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. Bithysith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2000
    star 5
  2. harjap Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2000
    star 4
    Um,
    The Running Man by Stephen King. I just like the lead Charater in the book, why he becomes the running man and how he reacts after he has lost every thing. The book Rocks!

    Companions on the Road by Tanith Lee, a book about a good guy who must put things right!

    LotR. Nice story, goes on abit sometimes but layered enuff to keep going back to!

    And not to burst this westerncentric bubble...
    The Mahabarat and the Raman!

    Epics of the Distant Indian past with Gods and Deamons fighting for the souls of men and wealth beyond imagination and salvation! Every bit the match of their Greek Peers!
  3. McNerf-Burger Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 5
    Enders Game and Speaker for the Dead, boo yah!!!!! Xenocide and Children were also good, but I was disappointed that there wasn't more said about the Descaladores, never even found out what they looked like. That could be a whole second series right there, or at least another book. Another war, perhaps. Also, especially in Children, I really, really, couldnt stand the chracter of Quara. How old was she, 11!? I didnt like Novinha either. Everything else was cool.

  4. Adakin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2001
    star 1
    The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.
    Romantics rejoice as here is your bible!
  5. DarthYama Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 4
    Hyperion
    The Book of the New Sun
    Lord of the Rings
  6. audio_karate Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2001
    star 3
    Franny & Zooey - J.D. Salinger
    All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
    Le Petit Prince - Antoine de St-Exupery
    A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
    Girl in Hyacinth Blue - Susan Vreeland
    Kitchen; Lizard - Banana Yoshimoto
    The Elephant Vanishes - Haruki Murakami

    I will never have the chance to read all I wish to, but thus far, out of everything I have read (and remember, to an extent)... I'd say Yoshida Kenko's Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) is the wisest and most profound--though not preteniously so--piece I've had the pleasure of knowing. I only regret that I cannot read the essays in their original language.

  7. Jorus_Kando Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 4
    The Lord of the Rings.
  8. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5

    some books i reread endlessly, like

    the Mars Trilogy, by KS Robinson
    The Hitchikers series, by Douglas Adams
    Catch 22, by Heller
    the 16 Satires, by Juvenal
    anything by Sven Hassel


    well considering i've read several thousand books in my time its hard to recall any particular ones of not, my best judge is books i own and reread
  9. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    The greatest book? If it's out there, I probably haven't read it yet. But... here's a few of my favorites...

    Anthem - Ayn Rand (simple, yet profound)
    Republic - Plato
    Indian Philosophy - S. Radhakrishnan
    Bhagavad Gita - God :D
    Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
    The Double Helix - James Watson and Thomas Crick (about their discovery of the DNA structure)


  10. Sithdos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2001
    star 2
    Well, the Bible would be the best but you said not to list it.


    The book that made me think the most outside of the Bible would be...

    Steven Hawkings "Brief History of Time".

    It is a very hard read but you do learn a great deal.
  11. audio_karate Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2001
    star 3
    Has anyone read Stephen Hawking's The Universe in a Nutshell yet?

  12. PowerfulJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2000
    star 4
    LotR by a long shot. However there is an excellent book that I'm surprised nobody has mentioned. "Johnny Got His Gun" is an excellent book. It's about a soldier in WWI whose limbs were ripped off, is blinded, deafened, and cannot speak. It shows his struggle with life and how he learns to communicate with tapping his head on a pillow. And for those who the book sounds unfamiliar to, Metallica's One is based on it.



    As for non-fiction, The Bible.
  13. PowerfulJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2000
    star 4
    1984 is also a great book.
  14. Moriarte Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2001
    star 5
    Turtle on Turtle...possibly the greatest book ever written on turtle stacking!

    For real though, I cannot say whether a book is the greatest of all, but one that I enjoy...To Reign in Hell by Steven Brust-the fictional retelling of the war in Heaven. A must read, if I ever knew one.

    Ciou-See the Sig
  15. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
  16. Master-Jedi-Smith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 4
    I like "The Three Musketeers" by Dumas.

    As for LOTR, I couldn't get through the first book. As for it being the most popular in this thread, I think it has alot to do with the movie recently being released. (Back in December wasn't it?) It had kind of an Oprah Book Club effect. I must admit, that is the reason I started reading it. (I did try once before this, many years ago, but could not get past the first chapter. This time around I did manage to make it to Book II of FOTR.)

    Anyway, I am glad to see so many people enjoying books, and want to say thanks for all the recommendations!
  17. Kerr_Plunk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 6
    there have been so many great books listed in this thread! :)

    my contribition: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    i think that it conveys an excellent message about taking care of the Earth, and i am also delighted that it is aimed at kids... of ALL ages
  18. Master-Jedi-Smith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 4
    So true Kerr Plunk.

    As a side note:
    In one of my college courses we watched the cartoon as an example of Social Status/Group Differences.
  19. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Right right right.

