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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
Dear Ms. E.L. James,
I wish to express my most sincere disapprobation and sternest, dare I say, most strict lecture for ruining my private life. Althou...more
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May 22, 2012
"Candide" is an accessible masterpiece which demonstrated to the world Volatire's genius as a satirist. The eponymous Candide is a young man tutored b...more
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Sep 15, 2011
The Book of Disquiet
"B of D" is a work of pure genius written in gloriously lyrical, existential prose: it wants to be poetry and, at times, it is.

Pessoa is a profoundly...more
Dec 29, 2012
Mar 05, 2012
Infinite Jest
"Infinite Jest" is a work of incredibly bleak and profoundly, hopelessly desperate, literary genius. The writing is unquestionably brilliant but riddl...more
Jun 29, 2012
Apr 01, 2012
The Recognitions
In a habit I sustained in college I make it a practice to underline the most quotable lines of novels I read: The Recognitions has underlines on every...more
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Jun 11, 2011
Finnegans Wake
"Tim Finnegan’s Wake"
by David B. Lentz

When God reeled in good auld Tim Finnegan,
And looked into his green Irish peepers,
Said He, “Now, what was I th...more
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Jun 11, 2011
The Sun Also Rises
Let me begin by saying that I hold Hemingway in high esteem: so much so that while at the Key West Literary Seminar this year I visited his home for a...more
Mar 23, 2013
Jun 19, 2011
Snow Falling on Cedars
This PEN/Faulkner winning novel employs a narrative technique that distinguishes it. The tale is told from the points of view of the cast of character...more
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Jun 21, 2011
The Death of Virgil
This novel reads more like an epic poem than a novel, which is only right as the novel deals with the demise of the Aeneid's brilliant author. A sensi...more
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Jun 11, 2011
Middle C
Gass once wrote that he sought the world in a word. It is worthy of note that in this novel he seeks a symphony amid the cacophony in "Middle C" and s...more
Jun 22, 2013
Apr 19, 2013
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
In “Sisyphus” Camus explores the great Greek myth to address Hamlet’s ultimate question as to whether one should be or not be. Camus scoffs at Kierkeg...more
Jun 09, 2014
Jun 20, 2011
Darconville’s Cat
I strongly suspect that Professor Theroux somewhere along the way made a Faustian trade with Mephistopheles and was willing to part with the love of h...more
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Jun 11, 2011
Jacques the Fatalist
It may be your destiny to read and adore the pithy wit of Diderot. At a time when the novel was new as a genre as a contemporary of Sterne and Richard...more
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Jun 11, 2011
The Decameron
This great book is set in a country estate outside Florence during a plague. The meaning of the setting was not lost upon me: with death beckoning fro...more
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Sep 29, 2011
Appointment in Samarra
O'Hara's distinctive literary voice is both unique and disarming. For the first hundred pages I was unsure that O'Hara was even a competent writer, ne...more
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Jun 20, 2011
Cloud Atlas
I am very much impressed with the innovation of David Mitchell in "Cloud Atlas" insofar as he invents a new timeline for his articulate narrative styl...more
Mar 02, 2013
Dec 30, 2012
Group Portrait with Lady
It is often the mark of a truly great book that style is at least as important as other aspects such a story line or character definition. I have foun...more
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Aug 04, 2013
Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist
This courageous and inspiring work of non-fiction by artist, John Sibley, gives a human face to those who live underground among America's homeless. "...more
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Jan 04, 2012
Notes from Underground
Dostoyesky's anti-hero is the the first of a long line of existential anti-heroes that followed later in the 20th century. Clearly, here is a man who...more
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Jun 19, 2011
Imperial Bedrooms
I really can't seem to remember the last time that I rated a novel with only one star. But I blame myself: I should have seen it coming. A friend of m...more
Nov 13, 2011
Nov 04, 2011
Life and Fate
This masterpiece published by New York Review of Books Classics enters my Top 5 among novels by James Joyce (Ulysses), Proust (La Recherche du Temps P...more
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Jun 11, 2011
Sentimental Education
The French word for sentiment is "sentiment" (san-tee-mon). So Flaubert is concerned essentially about what a young French man, presumably him, has le...more
Aug 03, 2013
Jun 29, 2013
Let me begin by saying that this novel is certainly well worth the money -- a masterpiece always is. I hardly know where to begin as I was so moved by...more
Feb 04, 2012
Aug 19, 2011
A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement
A "A Dance to the Music of Time" may well be one of the great literary works about the everyday life of the upper class in England and those attemptin...more
Jul 08, 2014
May 27, 2012
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
A man seeking to connect with the meaning of his life discovers a new theory on the reality of time. It seems that time is not traditionally linear bu...more
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Sep 02, 2011
What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations
**spoiler alert** To be completely honest -- meh.
Jul 2012
Apr 06, 2012
Gravity's Rainbow
One has to admire the magnificent blend of erudition and ambition, which produced this masterwork. I have no idea why 400 characters were necessary to...more
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Jun 19, 2011
The Sot-Weed Factor
This true American masterpiece is written like a 17th century literary novel. The style could well be Fielding, except that Barth is even more hilario...more
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Jun 11, 2011
I have long been struck by the irony that the most avid readers of literary novels seem to have been virtually ignored by American publishers who cate...more
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Jun 11, 2011
Under the Volcano
Lowry's narrative technique is bold: here we have the tale of one half of the last day in the life of a man who is drunk. He is a British Consul livin...more
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Jun 11, 2011
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