Great American Read List discussion

33 views
The 100 Novels and Series > GAR Books That Mention Other GAR Books and Authors

Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 08, 2018 06:26PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I'm on p. 45—chapter 2 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and I've already discovered 4 GAR authors mentioned in the text:

Stephen King —author of the list book: The Stand
"His bedroom window looked out over the front of her house, and so he always peeped her while he was painting his D&D miniatures or reading the latest Stephen King." — p. 22
"In his dreams he was either saving them from aliens or he was returning to the neighborhood, rich and famous—It's him! The Dominican Stephen King!—and then Marisol would appear, carrying one each of his books for him to sign." — p. 28

Frank Herbert —book series: Dune Chronicles
"Back when the rest of us were learning to play wall-ball and pitch quarters and drive our older brothers' cars and sneak dead soldiers from under our parents' eyes, he was gorging himself on a steady stream of Lovecraft, Wells, Burroughs, Howard, Alexander, Herbert, Asimov, Bova, and Heinlein, and even the Old Ones who were already beginning to fade—E.E. "Doc" Smith, Stapledon, and the guy who wrote all the Doc Savage books—moving hungrily from book to book, author to author, age to age." — p. 23

J.R.R. Tolkien —book series: The Lord of the Rings
"One of those nerds who was always hiding out in the library, who adored Tolkien and later the Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman novels (his favorite character was of course Raistlin), and who, as the eighties marched on, developed a growing obsession with the End of the World." — p. 24

Isaac Asimov —book series: Foundation
[See quotation beneath Frank Herbert.]

I'm curious if there are more GAR books that mention other GAR books or authors. If you should notice any, even if they're selections we've not yet read together as a group, please share!


message 2: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Little Women has several references to Pilgrims Progress.


message 3: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 16, 2018 08:32PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you, Toni!

I've discovered a few more in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

Minas Tirith and Mordor—from the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"Respectability so dense in la grande that you'd need a blowtorch to cut it, and a guardedness so Minas Tirith in la pequeña that you'd need the whole of Mordor to overcome it." — p. 65

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra —author of the list book: Don Quixote
"She's starting to talk like Cervantes, La Inca bragged to the neighbors." — p. 69

ringwraithsLOTR
"In the days of Trujillato, Balaguer was just one of El Jefe's more efficient ringwraiths. " — p. 294

One RingLOTR
"By the undeniable concreteness of her desirability which was, in its own way, Power. Like the accidental discovery of the One Ring. " — p. 75


message 4: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary So far in The Watchers by Dean Koontz, The Sun Also Rises and Frankenstein have been mentioned. I’m in the middle of the book and it is a real page-turner!


message 5: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 16, 2018 08:32PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you, Toni!
I've only read one book by Dean KoontzHideaway. I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to Watchers!

More from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

Ahab—from the list book: Moby-Dick
"Now fully, ahem, endowed, Beli returned to El Redentor from summer break to the alarm of faculty and students alike and set out to track down Jack Pujols with the great deliberation of Ahab after you-know-who." — p. 76

Toni Morrison —author of the book series: Toni Morrison Trilogy
"Like the Fantastic Four and Galactus, like the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, like the Teen Titans and Death-stroke, Foreman and Ali, Morrison and Crouch, Sammy and Sergio, they seemed destined to be eternally linked in the Halls of Battle." — p. 250

Nazgul—from the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"Long story short: upon learning of the dissertation, El Jefe first tried to buy the thing and when that failed he dispatched his chief Nazgul (the sepulchral Felix Bernardino) to NYC and within days Galindez got gagged, bagged, and dragged to La Capital, and legend has it when he came out of his chloroform nap he found himself naked, dangling from his feet over a cauldron of boiling oil, El Jefe standing nearby with a copy of the offending dissertation in hand." — p. 251

Morgul LordsLOTR
"Johnny Abbes Garcia was one of Trujillo's beloved Morgul Lords. " — p.256

ringwraithLOTR
"Don't misunderstand: our boy wasn't no ringwraith, but he wasn't no orc either." — p. 92

