Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Jake Owen Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro

Modern Fiction A-List

Eclectic Book Works
The list author says: "Attempting to compare and "grade" great novels is not only an exercise in hubris (guilty as charged), but one of great futility. I doubt there is a person alive who has created such a list without later reviewing and wondering "what the HELL was I thinking!" But it is still among life's great pleasures: to read, to rate, to compare, and to argue the joys and relative merits of various books. And no matter what delusional position your English teachers may have held, fiction IS for fun, period. When it becomes focused on something else, it is in great danger of becoming diatribe (Rand). At which point it ironically loses both its impact and its audience. These books are NOT in any order; they are all A-List and cannot be fairly compared to each other. Apples and Oranges."
Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy)
Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy)
"Davies best single book (but not his best series!)"
Lucky Jim
Lucky Jim
"Funniest book ever written?  It certainly deserves to be in the discussion."
Possession
Possession
"Dreadfully slow to develop, this intellectual love story is not an easy read... but it is oooooh so satisfying! Byatt never cheats us a single time, answering every question, tying up every lose end, delivering on every promise. (Her other novels are equally difficult but not equally worth the effort.)"
The Hamlet
The Hamlet
"First of three in trilogy."
The Town: A Novel of the Snopes Family
The Town: A Novel of the Snopes Family
"Second in the Snopes Trilogy"
The Mansion
The Mansion
"Third and final book in the Snopes Trilogy."
Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
"Short and funny as hell. Steinbeck set aside nearly all his bitterness for this one.  NOTE: Book one of a two book series!"
Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics)
Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics)
"Few people realize that this is the sequel to Cannery Row.  And a completely worthy effort, equal in genius to the first.  Note that the Nick Nolte movie titled Cannery Row, is actually the plot from Sweet Thursday."
The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises
"Hemingway at the height of his powers."
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics)
"A long and difficult book, it is without a doubt Hemingway's best."
Handling Sin
Handling Sin
"Malone's classic "journey of inner exploration" is not only profound, but one of the funniest novels ever written.  He belongs in the Canon of Great American Authors."
Under the Frog: A Novel
Under the Frog: A Novel
"Wicked funny and absolutely unforgettable semi-autobiographical tale of a young man and his pals in communist dominated Hungary.  A Booker Prize winner. (Unlike America's Pulitzer, England's Booker prize is awarded for great fiction rather than socio-political relevance.)"
Moby Dick, or, the whale
Moby Dick, or, the whale
"If you haven't read Moby Dick, you are not only unlettered, but mis-informed. Moby Dick is a funny, fast paced adventure story.  Truly the Great American Novel."
Eyeless in Gaza: A Novel
Eyeless in Gaza: A Novel
"The narrative is as non-chronological as it can be, and I wonder if that was necessary? I can't question the results though...  deeply moving both emotionally and intellectually."
King Jesus: A Novel (FSG Classics)
King Jesus: A Novel (FSG Classics)
""The Last Temptation of Christ" by Kazantzakis was downright orthodox compared to this fascinating alternative view of Jesus.  Graves is a solid scholar and carries it off, even if we disagree with his assumptions and conclusions."
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby
"Fitzgerald is simply dazzling.  Best last paragraph of any novel I have ever read. (But don't jump to the end to read it; it just won't carry the impact.)"
The Power of One: A Novel
The Power of One: A Novel
"Courtenay accomplished a nearly perfect 1st person narrative voice, with never the least verbal bump to interrupt the fictional dream... and you will come to love Peekay."
Middle Passage
Middle Passage
"A slave ship gets more than they bargained for when they attempt to transport a unique package back to America. Charles Johnson takes us to a time and place and - more importantly - a way of thinking that has been long lost. Spooky great."
The Razor's Edge
The Razor's Edge
"This is Maugham's best book.  Fast paced, intellectually and emotionally engaging, completely satisfying in the end.  The movie with Bill Murray got it right, despite what critics may say. This is a classic of English Lit that HAS to go in your bucket list."
Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
"In my opinion this classic "young man grows up" story is Kipling's best novel.  All the mystery of the sea, the nobility  of people, the richness of life. Don't pass it off as being for kids; it is for you too."
The Natural Man
The Natural Man
"Nice kid meets juvenile delenquent. A great comic stunt set in 1950s rural America. "The priest broke my cigarette so I had to punch him in the snot locker." hahahahahaha!"
Pinball (Kosinski, Jerzy)
Pinball (Kosinski, Jerzy)
"Kozinski is more famous for other books, but I like this one by far the best.  A crime thriller with all his usual intellect, his bizarre philosophy, and a complex plot that zings you right through to the end."
