1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Greatest Novel of All-Time

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by EStreetJoe, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    A (naturalized) American citizen writing a defining 20th century American novel in English while living in America?

    I'll take him.
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I didn't realize he had his citizenship. I always thought of Vladimir Nabokov as a Russian author. Anyway, Ernest Hemingway's time in Paris?
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I think you'd have a better case there if Papa wrote Sun Also Rises in French.
  4. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    'The Sun Also Rises' has got a lot of love on this thread so far, but runs afoul of the three lists we have going.

    - In the original post, the HuffPo bracket of 16 best novels all time does not include it.

    - Published in 1926, it doesn't fit our subsequent 'best postwar American' novel list.

    - nor does it go on our 'best 21st century American novel' list.

    If we do a straight up 'Best America Novel' list, it's Top 10, certainly.
  5. Dash 7

    Dash 7 Member

    Welp, this was going to be my next contribution to the thread. It falls off in the second half, but the first 150 pages or so (the parts when he is growing up) feature some of the best writing I've read.
  6. Zeke12

    Zeke12 Guest

    I liked NCFOM much better than The Road, but would have a hard time arguing with DD that the latter wasn't actually better writing.

    If that makes any sense.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Lethem problem, in my opinion, is that he's a great writer and a shitty novelist. In my opinion, he writes beautiful paragraphs and is a wonderful table setter, and then he just reboots those same abilities over and over. All the themes in FOS are interesting and he writes deeply about them, but I just don't care about the bigger picture. It's the quite the contrast to Chabon, who loves to go on as many genre bending adventures as Lethem, but he not only does character and cultural rumination well, he also understand that plot matters.

    This is always unpopular when I say it here, but Motherless Brooklyn is not as interesting or as gripping as any Dennis Lehane novel, and it's not as well-written as literary as most Richard Price novels. So to me, it's a failure because it comes up short in both the genres it's trying to straddle.

    Also, I'm not really a fan of Roth, but from what I understand Everyman is probably bucking for a spot in the Best of this (short) millennium category. I'll defer to the Roth-lovers among us.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    That's a good point. I wonder if Russians take credit for Lolita, though.
  9. Dash 7

    Dash 7 Member

    I can get on board with that criticism, I think. The book starts off incredibly strongly, but the story sort of falls apart when it reached the modern time. I guess for me, the writing is so powerful that it sort of overwhelms any other issues with it, for me.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page