Contemporary Fiction for Old Grumps?
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I am looking for newer fiction that he might be convinced to try, because he is always complaining about not having enough to read. He likes what I'd imagine are the pre-20th century canon and I think Tolstoy, Mellville, and Jane Austen are particular favorites. About the most recent thing I can get him to read is a particular brand of mystery novels from the early 20th century and P.G. Wodehouse who he loves.
Suggestions? Or in a broader sense, what are the contemporary novels that you would use to counter any arguments that literary fiction has degraded past repair?
As for contemporary novels to convince the unfaithful, I'd go with Atonement, What a carve up!, Cloud atlas, The line of beauty Everything is Illuminated, White Teeth, La classe de neige (any francophiles around?), The amazing adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and I'm leaving way too much out of the list (not to mention the books and authors I haven't read). It's a brave new world out there, try to talk your old man into it.
Only English authors seem relevant here although there may be several American classics post 1950 to reflect every American culture, style, and sentiment.
With the dawn of pop culture, very likely the great American novel began to decline. There are no personal favorites of my own which I could recommend that would encapsulate my interpretation of America from the Roosevelt years through post-Watergate, although The James' writing style might be best represented by E.L. Doctorow, Isak Deniesen, and Thomas Pynchon.
Some English authors - Graham Greene, E.M. Forster, Anthony Eden, Martin Amis, Kingsley Amis, and P.G. Wodehouse
by contemporary, let's discard anything before, say, 1920.
feed him THE SUN ALSO RISES, especially if he is a military veteran. Along this line, if he is such, you can then get him FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones, THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Mailer, THE KILLER ANGELS by Mike Shaara, and/or anything by Mike's Son, comme ca, GODS AND GENERALS.
if he likes the deliciousness of exquisite english prose, for heaven's sake feed him Irving's Cider House Rules or PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY.
u get the idea---figure out what his background mind-set is and cater to it! Southern gentleman? TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee....A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND....or is it A HARD MAN IS GOOD TO FIND? always get that mixed up?