Shogun
Shogun
"By FAR Clavell's best book.  It is a monster, but don't let that scare you off.  The pace is fast as he carries you deeper and deeper into the plot. Everything is resolves to our complete satisfaction - if not our complete wishes."
The Dork of Cork
The Dork of Cork
"Never heard of it, have you?  One of the most satisfying tales of "downtrodden guy makes good" I have ever read.  I really do not understand how this one so effectively avoided the fame it deserves.  You will love the Dork, love what he, love what happens."
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 01 to 05
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 01 to 05
"If you have never read it you should be ashamed of yourself?  Stop with the excuses, put down whatever tripe you have in your hand, and read this great American masterpiece.  There may be great books that are boring, but this for sure is not one of them."
Lord of the Flies (50th Anniversary Edition)
Lord of the Flies (50th Anniversary Edition)
"Another book on the bucket list.  If you were not forced to read it in high school, do so now.  Exiciting, disturbing, memorable."
A Separate Peace
A Separate Peace
"Classic high school assignment. Superbly narrated story of the young, quiet, shy, private school boy being taken under wing by the campus hero... and the disastrous result."
A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange
"A wicked story about young thugs in near-future London. Burgess almost goes too far with the social commentary, but overcomes it with linguistic fireworks. Alex's narrative voice is unique first in all of fiction. NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED!"
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Vintage International)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Vintage International)
"Sillitoe was, along with Kingsley Amis, part of England's "Angry Young Men" literary movement.  This is his best book for sure, and I think the best in that genre (Lucky Jim just does not count)."
The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels (Vol. 5 volumes)  (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
The Complete Aubrey/Maturin Novels (Vol. 5 volumes) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels)
"Series begins with Master and Commander. For sheer captivating pleasure I cannot recommend any series more highly. If you prefer more action, with less thought, less character, less history, and less historical veracity, you will prefer Hornblower: you will also prefer Starsky and Hutch to Sherlock Holmes."
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Their Eyes Were Watching God
"This story is about a black woman in the South who runs off with a black man who founds a black town, with himself as the Big Man.  Great characters, great story, no self-pity. Zora Neale Hurston was at the center of the Harlem Renaissance."
Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)
Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)
"If you are going to read one Science Fiction novel, this is it.  Herbert's plots and characters NEVER fall into cliche.  Dune starts slow, but stick with it! Once it starts to move it just keeps accelerating. NOTE: All the sequels in the series are great. Avoid the Brian Herbert "prequels."  Garbage."
Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land
"Even though he never wrote a book - or a series - as good as Dune, Heinlein is a better SF writer than Herbert.  Stranger is his most famous book, and probably his best. Loaded with controversial sex and religion, the real hook is the characters.  From the first paragraph you are hooked on the people; what they say, who they are, and where they are headed. You WILL want more!"
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
J.R.R. Tolkien Boxed Set (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings)
"Tolkein is the father of all fantasy, and a must read in your bucket list.  The new movie is great, but NOT true to the books and does not count.  No Tom Bombadill?  Outrageous!   No Battle of the Shire?  RIDICULOUS!!! If you do not know that Merry and Pippin's return to the Shire was more important than Aragorn's crowning as king, there is really nothing I can do for you..."
The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
"THE classic story about a "troubled teenager." If you want to be well-read, you have to read it.  The good news is that it is fast paced, funny, and generally highly entertaining."
Billy Phelan's Greatest Game
Billy Phelan's Greatest Game
"William Kennedy's Greatest Book.  Book one of the Albany cycle, which includes Ironweed (made famous by the Meryl Streep movie). The title character hustles his way through an epic week. Fantastic."
Beach Music: A Novel
Beach Music: A Novel
"Conroy's best book. The dude is a flat out genius of the English language, right up there with Faulkner. Completely worth while, despite its utter sadness."
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
"Toole committed suicide because no one would publish this book. Genuine thanks to Walker Percy for correcting that greivous mistake.  It is absolutely at the top of the list of funny novels.  Ignatius J Reilly is forced to get a job and his home city of New Orleans suffers the consequences.  Completely lacking in theology and geometry.  Who produced this abortion?!!!"
The Wind in the Willows (Signet Classics)
The Wind in the Willows (Signet Classics)
"Everyone deserves to have this read to them as a child; if you missed that yourself, then make up for it by reading it to your children. They won't ever forget it, and neither will you."
Cold Sassy Tree
Cold Sassy Tree
"Comparable to A Short History of a Small Place.  Not quite as funny, but more deeply felt and more moving."