Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2000

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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 (eight months ago) link

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

ciderpress, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 14:08 (eight months ago) link

write-in vote for Revelation Space

have read nothing else 8(

koogs, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 14:36 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 14 October 2021 00:01 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link

argh sorry about that

JoeStork, Thursday, 14 October 2021 22:27 (eight months ago) link

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

System, Friday, 15 October 2021 00:01 (eight months ago) link

Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of 2001

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 15 October 2021 09:52 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link

Same here, thought there would be more.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 15 October 2021 10:16 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link

thankfully the other Beauty novel is from the previous year

imago, Friday, 15 October 2021 16:55 (eight months 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 (eight months 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 (eight months ago) link


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