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What are the 5 greatest American novels, in your opinion?

(You can expand the list to 10 if you like.)

by Anonymousreply 12205/29/2014

Do you have picture's of Danny Pino spreading his hole pls?

by Anonymousreply 102/04/2013

No order --

A Separate Peace -- John Knowles

The Great Gatsby -- FS Fitzgerald

The Sun Also Rises -- E Hemingway

Johnny Got His Gun -- Dalton Trumbo

A Portrait of A Lady -- Henry James

by Anonymousreply 202/04/2013

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

by Anonymousreply 302/04/2013

I hate R1 so much, but this time it made me laugh. So...I doubt you are really the Danny Pino troll. He's not funny.

by Anonymousreply 402/04/2013

Valley Of The Dolls Scruples Hollywood Wives Rage of Angels Thorn Birds

by Anonymousreply 502/04/2013

An American Tragedy

The Grapes of Wrath

My Antonia

In my mind, these three novels tower over all other American literature. To complete the OP's request for five, I would add:


Huckleberry Finn

by Anonymousreply 602/04/2013

The Sound and the Fury- Faulkner

A Farewell to Arms- Hemingway

Beloved- Morrison

The Portrait of a Lady- James

Kavalier and Clay- Chabon

by Anonymousreply 702/04/2013

The 5 Rabbit novels by John Updike, read them back to back.

by Anonymousreply 802/04/2013

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest hemingway

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton

My Antonia - Willa Cather

The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan

by Anonymousreply 902/04/2013

Numbers- John Rechy Numbers- John Rechy Numbers- John Rechy Numbers- John Rechy Numbers- John Rechy

by Anonymousreply 1002/04/2013

Peyton Place

The Best of Everything

Valley of the Dolls

Myra Breckinridge

A Summer Place.

by Anonymousreply 1102/04/2013

I suppose one has to include a Steinbeck (East of Eden), a Hemingway (though I don't care for him), a Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James ?, John Updike, a Gore Vidal, William Faulkner ... and Patricia Highsmith's Talented Mr Ripley - and Harper Lee of course.

personally I prefer British and European authors.

by Anonymousreply 1202/04/2013

This goes to show how fashions change over the decades - are Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner etc even read now ?

by Anonymousreply 1302/04/2013

I think there are only 4 Rabbit novels, r8.

by Anonymousreply 1402/04/2013

R14, four Rabbit novels and a novella, "Rabbit Remembered" in the book, "Licks of Love." It takes up half the book.

by Anonymousreply 1502/04/2013

I like the list by r3, plus The Grapes of Wrath, The House of Mirth, and Beloved.

by Anonymousreply 1602/04/2013

Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, was so funny originally, and Heller's Catch 22.

Does Nabokov and Lolita count ?, or is he classed as a European writer.

by Anonymousreply 1702/04/2013

I wish I didn't find Willa Cather so damned boring.

by Anonymousreply 1802/04/2013

If Nabokov is classified as American then Lolita belongs on the list, perhaps in front of many of all the other books mentioned (on the serious lists).

by Anonymousreply 1902/04/2013

R17, Nabokov was a naturalised US citizen when he wrote Lolita, plus it's set in America, so it counts.

by Anonymousreply 2002/04/2013

Great thread idea. Mine aren't necessarily my favorite, but the novels that had the most impact, while still being great pieces of literature.

1. Huck Finn - Americana at its finest. Twain is still relevant today.

2. Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald. An easy read with a complicated message: Beware the fallacy of the Dream.

3. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - McCullers. Race, longing, art, all collude in a story that is flawlessly written.

4. Light in August - Faulkner. My personal favorite. Faulkner has to be on any list of best American writers.

5. Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck. Best Depression novel.

6. Catch 22 - Heller. Best war novel ever. By a mile.

7. The Bluest Eye - Morrison. Song/Solomon and Beloved get more press, but I think this small gem is her best. A black girl wishing for blue eyes is an image that has stuck with me decades after reading.

8. Tropic of Cancer - visceral, bloody, sexual, fearless, messy. This book is as muscularly American as it gets.

9. Giovanni's Room - Stunning prose, a sad testimony of homosexuality in the era before Gay Rights, and just a great, simple story.

