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shaun

I could not agree with you more about Kerouac. I have read everything book-length that he wrote and perhaps three of his 30 or so books are memorable.

Your list is terrific, but I would push the envelope beyond the U.S. in some cases and add:

"The Alexandria Quartet" (Lawrence Durrell)
"Going After Cacciato" (Tim O'Brien)
"The Left Hand of Darkness" (Ursula LeGuin)
"The Magus" (John Fowles)

mac macgillicuddy

I am glad to see you put Ironweed on there. Nothing by Tom Robbins? And what about Graham Greene (who I may have left off until I reread The Quiet American recently)?

Katherine

i am pleased to say i have read nearly all of these books, most when they were first published / i am on my way to the library right this minute to check out Seabiscuit which is on CD / yippee / i love to listen to a good book / thanks for this wonderful reading list plus the additional ones by shaun two of which i will add to my list soon to read

Winston

Love your stuff, Lance. Love it! But what about Don DeLillo?

Lance Mannion

Winston, dumb oversight on my part. Thanks for reminding me. I put him and Underworld on the list.

Lance Mannion

mac, I was limiting this to Americans, which is why Greene isn't there. I like Robbins but I'm not sure how much influence he's had and I can't point to one of his novels and say, That's one of the greats. I left some other favorites out for the same reason. John Nichols, for one. Robert Stone. Richard Powers. Anne Tyler. Conversely, I don't like Ellis or McInerney at all, but they were very influential...for a time.

shaun, I didn't know what to do with O'Brien, same as I didn't know what to do with Ken Kesey. Their books belong on a list of the best published in the last 50 years, but I'm not sure how to fit them in a discussion of "influence."

stinger

I'm having trouble reconciling this post with the one just previous.

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