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What is the Greatest Book Ever Written...has been moved

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by snap-hiss, Oct 28, 2001.

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  1. IronParrot

    IronParrot Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 1999
    CmdrMitthrawnuruodo, talk to my dad sometime. He's a huge Cussler fan.

    I've only read a handful of Cussler's works, and they're good for some light, guilt-free entertainment. My favourite is Sahara. I wouldn't call any of those works particularly profound, although they do represent some of the better plotting out there today.

    Now, about Tolkien.

    I'd like to ask all the people who did not like The Lord of the Rings to answer this, if you haven't already: What would you consider to be the greatest literary works of fiction?

    Just so I can establish a framework or context here, and where you're coming from. Believe it or not, there are patterns to that.

    A quick and dirty summary of some of the "macro" reasons why I love LOTR:

    Narrative structure

    The dramatic irony created from the upside-down-and-backwards overlapping timelines from Book III onwards remains an unparalleled accomplishment in storytelling structure to this day.

    Accessible language

    Am I the only one who finds LOTR to be a very relaxing, easy read to trudge through?

    Thematic applicability

    LOTR's themes, byproducts of a rich and legendary plot instead of being a lopsided focus, manage to be profound and influential beyond comparison. So much, in fact, that people are often fooled into thinking that the work was meant primarily to demonstrate these themes.

    Memorable characters

    Everyone can relate to somebody in LOTR, to various extents. Even the most seemingly minor characters have an illuminating presence.

    One hell of a plot

    What can I say?

    Immersive setting

    Not just the physical settings, but the establishment of cultures, intercultural relationships, workable languages, and forces that push and pull Middle-Earth into place. What's even better is that a thorough knowledge of all the nooks and crannies is only a supplement, not a requirement, to the story. This keeps the entire novel tightly unified, and prevents the context from overshadowing the plot.

    On that note: as for The Silmarillion, I personally didn't care for it much. But that's kind of like the difference between, say, The Iliad and reading up on all foundations of Greek mythology. Good storytelling interests me more than depth of setting, though both are necessary.
     
  2. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    I'm reading FOTR, and it's great so far. I'm very much looking forward to the second two books.


    !snap
     
  3. Spiderdevil

    Spiderdevil Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2000
    I'd like to ask all the people who did not like The Lord of the Rings to answer this, if you haven't already: What would you consider to be the greatest literary works of fiction?

    I appreciate your asking this, and your reasons for liking the books. But you guys don't have to get all hyper when a few of us say we don't like LOTR. This thread is entirely opinion-based, and if our opinion is that we don't care for the story, then so be it.

    Personally, the story is starting to grow on me. But if others want to express dissatisfaction with Tolkien's work, there's nothing to stop them.
     
  4. PatJedi82

    PatJedi82 Ex-Mod star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Every Book by Nick Hornby especially Fever Pitch

    All Brits should know what I mean ;)

    For the Americans, read it and you will have the best example for European pop-culture.
     
  5. Yun-Yuuzhan01

    Yun-Yuuzhan01 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2001
    1984 is without a doubt the greatest, with Animal Farm and Brave New World close behind.
     
  6. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Dec 14, 2000
    I have never tired of "Green Eggs and Ham"

     
  7. Epyon-X

    Epyon-X Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Invisible Man like Watrfae said is also an excellent book. Great literary value and social commentary.
     
  8. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    1984 is without a doubt the greatest, with Animal Farm and Brave New World close behind

    I found Brave New World to be confusing... maybe I should read it again.


    !snap
     
  9. AurraJade

    AurraJade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2000
    Non-fiction: The Hiding Place

    Fiction: Pride and Prejudice
     
  10. IronParrot

    IronParrot Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 1999
    jp-30, you're absolutely right.
     
  11. Jedi_Nea

    Jedi_Nea Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2001
    the best book that is ever written is Dune by Frank Herbert

    and ofcourse..lord of the rings comes on second place..

    almost forgotten..pippi långstrump..
     
