Reader’s top 10 favourites

Book Club reader Allan Bolton lists 10 favourite first-person novels which he says are all far preferable to the film and TV versions many of them inspired.

Allan said: “A hero or involved narrator can convey extra immediacy by writing as ‘I’ and ‘me’.”

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719) Stirring tale of survival and being resourceful.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)

A great literary novel and also a model for much popular modern fiction.

Three Men in a Boat (1889) by Jerome K Jerome

Most famous of the author’s comic gems.

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915)

An early spy thriller made vividly topical as Europe went to war.

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald (1926) Capturing an era and superbly written by arguably America’s finest novelist.

A Rough Shoot by Geoffrey Household (1951)

Tense thriller of survival against the odds.

Room at the Top by John Braine (1957)

Social mobility 1950s style. Most famous of North of England novels showing people in an era of unprecedented change.

The Forger by Paul Watkins (2000)

Artist caught up in dangerous work in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller (2003)

Gripping school-based story through the eyes of a manipulative narrator.

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (2005)

Also in a school setting, this tense and mysterious tale is beautifully crafted by Harris.