10. Infinite Jest - Foster Wallace. I've waxed and waned on this book over the years, but I think it deserves a spot in the canon. Prodigious, searing social commentary, and experimental to a fault.

by Anonymousreply 2102/04/2013

Invisible Man should make the list.

by Anonymousreply 2202/04/2013

r3 plus House of Mirth nails it for me imho.

"Lolita" somehow feels more European than American despite its American setting. it seems more connected to European traditions, the main character is of European descent, the attitudes, style and concerns seem European.... Great novel obviously, but it just doesn't cry "American novel" in quite the same way that Huck Finn, Moby Dick. Great Gatsby etc do, and I might knock it from the list for that reason.

by Anonymousreply 2302/04/2013

In no special order:

The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler)

Native Son (Richard Wright)

The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn (Mark Twain)

Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)

The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)

The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Something by Henry James

Something by Dawn Powell

by Anonymousreply 2402/04/2013

Santayana proclaimed that the best of them was "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." He had a point, although he was probably wrong.

Age of Innocence (although her short stories were better)

Huckleberry Finn

Great Gatsby (speaking of someone whose short stories were better)

Henry James belongs on here.

Oh, okay, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

by Anonymousreply 2502/04/2013

The Scarlet Letter

Moby Dick

The American Tragedy/ Sister Carrie

Look Homeward Angel

The Grapes of Wrath/ East of Eden

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

To Kill A Mockingbird

The Prince of Tides

by Anonymousreply 2602/04/2013

The Sound and the Fury

Huckleberry Finn


Native Son

A Separate Piece

by Anonymousreply 2702/04/2013

I can't help myself, even though lists like this always make the compilers look stupid, including, I'm sure, me. To my mind these are the most American of the great American novels:

The Scarlet Letter Moby Dick The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Great Gatsby Absalom, Absalom!

Because I like them so much, I'll also add these novels (plus a couple of novellas):

Billy Budd The Ambassadors My Antonia The Age of Innocence The Sound and the Fury Call It Sleep The Grapes of Wrath Lolita Henderson the Rain King Goodbye, Columbus In Cold Blood

I like the stories of Ernest Hemingway and John Cheever better than their novels. They're my two favorite American short story writers of the 20th century, though my favorite American short story of the century is probably The Bear, by William Faulkner.

by Anonymousreply 2802/04/2013

Moby Dick (Melville)

Absalom, Absalom! (Faulkner)

Lolita (Nabakov)

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

Cat's Cradle (Vonnegut)

by Anonymousreply 2902/04/2013

I'm with R23, except replace R3's Harper Lee with just about anything by Wharton.

Maybe it's because I'm a Yankee, but I find all the Southern Eccentricity in "To Kill A Mockingbird" somehow annoying.

I'd also add "Pale Horse, Pale Rider", but I think it is considered a "novella" rather than a "novel".

by Anonymousreply 3002/04/2013

I can't believe I'm the first to mention The Catcher in the Rye and Gone With the Wind.

by Anonymousreply 3102/04/2013

Guess what my favorite book is?

I just wisht I knew how it ended up

by Anonymousreply 3202/04/2013

Catcher in the Rye = overrated

by Anonymousreply 3302/04/2013

The Quiet American - Graham Greene

by Anonymousreply 3402/04/2013

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Texasville (Larry McMurtry)

Walking Across Egypt (Clyde Edgarton)

The Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris)

Breathing Lessons (Anne Tyler)

by Anonymousreply 3502/04/2013

R34 - Kitty, do you even know who Graham Greene was?

He was British, not American.

by Anonymousreply 3602/04/2013

Moby DIck is a really boring book

by Anonymousreply 3702/04/2013

The Bible

by Anonymousreply 3802/04/2013

Colour Purple

As I Lay Dying

The Moviegoer

On The Road

In Cold Blood

by Anonymousreply 3902/04/2013

Death Comes for the Archbishop


Portrait of a Lady

Moby Dick

Go Tell It On the Mountain

by Anonymousreply 4002/04/2013

[quote]A Separate Piece

Is this a paperback porn parody of A SEPARATE PEACE?

by Anonymousreply 4102/04/2013

The Ugly American - Eugene Burdick and William Lederer

by Anonymousreply 4202/04/2013

My choices, in no particular order among them:

(1) Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. So gigantic and ambitious that I just don't see how it could not be on everyone's list (though I agree tastes differ). Probably the most original and ambitious novel an American has ever tried to write.

