Beyond the Modern Library: The 35 Greatest Novels of the 21st Century (so far) (2013 update)

May 27, 2022 – 10:06 am

Drivel!A quick note: the following 10 novels will not appear on this list. It’s not your list. You might think these are great. I think they are overrated, whether because they are simply badly written (The Historian, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter), pretentious McSweeney’s-esque prattle (Absurdistan, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Everything is Illuminated), boring (Life of Pi), overrated due to serious subject matter (Lovely Bones), well written but uninteresting (Bee Season, Wickett’s Remedy), or fatally flawed due to oversimplification of a truly horrid situation (The Kite Runner). They’re not here so don’t ask for them.Brilliant! While I am at it, I should add a few more: A Visit from Goon Squad (an utter mess), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (even being part of its target audience I hated it), The Finkler Question (simply awful). Those are more recent prize-winning novels that also aren’t here because I couldn’t stand them. Also not here are the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde, which are fantastic, but, like Douglas Adams, not quite great writing, or the Jump 225 Trilogy, which I love and was written by a friend of mine, but isn’t quite up there. I have done away with the English language requirement for this list, because my previous list was done to Modern Library standards to match up against their list. Only two of these are foreign language novels anyway.

Before I get to the list, I feel I should point out that it’s now up to 29 35 books. That’s because I have added some updates over the last couple of years and didn’t feel the need to delete the books at the bottom of the list.

Inherent Vice - the most readable Pynchon novel in decades the British cover the best graphic novel this century

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The Path: The Path (A Boy Gets Lost in a Path and Along the way Discovers the Meaning of Life)[Young Adults] (Young Adult Books,Young Adults,Best ... Novels,Top 100 Books,Best Sellers) (Volume 1)
Book (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)

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