For the literate gamer...

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kwirl
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For the literate gamer...

Postby kwirl » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:32 am

I was compiling a list of every book I have ever read, and I happened to come across a Random House Publishing reader's survey of the best books of the 20th century. I thought I would share some of that here

Interestingly to me was that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead held the 1&2 spots, respectively. while Tolkien got a miserly 4th place :(


http://listsofbests.com/list/3/
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:30 pm

That's because LoTR was very, very boring. Well written structurally I think, but boring. It took him like an entire chapter to describe a forest...

I can't believe Hitchikers Guide is only at 51st place... :(
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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:52 pm

If it was all that boring, it wouldn't have such a huge readership and such a long-lived fanbase. Tokien created an all-encompassing world, and for readers who want to be placed completely into the story as an experience instead of as just a good book, then it's not boring at all.

"The Silmarillion," however, was boring for me. I forced my way through it way back in the seventh grade, but I doubt I'll ever go there again.
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Postby Birile » Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:57 pm

That's a great list of books--some obvious ones that I was forced to read as a teenager in school (Brave New World, 1984, etc.) but some others that I didn't even know people knew about (Ender's Game at #59--an absolutely amazing book).

I'm glad to see my personal favorite author on the list (William Faulkner) with three of his novels. My personal favorite book of all time is his Light in August (#89 on the list).

Thanks for the list, Kwirl, I think I'm gonna be referencing it often.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:05 pm

Ashiwi wrote:If it was all that boring, it wouldn't have such a huge readership and such a long-lived fanbase. Tokien created an all-encompassing world, and for readers who want to be placed completely into the story as an experience instead of as just a good book, then it's not boring at all.

"The Silmarillion," however, was boring for me. I forced my way through it way back in the seventh grade, but I doubt I'll ever go there again.


I thought the Hobbit was far better than LoTR...

But yes, it is a matter of opinion. I wouldn't be surprised if someone posted a similar speech to yours responding to your disdain of the Silmarillion.
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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:28 pm

It would be interesting to know what slice of the population that poll came from. How in the world "Stranger in a Strange Land" beat out some of the other books there, like "The Invisible Man," "Animal Farm," "The Catcher in the Rye," "Grapes of Wrath," "The Lord of the Flies," "A Clockwork Orange," "Something Wicked this Way Comes," and on and on and on, just befuddles me.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed "Stranger in a Strange Land," but hardly see it as #16 in a century's worth of the written word. Can you grok it?
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Postby Birile » Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:35 pm

Ashiwi wrote:It would be interesting to know what slice of the population that poll came from. How in the world "Stranger in a Strange Land" beat out some of the other books there, like "The Invisible Man," "Animal Farm," "The Catcher in the Rye," "Grapes of Wrath," "The Lord of the Flies," "A Clockwork Orange," "Something Wicked this Way Comes," and on and on and on, just befuddles me.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed "Stranger in a Strange Land," but hardly see it as #16 in a century's worth of the written word. Can you grok it?


http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrar ... llist.html
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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:47 pm

Why, thank you Birile.
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Postby Zen » Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:49 pm

Ashiwi wrote:It would be interesting to know what slice of the population that poll came from. How in the world "Stranger in a Strange Land" beat out some of the other books there, like "The Invisible Man," "Animal Farm," "The Catcher in the Rye," "Grapes of Wrath," "The Lord of the Flies," "A Clockwork Orange," "Something Wicked this Way Comes," and on and on and on, just befuddles me.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed "Stranger in a Strange Land," but hardly see it as #16 in a century's worth of the written word. Can you grok it?


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Postby Kifle » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:09 pm

Bleh, 1984 should have taken at least #2 easy. Also, why is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" doing at #90??! Are they meaning to tell me "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is a better book? Pshaw!

Edit: I agree with the second list more...
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like omg

Postby muma » Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:34 am

Sarvis wrote:
I thought the Hobbit was far better than LoTR...



me too :)
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Postby Botef » Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:40 pm

Treason > Enders Game

I love that book.
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Postby Gerad » Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:31 am

I am surprised that le guinn is not on there anywhere... neither for earthsea or for the left hand of darkness...

edit: and battlefield earth does not belong at #3 for any reason. I dont even see it being on that list... certainly not better than enders game, or something wicked... or even farenheit 451.
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Postby kwirl » Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:39 am

dont confuse the movie with the book
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Postby Disoputlip » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:53 pm

How Herman Hesse (especially "Das Glasperlenspiel"/"the glass bead game") didn't make the list is beyond me.

And some authors there gets a little too much credit I think. Sure Ayn is great, but shouldn't hold 4 of the 8 best spots.

Guess it doesn't have a focus on timeless novels. Animal farm will go into history, whereas 1984 won't.

Yaya, little polemic, I haven't read all the books in the list go figure.

Mabye I will consider reading L. Ron Hubbard. I never saw him as a novelist before.

--added 5 minutes later--
I think I figured it. It is only english novels. Makes perfect sense.
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Re: For the literate gamer...

Postby Xisiqomelir » Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:02 pm

kwirl wrote:Interestingly to me was that Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead held the 1&2 spots, respectively. while Tolkien got a miserly 4th place :(


I like Tolkien a lot, but I like The Fountainhead more than I like any other book in the world.
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Postby Corth » Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:47 pm

After seeing how pathetically misinformed some people around here are about politics and the economy, it occurs to me that Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead should probably be required reading for all public school students. :)



Corth
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:55 pm

Corth wrote:After seeing how pathetically misinformed some people around here are about politics and the economy, it occurs to me that Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead should probably be required reading for all public school students. :)



Corth


You're the one who said Bush's handling of the economy was negligent at best, Corth.

If you can say that and still vote for Bush, I think _you_ need the politics refresher.

By the way, what the hell does Rand's philosophical stories have to do with politics or economics? Seems like I'd be better off with an actual economics book...
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Postby Botef » Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:14 pm

What, no William Gibson, no Neal Stephenson, or Chuck Palahniuk?

Neuromancer - Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Stephenson
Invisable Monsters - Palahniuk

Some of the best damn books I've ever read.
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Postby Xisiqomelir » Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:45 pm

I liked Fight Club better than I liked Invisible Monsters.
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Postby Tasan » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:01 pm

I liked Choke better than Fight Club!

!!x
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Postby kwirl » Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:34 am

my adolescent passion for tolkien aside, i don't think many works of fiction changed my perspective or moved me to reconsider my method of thought like fountainhead and atlas shrugged.

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