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NY Times Poll: Best Work of American Fiction in the last 25Y

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:49 am
by BWV 1080
Did not finish Underworld, have read Blood Meridian a couple of times. Saw the Oprah movie version of Beloved.


Toni Morrison


Don DeLillo


Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy


Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
John Updike

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:56 am
by jbuck919
I haven't read Beloved, but while my English teacher colleagues at my school in Maryland all loved it and put on the reading list, my students, even the most brilliant ones, almost to a single person hated it. I did see Toni Morrison interviewed on TV once and she took the opportunity for some fairly spectacular white bashing (which does not prejudice me against her books, which I may still get around to). I was watching with my mother, and at one point Morrison said, "I'm not trying to demonize white people." To which my mother, who is not a highly educated person but has her moments, responded, "Yes you are, you bitch."

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:22 am
by DavidRoss
Nice to see that Ray Carver's Where I'm Calling From made the list. The reason for such praise for Delilo and Roth escapes me. Beloved is a fine book, but best American fiction of the past quarter-century? And Updike's Rabbit novels hardly meet the "past 25 years" criterion. What the hell's wrong with the Times? (Of course, any rag that would give a sophomoric idiot like Maureen Dowd a soapbox has no claim to credibility.)

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:44 am
by jbuck919
I was trying to avoid this observation, but a case could be made that the results reflect on the poverty of the American novel in general in the last quarter century.

There is also the problem that 25 years doesn't take us back very far. It is hard to believe that Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow is now outside that limit, as are most of the works of Philip Roth and Kurt Vonnegut.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:39 pm
by Corlyss_D
I don't read fiction if I can possibly avoid it.

Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:46 pm
by BWV 1080
Corlyss_D wrote:I don't read fiction if I can possibly avoid it.
Read Blood Meridian - its a great Western