The top 6 novels on this list all corroborate the fact that books are the most human, entertaining, elastic, and introspective media that ever existed. Definitely not music, movies, theater or art.
A renowned author once commented that a novel is the ideal way for 2 humans to connect to each other. I agree and I believe that people who do not find delight in reading have never had the chance to read a good novel. Listed below are the six best novels of the last 20 years.
Six Best Novels Of The Last 20 Years
6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006):
Cormac McCarthy is one of the best novelists of our times and his latest book, The Road clearly corroborates his reputation. It’s replete with Cormac McCarthy’s tense dialogue, attention to detail, flow of thought, and masculinity with an intensely violent plot. Needless to mention in addition to all of the above, it is also overwhelmingly melancholic, which is barely easy to incorporate in a novel. It is the ideal combination of every thing with precise measures of all the right elements put together in a novel which makes for a good read.
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5. Rules of Attraction by Brett Easton Ellis (1987):
This is Brett Easton Ellis’ second novel. Brett Easton Ellis gained much name and fame from his novel, The American Psycho. It does not deviate much from a similar style of writing (80’s music videos, sex, drugs, more drugs, run on sentences, more sex, and violence thrown in once in a while) from his other novels except that here it permeates through the whole book. In Rules of Attraction, Brett Easton Ellis gives us a more to work with namely different narrators, allusions, a semi coherent plot, and a setting that is not Los Angeles.
His talent is seen reflected on every page of the book and the sentences flow on smoothly until you are almost disappointed when a sentence actually ends. No one in the whole world can write a novel like Brett Easton Ellis, although many did try and failed miserably. True, Ellis sometimes can be a bit weird, but he is also a talented and prolific writer whose heart and soul is totally involved in his writings and this time around he has excelled himself.
The novel is all about drugs and sex, disgustingly selfish and immature individuals trying to get laid and quit smoking in a fictional university in New England. Some of the things they do are immoral and abominable. There is nothing worthy of emulation in any of the characters in the entire novel and yet this book touches your heart because no one could write a novel this good about people, some of the seedy things they do and the subsequent consequences.
4. Strong Motion by Jonathan Franzen (1992):
Jonathan Franzen’s second novel, Strong Motion. As usual Jonathan Franzen’s scope is far and wide and the talent is clearly seen on almost every page. In case Brett Easton Ellis can be termed as the best writer based on sentences, then Jonathan Franzen is undoubtedly the best novelist alive on earth. The story involves a seismologist from Harvard, Dr. Seitchek and Louis Holland. It focusses around big corporations, abortion activists, and sudden earthquakes strangely occurring close to Boston which every seismologist from Harvard is aware is very unusual indeed.
The novel is all about evil perpetrated by certain selfish corporations in a more mature and stronger tone than Brett Easton Ellis. Jonathan Franzen is a good historian who tells us how the world became this deplorable and why the world has become a bad place. He takes the readers back to period of American colonization, definitely not in the boring or preachy manner. He draws an analogy between a human and a raccoon for 5 pages which is unusually one of the poignant sections of the entire novel.
3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2007):
This novel echoes authenticity, craftsmanship and originality. It follows generations of an American Dominican family, the curses that follow them to America, and the struggles they encounter in the Dominican Republic. The main protagonist, Oscar is a 300 pound role-playing games enthusiast and a nerdy guy in America who desperately wants to find love.
We follow him in his pursuit and endless struggle to find it and bear stark witness to countless rejections encountered. No girl wants anything to do with this obese nerd and at some point our sympathy turns to support as we want him to succeed in his endeavor to find true love.
2. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (2007):
This gargantuan odyssey about the Vietnam War goes beyond all other attempts to write about Vietnam and makes them look like Archies greeting cards. The novel revolves around Skip Sands working for the psychological operations department of the CIA and his larger than life uncle, Colonel Sands. It takes us every where in South East Asia and even back to the United States. Denis Johnson depicts a war where myths are created out of the land itself, where nothing is clear, and where friends and enemies are indistinguishable.
With a cast of nearly half a dozen supporting characters, he portrays the war from the perspective of both sides of Vietnam, from a sergeant who seems to be perpetually tripping on acid, from 2 GI brothers from Arizona, from a Canadian widowed nurse who cannot stop reading Calvin, from a priest who thinks he is Judas in the Philippines, from a German hitman, from a civilian war hero colonel who is trying to implement his own unorthodox campaign against the Viet Cong.
1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (1996):
While it is very difficult to rank the previous 5 books on the list, deciding where to place this book on this list was a breeze. This novel is so far the longest, best, the most frustrating, the most difficult, the most rewarding and the most entertaining book on the list.
Infinite Jest is an allegory to Hamlet and the name of a movie by author, Jim Incandenza which flows through the entire book making any one who watches it for the first time to watch it again at least 5 to 10 times even if that makes them forget to take their daily dose of insulin, starving to death or going into shock. This book is all about addiction in every way one can possibly imagine. Cannabis, cocaine, crack, heroin, alcohol, sex, sports, Dilaudid, Percocet, and the list goes on.
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