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Greatest American Writers

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Rated 126 points - posted 5 years ago by pxc0 in category People.
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William Faulkner Report Abuse
964 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 10 comments
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Best American writer of all time because of his beautiful prose and experimental writing. Love him or hate him, in regards to literature, there are few who have contributed as much as him.
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"Absalom, Absalom!" is the greatest American novel that I've read. It would not be excessive to praise Faulkner as the American Shakespeare, but it would also not do justice to his individuality.
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He's really a good writer. PS. Guys, could you write a sgort bio for him? Just a few sentences.
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favorite writer. Light in August is my favorite book. As I Lay Dying is awesome. reading sound and the fury.
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I see Faulkner, Twain, and Poe as the top 3, in that order. Faulkner's writing provides an intimacy into a character that is unmatched by any writer, save Joyce.
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Not only the greatest American writer of all time, but quite possibly the greatest writer of all time bar none.
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Greatest of them all.....gave us the vision of the great american disconnect.
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not at all...
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his prose just blows me away
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greatest American writer
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2.

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Mark Twain Report Abuse
The quintessential American writer, Twain was able to capture the American spirit in works like Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Known for his wit, his satire and his love for America Twain was the country's biggest supporter and its biggest critic - shining a light on his homeland, warts and all.
956 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
best!
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Twain's apercu on the Southern church - in which Huck sells his soul rather than selling out Jim - thereby proving his salvation - is ironically and brilliantly written. Not that the Northern church, other than the Quakers, were much more awake regarding "man and God and law" previous to Uncle Tom's Cabin.
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Yes
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3.

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Edgar Allen Poe Report Abuse
Perhaps no other American writer has influenced literature outside the Western hemisphere as much as Poe. His deft use of horror and the macabre, his masterful use of the short story and his creation of the detective story all changed literature as we know it and many authors today still feel Poe's influence in their work.
917 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 12 comments
Comments:
I am writing a paper about Edgar Allen Poe.
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I only go to sleep when i read his stories. 3:)
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i think he is one of the best and deserves to be number one on this list
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Wooooooooo!
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He has eerie stories. The Black Cat is a creepy one.
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Poe is eloquent, but so comma happy that his choppy sentences are at times unreadable. No one better at evoking the macabre, though.
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Poe was so ahead of his time, that's how original he was.
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Poe, at one point, epitomized the new American Gothic: the latent reaction to the English literary focus that began 200 years before it. However, the suggestion that Poe was an American writer unequaled in international literary influence is ridiculous. There is no documentation or any evidence to support that kind of claim.
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i love your poetry... (:
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Allan
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spell his name right
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Tick tock tick tock
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4.

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Ernest Hemingway Report Abuse
894 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 16 comments
Comments:
Yes, he was rather popular in Russia in the 60-ies
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I thought the sun also rises,and a farewell to arme where his best
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Though I might strike you all as a tad of a hypocrite, spending time commenting on another's opinions of a novel seems, well, and insufficient altercation with your already battered and defensive ego. Adios Amigos
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One of the greatest. A geat writer and his life itself makes for a "novel'.
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Hemingway being ranked lower than Poe is abominable.
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Many of Hemingway's stories are written on the 6th grade level. The reason: He did not elaborate his writing with a lot of adjectives. He wanted to reader to fill in the blanks with their own imagination. He would write a sentence using the word "tree". He left it up to the reader to decide what the tree looked like.
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Hemingway doesn't translate well into our time, and For Whom the Bell Tolls was absolutely painful to read. Fitzgerald should be #1.
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He's amazing. Truly. I agree with one of the preceding comments: Cormac McCarthy gives me the same fuzzy feeling when I read his work.
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known ironically for his dialogue, which is frequently laconic and absurd: "you're lovely dear." "yes" "we'll be lovely together darling." "yes, we will" "have a drink darling." "ok" "oh you're so lovely darling." and so on....this is basically the entire dialogue to 'Farewell to Arms' i do like Hem but he's overrated. he either writes a 4 word sentence or an incoherent one with 6000 "and's" in it. where's the specialness?
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I'll say this about Hemingway, he's really easy to read. I'd have him at the bottom part of the top 10.
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Hemingway probably wrote the best dialogue of any writer.
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Overrated, his work is always good the first time around, but never endures, upon further reading there is really nothing else there.
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Changed literature forever. No better short story writer and four of the best American novels ever written. Only Twain had similar impact. No argument.
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Probably over-rated. Hemingway's early novels are great; but with the exception of the novella "Old Man and the Sea" which was just a retelling of an actual event from many years earlier, he produced nothing of substance during the last 20 years of his life.
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Still no one else in his category, in my view, except for Cormac McCarthy. Always at the top.
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The Old Man and the Sea - Pulitzer Prize 1952. The Sun Also Rises 1924, For Whom the Bell Tolls 1940, A Farewell to Arms 1929, The Snows of Kilimanjaro 1936, To Have And Have Not 1937. Several books and stories made into films. The Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
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5.

