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Updated by David Burn on Jan 03, 2015
Headline for Great American novels
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Great American novels

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: In Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, set in France in 1944, a 16-year-old blind French girl and a 17-year-old German soldier are on different yet converging paths. This is an amazing, masterfully executed tale. Each perfect word, each perfect sentence is...

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway: andlt;Bandgt;Chapter Oneandlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he...

Sometimes a Great Notion

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey: Reading Sometimes a Great Notion (I finally made it past the first 100 labyrinthine pages after many failed attempts) had such a profound impact on me; it spoke so directly to my core and to what brought me to the land of big trees...

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut: After Slaughterhouse Five came out in 1969, Kurt Vonnegut entered a long period of depression and swore he would never write another novel. Fortunately he was lying, and in 1973, out came Breakfast of Champions; or, Goodbye Blue Monday (the subtitle alluding to his...

A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole: When a true genius appears in the world, You may know him by this sign, that the dunces Are all in confederacy against him. Jonathan Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting" "A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon...

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance (Vintage Classics)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterpiece, an iconic fable of guilt and redemption set in Puritan Massachusetts, has long been considered one of the greatest American novels. The story of Hester Prynne-found out in adultery, pilloried by her Puritan community, and abandoned, in different ways, by both...

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

Powell's Books is the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world. We carry an extensive collection of out of print rare, and technical titles as well as many other new and used books in every field.

Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions)

Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) by Thomas Pynchon: Tyrone Slothrop is an archetypal innocent abroad, but in the worst possible circumstances: he's an American on a mission to locate V-2 rocket-launching sites in war-torn Europe. On a larger level, the novel illustrates the struggle between those who perceive and rebel against the war,...

Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: \La temperatura a la que arden los libros: 451 grados FAHRENHEIT. >. Para Guy Montag, bombero de profesión para quien el queroseno es el más embriagador de los perfumes, esto no es solo un eslogan oficial: es un mantra, un deber, un modo de vida...

Moby-Dick (Word Cloud Classics)

Moby-Dick (Word Cloud Classics) by Herman Melville: "Call me Ishmael" is the iconic opening line of Herman Melvilles classic American novel, Moby-Dick. Ishmael is a seaman aboard the whaling vessel, Pequod, under the vengeful captain, Ahab. Maniacally seeking retribution from the great white sperm whale called Moby-Dick - the whale responsible...