Well, of course, these have been featured here before over the years in this space, but someone asked me to assemble a list of authors and books I'd recommend to someone looking for a novel that was both a pleasure to read and satisfied the measures required of being "Literary" . What is meant by the last word in quotation marks is brutally subjective, and perhaps we'll leave it for a future discussion, if not one of my caffeinated and barely comprehensible manifestos, ie, rants. In the meantime, three authors, three books that I enjoyed to a major degree. I hope some of you might read them and find pleasure as well.
THE LEFTOVERS by Tom Perrotta
.I am inclined to agree that the HBO production was one of the best TV series in recent memory, but the novel by Tom Perrotta is no less brilliant, perplexing, comic and able to undermine a reader's sense of metaphysical sure-footedness. Perrotta is a cross between Don DeLillo and John Cheever, someone who brings weirdness into the suburbs and small towns and has us observe how oddly things come unglued. The plot here centers around a small, Cheeveresque suburb, but the difference is that these townsfolk, like the rest of the world, is trying to deal with the unthinkable fact that a quarter of the world's population has vanished, gone, literally into thin air, rapture-like. This is about how the folks try to reconstruct their daily routines both in personal lives in social structures and how different groups come to interpret that event which is, by its nature, sealed off from interpretation.