[quote=“John Welles, post:9, topic:2953”]I’d like to say I agree with your list, but I’ve only read three: THe Long Goodbye, Dead Souls and The Red and Black. However, I am reading Crime and Punishment at the moment…
I notice the lack of Moby Dick - no love for it?[/quote]
Moby Dick: Yes and no. There are terrific things in this novel, the character of Captain Ahab is unforgettable (Hav’ ya seen Moby Dick?), the ending (Ahab versus Moby) is unsurpassable, but all these non-fiction chapters about whaling are a Via Dolorasa, nearly impossible to get through. It’s at the same time one of the most fascinating, AND one of the most irritating novels I’ve ever read.
The opening sentence is possibly the best in history: Call me Ishmael.
So maybe for the good things I should have included it.
BUt I guess there are a few other novels/authors that could have been on the list (Balzac, Flaubert, Faulkner, Austen, Trollope)
@ The Dead Souls : One of the most underrated novels in history. To Russians Gogol is on a level with Tolstoy or Dostoievski, outside Russia he’s far less famous than those two. The Dead Souls is probably the funniest of the great novels. Some great authors had an excellent sense of humor: Dickens, Jane Austen, Nabokov, even Dostoievski could be very funny, but none of them is as funny as Gogol. To me he’s the Chaplin of world literature.