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Old 09-10-2008, 05:06 AM   #1
High Potential
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Default What is the greatest novel of all time???

Too many times have I seen Ulysses being called the greatest novel of all time. Having read it, with one of those little guides to the text next to me the whole time, I've come to the conclusion that it is really not the greatest novel of all time. War and Peace or Crime and Punishment are better. Heck I'd even say The Count of Monte Cristo is as well. When it comes to Ulysses, and Finnegan's Wake for that matter, people are confusing hard to understand with greatness. James Joyce said he took 10 years writing Finnegan's Wake so it should take a reader 10 years to understand it, and if a reader will ever want to properly understand Finnegan's Wake he will need to take classes to become fluent in about 40 different languages, some of them dead, like Ancient Persian, in order to appreciate all the puns. Just because a book is hard to understand it doesn't make it great. What has Ulysses since spawned? A bunch of wannabes trying to get the stream of consciousness thing down, and Angela's Ashes. War and Peace is better, so is The Count of Monte Cristo, and I don't think it's an Apples and Oranges thing.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Anna Karenina gets a lot of respect too.

Crazy how Tolstoi wrote two books legitimately contending for best of all time.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Out of all the greatest of _____ categories, I think this is the most impossible to pinpoint.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

In Cold Blood

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Old 09-10-2008, 05:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Seriously... I don't care. Whenever I try to breach one of those historic "Must Read" books, I'm soon bored to pieces.

I don't deny they were important and vital to literature's development, but that doesn't mean they're still readable today.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Potential
What is the greatest novel of all time???
the one that hasn't been written yet.

but shirley you knew that.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretik32
Seriously... I don't care. Whenever I try to breach one of those historic "Must Read" books, I'm soon bored to pieces.

I don't deny they were important and vital to literature's development, but that doesn't mean they're still readable today.
That is why In Cold Blood is, imo, the best novel ever written. It was absolutely revolutionary and created the genre of the 'nonfiction novel'... thoroughly intriguing from beginning to end. It is by far the quickest, easiest read I have ever had. It took me just two sessions to read it, cover-to-cover... impossible to put down once you pick it up.
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBlackAttack
That is why In Cold Blood is, imo, the best novel ever written. It was absolutely revolutionary and created the genre of the 'nonfiction novel'... thoroughly intriguing from beginning to end. It is by far the quickest, easiest read I have ever had. It took me just two sessions to read it, cover-to-cover... impossible to put down once you pick it up.

Don't get me wrong, among my favorite authors are "old timers"... Hermann Hesse first of all, Lovecraft, Poe, Kafka. But I refuse to read boring or unreadable stuff like Ulysses just for bragging rights.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

"A Confederacy of Dunces" Best book I've read in a long time.
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Undebatable G.O.A.T.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

it's probably a Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, and Brothers Karamazov. If you haven't read them do it. Besides the long historical commentary chapters in War and Peace, they are all much easier to read than their reputation.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Proust A rememberance of things past is up there.

I like moscow in circles (or moscow to the end of the line)

Also, master and the margharita is great

Ulysses is a solid choice from a literary perspective, but not a great read IMO.

Maybe ill add more later, but the 3 i listed are close to tops for me.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by yobore
it's probably a Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, and Brothers Karamazov. If you haven't read them do it. Besides the long historical commentary chapters in War and Peace, they are all much easier to read than their reputation.

Indeed all great books, but the Russian names I found a bit cumbersome.
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

The Odyssey.
The Iliad.
The Bible.

Three of the greatest fiction stories ever.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is the greatest novel of all time???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufuspaul
"A Confederacy of Dunces" Best book I've read in a long time.
very good book, i'm having to read it in my Hit/Lit of New Orleans class
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