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Flawless books?

Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
edited May 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
Instead of the flawless album thread, we need to talk about teh books.
This is a book that is perfest. The author couldn't have done better.

First example:

The complete works of Shakespear. 'Cause really theres no way to fuck these up, no matter how bad the intros are.

Fair Game:
Graphic Novels (i.e. no super heros or shonen jump manga)
Short stories
Plays
and complete novels

You know for a thread about literature you people are too goddamn literal.

Alchemist449 on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shakespeare couldn't tell jokes for buggery, so I respectfully disagree.

    I nominate most of P.G. Wodehouse's oeuvre instead. The man was an absolute perfectionist and it shows in the completeness of every line he wrote. When writing a book, he pinned every page of his current draft in a circle around the wall and raised them higher the better they were. He didn't finish a book until they were all at the curtain rail.

    Æthelred on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited May 2007
    "flawless" is a tall order. That said, I'll list a few greats

    Nabokov's Ada or Ardor
    Vonnegut's God Bless You Mr. Rosewater
    Rushdie's Midnight's Children
    Heller's Catch 22
    Steinbeck's... I dunno... something by Steinbeck, anyhow.

    Irond Will on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    Tayeb Salih's Season of Migration to the North

    Elki on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I nominate:
    Dubliners, by James Joyce (though it's a short story collection)
    The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. LeGuin (the best Earthsea book)
    Hey, Wait... by Jason

    The last one I especially recommend as being both approachable (it only takes a half hour to read), and deeply moving. It's one of the closest things to perfect I've read.

    MrMister on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Steinbeck's... I dunno... something by Steinbeck, anyhow.

    Personally, I rather enjoyed Of Mice and Men.

    I'd say Tolkien's Silmarillion if it wasn't for the fact that he died before finishing it.

    moniker on
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    3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    R.A. Salvatore - The Leged of Drizzit compliation.

    3lwap0 on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    R.A. Salvatore - The Leged of Drizzit compliation.

    Dark Elf Trilogy, and Icewind Dale Trilogy, to be exact.

    The rest are meh.

    ege02 on
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    CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I propose The Hobbit

    CrimsonKing on
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    JimothyJimothy Not in front of the fox he's with the owlRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Yeah, Mice and Men is the best Steinbeck to my knowledge.

    Melville's Benito Cereno has a sweet twist.

    When I was younger, I loved T.A. Barron's Lost Years of Merlin series with all my heart, and because I cannot think of anything wrong with them, they are nominated.

    I was also quite into Animorphs, but there were so many continuity errors that they could never be flawless.

    Jimothy on
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    CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Night Watch

    CrimsonKing on
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Instead of the flawless album thread, we need to talk about teh books.
    This is a book that is perfest. The author couldn't have done better.

    First example:

    The complete works of Shakespear. 'Cause really theres no way to fuck these up, no matter how bad the intros are.

    I'm afraid that Pericles, Prince of Tyre is absolute shit. Most of his other works were and are amazing, though. King Lear is best.

    As far flawless...? Paradise Lost by Milton. It's awesome in every way.

    saggio on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Mark Twain's everything.

    moniker on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    also ,To Kill a Mockingbird is near perfect, there is a reason these two specifically are still taught in high schools, not only are they thought provoking and ever-relevant, they are fucking good lit.

    arod_77 on
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    gundam470gundam470 Drunk Gorilla CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    I nominate:
    Dubliners, by James Joyce (though it's a short story collection)
    The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. LeGuin (the best Earthsea book)
    Hey, Wait... by Jason

    The last one I especially recommend as being both approachable (it only takes a half hour to read), and deeply moving. It's one of the closest things to perfect I've read.
    I will definitely be checking out Hey, Wait. It sounds fantastic.

    gundam470 on
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    MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Slaughterhouse Five and The Giver.

    Medopine on
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    JimothyJimothy Not in front of the fox he's with the owlRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Frankenstein.

    Jimothy on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    gundam470 wrote: »
    Hey, Wait... by Jason
    I will definitely be checking out Hey, Wait. It sounds fantastic.[/QUOTE]

    Sweet! It's obscure, but so deserving of fame. I'm always excited when someone reads it,.

    MrMister on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Instead of the flawless album thread, we need to talk about teh books.
    This is a book that is perfest. The author couldn't have done better.

    First example:

    The complete works of Shakespear. 'Cause really theres no way to fuck these up, no matter how bad the intros are.

    Shakespeare produced his share of crap, too. King Lear, for example, isn't all that great. (edit: or maybe I'm thinking of Henry V? I dunno, it's hard to keep track of the King Insert Name Here ones). Midsummer Night's Dream really didn't age well, and I'm not sure if it was funny in the first place.
    and I for one prefered Macbeth to Hamlet. I couldn't stand Hamlet.


    Hmm.
    Neuromancer is fucking brilliant sci-fi, but I dunno if it counts as "flawless". Still, close enough, I guess. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? was also quite good. I've just got sci-fi on the brain here right now, though.

    Daedalus on
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    TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Although I'm not sure I would call it flawless, I find myself reading Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at least once a year and never growing tired of it. Do comic books count? I think Moore's Watchmen is pretty damn good.

    Trevor on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Trevor wrote: »
    Although I'm not sure I would call it flawless, I find myself reading Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at least once a year and never growing tired of it. Do comic books count? I think Moore's Watchmen is pretty damn good.

    Hitchhiker's Guide definitely gets a nomination from me.