(2) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Certainly not my favorite of his novels, but you can really see how he tried to expand what he was doing in the midst of writing it and succeeded. The first third of the book is boring, but then he figured out what he wanted to in terms of portraying the heroine's psyche and just took off.

(3) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. To me this counts because it's one of the greatest novels about America ever written, and Nabokov was (as someone upthread mentions) a naturalized American citizen when he wrote it. A brilliant game of boxes within boxes, and an extremely funny take on a very serious subject: the forcible loss of innocence, both sexual and otherwise.

(4) Beloved by Toni Morrison. One of the two most sophisticated and intelligent meditations on the defining horror of the American historical experience (slavery). Gorgeously written and extremely moving.

(5) Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. The other great meditation on the effects of slavery on the nation, from the perspective of the corruption it wrought upon the white historical experience. A beautiful meditation on history and guilt.

Very close to these I would include:

*The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton *Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon *The Professor's House by Willa Cather *Nightwood by Djuna Barnes *Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara *The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner *Fidelity by Susan Glaspell *Main Street by Sinclair Lewis *McTeague by Frank Norris *An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

by Anonymousreply 4302/04/2013

The most important novels by Americans, because they changed the way people saw themselves, were:

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair

"Ramona" by Helen Hunt Jackson

"Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell (changed it for the worse, I fear)

"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

by Anonymousreply 4402/04/2013

Not in any order:

Ada - Nabokov

The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway

House of Mirth - Wharton

The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald

Billy Budd - Melville

But I could also go with East of Eden, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Tender is the Night, Scarlet Letter, Invisible Man, or any number of other novels. Five is way too short a list.

by Anonymousreply 4502/04/2013

[quote]The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James...The first third of the book is boring

I like how he introduced the phrase, "looking out for number one."

by Anonymousreply 4602/04/2013

Underworld (DeLillo)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Hemingway)

Lolita (Nabokov)

The Tunnel (Gass)

Money* (Amis)

* Amis may have been born in Britain, but he's more American than most American writers.

by Anonymousreply 4702/04/2013

The Bible, The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective, The Book of Mormon, Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother, 50 Shades of Grey

by Anonymousreply 4802/04/2013

But the greatest?

The House of the Seven Gables by Hawthorne

Moby Dick by Melville

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

by Anonymousreply 4902/04/2013

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Good Earth (led to a Pulitzer and Nobel prize)

Huck Finn

Moby Dick

Gone with the Wind (I agree with how much it changed how Americans look at ourselves)

by Anonymousreply 5002/04/2013

Greatest is hard to define because great can be different for different people.

As for most iconic, I would say, in no order:

The Great Gatsby The Catcher in the Rye Gone with the Wind Huck Finn To Kill a Mockingbird

Lolita doesn't feel American to me.

by Anonymousreply 5102/04/2013

I loved Huckleberry but The Further Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was almost as good.

by Anonymousreply 5202/04/2013

No Willa Cather?

the Death comes for the Archbishop (gay overtones)

My Antonia

by Anonymousreply 5302/04/2013

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

by Anonymousreply 5402/04/2013

To Kill A Mockingbird

The Grapes of Wrath

The Sound and the Fury

The Catcher In the Rye

The Great Gatsby

In Cold Blood

by Anonymousreply 5502/04/2013

Scarlet Letter was seminal.

by Anonymousreply 5602/04/2013

The Scarlet Letter

The Great Gatsby

Gone With The Wind


The Corrections

by Anonymousreply 5702/04/2013

I prefer Song of Solomon to Beloved.

by Anonymousreply 5802/04/2013

Gone with the Wind, r57? Really?

by Anonymousreply 5902/04/2013

Huck Finn My Antonia The Rabbit novels Charlottes Web American Tragedy

by Anonymousreply 6002/04/2013

The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All -Alan Gurganus

The Age of Innocence -Edith Wharton

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -Mark Twain

Elmer Gantry -Sinclair Lewis

True Grit -Charles Portis

by Anonymousreply 6102/04/2013

Gone with the Wind.


A Confederacy of Dunces.

The Grapes of Wrath.

