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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
3.68
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
not set
May 22, 2012
 
Candide
3.74
"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
not set
Sep 15, 2011
 
The Book of Disquiet
4.53
"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
4.34
"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
4.20
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
Finnegans Wake
3.65
"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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
The Sun Also Rises
3.82
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
3.73
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
not set
Jun 21, 2011
 
The Death of Virgil
4.27
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
Middle C
3.38
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
4.15
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
4.27
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
Jacques the Fatalist
3.83
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
The Decameron
3.85
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
not set
Sep 29, 2011
 
Appointment in Samarra
3.83
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
not set
Jun 20, 2011
 
Cloud Atlas
4.02
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
3.93
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
not set
Aug 04, 2013
 
Being and Homelessness: Notes from an Underground Artist
4.29
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
not set
Jan 04, 2012
 
Notes from Underground
4.14
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
not set
Jun 19, 2011
 
Imperial Bedrooms
3.10
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
4.45
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
Sentimental Education
3.84
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
 
Money
3.70
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
3.96
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)
4.13
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
not set
Sep 02, 2011
 
What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations
4.18
**spoiler alert** To be completely honest -- meh.
Jul 2012
Apr 06, 2012
 
Gravity's Rainbow
4.03
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
not set
Jun 19, 2011
 
The Sot-Weed Factor
4.08
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
JR
4.30
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
 
Under the Volcano
3.80
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
not set
Jun 11, 2011
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