    And as for comic books, if it weren't for that one continuity flaw I'd throw Transmetropolitan up there, because god damn that was a good book. I normally dislike comic books (or graphic novels or whatever people are calling them now) and I loved it.

    Daedalus on
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    Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't think there are any flawless books, especially since methods of literary evaluation change over time.

    Evil Multifarious on
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    MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    From Steinbeck, I really thought Travels with Charley was really great. Nice and earthy insigths to life and the man himself.\

    Maus is an excellent comic book, if they count as books.

    Munacra on
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    MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't think there are any flawless books, especially since methods of literary evaluation change over time.

    Just as there are no flawless albums. Debating that is not the point.

    Munacra on
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    kaz67kaz67 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I consider The Death of Ivan Ilych to be the perfect short story.

    kaz67 on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'd expect this to be in the area of Borges, Kafka, and The Last Unicorn.

    Stories that have less... symbolic characters are far more likely to attract glaring flaws.

    Incenjucar on
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I thought Brave New World was perfection when I first read it. Second time I enjoyed but I didn't get that buzz of reading something that was completely new to me. Third time I read it I had to look deeper into it and it kind of held my first impression of. It just lays out its ideas perfectly because it actually has ideas instead of doing it by the "should I add a chase scene to make it cooler?" mindset.
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Stories that have less... symbolic characters are far more likely to attract glaring flaws.
    Yeah, that.

    Hoz on
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    MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    As usual, I recommend Dan Simmons Hyperion series.

    Also, The first Myst book.

    Charles De Lint's Moonheart and The Ivory and the Horn.

    Any of his Newford stuff really.

    MuddBudd on
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    3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Salinger's Catcher in the Rye always resonated with me for whatever reason. I realize in it's own right it's a teenage angst novel - but it still seems to transcend that genre into the classics range.

    3lwap0 on
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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Flawless my ass, the entire last 3rd of the book where Tom Sawyer enters in is intolerable.

    [Tycho?] on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    I think that depends on what critical perspective you approach the novel from

    explain your qualms with the section and I will tell you why it was written as is

    arod_77 on
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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Dune. It just is.

    Thats about the only sci-fi book I can think of that I would consider flawless. Neuromancer would be up there, but I find it a tad purposely convoluted for me to consider it flawless. Ender's Game was excellent, but has flaws. Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    [Tycho?] on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Littleprince.JPG

    Loren Michael on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    Loren Michael on
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    MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    There was a Rama game too. Pretty fun.

    MuddBudd on
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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    I think that depends on what critical perspective you approach the novel from

    explain your qualms with the section and I will tell you why it was written as is

    Literary criticism: Twain spent a lot of the book really ripping into racism and pointing out how flawed it is. We see Huck and Jim becoming the best of friends, with Jim becoming a protective father figure to Huck. The really racist people in the book (ie Huck's dad) are also generally mean characters. Then we have Tom come in. When Tom and Huck are trying to free Jim, Tom puts Jim through an obstacle of rediculous, demeaning tasks, solely for Tom's own delight. Jim complains a bit, but goes along with it since the "white people know best", and Huck, despite earlier saying he would rather go to hell than betray Jim, also goes along with it. Tom gets shot, but just in the leg and so probably doesn't learn his lesson. Then the book ends. Its like Twain was making a big point with his social commentary, and then just forgot about it for the last part of the book.

    non-literary criticism: Tom Sawyer is irritating as all fuck.

    [Tycho?] on
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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    Rendezvous was the first. I read the second one, and oh boy, big mistake there. Instead of talking about this huge alien artifact we are walking on, lets have this stupid murder mystery! Awesome!

    [Tycho?] on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    Rendezvous was the first. I read the second one, and oh boy, big mistake there. Instead of talking about this huge alien artifact we are walking on, lets have this stupid murder mystery! Awesome!

    I was young and stupid when I read them, and read like four Rama books before I realized how much shit the ones after #1 were. I had depression for like a year.

    Loren Michael on
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    TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    If short stories are to be included then I think a lot of Poe's stuff really does it for me. The Tell-tale Heart, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Gold Bug, The Masque of Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Pit and the Pendulum spring immediately to mind. Also, I haven't read as much H.P. Lovecraft as I would like, but I found The Call of Cthulu and Dagon to be pretty nifty.

    Trevor on
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    DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    also ,To Kill a Mockingbird is near perfect, there is a reason these two specifically are still taught in high schools, not only are they thought provoking and ever-relevant, they are fucking good lit.

    I think Huck Finn is to a point. As soon as Sawyer is reintroduced it imeadiately goes back to being a kids book (which is not bad but is in total contrast to the rest of the story).

    Doodmann on
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    liquidloganliquidlogan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I got to give another nod to Paradise Lost by John Milton. When I read it this year for my British literature class, it just seemed to have this perfection to it. Everything is just well put together.

    Also, if I had to talk Shakespeare, of the plays I've read so far (which are about 14), I might have to give the nod to Othello has being the most interesting play, in my opinion. In terms of seriously funny characters, I have to give my nod to Falstaff from Henry IV, Part One. There are some plays that, I agree, haven't aged terribly well for modern audiences in their textual form (on stage is a different story). Troilus and Cressida, especially as a first time reader, had to be one of the most disorienting plays I have ever read (partly because I had no idea of the history behind it).

    Other books I've read this year and last that I've enjoyed but I don't think are without their flaws (sorry if they seem pedestrian or superficial, I'm only in my second year literature degree and I haven't read very deep into the other stuff these authors have written):
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov

    liquidlogan on
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