The Bobbsey Twins Visit the Seashore.

by Anonymousreply 6202/04/2013

[quote]Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The most boring book I ever read in my whole life!

by Anonymousreply 6302/04/2013

Only boring people are bored.

by Anonymousreply 6402/04/2013

Ballad of The Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers VIsions of Cody by Jack Kerouac I, The Divine by Rabih Alemmedine MAriette In Ecstasy by Ron Hansen Cambridge by Caryl Phillips

by Anonymousreply 6502/04/2013

Some of you act like your HS English teacher is reading this.

I say Catch 22, The Jungle, Uncle Tom's Cabin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Slaughterhouse 5 and The Murders in the Rue Morgue (although that's more of a short).

by Anonymousreply 6602/04/2013

R66 says we aren't being graded on this!


Harriet The Spy

Ramona The Pest

The Witches Bridge

Crazy Room Kids

Across Five Aprils

by Anonymousreply 6702/04/2013

I am Charlotte Simmnons

Any Sweet Valley High or SVU

Fried Green Tomatoes

The babysitters Club

Prozaac nation

by Anonymousreply 6802/04/2013

Sometimes I just LOVE DL posters - these lists and examples and explanations/explications are fascinating, elegant, intelligent, DNA-American, simple, complex - THANKS all!

by Anonymousreply 6902/04/2013

Gone With The Wind

As I Lay Dying

Catcher In The Rye

Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In Cold Blood

by Anonymousreply 7002/04/2013

*Lolita* is the most over-rated novel-in-English of the 20th century. *For Whom the Bell Tolls* is an awful book. I can 't believe anyone mentioned *Gone with the Wind*. Why not say Jim Crow is your favorite American tradition?

My list:


Flannery O'Connor's *Wise Blood*

*Billy Budd*

Didion's *Play It As It Lays*

James's *The Ambassadors.*

John Cheever's *Bulket Park*

Cheever is our most under-rated novelist.

Faulkner's *Absalom, Absalom*

Eudora Welty's *Delta Wedding*

Philip Roth 's *Sabbath 's Theater*

Baldwin's *Another Country*

Wharton's *Custom of the Country*

O'Hara's *Appointment in Samarra*

*Sister Carrie*

Stein's *The Making of Americans*

Mailer's *An American Dream*

Morrison's *Sula*

Bellow's *Herzog*

Richard Wright's *Native Son*

by Anonymousreply 7102/04/2013

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

by Anonymousreply 7202/04/2013

I fear that sticking my head in the oven has left my legacy half-baked.

by Anonymousreply 7302/04/2013

Trout Fishing in America

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Crying of Lot 49

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Gulag Archipelago

by Anonymousreply 7402/04/2013

*The Bell Jar* is kind of a bad book.

by Anonymousreply 7502/04/2013

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

As I Lay Dying

Moby Dick

The Great Gatsby

The Golden Bowl

To Kill a Mockingbird

Catcher in the Rye

by Anonymousreply 7602/04/2013

My favorite: A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. It's Slash's favorite book too.

by Anonymousreply 7702/04/2013

r75, perhaps.

But so many of the books listed here are just kind of good.

by Anonymousreply 7802/04/2013

I guess some of ya'll can't tell an American writer from an English writer.

by Anonymousreply 7902/04/2013

Sylvia, come home with me tonight. We'll go blackberrying in the morning light.

by Anonymousreply 8002/04/2013

The Bell Jar

by Anonymousreply 8102/05/2013

Cormac McCarthy "The Road" Cormac McCarthy "All the pretty Horses" Cormac everything.

by Anonymousreply 8202/05/2013

"As I Lay Dying" by Faulkner

by Anonymousreply 8302/05/2013

The Long Goodbye

The Great Gatsby


Little Women

The Jungle

by Anonymousreply 8402/05/2013


by Anonymousreply 8502/05/2013

The Firm by John Grisham

by Anonymousreply 8602/05/2013

Auntie Mame - Patrick Dennis

Tales of the City - Armistead Maupin

Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace

by Anonymousreply 8702/05/2013

A Confederacy Of Dunces has really aged poorly.

