1. online.education
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    online.education Member

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    Best American novels ...

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by online.education, Jul 22, 2007.

    If you were to pick best American novels, what would you pick?

    (I actually haven't been reading many novels written by Americans lately (with the exception of John Grisham), but I'm keen on reading a couple of them this year. This is why I'm asking this question ...)
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    The Great American Novel would be American Gods, but Neil Gaiman is British. Sigh.
     
  3. Jackaroo
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    Jackaroo New Member

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    I'd include Jack Kerouac's On The Road in my list.
     
  4. TVDinner
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    TVDinner Member

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    I have to admit that I include Salem's Lot and a few of the EARLY great Stephen King books. Just amazing writing.
     
  5. online.education
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    online.education Member

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    Hmmm ...

    What do you all think about writers like ...

    Hemingway
    Mark Twain
    John Steinbeck
    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Tennessee Williams?
     
  6. TVDinner
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    TVDinner Member

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    well of course they are great, but to me, I am more interested in more modern great writers.
     
  7. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some great American novels I've read.

    The Great Gatsby (that should cover your question about Fitzgerald)
    The Scarlet Letter
    Last of the Mohicans

    Both of the last two are quite heavy going but deserve the praise they've received.

    On the Road is pretty good too.
     
  8. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    The Dark Tower series, by Stehpen King is a great series, but it wont go down in history.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that the phantom Tollbooth is an AMerican creation.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Richard Farinha's "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me" would probably be a notable.
     
  10. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    In Cold Blood - Thruman Capote

    Such an amazing read!
     
  11. rml8607
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    rml8607 Senior Member

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    Catcher in the Rye - the best american novel
     
  12. PrincessGarnet
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    PrincessGarnet Contributing Member

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    Hemingway seems over rated from what I have read. if you like his style I'd recommend Joseph Conrad - much better

    I love Tennessee Williams! :)
     
  13. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    My english teacher told me that Huck Finn by Mark Twain was considered "The Best American Novel Ever Written." I'm not so sure about that, but it's pretty beast. Umm ... The Awakening is pretty good. Can't remember who wrote it. e.e. cummings wrote "The Enormous Room." No one reads it because it's by e.e. cummings and it's like ... "OH NO! I won't understand it!" And, well ... if you take that attitude you probably won't understand, [even though there's not much to understand, it's a pretty beast story.]

    Langhston Hugues. He didn't write much notable novles [I really can't think of any he wrote at the moment, but my gut tells me he wrote one or more.] He did write some really beast poetry, though.

    Is Lord of the Flies American? No, wait ... That's English. Still a good book, though.

    Battlefield Earth. Beast story, if not a little overwhelming.

    And that's it for right now. I'll post another volume later if I think of any more.
     
  14. xxkozxx
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    xxkozxx Active Member

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    what is a "Beast story?"
     
  15. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    i never know who is American or not, i very rarely even know who has wrote the book unless i have reas like 100 of theres, lol.
     
  16. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    ... A cool story. :rolleyes:
     
  17. TheArtfulWeber
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    TheArtfulWeber Senior Member

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    mhm

    Huck Finn is an amazing novel and until college I had no idea about the underlying messages and symbolism in the book. Huck is a racist though, so I don't think it is fair that this book should be "The Best" even though it was probably the most influential.

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin is another great book, but I don't think it would rank as "The Best".

    My vote would go to Fitzgerald or Hemingway, but Fitz has more of his novels set in the United States than Hemingway who is infatuated with the rest of the world.
     
  18. (Mark)
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    If I had to pick what I thought were some of the best books to come out of the United States...

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

    I've heard people say Moby-Dick is one of the best, but I've never read it so I can't say.

    I'm tired, and I can't really think of any others right now.
     
  19. TheArtfulWeber
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    TheArtfulWeber Senior Member

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    I've heard that Faulkner's greatest work was Absolom, Absolom but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I've heard that it was better than The Sound and the Fury, but that would be hard to beat.
     
  20. (Mark)
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    (Mark) Contributing Member

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    I haven't read that one either. I didn't like As I Lay Dying as much as The Sound and the Fury. I'm planning on reading Light In August next.
     
  21. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    I'd have to say Catch-22 would be my favorite American 'classic.'
     
  22. TheArtfulWeber
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    TheArtfulWeber Senior Member

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    I actually picked Catch-22 up from Waldenbooks a month ago. For some reason it was on sale for $3 which was a pretty good reason to buy it. I should get around to reading it, but due to how long it is and the amount of reading I have for my 4 literature class, it might have to wait until summer.
     
  23. (Mark)
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    Catch-22 is excellent. It's been one of my favorite books for a long, long time.
     
  24. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Johnny got his Gun - Dalton Trumbo
    V. - Tommas Pynchon
    The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    John Steinbeck

    All my favoutes
     
  25. TheArtfulWeber
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    TheArtfulWeber Senior Member

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    It seems to be a very common agreement that Gatsby ranks high in this thread
     

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