Witchking of AngmarLOTR
"Felix Wenceslao Bernardino, raised in La Romana, one of Trujillo's most sinister agents, his Witchking of Angmar. " — p. 259

the Great EyeLOTR
"For it was the Great Eye himself who granted the Gangster authority over a number of the Trujillo family's concessions in Venezuela and Cuba, and under his draconian administration the so-called bang-for-the-buck ratio of Dominican sexworkers trebled." — p. 93


message 6: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 14, 2018 10:57AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
More from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

Charles Dickens —author of the list book: Great Expectations
" ... she was no pendeja and ate girls like Beli like they were pan de agua—if this was Dickens she'd have to run a brothel—but wait, she did run brothels!" — p. 106

shelob—from the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"She sat in her immense house in La Capital like a shelob in her web, all day handling accounts and ordering around subordinates, and on certain weekend nights she would host tertulias where her "friends" would gather to endure hours of poetry declaimed by her preposterously tone-deaf son (from her first marriage; she and the Gangster didn't have any children)." — p. 106

like Galadriel after the temptation of the ringLOTR
"Everybody in the neighborhood will tell you how, shortly after the girl slipped out of the country, La Inca began to diminish, like Galadriel after the temptation of the ring —out of sadness for the girl's failures, some would say, but others would point to that night of Herculean prayer." — p. 117

The Return of the King and Sauron's evilLOTR
"At the end of The Return of the King, Sauron's evil (view spoiler)" — p. 117

elvish ring, Lothlórien, and the EyeLOTR
"Even a woman as potent as La Inca, who with the elvish ring of her will had forged within Baní her own personal Lothlórien, knew that she could not protect the girl against a direct assault from the Eye. " — p. 118

Mother Abigail—from the list book: The Stand
"But on top of that, to show her devotion, she fasted. Pulled a Mother Abigail. " — p. 118

Gondolin and balrogsLOTR
"Knew that when Gondolin falls you don't wait around for the balrogs to tap on your door." — p. 121


message 7: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Lavan, that's great. There are definitely a lot of pop culture references in Oscar Wao, but I hadn't really thought about how many references to GAR books were in there. (And yeah, a *lot* of LOTR refererences!)

I haven't read Ready Player One yet, but I've heard that there are a lot of pop culture references in there, including references to LOTR and Dune, so that covers a couple of GAR books at least. I'll keep my eye out for other references when I do get around to reading it!


message 8: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 16, 2018 08:31PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
That there are, Andrew!

Thank you, that'd be great! I think this is a fun topic. I'm curious how many we can find as we make our way through the list.

More from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

Speak, friend, and enter—from the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"Do you know what sign fool put up on our dorm door? Speak, friend, and enter. In ****ing Elvish!" — p. 127

SindarinLOTR
"When I saw that I said: De León, you gotta be kidding. Elvish?
Actually, he coughed, it's Sindarin. " — p. 127

Sauron's faultLOTR
"What could Oscar claim? That it was Sauron's fault? Dude weighed 307 pounds, for ****'s sake!" — p. 128

balrogLOTR
"You think people hate a fat person? Try a fat person who's trying to get thin. Brought out the mother****ing balrog in ******s." — p. 131

Oscar Wilde —author of the list book: The Picture of Dorian Gray
"When I saw him on Easton, with two other writing-section clowns, I couldn't believe how much he looked like that fat **** Oscar Wilde, and I told him so. You look just like him, which was bad news for Oscar, because Melvin said, Oscar Wao, quién es Oscar Wao, and that was it, all of us started calling him that: Hey, Wao, what you doing? Wao, you want to get your feet off my chair?" — p. 133

Alice Walker —author of the list book: The Color Purple
"And then came the day when I returned from my creative-writing class and found La Jablesse and Oscar sitting in our room. They were just talking, about Alice Walker, but still." — p. 135


message 9: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2018 03:12PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
More from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

J.R.R. Tolkien —author of the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"He was writing a lot, which was always a good sign. I'm going to be the Dominican Tolkien, he said." — p. 142

Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert —authors of the book series: Foundation and Dune Chronicles
"Mine and his sister's signatures the only real ones on his last cast (the right leg broken worse than the left); the rest were thoughtful consolations from Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, and Samuel Delaney." — p. 142

Middle-earthLOTR
"But you know exactly what kind of world we live in. It ain't no ****ing Middle-earth. " — p. 143

MellonLOTR
"In Oscar's version, I raised my hand and said, Mellon. Took him a second to recognize the word. Mellon, he said finally." — p. 146

the Ring and SauronLOTR
"Hiding your doe-eyed, large-breasted daughter from Trujillo, however, was anything but easy. (Like keeping the Ring from Sauron. )" — p. 158

HobbitsLOTR
"Neither of his daughters had any idea, were as carefree as Hobbits, never guessing the Shadow that loomed on the horizon." — p. 158

MordorLOTR
" ... it would be hard to exaggerate the power Trujillo exerted over the Dominican people and the shadow of fear he cast throughout the region. Homeboy dominated Santo Domingo like it was his very own private Mordor ... " — 163

Dark LordLOTR
"It wasn't just Mr. Friday the Thirteenth you had to worry about, either, it was the whole Chivato Nation he helped spawn, for like every Dark Lord worth his Shadow he had the devotion of his people." — p. 163

MordorLOTR
" ... Trujillo was certainly formidable, and the regime was like a Caribbean Mordor in many ways, but there were plenty of people who despised El Jefe, who communicated in less-than-veiled ways their contempt, who resisted." — p. 164


message 10: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
More from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

Dune
"He tried to remain calm—fear, as Dune teaches us, is the mind-killer—but he could not help himself." — p. 172

Salusa SecundusDune Chronicles
"Outer Azua is one of the poorest areas in the DR; it is a wasteland, our own homegrown sertão, resembled the irradiated terrains from those end-of-the-world scenarios that Oscar loved so much—Outer Azua was the Outland, the Badlands, the Cursed Earth, the Forbidden Zone, the Great Wastes, the Desert of Glass, the Burning Lands, the Doben-al, it was Salusa Secundus, it was Ceti Alpha Six, it was Tatooine." — p. 282

the VoiceDune Chronicles
"She can't be your family, she's a prieta. But La Inca insisted, used the Voice on them, and when the girl emerged from the coop, unable to unbend her body because of the burn, La Inca had stared into her wild furious eyes and seen Abelard and Socorro staring back at her." — p. 185

Harold Lauder—from the list book: The Stand
"Despite Nataly's homeliness and the medicated fog she inhabited, Oscar entertained some pretty strange Harold Lauder fantasies about her." — p. 190

J.R.R. Tolkien—author of the book series: The Lord of the Rings
"He began to plan a quartet of science-fiction fantasies that would be his crowning achievement. J.R.R. Tolkien meets E.E. "Doc" Smith." — p. 193

Joseph Conrad—author of the list book: Heart of Darkness
"He wasn't svelte by any stretch of the imagination, but he wasn't Joseph Conrad's wife no more, either." — p. 194

GaladrielLOTR
"La Inca too had changed since Oscar's last visit. She had always seemed ageless, the family's very own Galadriel, but now he could see that it wasn't true." — p. 197

Paulo Coelho—author of the list book: The Alchemist
"Oscar peeped the astrology books under the bed and a collection of Paulo Coelho's novels. She followed his gaze and said with a smile, Paulo Coelho saved my life." — p. 202

GollumLOTR
"But because he was a homely slob, because he really looked like un maldito parigüayo who had never had no luck in his life, the capitán took Gollum-pity on him and only punched him a couple of times." — p. 213

Aslan—from the book series: Chronicles of Narnia
" ... he had the impression of having the most fantastic series of dreams, though by the time he had his first meal, a caldo de pollo, he could not, alas, remember them. All that remained was the image of an Aslan-like figure with golden eyes who kept trying to speak to him ... " — p. 217

