Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Great American Novels.

Not long Ago, The Atlantic magazine ran a feature titled
“The Great American Novels.” The editors (with lots of help) compiled a list of the best works of book-length fiction published in America between 1924 and 2023 and came up with 136 titles.

It is an interesting list. I have heard of most of the books listed, but there were several that had escaped my notice altogether. In all, as near as I can recall, I have read but a paltry 28 of the 136 books. I guess I have to broaden my interests.

Of the books I have read, seven of them made lasting impressions on me, and I have read most, if not all of them, more than once. These are:

·   Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

·   A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

·   The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

·   The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

·   Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

·   A Winter in the Blood by James Welch

·   Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

I don’t suppose it is a surprise that four of my seven favorites from the list are set in the American West. One of those, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, is among my all-time favorites, worthy of several readings (with more to come) on my part.

There’s a lot of good reading out there. Try as I might, I’ll never get to it all. How about you?


  1. The “ Berrybender Saga “ by Larry McMurtry.

  2. Happy Easter. Rod. I too have enjoyed C. McCarthy's work starting, of course, with All The Pretty Horses. Have always thought that a man ought to read The Road and Suttree in the shower. Hard going right there, my friend. Hope all is well. JB