Ben Masters Shares His Narrator’s Reading List

Eliot Lamb, the grad-school narrator of Ben Masters' debut novel Noughties, reads constantly. Here, Ben Masters shares Eliot's reading list.

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!

BEN MASTERS was born in Northampton, England, on December 3, 1986. He went to a state school in the area before attending Oxford University, where he studied English literature. After completing his B.A. and M.St., he worked a variety of jobs (waiter, researcher, private tutor, television intern, school teacher) while writing his first novel, Noughties. Since completing Noughties, he has begun a Ph.D. in late-twentieth-century fiction at Cambridge University and is working on his second novel. He has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Times Literary SupplementNoughties is available in paperback from Hogarth wherever books are sold.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • maureendx2

    nice reading list the british always lead the way with literature. always trust someone who goes to oxford. that is the ultimate.

  • maureendx2

    i read jude the obscure and great expectations.

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