Apr 10th, 2003, 11:45 AM
i'm sick sick sick
of hearing all of you talk about the same books over and over again. therefore, i am passing on a reading list that i wrote out for my friend aaron. i guarantee that if you read any one of these books on this list that you will be satisfied.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
this book is huge, but well worth the read. it's about a tennis player, his wacky family, drug abuse and a video tape that kills people because you can't stop watching it (ala the ring?). the tape stars a girl who is labeled PGOAT (prettiest girl of all times). the backdrop is the near future, where canada and the us are at war and the years are named after the highest corporate bidder (whose product is proudly displayed on top of the statue of liberty.) it's brilliant, if you can get through the first 100-150 pages. i actually forced an ex of mine to read this and made him continue when he wanted to quit. now this guy is one of his favorite authors.
I Married A Communist by Philip Roth
this is about a radio show communist who is black listed in the mccarthy era. it's a good portrait of american society and paranoia during the 50's. it's a fiction, but the setting is all too real and rather poignant considering the state of things in our country right now.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
beautiful, beautiful story about what happens to gods once the people who worshipped them die off, or give up on their religion. the book bases itself on the premise that the gods still live on, even though there is nobody to worship them anymore. this is the same guy who wrote Sandman, the comic book series. he's one of the most talented fantasy fiction writers of our era. i'd put him right up there with Harlan Ellison.
Cryptomonicon by Neal Stephenson
great sci-fi, cyberpunk, historical novel about code breaking that flip flops between the settings of WWII and the present day. this is another big book, but it's pure genius. sometimes it's hard to understand because there are all kinds of complex math and code breaking explanations, but the way the story ties up at the end is amazing. very, very good read. (haha, funny sidenote: this is the book that i took away from michael when he came up here to see his first baseball game. he was going to take the book to the ballpark and read. i wouldn't let him).
and, of course, i must recommend an english classic, just to round things out:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
ok, ok...i know a "girl book." but really, this is a great story about a woman who didn't think she should take any crap from anyone. i think, once you get past the vernacular of the book, and realize the setting in which it takes place, that you will really like this. plus, it's a classic and everyone should read the classics.