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Top 10 trilogies


Griffin-and-Sabine

Looking for some substantial reading – how about a trilogy? We have assembled the top 10 trilogies and there’s no Tolkien, no Asimov, no Faulkner, and no McCarthy.

The top 10 trilogies recommended by AbeBooks

1 Nick Bantock’s Griffin & Sabine trilogy
Made up of three epistolary novels (novels comprised primarily of documents), the story begins with Griffin receiving an uncanny, impossible letter from a stranger named Sabine and follows the extraordinary correspondence between the two in a series of letters and postcards, accompanied by beautiful illustrations. These are books make great gifts.

His-Dark-Materials2 Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy
This trilogy is aptly named – the story, while fantastical, magical and about children, is often dark, sinister and frightening. They are typically marketed at young adults, but the superior writing, underlying themes of religion and theology, and captivating story appeal to adults too.

3 Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy
These books offer a dark, surreal story which focuses on the character Titus Groan (an infant inheriting Earldom in the first book) and the isolated Gormenghast kingdom, at whose centre is an ominous castle of the same name. The books are populated by characters who observe strange rituals and fall prey to madness.

4 Robertson Davies’ Deptford trilogy
This is Davies’ second and most famous trilogy. It begins with one young boy throwing a snowball at another. In the snowball is concealed a piece of stone, and when its intended victim ducks, the snowball hits a pregnant woman, sending her into premature labor. With delicacy and artful skill, the three books follow the stories and lives of all involved.

5 Louis de Bernières’ Latin America trilogy
While most famous for his fourth book, the standalone novel Corelli’s Mandolin (which was made into a film, of which de Bernières strongly disapproved), de Bernières’ first three books made up his Latin American trilogy. Murder, pride, love, poverty and corrupt governments who tend to ‘disappear’ rivals are the stuff of these three books.

6 Paul Auster’s New York trilogy
Fans of detective fiction should not miss this trilogy. With recurring themes of investigators becoming inextricably mired in the details of their cases, and people being driven mad by their own inabilities to separate fantasy from reality, these three twisting, turning stories are a delight for anyone with a bent for psychological thrillers or private eye novels.

7 Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy of Bernhard Gunther novels
Set in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, Kerr’s books follow the cases of former-policeman-turned-private-investigator Bernhard Gunther as he keeps landing himself in hot water at the hands of Nazis, blackmailers, Soviet spies and more. There are, of course, a healthy dose of beautiful, troubled women with hearts of gold, and plot twists.

Barrytown-Trilogy8 Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy
Nobody makes hard times as funny as Irish author Roddy Doyle. Beginning with The Commitments, in which a pair of penniless friends decide to form a band, the novels follow the life of Jimmy Rabbite (the band’s manager) and his family through ups and downs, comings and goings, with more laughs than we have any right to expect.

9 Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy
These books (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars) chronicle the colonization of Mars by Earthlings, and the various processes that must be completed for the inhospitable planet to be inhabitable. The stories go into societal requirements as well, and the strides made toward better, stronger communities than their counterparts on Earth. High class sci-fi.

10 Peter Dickinson’s The Changes trilogy
This trilogy was written in reverse chronological order and adapted by BBC TV into The Changes in the 1970s. A weird noise causes Britain’s population to hate and destroy machines and technology, and society reverts to a pre-industrial period. No Google. No Twitter. No electricity. No cars. They are young adult books and tell a great story.

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Richard Davies

2 Responses to “Top 10 trilogies”

  1. Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe books?

  2. Richard Davies

    Thanks Joe – I read The Sportswriter by Ford years ago and hated it. I haven’t been able to open one of his books since