Alex Massie

Your favourite novelists?

Text settings

I mentioned Norm's latest poll in which he asks:

you to send in the list of your favourite English-language novelists. Note that I ask for your favourites and not for those whom you consider to be the greatest (should the first group not coincide with the second).

My selections, in no particular order:

PG Wodehouse

RL Stevenson

Evelyn Waugh

F Scott Fitzgerald

Raymond Chandler

John Buchan

Gore Vidal

Flann O'Brien

Ernest Hemingway

James Kennaway

Plus, as I've said, William McIlvanney as my absent-mindedly forgotten 11th choice. UPDATE: Ooops, I forgot Patrick O'Brian too. That makes an even dozen then. If pressed, he and McIlvanney would be included at the expense of Hemingway and Flann O'Brien.

No women you will notice, and*, RLS aside, nobody from the 19th century either. The former is, I guess, just one of those things; the latter more a testament to the fact that my favourite 19th century authors - Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dumas, Zola - are Russian or French and thus ineligible for consideration.

But who would you choose? Vote by emailing Norm at But you can also leave your selections in the comments here...

A previous normblog poll demonstrated, conclusively, that Washington is the least romantic sounding state in the USA.

Norm and his voters also established that Schubert is the world's fourth favourite composer. Now that's what you could call useful information.

*Corrected, thanks to reader Mike's vigilance.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleBook Reviews