The Lord of the Rings and "and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls"
"He read The Lord of the Rings for what I'm estimating the millionth time, one of his greatest loves and greatest comforts since he'd first discovered it, back when he was nine and lost and lonely and his favorite librarian had said, Here, try this, and with one suggestion changed his life. Got through almost the whole trilogy, but then the line "and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls" and he had to stop, his head and heart hurting too much." — p. 220


message 11: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
A couple more from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

the Voice—from the book series: Dune Chronicles
"His abuela tried to exert her power, tried to use the Voice, but he was no longer the boy she'd known." — p. 227

Count FenrisDune Chronicles
"He managed to send mail home ... A couple of cards with some breezy platitudes on them. Wrote me one, called me Count Fenris. " — p. 237


message 12: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
From Lonesome Dove:

Charles Dickens —author of the list book: Great Expectations
"The ladies' magazines had stories and parts of novels in them, in many of which were ladies who led lives so different from hers that she felt she might as well be on another planet. She liked Thackeray's ladies better than Dickens's, and George Eliot's best of all—but it was a frustration that the mail came so seldom. Sometimes she would have to wait for two or three months for her Blackwoods, wondering all the time what was happening to the people in the stories." — p. 660


message 13: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
From The Lovely Bones:

To Kill A Mockingbird
" 'Mrs. Stead,' Len Fenerman said, 'does this look familiar?' He held up a paperback copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. 'Do they read this at the school?' " — p. 22

Harper Lee —author of the book series: To Kill a Mockingbird
" 'Yes,' she said, her knowledge of the school suddenly very important right now—all the policemen listening. 'Mrs. Dewitt likes to modulate her reading list, and she does a big push right before Christmas with Shakespeare. Then she passes out Harper Lee as a reward. If Susie was carrying around To Kill a Mockingbird it means she must have turned in her paper on Othello already.' " — p, 22


message 14: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Americanah mentions Things Fall Apart a few times.


message 15: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I just got to the To Kill A Mockingbird reference in Lovely Bones. I feel like there's some thematic importance to it, and it's not just a random reference. I don't know though. I'm not far enough into Lovely Bones to know what it's all about yet.


message 16: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Count of Monte Cristo mentions Don Quixote a couple times, too.


message 17: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Nov 13, 2018 01:16PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you, Toni and Larissa!

Andrew—let us know if you discover a deeper meaning of the To Kill a Mockingbird mention in The Lovely Bones, because I'm curious.

Also from The Lovely Bones:

Charles Dickens —author of the list book: Great Expectations
"Now I see the shifting, how the stack of books on my parents' bedside table changed from catalogs for local colleges, encyclopedias of mythology, novels by James, Eliot, and Dickens, to the works of Dr. Spock." — p. 125


message 18: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Also from The Lovely Bones:

Jane Eyre
" ... his crush had come when he was thirteen. He had seen me walking home from school ahead of him, and it was a series of simple things: my awkward plaid skirt, my peacoat covered in Holiday's fur, the way what I thought of as my mousy brown hair caught the afternoon sun so that the light moved fluidly from spot to spot as we walked home, one behind the other. And then, a few days later, when he had stood in social science class and accidentally read from his paper on Jane Eyre instead of the War of 1812—I had looked at him in a way he thought was nice." — p. 238


message 19: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
From Streets of Laredo:

Charles Dickens —author of the list book: Great Expectations
"He was the smartest man she had ever known, Gus McCrae. He had a fine, soaring imagination. Gus had not been able to put his imaginings in writing, as Mr. Dickens and Mr. Browning could, but he could speak them and he had spoken them to Lorena in the months they had been together." — p. 393


message 20: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
From Go Set a Watchman:

Dorian Gray—from the list book: The Picture of Dorian Gray
"Alexandra served Atticus bacon and eggs and toast. His attention upon his breakfast, Jean Louise thought it would be safe to have a look at him.
He had not changed. His face was the same as always. I don't know why I expected him to be looking like Dorian Gray or somebody." — p. 105