    A Clockwork Orange-Anthony Burgess

    Hands down, the greatest book of the twentieth century. That is, if you can understand it. (yes that was a challenge)
  20. Tod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 1999
    star 4
    Here's some of my favourites:

    - Thukydides: The Peloponnesian War. It's first real history book and very well written. If you like history read this.

    - Tolstoi: War And Peace. Classic Russian epic. Marvelous book. I read it in three days. (After all it only has couple thousand pages)

    - Tolkien: Lord of the rings. What can I say? Classic is classic. Only book I have read over hundred times.

    Of course there's lots of other excellent books out there but these three are probably most important for me.
  21. Khab Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 1999
    star 1
    Lord of the Rings, without a doubt. I've loved it since I was eight. After that, in no particular order:
    Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein)
    Dune (Frank Herbert)
    Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
    The Dispossessed (Ursula LeGuin)
    1984 (George Orwell)
    The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien)

    I would put Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) on that list, but strictly speaking, it's a radio show he altered and adapted into a book.

    For non-fiction:
    Flatland (Edwin A. Abbott)
    Double Helix (James Watson)
    The Mathematical Tourist (Ivars Peterson)
    I never read Brief History of Time, mainly because I read Kip S. Thorne's Black Holes & Time Warps first, and after that, it was redundant. Godel, Escher, Back: An Eternal Golden Braid (Douglas R. Hofstadter) also looks quite good, but I haven's finished it yet.

    Edit: I can't believe I almost forgot about Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card). It's by far the best in the series; Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon are good, and Speaker for the Dead was pretty good, but Xenocide was a let-down. IMO, he should have just skipped the books focusing on Ender after Ender's Game; the ending to that was perfect.

    While I'm editing, I might as well comment on some of these books:
    LotR - What can you say? It's an incredible masterpiece. And the entire storyline and universe was created so Tolkien could have a place to play around with his invented languages.
    The Silmarillion - I love the mythology, especially the story of Fingolfin's fall after the ruin of Beleriand.
    Stranger in a Strange Land - Just read it. :)
    Mists of Avalon - It's a wonderful retelling of the Arthurian legends, from the perspectives of the women, and I guarantee you'll never look at them the same way again.
    The Dispossessed - It's about two neighboring planets, one of which is an extreme form of capitalism, and the other is a form of anarcho-communism. The main character is a physicist from the anarchist planet who has gone to see what the other planet is like.
    1984 - Disturbing, and not a book I have any inclination to reread, but a good book.

    Flatland - Layman's explanation of the 4th dimension, along with social commentary (Abbott was actually pro-women's rights, all appearances to the contrary)
    Double Helix - An excellent book about the discovery of the DNA structure, although I've heard that Rosalind made more significant contributions than are acknowledged.
    The Mathematical Tourist - It's a very good introduction into just about every branch of math, aimed at laymen.
    Black Holes & Time Warps - A good, but challenging book about (guess what?) black holes and time warps.
    Godel, Escher, Bach - about formal logic, computers, AI, etc., presented in a non-rigorous fashion, with tie-ins to Escher's artwork and Bach's music.

    For a book that combines the best of math and sci-fi, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is a great read. Not among the best books ever written, but very good nonetheless.
  22. JediTre11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2001
    star 4
    Flatland...

    I can just barely swallow the non-fiction status. The content is true, the story...not so much true as it is false. But I suppose metaphors are open in this sense.
  23. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    I would like to continue to voice my opinion on this issue.

    It by Stephen King, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon and American Gods by Neil Gaiman top my all time favorite list, as well as being some of the greatest books I have read, and in my eyes, ever written.

    I would put at the top of the greatest ever written, War and Peace, Slaughterhouse-5, Infinite Jest, Ulysses, and not The Lord of the Rings.

    Though it is a grand tale, an epic struggle and a stirring story of very likeable and readable characters, LotR is not close to the top of my list. It lacks a sense of dramatic tension in its first part, suffers from a tendency to inflate the page count with exposition, and has been noted, seems to be an exercise by Tolkien to practice his linguistic and historical skill. It is a great read, one of the greatest fantasy books and one of the, maybe, top 200 greatest books ever written, but it does not approach number one. Even with books that Tolkien has written (The Hobbit is better).

    So I have let slip the dogs of war. Defend your epic tome! ;)
  24. Qui-Rune Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 4
    Wrinkles in Time
    By: George Smoot & Keay Davidson

    After reading this, I was able to comprehend the entire universe, as if I were holding it in the palm of my hand.
  25. CheeseyWanKenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2002
    I cannot name a single literary work, so I will post a short list:

    Plato....many different works
    The Prince: Machiavelli
    Breakfast of Champions: Kurt Vonnegut
    Oedipus Rex: Sophocles
    Agamemnon: Aeschylus

    Of greatest importance and entertainment, I would have to say the works of Plato. I like many of his works, as they are insightful and quite humorous once you are familiar with them. I think the thing I like best about Plato is that each time you read a work over again....you notice something different. I have not read every piece in his collected works, but the fact that I want to says a lot.
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