Rick Moody

Rick Moody is earning reviews so warm they’re glowing for his sixth novel, Hotels of North America - a darkly comic portrait of a man whose life - including his motivational speaking career, the dissolution of his marriage, the separation from his beloved daughter, and his devotion to an amour known only as "K." – is revealed through his online reviews.

 

Here are three:

 

“It's a little book, a bagatelle but it's a little book of irony and wit and heartbreak.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Formally daring, often very funny, and surprisingly moving … The story unfolds as a series of online reviews for the Web site RateYourLodging.com, all of which have been submitted by one Reginald Edward Morse, a reviewer of such entertaining prolixity and discursive majesty that the adjective 'Nabokovian' immediately comes to mind. (It will come to mind more than once throughout the novel.)" – Jeff Turrentine, The Washington Post

"Throughout the novel, Morse's shattered life takes on ever sharper edges, as he plows into the desultory American landscape with all the eagerness of a middle-aged man of waning prospects...Moody's sweet spot in Hotels of North America is quotidian detail tinged with some deeper existential unease: “Fear and Trembling at the Holiday Inn,” if you will. Over and over, with an impressive attention to the nuances of the hospitality industry, Moody manages to suffuse your average roadside lodging with a kind of life-sapping dread...This is a very literary novel, cleverly constructed and written in an arch, clever, very literary voice, at once mannered and unrestrained, like an aging patrician after his third drink...But if Moody can sometimes untether himself from plot and character, it is because he seems more interested in existential truths than novelistic conventions. This novel is short and plangent and ... frequently beautiful. If it were a hotel room, you'd give it four stars. ― Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek

Rick Moody’s Top Ten List

1. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1321).
2. Essays by Michel de Montaigne (1533-92). 
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605, 1615).
4. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne (1759–67).
5. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851).
6. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880).
7. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857).
8. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922).
9. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927).
10. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (1924).

New List

Peter Blauner

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877).

2. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905).

3. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth (1934).

4. A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes (1957).

5. What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt (2003).

6. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos (1989).

7. Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg.

8. Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara (1934).

9. American Pastoral by Philip Roth (1997).

10. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939). 

 

Classic List

Amy Bloom

 

1. The Deptford trilogy by Robertson Davies (1983).
2.Persuasion by Jane Austen (1817).
3. His Dark Materialsby Philip Pullman (1995–2000).
4.The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (1995).
5.The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003).
6. The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (1978).
7. The Plot Against Americaby Philip Roth.
8. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998).
9. Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier (1951).
10. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields (1997).

 

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