DorianTPODG
"She looked at herself in the medicine-cabinet mirror. Who's Dorian now?
There were blue-brown shadows under her eyes, and the lines from her nostrils to the corners of her mouth were definite. No doubt about them, she thought. She pulled her cheek to one side and peered at the tiny mother line. ... " — p. 109


message 21: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments Flowers in the Attic mentions Charles Dickins in the prologue and Chris reads The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


message 22: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Thank you, Larissa!
_______

From The Intuitionist:

Jane Eyre
"There's not much for a night watchman to do at the Lift building at this hour but scrabble at his university-by-mail course. So it comes to pass this night that Billy the night watchman is parsing Victorian English when Ben Urich taps on the front door.
'Hey, Jane Eyre,' Ben Urich says brightly when Billy unlocks the door. 'Good book.' " — p. 69


message 23: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Found the first mention, Larissa!

From Flowers in the Attic:

Charles Dickens —author of the list book: Great Expectations
" Charles Dickens would often start his novels with the birth of the protagonist and, being a favorite author of both mine and Chris's, I would duplicate his style—if I could. But he was a genius born to write without difficulty while I find every word I put down, I put down with tears, with bitter blood, with sour gall, well mixed and blended with shame and guilt. I thought I would never feel ashamed or guilty, that these were burdens for others to bear. Years have passed and I am older and wiser now, accepting, too. The tempest of rage that once stormed within me has simmered down so I can write, I hope, with truth and with less hatred and prejudice than would have been the case a few years ago." — p. 7

"So, like Charles Dickens, in this work of "fiction" I will hide myself away behind a false name, and live in fake places, and I will pray to God that those who should will hurt when they read what I have to say. Certainly God in his infinite mercy will see that some understanding publisher will put my words in a book, and help grind the knife that I hope to wield." — p. 8


message 24: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Skeeter checks the mail to see if her copy of The Catcher in the Rye has been sent to her early in Chapter 6.


message 25: by Larissa (last edited Apr 03, 2019 10:23AM) (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Near the end of Chapter 6 Aibileen mentions her son Treelore who read the book Invisible Man. I would think it would be the one by Ralph Ellison and not the the one by H.G. Wells.


message 26: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Some where in Chapter 8 Skeeter mentions Margaret Mitchell author of Gone with the Wind when talking about the "glorified Mammy figure".


message 27: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Chapter 8 while Skeeter is getting her hair straightened she finishes reading To Kill a Mockingbird.


message 28: by Larissa (last edited Apr 04, 2019 01:34PM) (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Chapter 12 another reference to To Kill a Mockingbird from Aibileen plus a reference to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (I know that one isn't on the list but Mark Twain is on the list for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer of course).


message 29: by Larissa (last edited Apr 04, 2019 01:45PM) (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments I don't know if this counts or not because I think it was referencing the movie and not the book but another reference in The Help to Gone with the Wind in, I believe, Chapter 12.


message 30: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I like all the references to other books (and movies and music) in The Help. It helps ground the story in a very specific time, and provides a larger context for it. (Without those reference points, it's easy to overlook how recent this is.) And it adds depth to characters like Aibileen and Skeeter.


message 31: by Larissa (new)

Larissa Langsather (langsather) | 45 comments The Help- Chapter 18 another reference to To Kill a Mockingbird.


message 32: by Andrew, moderator (last edited May 12, 2019 05:00AM) (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Here's a mention of The Little Prince from Looking for Alaska:
...took a French test for which I had studied un petit peu. I did all right on the multiple choice (which-verb-tense-makes-sense-here type questions), but the essay question, In Le Petit Prince, what is the significance of the rose? threw me a bit.

I'm pretty sure I had that same essay question in high school French class, many years ago.


message 33: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Resurrecting a very old thread, to make note of several mentions of Gone with the Wind in The Outsiders.

“Wheee!” I sat down on a dusty chair and stared. “A paperback copy of Gone with the Wind! How’d you know I always wanted one?”

I like that Johnny and Ponyboy reading Gone with the Wind together is used to help define their relationship and flesh out their personalities a bit.


back to top