A lot of great books do, of course. But not quite like that one.

by Anonymousreply 8802/05/2013

What do you find so dated about it, r88?

by Anonymousreply 8902/05/2013

"Lolita" is probably my favorite novel of all time, but it doesn't feel American to me. I have no idea why. It's a perfect book, though. Perfect.

by Anonymousreply 9002/05/2013

Huckleberry Finn

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - Thornton Wilder had to stop writing novels in the 1930's because the editor of the NYT book review wouldn't review his books because Wilder was gay. It was the kiss of death for book sales back then. Bridge won the Pulitzer prize. NYT theatre critics didn't have that problem.

In Cold Blood

Billy Budd

by Anonymousreply 9102/05/2013

Many have cited In Cold Blood. Surely you all know it is not a novel?

by Anonymousreply 9202/05/2013

As I Lay Dying - So glad to see so many agree.

The Road

In Cold Blood

The Jungle

Charlotte's Web

by Anonymousreply 9302/05/2013

So many great choices here. I'll add Stoner by John Williams because no one has mentioned it yet. His others are terrific, too (he won the National Book Award for Augustus) but this is really a stand out. It might be the great American novel that very few know exists.

by Anonymousreply 9402/05/2013

Nabokov is a creepy narcissistic writer and a pedophile hiding behind the mask of "perfection." His style is too baroque for my taste. *Catcher in the Rye* is a phony book about hating phonies, and like many such books, its point is to make you feel anxious about how uncool you are. It is also one of the 20th century's most aggressively homophobic novels.

by Anonymousreply 9502/05/2013

Nabokov is a pedophile? Why? Because he wrote about a man who has sex with an underage girl?

By that logic Dostoevsky would be a murderer, Cervantes a madman, Shakespeare, among other things, a cannibal, and the author of the Bible the perpetrator of every evil under the sun.

by Anonymousreply 9602/05/2013

Nabokov was careful with language and its nuance in a way that native borns never have been.

by Anonymousreply 9702/05/2013

Honorable mentions:

Last Exit to Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr.

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

by Anonymousreply 9802/05/2013

Don't think there's any evidence Nabokov was a pedo, but he was a nasty homophobe, despite his gay brother who died in a Nazi concentration camp.

They didn't like gays either.

by Anonymousreply 9902/05/2013

Not in any particular order:

1 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (wish it was required reading everywhere)

2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (the funniest and most brilliant novel imaginable)

3. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (bloody and upsetting and deserving)

4. The Bell-Jar by Sylvia Plath(chilly and deserving)

5. Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bwles (brilliant and underrated)

And one to grow on...

The World According to Garp by John Irving (Irving's most "American" novel)

by Anonymousreply 10002/05/2013

P.S. R100 here - I want to weigh in and say that I think Gone with the Wind is a great novel, too. Subject matter aside, it's actually perfect as a novel and as a characterization study. It's quite amazing, in some ways. I would put in my top 15 or 20 favorite American novels.

by Anonymousreply 10102/05/2013

IMHO 100 years from now, people will still be reading (and enjoying!) Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird....but not Hemingway, Faulkner and even Twain. Maybe Steinbeck (East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath) and Fitzgerald (Gatsby).

What do you 100 years?

by Anonymousreply 10202/05/2013

So hard to guess what will stand in 100 years. Gatsby for sure. Hemingway? Maybe Old Man and the Sea, but all of Papa's oeuvre is on the wane. I think Stoner might find a long standing audience. The Road maybe. Tropic of Cancer, Heart is a Lonely Hunter, maybe White Noise (though it already feels dated).

And whoever mentioned Garp, good call. I contend that Irving is the best mainstream writer out there. Hotel New Hampshire is my personal favorite, but Garp is wonderful too.

by Anonymousreply 10302/05/2013

Perhaps not great literature but From Here To Eternity was a great read. I did not read for many years because I thought it was a war story. It actually ends when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Was hard to read at first because the characters speech is spelled phonetically so you know how they spoke. was a reveling look at depression era men in the military because they had few alternatives. I found myself thinking about the time and place and the characters long after reading the book as if I had actually experienced it myself. What prompted me to read the book was an essay by Joan Didion about her fondness for the novel.

by Anonymousreply 10402/05/2013

A Separate Peace Scarlet Letter East of Eden A Prayer for Owen Meany The House of Mirth

by Anonymousreply 10502/05/2013

Lots of southerners here at Datalounge, and so they all hate "Confederacy of Dunces," because there has never been a more concise description of the region. John Kennedy Toole never had a chance to edit his book, so of course it's a bit "looser" than the finished product would have been, but it is masterful and humorous and to say it "aged badly" says more about your failing journey through life than Ignatius Reilly's.