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John Steinbeck Report Abuse
The voice of the people, Steinbeck is famous for books like The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, which show the dark underbelly of the American dream and champion the poor and downtrodden. His work was not only art, it was seminal in bringing the plight of millions of suffering Americans to the forefront and his historical accuracy allows us to glimpse an America that no longer exists.
864 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 5 comments
Comments:
grapes of wrath, and cannery row where very good reading, east of eden,great also
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East of Eden is his best novel.
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Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, and Cannery Row, that's it. Four nice novels and then nothing worthwhile. I wouldn't have Steinbeck in the top 15.
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This awful list gave me AIDS. I think this page should be deleted, or at least removed from search engines.
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The Grapes of Wrath - Pulitzer Prize 1939. Of Mice and Men 1937, East of Eden 1952, The Red Pony 1933, Tortilla Flat 1935, Cannery Row 1945, Viva Zapata 1975, etc. 14 books made into movies. Nobel Prize for Literature 1962.
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6.

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Tennessee Williams Report Abuse
Best known for his plays "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "A Streetcar Named Desire," and "The Glass Menagerie."
564 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Pulitzer Prize 1955, A Streetcar Named Desire - Pulitzer Prize 1948. The Glass Menagerie 1945, The Night of the Iguana 1961, The Rose Tattoo 1952.
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7.

