This is a great idea for a thread.
I’ll mix literature and non-fiction here:
Literature: The Brothers Karamazov, 1984, Blood Meridian, The Naked and the Dead, The Sound and the Fury, Money (Martin Amis), a new one called Ransom by David Malouf (retelling of part of the Iliad…loved it).
Smh I knew there was a reason I had such a good feeling about you, particularly as a writer. I’ve only not read those last two, and the others are some of my VERY favorite.
He has not earned the right to call himself a lover of literature who has not experienced the sheer, druglike ecstasy of reading Blood Meridian with a dictionary close at hand. Particularly “Attacked by Comanches.”
He is THE great writer of our age. Since you opened up this can of worms:
Cormac McCarthy - Anything he’s written, but particularly the aforementioned and Suttree, followed by Child of God, The Crossing (by FAR the best book of the Border Trilogy…Billy Parham is so much cooler a character than the hyper-emotional John Grady Cole), Outer Dark. I actually have a first edition hardcover of his play, The Stonemason. Found it at a used book store around 15 years ago before anybody knew who McCarthy was. I’ve been reading him nearly 20 years, since I learned about Blood Meridian and Judge Holden (!!!) in a gushing review from Harold Bloom.
William Faulkner - Again, anything, but don’t miss Light in August, As I Lay Dying, The Wild Palms/If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, Absalom! Abasalom!, Go Down, Moses, a collection of his short stories, is a great starter for those who’ve never read one of his books.
Shakespeare - King Lear!!!, Henry IV, Hamlet, Othello, too many others to list
Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot (think YOUR woman is psycho?)
Malcolm Lowry - Under the Volcano (one of the best novels (autobiographies?) ever written, in my opinion…and Lowry’s inability to overcome his addiction, astoundingly chronicled in that novel, is one of the greatest cultural losses of our time.
Kurt Vonnegut or Douglas Adams. Breakfast of Champions and the Hitchhiker series are some of the most entertaining “comedic literature” I’ve ever come across.
I’m absolutely positive I’ll have more later.