A Test of Time

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A Test of Time

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Apr 8, 2007, 6:47 am

Which contemporary books would you consider "instant classics," worthy of analyzation in English class 100 years from now?

I would like to read modern fiction, but it seems every "highly acclaimed" book these days is nothing more than 250 pages of loan paperwork for the author's new BMW.

Is it hard to discover quality fiction before it's been analyzed for a century?

Apr 8, 2007, 9:00 am

The two that come to my mind first are White Oleander by Janet Fitch and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. (Though The Mists of Avalon is historical fantasy, instead of something set in the modern world; do you only mean books that are set in the modern world?)

Apr 8, 2007, 2:30 pm

I must confess that most of my collection is older works, but I'll give this a shot-- great idea, by the way.

How contemporary do you mean? I'd put in my votes for anything by Ray Bradbury, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

Apr 21, 2007, 7:57 pm

I would have to put a vote in for the Earthsea Cycle. Sure its fantasy, and not set in the modern world, but it has staying power, and its incredibly well written.

May 8, 2007, 6:21 pm

Fight Club
On the Road
Naked Lunch
There are hundreds of books from the last 100 years that would make the list. While much of modern literature can't hold the term, there are still modern writers doing amazing things.

May 8, 2007, 10:13 pm

My vote would go to Interview With the Vampire because of the beautiful imagery and the time tested themes of time, religion, good and evil, and the presence of a higher being. I absolutely adore that book.

May 9, 2007, 8:21 pm

Hmm... This is an interesting question... Well, other than betting on people analyzing Harry Potter until the world ends... I'm thinking The Da Vinci Code, because there's so much TO analyze... Also, Speak, which I think is already required reading for some schools... Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West but then again, maybe not, because it's based on something else. I don't know. That's what I can think of right now.

Jun 4, 2007, 8:30 pm

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini because there is so much to discuss both historically and literary.

Jun 4, 2007, 10:51 pm

I would actually argue against the Da Vinci Code, as its really not in any way great literature, and, honestly, its poorly written. As far as ideas, it isn't that special either. There are dozens of books that make similar claims, and the only reason there is such a hoopla going around about it is certain groups can't conceive of fiction that isn't meant to express opinions, but simply act as a bit of entertainment.

Jun 5, 2007, 8:37 am

I definitely agree with The Kite Runner, in part because it came out when all eyes were on Afghanistan, so it really touched a nerve.

I would also argue against The Da Vinci Code because, while it's a lot of fun and it really took the world by storm, it's not well written, like Child_of_Light said.

I think Stephen King's Dark Tower series will stand up because, while it is pop fiction, it is also heavily literary, and you could argue that it is carrying on the epic tradition.

And while I love Chuck Palahniuk, I think he's a little too cult for Fight Club to stand out. Plus, I think some of his other books are better, but most people have only read Fight Club.

I'd like to think that books like Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves would make the cut, but like Palahniuk, I think it's too cult. Now there's a book worthy of analyzation!

I also really love The Secret History by Donna Tartt, but the problem with this book is that I've found that it's a love-it-or-hate-it book, which may not stand the test of time.