Utne Blogs > Literature

Ten Great Books That Are Not Great

Book stackThe people at the Second Pass are looking for a fight. They've named ten books they want "fired from the canon." Who gets kicked to the curb? Not a lightweight among them: Faulkner, García Márquez, Kerouac, Dos Passos, Franzen...

The creators of the blacklist explain themselves:

If you’re looking for reading suggestions in bulk, you’re spoiled for choice ... but a problem arises: Such guides are presumably meant to save readers time by pointing them in the right direction, but the guides themselves amount to several months or years of reading. The books they recommend add up to several lifetimes. What starts as an attempt to save hours ends as a commitment to more hours than you probably have.

Have a look for yourself. It's a fun read, and if these people can be trusted, it may just change your life. Sort of.

Source: Second Pass 

Image by austinevan, licensed under Creative Commons. 

jonna doughty_1
5/31/2010 8:59:18 PM

I'm only disappointed that this list didn't include Ulysses. Forced to read Joyce's dreck in three different college courses nearly caused me to quit reading altogether.


doug corkhill
7/29/2009 3:06:01 PM

Not read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, or Kerouac?? Would you rather read the dribble that constitutes "Best Sellers" from the N.Y. Times? I'll stick to the Road!


john lynch
7/29/2009 10:50:43 AM

I opened this article with great anticipation that you would have included "Catcher in the Rye". This puerile saga has been foisted upon generations of high school students in this country since the '60's as exemplar literature. In fact, it was simply an attempt by English teachers of that time to be "relevant" at a time when everything was in flux. Then, the following generations was exposed to it in high school; and it became a perpetual choice. It falls into the same category as "On the Road". Thanks for the permission slip never to try to read again the list you present.


tom hendricks
7/24/2009 11:52:54 AM

Here's a 100 BEST books list - that is notable for its choices free of any corporate backing or ads. Based on a lifetime of reading. http://musea.digitalchainsaw.com/100bestbooks.html