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Joyce, Banville on "best British novels" list

1 of 1 James Joyce: no cap doffing here
James Joyce: no cap doffing here

Celebrated books by Irish authors James Joyce, John Banville and Flann O'Brien have been featured on a list of the "20 best British novels of all time" compiled by UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Joyce's 1922 masterpiece Ulysses and Flann O'Brien's 1939 surrealistic landmark At Swim-Two-Birds, and Banville's The Sea from 2005 sit alongside novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf on the Telegraph's run-down.

"20 best British novels of all time. From Emma to Wolf Hall, we select the greatest British novels ever written. Did your favourite make it?" asks today's edition of telegraph.co.uk.

Ulysses is described as: "A day in the life of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, as they criss-cross Dublin on June 4, 1904. Every word is pregnant with meaning, every character’s thought conjured with precision, yet it is brilliantly, consistently, laugh-outloud funny."

Meanwhile Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds is praised as "A book within a book within a book, a satirical evocation of 1930s Ireland, in which the characters write about one another, and these various fictional figments gang up on the notional author". 

Banville's The Sea is "A masterful exploration of memory, and of loss, Banville’s Booker-winning novel focuses on an art historian reaching back to the seaside years of his childhood."

The Telegraph certainly has impeccable literary taste but perhaps the next book they read should be an atlas. 

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