Off the Hook


11 July 2009

At The Second Pass, a cathartic twist on your typical “Top 10,” reading list; this one a list of books which are oft-recommended that TSP writers (anonymous, hmm…) have deemed skip-worthy.  

Such [best books] guides are presumably meant to save readers time by pointing them in the right direction, but the guides themselves amount to several months or years of reading. The books they recommend add up to several lifetimes. What starts as an attempt to save hours ends as a commitment to more hours than you probably have. That’s where we come in. Below is a list of ten books that will be pressed into your hands by ardent fans. Resist these people.

I’ve encountered similar conversations going on at, i.e. threads about “hoopla books you were supposed to love but didn’t.” I myself empathize with the impulse to cross titles off of lists; that feeling that you’ll just never read everything you want/need to read creates some stress (though I don’t actually agree with some of the reviews here).  What do you think?  Read ’em here.


2 Responses to “Off the Hook”

  1. dannypeters Says:

    I’ve only read three of those, but I thought all three were great. That article makes me think of music reviewers, who 99 times out of 100 have no idea what they’re talking about and who probably shouldn’t be talking in the first place.

  2. Eric Says:

    I can only stomach Delillo in White Noise–that voice is far too much for me to subject myself to 800 pages of it via Underworld, the supposed masterpiece.

    Having read everything in McCarthy’s oeuvre short of his plays, I can say that The Road is not his best. Not his worst by far, either. He started off very shakily, in my opinion. First three books are a chore, the rest are worth it. Hit and miss, Second Pass.

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