To continue the discussion... The genre doesn't matter much to me. I'll
take great science fiction in a heartbeat. I recently read "The Invisible Man"
and "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. Both are terrific books. Romance -- no
problem. "Sense and Sensibility" is a great book, so is "Jane Eyre."
All that matters to me is that I am engaged from beginning to end. I see
"Main Street" is on the Readers list. I didn't like that book -- long and dark.
I started reading the book after this by Lewis -- "Babbitt" -- but couldn't
make it. I was hurrying to get to the bottom of the page. I just
wanted to get it over with. Then I thought, why am I reading this? and gave up
Harold Bloom, the Harvard professor and pedagogue of reading and writing,
was so high on "Blood Meridian" by McCarthy that I had to read it. I made it
through, but it was a hard effort. The long descriptive paragraphs left me
lost in rhetoric, the relentless violence was sickening, the rhetorical
word-play seemed just put on.
Now, of course, other people might find "Babbitt" and "Blood Meridian"
great writing -- some do. That's fine. We're all different, and we all, to save
ourselves, can turn to the classics, which (almost: Tolstoy didn't like
Shakespeare) everyone agrees is great.
I look forward to discussions with this group.