Greatest Living Author?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Pennglock, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Prof. Fabulous Dubiously Honored

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  2. Chadley

    Chadley Senior member

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    I always appreciate these threads--gives me new books to read!

    Greatest, I don't know, but of what I've read, my favorite is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
     


  3. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Since American Psycho has had such a great impact on all of us (SF) I’m amazed no one mentioned Bret Easton Ellis…?

    Jon.

    NOt all of us.
    I assume we're limiting this to novelists?

    My list:

    Milan Kundera (far ahead)

    Umberto Eco
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Haruki Murakami


    I think this is a great short list. I might add Ann Patchett, Peter Carey, probably a few others I'm forgetting as possible contenders. People who don't have a sufficiently consistent track record to contend for "best living author", but the brilliance of whose best work ranks warrants an honorable mention would include William Vollman, George Saunders, Richard Powers, Michael Chabon, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, maybe TC Boyle.

    VG, good call on Seamus Heaney. IMHO, Delillo falls far short of the mark established by most of the other names suggested here. I couldn't get through A Suitable Boy, and I finish just about every book I read.

    Nabokov, Calvino, and Gaddis would be high on my list of greatest living authors, if only they weren't dead.
     


  4. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    not an author but a writer. Larry David.

    [​IMG]
     


  5. Saucemaster

    Saucemaster Sized Down 2

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    Nabokov, Calvino

    I think both of those go on my short list for best authors, period. Dead, alive, limbo, anything.
     


  6. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    Sure beats doing it on Oprah (I'm looking at you, Cormac).

    Im going to have to search for this on Youtube. I had no friggin clue he appeared on her show. What the hell was the man thinking?
     


  7. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Im going to have to search for this on Youtube. I had no friggin clue he appeared on her show. What the hell was the man thinking?

    I guess he heard it worked out well for Jonathan Franzen.
     


  8. Manny Calavera

    Manny Calavera Senior member

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    NOt all of us.


    I think this is a great short list. I might add Ann Patchett, Peter Carey, probably a few others I'm forgetting as possible contenders. People who don't have a sufficiently consistent track record to contend for "best living author", but the brilliance of whose best work ranks warrants an honorable mention would include William Vollman, George Saunders, Richard Powers, Michael Chabon, Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, maybe TC Boyle.

    VG, good call on Seamus Heaney. IMHO, Delillo falls far short of the mark established by most of the other names suggested here. I couldn't get through A Suitable Boy, and I finish just about every book I read.

    Nabokov, Calvino, and Gaddis would be high on my list of greatest living authors, if only they weren't dead.


    Your honorable mentions match up with mine almost perfectly. I'd say William T Vollmann will definitely garner a place on the list in the future, if only for the complete edition of Rising Up and Rising Down.
     


  9. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    I can't argue with any of the authors listed so far, except for Isabel Allende (who I find kind of lightweight) and John Banville (who I haven't read--but I'll be sure to check him out). If this isn't limited to novelists, I think Pinter and Heaney should get some consideration. I also agree that Rushdie should be on the list of contenders.

    But if I have to pick one, I go with Philip Roth. He's produced so many great works over such a long period of time. Goodbye Columbus was out in 1959 and Everyman in 2006--both are excellent, and there's so many truly great works in between. And he does everything so well: characters, stories, depth and humor. Plus I think his writing is simply beautiful.

    Edit: Connemara, what books by Banville would you recommend to start with?


    That's a good question. I'd have to say Athena, The Untouchable, and The Newton Letter.
     


  10. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    George R.R. Martin

    (Just hope he will stay living long enough to finish the series he's working on.)


    I love Martin. He's great.
     


  11. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Your honorable mentions match up with mine almost perfectly. I'd say William T Vollmann will definitely garner a place on the list in the future, if only for the complete edition of Rising Up and Rising Down.

    I still haven't read RURD, of for that matter Europa Central. I feel like such a slacker.[​IMG] I've read pretty much everything else of his. At his best, his novels have an amazing energy, and is short fiction/travel journalism is really powerful.

    If we were including playwrights, I'd add Tom Stoppard and Brian Friehl (sp?) as well. Conne, if you don't already know it, I'd strongly recommend Friehl's Translations to you or anyone else interested in "Irish crap".
     


  12. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Im going to have to search for this on Youtube. I had no friggin clue he appeared on her show. What the hell was the man thinking?

    They keep taking it down. Let me know if you find one.
     


  13. JetBlast

    JetBlast Senior member

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    As mentioned before, Cormac McCarthy. Also mentioned, Umberto Eco. I'll be looking for books mentioned by people on this thread, I'm looking for a good read.

    JB
     


  14. GoSurface

    GoSurface Senior member

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    My personal favorite is Bret Easton Ellis. Yeh, das right.
     


  15. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Peter Carey is the novelist I will read ahead of all others.

    Then, in no particular order:

    Murukami Haruki
    Ian McEwan
    J.M. Coetzee
    Tim Winton
     


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