenty of copies on Amazon right now, too. :)

Milu
07-25-2010, 02:27 AM
Check out the books of Neville Shute. In particular I think "Pastoral" and "Requiem for a wren" may be on the theme you want.

Miss sofia
08-01-2010, 06:43 AM
Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are great, both tragic and funny.

Miss sofia
08-01-2010, 06:45 AM
That's a lovely little book!

Most of Mary Wesley's books - I'd start with The Chamomile Lawn.
Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers (moves around a bit, but there is a good chunk of the action set in the 40s) and Coming Home.
Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off
And to keep you busy for quite some time, Anthony Powell's 12 volume Dance to the Music of Time, which goes from the early 30s to the mid 60s but spends most time in the 40s.
Excellent choices i'll second those, might have to dig out my Mary Wesley's again!

Patrick Murtha
08-01-2010, 08:42 PM
R.F. Delderfield's two-volume The Avenue has been recommended to me in an Upstairs, Downstairs forum, although I have not read it yet. It covers life on a middle-class English suburban road between the late Teens and the late Forties.

Mario
08-02-2010, 03:32 AM
The early books by Eric Ambler:

The Dark Frontier (1936)
Uncommon Danger (1937)
Epitaph for a Spy (1938)
Cause for Alarm (1938)
The Mask of Dimitrios (1939)
Journey into Fear (1940)

Ok, ok...so most of them are actually pre-40's... ;)

Story
08-02-2010, 11:08 AM
I strongly recommend this novel. I've read it myself several times. It's an excellent WWII homefront spy/espionage book and thrilling to read.

Just a note - It may be tricky to find. I'm not sure if it's still in print.

Also a Donald Sutherland movie.
<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YMltjYtmu_k&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YMltjYtmu_k&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

cycle1667
08-05-2010, 08:17 AM
Phillip Kerr has some interesting, revisionist, nazi era hard boiled detective novels in the spirit of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett.
_________
5.11 Tactical (http://siegelsuniforms.com/5_11_tactical.html)

BogartsHat
08-08-2010, 07:11 PM
Just finished reading Agatha Christie's They Came To Baghdad (1951). Now I'm reading Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran. It's non-fiction, about the notebooks she used when plotting her novels, short stories and plays. Last week, I read two earlier Christie books but can't remember the titles! :eusa_doh: