Most inspirational fiction novels

Here I shall focus on fiction novels having inspired me most. Since this genre constitutes an overwhelming majority of my offline reading, I simply cannot recall other works to have made a similar impact.

I prefer to reflect on inspirational works, and not simply the favorite or the powerful. The distinction may be subtle, but in considering inspirational novels, I exclude those of possibly even epic literary proportion and yet not having changed me in any way perceivable. To the contrary, this list would number a frightening amount of titles, as I would tend to consider a favorite every other work surpassing 400 pages that I deemed worthy of completing.

Brothers Karamazov, for example, recently finished, as well as arguably any other novel by Dostoevsky I had read, I found to be some of the best quality reading. (I speak only for the original Russian version.) The same applies to The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as for some works by Dickens, Nabokov, or Kafka. And yet, none of these titles or authors have impacted me in the same way over the long term.

Some titles might require a number of rereads to fully appreciate. Each time I read one of these I’m submerged to a psychedelic experience that leaves me in an almost euphoric state. Such novels include Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, Frank Herbert’s Dune, or the surreal Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle had also left me somewhat dazzled and really demands a reread.

However, I digress, and proceed to the list of those novels that I place clearly in the aforementioned inspirational category:

A bulk of my inspiration draws from magic realism type settings. I have come to prefer fantasy storytelling to conform to this recipe: well-written literary prose describing a seemingly mundane world, but with a sudden supernatural twist.

I had been introduced to these four authors sometime in the past, and their influence had prevailed over most works I explored more recently, irrespective of literary value. Timing plays a significant role. However, I remain curious and optimistic to discover another literary piece of such a caliber.