- Karthik Narasimhan
Time Magazine makes a list of the best books of this century – a list skewed towards popular literature – and me likes it very much. Le Carre makes it and so do William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. And Bellow and Roth. Very cool.
Update: John Le Carre has long been a personal favorite – I'd argue a bit over the book chosen to represent Le Carre in the list (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or The Little Drummer Girl would've been better choices, but at least they didn't pick The Constant Gardener), but no quibbles with him being in the list. He did the hardest thing you could ask a writer to do: making literature out of the most dumbed down fiction genre. Now if he'd only start writing codebreaking books set in the Vatican…
William Gibson and Neal Stephenson are much overlooked writers. Just because they write Science Fiction, the literary types sneer, hold their noses and walk away from them. But if the value of a book lies in the amount of (smart) entertainment it provides, then NeuroMancer and SnowCrash are right up there with the best. Cryptonomicon too, but I'll live with this.