Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So, The Novel Isn't Dead..., if only they'd come into the bookstore and actually buy the damn books. Flavorpill disputes a recent article in the Guardian about our culturally unmoored present with their list of "10 Essential Books from the Last 25 Years." An interesting list, and certainly right on target in the context of literature as cultural touchstone.


EnriqueFreeque said...

Fight Club? No.
The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar WHO? No. Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer; ergo, his literary career is pretty much over, and there's plenty of better representative multi-narrative-style books than that one.
A Million Little Pieces? Gimme a break!
Ender's Game? Fat chance.

I like the other six picks though. How insulting to put James Fraud on this list and not J.K. Rowling; or Orson Card and not Rowling?

Rebecca Glenn said...

You know, the only title that I had a really? reaction about was the Alex Garland, which I found to be sensationalistic and sophomoric. Plus, as a bookseller, while I can attest to the other titles being frequently purchased, discussed, and inquired about, I rarely see any interest in The Beach.

James Frey? You know, before he was outed as a novelist rather than a memoirist the book received a lot of good press, both about the grittiness of the content as well as the quality of the writing. Wasn't interested, didn't read it.

A couple of people whom I respect as readers swear by Junot Diaz, but I also haven't read that one...

And I like Orson Scott Card, but I tend to agree that it's more of a kid thing than a cultural touchstone.

I think Rowling might be too much of a phenomenon to be merely a touchstone...

EnriqueFreeque said...

I pulled out the Junot Diaz tonight, read some, and will give him another chance, since he comes so lauded in certain Becky circles ... Maybe I was in a bad mood the first time through; and maybe, Diaz can break out of that Pulitzer jinx. Can you name one writer who wrote anything as great (or just great period) after winning the Pulitzer? Pet theory of mine. Prove me wrong!

Jane Smiley, for instance, eh?
Oscar Hijuelos, eh? et cetera

TheBookGirl said...

So what does this say about me that I have not read any of the ten? I have read other books by some of the authors on the list but not those particular works.

I have read four of the ones on the "these too" list at the end of the article. So I don't feel too bad :(