  12. Gandalf the Grey

    Gandalf the Grey Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    May 14, 2000
    The Lord of the Rings: 12
    The Silmarillion: 1
    Red Dragon: 1
    Dune: 2
    Stranger in a Strange Land: 1
    Atlantis Found: 1
    Fever Pitch: 1
    Jurassic Park: 1
    Brave New World: 1
    Huckleberry Finn: 1
    1984: 2
    Green Eggs and Ham: 1
    Evolution of the Species: 1
    It: 2
    Les Fleures Bleues: 1
    The Stand: 1
    The Iliad: 2
    The Never-ending Story: 1
    Siddhartha: 1
    Invisible Man: 2
    Pride and Prejudice: 1


    Lord of the Rings has nearly a third of the vote.
     
  13. Lost in Coruscant

    Lost in Coruscant Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 31, 1999
    Chronicles of Narnia. If I have to pick one of them...well, I can't. :)
     
  14. Cailina

    Cailina Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 1999
    Just out of curiosity who wrote It? I've never heard about it and what genre is it? Thanks :)

    Anyway my vote would go for either LotR or 1984.

    Actually right now I'm reading an extremely interesting book called Flatland. Haven't finished it yet but it's definatly thought-provoking.

    Basically it's about this square who lives in a 2-dimensional world. And one day this square has an encounter with a 3-D object. Somehow(haven't gotten there yet) he gets taken from Flatland to Spaceland(3-D world like ours) and discovers this 3rd dimension of depth/height. Then he goes back to Flatland and tries to tell everyone about this other dimension but they put him in jail cause they think he is a crazy nut. It's all trying to explain/show how there could be a 4th dimension that we don't know about and can't see. Very intersting stuff.
     
  15. Hoth_pants

    Hoth_pants Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2001
    my favorite book is a collection of short stories by kurt vonnegut, Welcome to the monkey house. my favorite novel is 1984.

    !snap recomended that i read 1984 about four years ago I've highly valued his picks ever since ( NJO,jurassic park )

    the last line of 1984 sent chills down my spine.

     
  16. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    other than the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, and other non-fictional religious texts, I would have to list the following as my top 5:

    5) Les Miserables
    4) Winter of our Discontent
    3) War and Peace
    2) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    1) The Brothers Karamazov
     
  17. Spiderdevil

    Spiderdevil Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2000
    Cailina: It is a novel by Stephen King.

    My calculus teacher read parts of Flatland to us my senior year of high school. It seemed silly then. Maybe I didn't appreciate it.
     
  18. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Way to much singing, every ten minutes somebody would just start singing, like in a disney cartoon or something...

    LOL... I know what you mean...



    !snap
     
  19. Lord Bane

    Lord Bane Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 26, 1999
    "Just out of curiosity who wrote It? I've never heard about it and what genre is it? Thanks"

    It is a masterpiece of storytelling, basically, arguably the best Stephen King novel written and a modern day epic. Some people might call it a horror book, but they're shortsighted. It's much more than that. I'd say it manages to be a commentary on social issues, a nostalgic, longing look at the innocence of youth, the themes of friendship and sacrifice - I could go on. It is a daunting read at nearly 1200 pages.

    I started to read LOTR and just found it slow and uninteresting. I was not a fan of the language used in narration, though in dialogue I didn't mind. I don't know; it just didn't click with me.
     
  20. Recon_Flail

    Recon_Flail Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2001
    I was going to say LOTR but after some thinking I think I'll go with The Hobbit, for the simple reason it's easily as enjoyable as LOTR and I can actually read it in a day. :)
     
  21. Already-Turned

    Already-Turned Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 13, 2001
    LOTR

    followed by Herman Hesse' 'Sidhartha'
     
  22. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Speaking of King, I'd go with The Stand for his great epic, and a great story.
     
  23. snap-hiss

    snap-hiss Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2001
    I just don't see how you can compare It or The Stand with works like LOTR, 1984, or Illiad/Oddesey. I just don't see it.


    !snap
     
  24. KnightWriter

    KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 6, 2001
    The Stand is an epic story, and a well-written epic at that. Have you read it (or It)?
     
  25. darkmole

    darkmole Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 2, 2000
    My top 5, in no particular order:

    1. Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky
    2. First Folio of Shakespeare (1623)
    3. The Trial, Franz Kafka
    4. In Search of Times Past, Proust
    5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Marquez
     
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