Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2000

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Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt 13
House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski 8
True History Of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey 6
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville 5
The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon 2
The Human Stain by Philip Roth 2
The Feast Of The Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa 1
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates 1
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman 1
White Teeth by Zadie Smith 1
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro 1
The Changeling by Kenzaburō Ōe 0
A Squatter's Tale by Ike Oguine 0
Eclipse by John Banville 0
Greed by Elfriede Jelinek 0
The Mammaries Of The Welfare State by Upamanyu Chatterjee 0
Superstars by Ann Scott 0
Ingrid Cavern by Jean-Jacques Schuhl 0
Balthasar's Odyssey by Amin Maalouf 0
Popular Music From Vittula by Mikael Niemi 0
Baudolino by Umberto Eco 0
Scattered Crumbs by Muhsin al-Ramli 0
New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani 0
The Cave by José Saramago 0
The Crossing by Luís Cardoso 0
My Sad Republic by Eric Gamalinda 0
The First Death by Dimitris Lyacos 0
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh 0
Ignorance by Milan Kundera 0
99 Francs by Frédéric Beigbeder 0
The Bathing Women by Tie Ning 0
Ravelstein by Saul Bellow 0
The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale 0
After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell 0
Triple Door by Han Han 0
Thirteen Cents by S. Kello Duiker 0
Pobby And Dingan by Ben Rice 0
The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi 0
Death Of A Red Heroine by Qiu Xialong 0
The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin 0
Valencia by Michelle Tea 0
Cold Is The Grave by Peter Robinson 0
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood 0
Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje 0
An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma 0
Sunset Over Chocolate Mountains by Susan Elderkin 0
Human Punk by John King 0
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale 0
Ben, In The World by Doris Lessing 0
The Curry Mile by Zahid Hussain 0


Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:19 (one week ago) link

to have rde witt, is to vote for it

imago, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:19 (one week ago) link

Greed by Elfriede Jelinek
Ignorance by Milan Kundera
My Sad Republic by Eric Gamalinda

^ mood

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:23 (one week ago) link

sorry to say that I have read precisely 0 of these, though feel like I know a few of them fairly well from reviews & review shows of the time, think I paid a lot of attention to the booker prize this year for some reason.

edited to reflect developments which occurred (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:24 (one week ago) link

looks like it might be a stronger year than usual but can still see this being a blowout, provided you've all done your homework (on the circle line)

imago, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:24 (one week ago) link

Liked Ravelstein and The Amber Spyglass Pullman. Loved Perdido Street Station. But House of Leaves has left a peculiar mark on me that won't wash away. So that.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:37 (one week ago) link

The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:51 (one week ago) link

I haven't read anything else. Guess White Teeth is going to win though.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 11:53 (one week ago) link

I've read 5 of these plus half of The Last Samurai. I think I'll vote for House of Leaves despite the Johnny Truant parts.

adam t. (abanana), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:13 (one week ago) link

I read The Last Samurai but I remember really enjoying True History of the Kelly Gang so I'll give that a vote.

Chris L, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:16 (one week ago) link

last! samurai!!!!

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:21 (one week ago) link

House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
True History Of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
Baudolino by Umberto Eco

I thought House of Leaves was a good ghost story suffering under the weight of too much metatextual nonsense, The Last Samurai was ok I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, voting for True History Of The Kelly Gang.

ledge, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:34 (one week ago) link

my conjecture lies in ruins

imago, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:40 (one week ago) link

the only other book i've read on this list is house of leaves, almost twenty years ago at this point, tho i remember vividly when he discovered prostate stimulation

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:42 (one week ago) link

I read The Amber Spyglass in one night like a good little boy. (the other book I read in one sitting at that age was Clive Barker's The Thief Of Always, lol.) anyway, Pullman is fine to good but TLS is some all-time pantheon material, also lol at reading half of it and putting it down forever just as shit kicks off

imago, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:45 (one week ago) link

My end-of-teens self is smashing that button on House of Leaves with nary a regret.

I thought House of Leaves was a good ghost story suffering under the weight of too much metatextual nonsense

I think it's a v good ghost story with great metatextual nonsense but suffering under the weight of having a supposedly "punk" "cool" guy as a narrator who made me cringe even as a teen. Sort that issue out and I don't think even old me would have any problems with it.

emil.y, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:53 (one week ago) link

Perdido Street Station for me, the weird bug sex, the terrifying moths, the bit early on where the city council casually calls on Satan to help with them and he disappears in a puff of smoke as soon as he finds out what they're up against, great stuff.

Will also give a s/o to When We Were Orphans, doesn't get much mention in Ishiguro's ouevre but its depiction of an immigrant who thought he'd blended in perfectly but was actually super obvious made me cringe with recognition.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:57 (one week ago) link

More enthusiasm in this thread than for the entire 90's it seems.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 12:58 (one week ago) link

Feast of the Goat was horrifying and left a big impression on me when I read it, but it has to be The Last Samurai. It’s a book that endlessly rewards you with more of what you want even if you don’t know that you want it. Hers are character types that you just don’t see depicted anywhere else. Her counterpoint to the Great American male academic felt so refreshing. And it’s mad. Didn’t she stitch the whole thing together from dozens of separate projects?

