Best fiction of the millennium

Over at The Millions, they’re revealing the fiction they feel is the best of the millennium so far.

What they’ve come up with:
20 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
19 American Genius, A Comedy by Lynne Tillman
18 Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link
17 The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
16 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
15 Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis
14 Atonement by Ian McEwan
13 Mortals by Norman Rush
12 Twilight of the Superheroes by Deborah Eisenberg
11 The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
10 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
9 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
8 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
7 Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
6 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
5 Pastoralia by George Saunders
4 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
3 Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
2 The Known World by Edward P. Jones
1 The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

I’ve only read four things from this decade (variety of reasons), and only really liked one (sorry, Wallace fans, Oblivion is not my favorite…a few pieces are outstanding, but overall I didn’t get attached to many of the stories, and my favorite chapter within is from the early 90s.) I’m beginning to think I need to go back to Modernism where I belong. But I will reenter this decade with the new Margaret Atwood, then venture one by one down this list from The Millions.

Here’s the problem. I’ve read The Corrections. Liked it. For a lot of reasons was compelled by it. Didn’t love it. But that’s the best this millennium has to offer? Uh-oh. 2666 is on my stack, and I’ll willingly tackle it this month (okay, next month, and only if I finish my conference paper which is woefully behind). But I want to hear from you about whether I should tackle this list out of order or not at all or…

What do you think of them? The books, I mean. Anything missing? Anything on this list rock your world?

[Update, years later: from this list I’ve finished 2666 and Cloud Atlas. The former is impressive and not my cup of tea. The latter rocked my world and I will read it again soon. Awesome book.]

Advertisements