Eliot’s own reading plays a key part in the novel, and I deliberately planted references to a range of coming-of-age novels and a couple of other books that offer either analogies or ironic commentaries to his own experiences.
They aren’t particularly surprising examples as they are meant to reflect what he has been reading at university, but they are still novels that I am very fond of myself.
The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
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A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
RIFers! Have you read any of the coming-of-age novels on Ben Masters’ list? Tell us in a comment!