There’s nothing better imo than a decent metatextual narrative that requires a lot of detective work and engagement with pockets of clues to discover new truths. That’s what I wanted House of Leaves to be, but the writing was so distractingly bad and puerile it was impossible to get through. Maybe he was supposed to be a hack and I failed to see the levels, but it seemed far too pleased with itself for that.

tangent x (tangenttangent), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 13:04 (one week ago) link

oh nice we're starting to get books i've read again

ciderpress, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 14:08 (one week ago) link

write-in vote for Revelation Space

have read nothing else 8(

koogs, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 14:36 (one week ago) link

A lot of good books on this list (surprised not to see any love in the thread yet for White Teeth or Chabon's most popular book) but True History of the Kelly Gang towers above them all!

(But tbf I haven't read Last Samurai or House of Leaves)

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 14:41 (one week ago) link

I've read White Teeth, Ravelstein, and When We Were Orphans, which were all decent to good, but this is an easy vote for True History of the Kelly Gang.

o. nate, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 15:56 (one week ago) link

The Last Samurai is not quite like anything else I've read, a unique combination of pleasures, on field trips with just the right mad professor.

dow, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 16:02 (one week ago) link

House of Leaves (because I liked it but also because I finished it - there are a couple of books on this list like White Teeth that I couldn’t really get more than a few pages into).

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:15 (one week ago) link

House of Leaves (because I liked it but also because I finished it - there are a couple of books on this list like White Teeth that I couldn’t really get more than a few pages into).

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:16 (one week ago) link

(I don’t think Zadie Smith is a bad writer; she may just not be for me, or maybe I’m not fully ready for her. The only book of hers I’ve read all the way is NW. It was OK.)

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:18 (one week ago) link

'the last samurai' is perhaps my most successful book gift ever; the recipient read it twice within six months

and now i'm fucked because nothing will ever measure up but i still want to try

mookieproof, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:29 (one week ago) link

feast of the goat is very solid late Vargas Llosa. voted for it because no-one else will.

《Myst1kOblivi0n》 (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:37 (one week ago) link

Joining in the votes for The Last Samurai.

Kavalier and Clay was pretty good too, Chabon's best book I think, but the middle section with the South Pole and all those dead dogs really dragged it down.

Strongly disliked The Amber Spyglass.

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:48 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 14 October 2021 00:01 (six days ago) link

The Human Stain was one of my favorite novels after reading it twice. Now falls into the realm of problematic 90s art that might be best in memory. But I still think of it often.

... (Eazy), Thursday, 14 October 2021 22:09 (six days ago) link

Voted The Last Samurai, probably my favorite book of the 21st century. When We Were Orphans drove me nuts, though it at least feels more like a real novel than The Buried Giant.

JoeStork, Thursday, 14 October 2021 22:27 (six days ago) link

Voted The Last Samurai, probably my favorite book of the 21st century. When We Were Orphans drove me nuts, though it at least feels more like a real novel than The Buried Giant.

JoeStork, Thursday, 14 October 2021 22:27 (six days ago) link

argh sorry about that

JoeStork, Thursday, 14 October 2021 22:27 (six days ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 15 October 2021 00:01 (five days ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2001

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 15 October 2021 09:52 (five days ago) link

Little surprised at only one vote for White Teeth, guess she's never been an ILX fave (I haven't read).

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 15 October 2021 09:54 (five days ago) link

Same here, thought there would be more.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 15 October 2021 10:16 (five days ago) link

The Human Stain is a pretty troubling book but it has a superb closing set piece on the ice that comes to mind fairly often.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 15 October 2021 16:10 (five days ago) link

Didn't see this on the list but Popular Music from Vittula is GREAT, not so great it makes me regret my vote for Kelly Gang, but seriously, people, read this really good traditional coming-of-age novel set in Northern Sweden, it's just plain good

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 15 October 2021 16:52 (five days ago) link

Love Smith but she got much better after White Teeth, On Beauty will be a serious contender for me depending on what it's up against

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 15 October 2021 16:52 (five days ago) link

thankfully the other Beauty novel is from the previous year

imago, Friday, 15 October 2021 16:55 (five days ago) link

i like white teeth a lot, probably would have voted for it if it came out in a different year than last samurai

flopson, Friday, 15 October 2021 17:31 (five days ago) link

i haven’t read anything else of hers but i once read an interview where she says that she was embarrassed by white teeth and how young and naive and reckless she was when she wrote it and how brazenly she assumes the voices of all these different perspectives and my rxn like nooo that’s what was so good about it

flopson, Friday, 15 October 2021 17:40 (five days ago) link


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