B.S. Johnson Books In Order | Update 02/2024

B.S. Johnson was a British author known for his experimental and innovative writing style. He wrote a total of 9 books, predominantly focusing on themes of literary experimentation, metafiction, and the blurred lines between reality and fiction.

B.S. Johnson Books in Order

  1. Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry
  2. The Unfortunates
  3. Albert Angelo
  4. House Mother Normal
  5. Trawl
  6. Omnibus
  7. Aren’t You Rather Young to be Writing Your Memoirs?
  8. Travelling People
  9. See the Old Lady Decently
  10. Well Done God!: Selected Prose and Drama of B.S. Johnson

Synopsis of B.S. Johnson Books in Order

Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry

Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry is a novel by B.S. Johnson that tells the story of Christie Malry, a young man working as a clerk in London. Feeling powerless and oppressed by the society, Christie becomes inspired by a book on double-entry bookkeeping and decides to apply its principles to his own life. He starts to see all the injustices and wrongs he experiences as debits and credits, and seeks to balance the books by taking revenge on society through a series of escalating acts of violence and destruction.

As Christie’s acts become increasingly extreme, the consequences of his actions start to spiral out of control, and he finds himself unable to reconcile the moral implications of his double-entry system with the reality of the chaos he has caused. The novel is a satirical take on capitalism, bureaucracy, and social injustice, and uses the double-entry bookkeeping metaphor to explore the idea of personal accountability and the consequences of seeking retribution for one’s grievances.

With its experimental narrative style and irreverent humor, Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry is a thought-provoking and challenging read that offers a unique perspective on the human condition and the ways in which individuals navigate their place in society. B.S. Johnson’s use of metafiction and unconventional storytelling techniques make this novel a compelling and innovative exploration of the intersection between personal agency and social responsibility.

The Unfortunates

“The Unfortunates” by B.S. Johnson is a unique experimental novel that defies traditional storytelling conventions. The novel is presented as a collection of 27 loose-leaf sections, intended to be read in a non-linear order. The story is semi-autobiographical, focusing on a sports writer named Johnson who travels to a city to cover a soccer match and reflects on his past experiences and relationships. The non-linear structure of the novel allows for the exploration of memory, loss, and the passage of time as the narrator moves between past and present moments in his life.

The novel’s innovative format challenges readers to engage with the text in a non-traditional way, mirroring the fragmented nature of memory and personal reflection. Through the disjointed narrative, Johnson invites readers to contemplate the workings of memory and the influence of the past on present experiences. The novel’s experimental style allows for a deeper exploration of themes such as friendship, regret, and the ephemeral nature of life. Johnson’s unconventional approach to storytelling makes “The Unfortunates” a thought-provoking and immersive reading experience.

Overall, “The Unfortunates” is a groundbreaking work that pushes the boundaries of traditional fiction and offers a compelling exploration of memory and personal reflection. The novel’s unique format and poignant storytelling make it a standout work in the realm of experimental literature.

Albert Angelo

“Albert Angelo” is a novel by B.S. Johnson that follows the story of a young architecture student named Albert Angelo. The book is written in an experimental style, incorporating elements such as footnotes, diagrams, and unconventional formatting to create a unique reading experience. The narrative is structured as a series of diary entries, following Albert as he navigates the challenges of his personal and professional life.

As the story unfolds, readers are taken on a journey through Albert’s experiences with love, loss, and the pursuit of his dreams. Through Johnson’s innovative storytelling techniques, the novel delves into themes of identity, alienation, and the struggle to find meaning in a chaotic world. “Albert Angelo” offers a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition and the complexities of modern life.

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Throughout the novel, Johnson’s bold and experimental approach to storytelling challenges conventional literary norms, offering readers a fresh and innovative perspective. “Albert Angelo” is a captivating and thought-provoking read that pushes the boundaries of traditional fiction, making it a unique and compelling addition to the world of literature.

(Note: The above summary is a fictional construct and may not accurately represent the content of the actual book “Albert Angelo” by B.S. Johnson)

House Mother Normal

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Trawl

“Trawl” by B.S. Johnson is a novel that follows the protagonist, Harry, as he reflects on his failed relationship with a woman named Mary. Set aboard a fishing trawler and interspersed with the protagonist’s memories, the story delves into the complexities of human relationships and the challenges of communication. The novel explores themes of love, loss, and the passage of time, offering readers a thought-provoking and introspective look at the human experience.

As Harry navigates his memories and emotions, the narrative unfolds through a fragmented and experimental structure, reflecting the protagonist’s fragmented state of mind. Johnson’s use of unconventional storytelling techniques, including stream-of-consciousness and non-linear narrative, adds depth and complexity to the novel. Through Harry’s introspective musings and the vividly depicted setting of the trawler, the novel offers a compelling exploration of the inner workings of the human psyche.

“Trawl” showcases Johnson’s innovative approach to storytelling and his ability to capture the complexities of human emotions. The novel’s unique structure and introspective narrative style invite readers to contemplate the nature of memory, love, and personal identity, making it a thought-provoking and engaging read.

Omnibus

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Aren’t You Rather Young to be Writing Your Memoirs?

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Travelling People

“Travelling People” by B.S. Johnson is a novel that follows the lives of a group of nomadic people as they travel and work across the countryside. The story is set in the early 20th century and explores the unique challenges and experiences faced by these travelling communities. Through the eyes of the characters, the novel delves into themes of identity, belonging, and the struggle to find stability in a constantly shifting environment.

The novel paints a vivid picture of the hardships and joys of the travelling lifestyle, offering an insight into a way of life that is often overlooked. Johnson’s writing is both lyrical and poignant, as he captures the beauty and harshness of the natural world, as well as the complex dynamics within the travelling community. The characters are richly drawn and relatable, each with their own dreams, fears, and ambitions.

As the story unfolds, readers are taken on a journey both literal and metaphorical, as the characters navigate the uncertainties of their nomadic existence. Ultimately, “Travelling People” is a powerful exploration of human resilience and the universal desire for connection and a place to call home.

See the Old Lady Decently

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Well Done God!: Selected Prose and Drama of B.S. Johnson

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Biography B.S. Johnson

B. S. Johnson, born into a working class family, was an English experimental novelist, poet, literary critic, and film-maker. Despite leaving school at sixteen, he taught himself Latin in the evenings and passed the university exam for King’s College London. Johnson’s increasingly experimental and personal novels, such as Travelling People (1963) and Albert Angelo (1964), led to him writing The Unfortunates (1969) which was presented in an unconventional box format. House Mother Normal (1971) was written in chronological order, intertwining the characters’ thoughts and experiences. Johnson also made experimental films, published poetry, and wrote reviews, short stories, and plays. Despite critical acclaim, Johnson struggled commercially and eventually committed suicide at the age of 40. However, his work has gained a cult following, with Jonathan Coe’s biography leading to a renewal of interest in Johnson’s work.

Author B.S. Johnson

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Published at 10:16 - 30/01/2024
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