Having just re-read two thirds of it, can I retract this choice please?If I have one at all, it's Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco, for the brilliance of its central conceit, the way it drags you in so that you almost believe it yourself, and the wide range of its esoteric interest.
Were you quite young at the time? I can easily see why I thought so highly of it in my early twenties. The central idea still shines through -- and is still breathtaking when it comes -- but now I can't help noticing how it keeps bogging down in the intricacies of eighteenth century German freemasonry and the like. And surely nobody on Earth actually has the kind of conversations his characters do.I remember really enjoying Foucault's Pendulum. Now I'm worried.
Yep. I recently re-read the Illuminatus! trilogy, which does a similar thing (I'm stretching that a bit) but in a very light-hearted, over-the-top, absurd extreme. I still really like those books and suspect that FP would seem dry in comparision, now.Were you quite young at the time? I can easily see why I thought so highly of it in my early twenties.
Good choice! Hadn't thought of that one. May have to consider it seriously.I've always chosen Catch-22 for this question. It had an enormous impact on me and has shaped a lot of my views on politics and society. It's also darkly funny and horrifying in equal measure. 1984 might get all the recognition, but for my money there is no book better than Catch-22 at summarizing our times and how dehumanizing our modern society truly is.