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Re ... last 25 years: I see all the hype about The DaVinci Code and wonder the same thing. The novel is poorly written and wouldn't deserve a comment except for the push to sell the movie.


Very astute. I agree that Cormac McCarthy is a dreadful writer. One of the best essays I ever read about contemporary lit appeared a couple years ago in Harpers. Essentially it said that most of today's acclaimed fiction is terrible...Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx, and Don DeLillo were described as unreadable. I laughed so hard reading this,I was crying.


Correction. It was "A Reader's Manifesto," which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly.

Crawford Kilian

I read it too, and agreed with most of it. While it was great fun, it appears to have had zero impact on the kind of mainstream fiction that gets published.


I'm not fond of lists, it's just another way of compartmentalizing the world. But whether it's deserving of number one or not, Toni Morrison's 'Beloved' is an excellent novel. Insightful & lyrical it truly stands out among 20th Century novels.

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