Solitude has always been a crucial element in books. Most novelists have also centered their books on this emotion or condition. I love reading about solitude in books. It is somewhat reassuring to know that characters also feel and go through what you feel and go through most of the time and maybe that is why I am listing my Top 5 books that feature Solitude or are based on the emotion.
1. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami: No one better to illustrate the condition of solitude than this Japanese maestro. He is brilliant with his thoughts and emotions are expressed almost like a poem. This masterpiece by him is about unrequited love and is my all-time favourite Murakami. Loneliness is at the core of the book in more than one way.
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Not because of the word in the title, but also because of the gooseflesh this book gives you, you must read this. A family’s chronicle – their past, present and future, all rolled into this marvel. This classic is unputdownable.
3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: Nothing spells the idea of loneliness better than being ship-wrecked on an unknown island with no one to communicate to, and encountering cannibals at the very least. Robinson Crusoe is definitely not a book for kids, though I have always wondered why it falls under children’s classics sometimes. Anyway, it is a great great read, if you like detailing and have the patience for repetition sometimes.
4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson: Please do not count the movie as reading the book. The book is far far better and more interesting for sure. The same plot though. A lone man and everyone else is a vampire. He has a dog to speak with and he does. Some brilliant writing here.
5. The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul: I do not like Naipaul, the person. But I admire Naipaul, the writer. the Enigma of Arrival speak to the reader about solitude and loneliness on so many levels, that it almost breaks your heart. The protagonist and his sense of mind and place are fabulously portrayed. The only Naipaul that I can re-read.