Best Contemporary Fiction

A Listmania! list by David Laird (BC, Canada)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "Thirty-ish superlative books, in semi-particular order."
Infinite Jest
1.  Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The list author says:
  "Best book ever, man."
$18.00   Used & New from: $8.75
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (724 customer reviews)

The Instructions
2.  The Instructions by Adam Levin
The list author says:
  "Wallacian richness. Bancers, dentists, and schmendricks will have bricks popped and snat sprayed in their direction."
$14.50   Used & New from: $3.75
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

White Noise: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
3.  White Noise: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Don DeLillo
The list author says:
  "The turning point for me between non-fiction and fiction. Which is to say, I used to read non-fiction almost exclusively, then read this, and changed teams (literarily)."
$9.32   Used & New from: $3.76
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)

The Brothers K
4.  The Brothers K by David James Duncan
The list author says:
  "An American Brothers Karamazov. Hilarious and poignant."
$12.62   Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

The People of Paper
5.  The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia
The list author says:
  "Turbo post-modern experimentalism. Probably the coolest book I can think of."
$13.15   Used & New from: $4.37
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Children's Hospital
6.  The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian
The list author says:
  "Magic realism at its most apocalyptic."
Used & New from: $0.08
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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The Convalescent
7.  The Convalescent by Jessica Anthony
The list author says:
  "More excellent magic realism from McSweeney's."
$12.57   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
8.  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
The list author says:
  "Great main character. I never plan on seeing the movie."
$9.58   Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,168 customer reviews)

The Road
9.  The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The list author says:
  "You've probably read this already. Apparently every house-wife in America has too."
$8.52   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,462 customer reviews) | 63 customer discussions

Underworld: A Novel
10.  Underworld: A Novel by Don DeLillo
The list author says:
  "Big American novel. If you like baseball, waste, and the Cold War, you'll dig this."
$11.74
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)

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The New York Trilogy (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
11.  The New York Trilogy (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Paul Auster
The list author says:
  "Three noir-esque detective novellas in one volume. "City of Glass" is amazing."
$13.88   Used & New from: $4.46
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
12.  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The list author says:
  "Very Wallacian, but Dominican. Footnotes included."
$9.07   Used & New from: $0.91
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (972 customer reviews)

Gob's Grief: A Novel
13.  Gob's Grief: A Novel by Chris Adrian
The list author says:
  "Civil War magic realism with Walt Whitman as a main character. I recommend reading this before The Children's Hospital by Adrian."
$13.79   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

The History of Love
14.  The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The list author says:
  "Very similar to her (now ex-) husband's writing (Jonathan Safran Foer)."
$8.44   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (558 customer reviews)

The Pale King
15.  The Pale King by David Foster Wallace
The list author says:
  "Unfinished, but no big deal; it feels just like most other postmodern novels."
$17.00   Used & New from: $8.97
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
16.  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
The list author says:
  "Comic book enthusiasts rejoice."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (891 customer reviews)

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A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
17.  A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
The list author says:
  "Most girls I know don't like this book, probably because it gives away the secrets of the male psyche and leaves them (the girls) wanting."
$9.01   Used & New from: $0.01
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,107 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Everything Matters!: A Novel
18.  Everything Matters!: A Novel by Ron Currie, Jr.
The list author says:
  "Apocalyptic, kind of like Donnie Darko; but actually good."
Used & New from: $2.00
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
19.  Middlesex: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club) by Jeffrey Eugenides
The list author says:
  "Clever title."
$8.70   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,410 customer reviews)

High Fidelity: A Novel
20.  High Fidelity: A Novel by Nick Hornby
The list author says:
  "One of few books with a great movie adaptation. Set in the UK here though."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (597 customer reviews)

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Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
21.  Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) by Kurt Vonnegut
The list author says:
  "So it goes..."
$9.76   Used & New from: $0.19
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,601 customer reviews)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
22.  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
The list author says:
  "Surrealism trapped in a well."
$9.57   Used & New from: $3.63
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (571 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Everything is Illuminated
23.  Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
The list author says:
  "Premium Foer."
$10.37   Used & New from: $0.55
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (564 customer reviews)

The Virgin Suicides: A Novel
24.  The Virgin Suicides: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
The list author says:
  "Adolescent crushing meets philosophy."
$9.49   Used & New from: $2.44
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (565 customer reviews)

Libra
25.  Libra by Don DeLillo
The list author says:
  "Follow Lee Harvey Oswald through the pages of Marx and Engels and into the Texas Theatre."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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The Great Perhaps: A Novel
26.  The Great Perhaps: A Novel by Joe Meno
The list author says:
  "This dude has seizures whenever he sees clouds. Nuff said."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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The Marriage Plot (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
27.  The Marriage Plot (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) by Jeffrey Eugenides
The list author says:
  "A thinly veiled life of David Foster Wallace."
$24.22   Used & New from: $19.55
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (611 customer reviews)

The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library)
28.  The Crying of Lot 49 (Perennial Fiction Library) by Thomas Pynchon
The list author says:
  "Short but dense, and very influential."
$11.47   Used & New from: $2.81
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

Big Machine: A Novel
29.  Big Machine: A Novel by Victor LaValle
The list author says:
  "Janitorial magic realism."
$12.50   Used & New from: $3.51
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (P.S.)
30.  The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (P.S.) by Michael Chabon
The list author says:
  "Charming detective novel. Great Jay Ryan cover."
$11.20   Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

Kapitoil: A Novel
31.  Kapitoil: A Novel by Teddy Wayne
The list author says:
  "Imagine if Abed from Community wrote a first-person novel and was a computer programmer and Qatari immigrant. Meet Karim Issar."
$12.17   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

God Is Dead
32.  God Is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr.
The list author says:
  "Interwoven short stories with theological density."
Used & New from: $2.03
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories
33.  Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories by Jim Shepard
The list author says:
  "Excellent short story collection."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir: Stories
34.  Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir: Stories by Joe Meno
The list author says:
  "Ibid."
$11.66   Used & New from: $2.81
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Realistic ? 5 Aug 11, 2014
Why didn't the author tell us what apocalyptic event took place? 32 Aug 11, 2014
Why didn't the man and boy stay in the bunker? 21 Aug 11, 2014
Where does the story take place? 15 Aug 11, 2014
Weight of paperback 0 Jul 26, 2014
Are there no endnotes in the kindle version of Infinite Jest? 11 May 31, 2014
Your favorite scene or "vignette" in Infinite Jest? 2 Mar 22, 2014
Do you think this book is appropriate for young teenagers (9th graders)? 6 Mar 13, 2014
Welcome to the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close forum 7 Dec 1, 2013
Ely 0 Aug 15, 2013
Chapter Eleven 13 May 14, 2013
Key Plot Mysteries of The History of Love Questions and Answers 15 Apr 29, 2013
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

David Laird (BC, Canada)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: High School English Teacher/Bibliophile
Last updated: 8/14/14
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