by Anonymousreply 10602/05/2013

Of the older books read for pure enjoyment, I'm a fan of The Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind, The Fountainhead, … all good reads , clearly and concisely written … and while maybe not "great," Auntie Mame and The World According to Garp are fun.

by Anonymousreply 10702/05/2013

Hisss...Ayn Rand freak has infiltrated the 'Lounge.

by Anonymousreply 10802/05/2013

The rape scene is always what they like best about it.

by Anonymousreply 10902/05/2013

Rl06, Rl08, R110 light up the board! I don't see any care here with language and its nuance.

by Anonymousreply 11002/05/2013

[quote]to say it "aged badly" says more about your failing journey through life than Ignatius Reilly's.

Well, you sure told off them, Miss Huffy.

by Anonymousreply 11102/05/2013

If I skip what I know I should say and list the five American novels that were the most engaging, to me:

1. Lolita

2. Catch-22

3. Bastard out of Carolina

4. In Cold Blood (Not technically a work of fiction, but this so typifies what America has become -- the amazing, everyday tension we have with random, horrible violence and our love of making harsh reality into entertainment. In many ways it anticipated the next 40-plus years of American pop culture.)

5. Even Cowgirls get the Blues

I can admit objectively these wouldn't be the greatest, but they're some of my favorites. Others I've loved.

The Jungle (Sinclair)

Brave New World


Empire Falls

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (the writing was mediocre, but the concept was really wonderful)

Martian Chronicles (Bradbury)

I need to read Gatsby, the Road and Slaughterhouse Five. For some reason, I put all three down. I think I tried to read them when I had too many other things on my mind.

by Anonymousreply 11202/05/2013

I loved Money and if I remember correctly, it was mostly set in America, but the main character is a working-class Londoner (with an amazingly fun Cockney accent) traveling around the States on a book tour I think it was, and Martin Amis is about as English as it gets. Furthermore, I can understand extolling Money as a great read, but one of the 5 great American novels?--it's not even close to being one of the 5 great British novels.

That said, talking about it has made me want to read it again--it is a wonderful novel.

by Anonymousreply 11302/05/2013

[R112] Being a big Cormac McCarthy fan I was happy when The Road came out. I actually had the book for two years before I read it. I kept putting it aside because the subject matter was grim. It is not a long book and the morning I decided to tackle the book was a revelation. From page one I was riveted by the language and the eloquence. I stopped for lunch but did not put the book down until I was finished. It was a devastating tale but there is pure gold in that book. It is really a story of a man's love for his son. It remains my favorite book and I used to read 100 books a year.

by Anonymousreply 11402/06/2013

[quote]IMHO 100 years from now, people will still be reading (and enjoying!) Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird....but not Hemingway, Faulkner and even Twain. What do you think?

I think you're wrong.

by Anonymousreply 11505/29/2014

plath's the bell jar, grapes of wrath by steinbeck, gravity's rainbow by thomas pynchon, awakening by kate chopon, the gallery by john burns holmes

by Anonymousreply 11605/29/2014

The House of the Seven Gables, Gone with the Wind, Little House on the Prairie, The Haunting of Hill House, IT by Stephen King, and The Great Gatsby.

by Anonymousreply 11705/29/2014

(in no particular order) In Cold Blood; To Kill A Mockingbird; Look Homeward, Angel; The Bell Jar; The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Good to see The Bell Jar mentioned several times. It's the one I've read the most. No, it's not genius. But a genius wrote it.

by Anonymousreply 11805/29/2014

Not to be a dick, but when was In Cold Blood re-classified as fiction?

by Anonymousreply 11905/29/2014

"West With the Night", by Beryl Markham.

I know it's more of a "memoir", but the controversy surrounding its authorship could very well make it a work of total fiction, almost Hemingway-esque, yet still utterly original.

It's stunningly intimate, evocative, and beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 12005/29/2014

Shades Of Grey 1,2 & 3 Life on my back By Chelsea Life on All fours Her upcoming sequel

Sure to all to be in every lit class in the US

by Anonymousreply 12105/29/2014

Someone should start a "Best Non-fiction Books" thread.

by Anonymousreply 12205/29/2014
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