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Cormac McCarthy Report Abuse
516 points - added 5 years ago by glorf177 - 10 comments
Comments:
I love McCarthy. A deeply moving author who is master in his own right. I would agree with those who argue that he is the greatest author OF OUR TIME....I just cringe a little to see him higher than the likes of Fitgerald and Eliot. He is a great american author...just not the GREATEST.
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I had never wept when reading or finishing a novel, but I was "shaken", and had to compose myself emotionally after finishing this novel, " The Road". I am well read and did not expect to be so moved. Definetly among the top 5 greatest novels I have ever read, but sadly I haven't read anything else of his YET.
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you must be joking
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The greatest writer of all time. Period.
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Two words: Sunset Limited
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"McCarthy is certainly the most readable, but accessibility doesn't necessarily yield greatness". What on earth are you talking about? Of course it's natural to like or not like a particular author according to your taste in literature; themes, style of writing etc. But to say that McCarthy is accessible and also imply that this particular feature is what makes critics and people alike to rank him among the best is preposterous! Outrageous I tell you! Have you read anything other than "No Country for Old Men"? Child of God, perhaps? Blood Meridian? And while we're at it, tell me this: you consider Roth to be a much more difficult author to read than McCarthy?
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Not sure what "respects" the first comment refers to. Harold Bloom called McCarthy, Delillo, Roth, and Pynchon the four best writers of our time. McCarthy is certainly the most readable, but accessibility doesn't necessarily yield greatness. Just curious what the other "respects" are.
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Definitely in my top 5. Mastered 3 distinct styles. Compare Suttree, Blood Meridian and The Road, each compelling in their own way, and each as good as anything written here in the last 30 years.
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do you have a relative named CLARE?
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CM seems to be in the running for the best fiction writer of our time, certainly the best in the USA in many respects, ranking in the top section, the best of the best, with Faulkner, Hemingway,Flannery O'Connor, James, et al. Read 'Blood Meridian' and find out what i'm talking about.
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8.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Report Abuse
504 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 11 comments
Comments:
Anyone that could write "The Great Gatsby" should be ranked higher.That was the best american novel ever written.
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To say the least, the way in which F.Scott Fitzgerald poses the characters in his stories is in the most poetic sense that any reader has seen, take Amory Blaine as an example. The themes discussed in his novels directly relate to American Literature, far more closely related to true American Writing. Fitzgerald deserves to be in the top three by his sheer will to become the greatest novelist, like he once said.
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I agree that Fitzgerald should be ranked higher. His lyrical prose is beautiful and his short story output was simply astounding! He is easier to read than Faulkner,yet Faulkner's sheer genius,his creativity, is amazing. I think that Hemingway is way overrated.....
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How is Fitzgerald eleventh!?
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The American author who personified struggle not only in his novels, but in his personal life as well. He overcame his adversity to win his wife and put that fierceness into his novels
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This Side of Paradise is an exceptional first novel from Fitzgerald at 22, but it is no Gatsby written at the peak of his talent at 28. He never again equalled it nor has any other writer since.
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He's the man, This Side of Paradise, perfect American novel
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He should be # 1. Especially when you take into count how american his writing is.
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By far the greatest
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Possibly the most eloquent.
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his works, in particular The Great Gatsby, brought to life the American dream and the pursuit of it , in such a way that touches all Americans across generations.
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9.

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Flanery O'Connor Report Abuse
I find it really hard believe that Jack London can hold a candle to O'Connor. I would also put Melville higher on the list.
502 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
It's actually Flannery, not Flanery. She was a great writer, but she's not as much fun to read as some others.
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FOC certainly deserves to be a lot higher on this list that #43. Read 'Wise Blood' and "A Good Man Is hard To Find," and you'll see what i mean. Good, hard, tough, and philosophical [deep, in other words]. Most heartless bad guy i ever read about --- just pure evil ["A Good Man..."]. jmc
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since she is one of your favorites, perhaps you might consider spelling her name correctly
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10.

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David Foster Wallace Report Abuse
453 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 6 comments
Comments:
i had to read his speech for psotmodern authors... oh man! i couldnt have picked a better author i mean this guy is the perfect icon for post post post modernism i have 3 of his books and am in the process of reading them... i know they make your brain hurt but just keep reading because the knowledge you earn in the end is sooo much better then the pain of reading itself :D and i think that is what truly holds you on and keeps you reading just love this guy!
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this guy is amazing! he did something most would never dare to do he is on my nostalgic list of people I wanna meet from any time to just talk and learn from i mean this guy is the true definition of 21st centuary post modernsim
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a brilliant mind, no doubt. but each book should come with a free bottle of aspirin for the inevitable headaches that follow reading his stuff. distracting pretentiousness, endless digressions and an annoying ambition to out post-modern all other post-modernists, his post, post, post, post modern ramblings are second only to henry miller in the unreadable category.
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I would never claim DFW to be the best, but I would not argue with him being in the top 10.
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Gifted writer, but for me tragically chose style over substance in his fiction. Supposedly Fun Thing I will never do again? Read Infinite Jest.
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Are you kidding? Infinite Jest? Brief Interviews? A Supposedly Fun Thing? He was already the greatest writer of his generation, and he ended his life at 46 just as he was transforming into one of the greatest of American writers.
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11.

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Harlan Ellison Report Abuse
A science fiction legend.
449 points - added 4 years ago by pandora - 3 comments
Comments:
A great writer, but not better than Heinlein, Asimov, LeGuin, or Herbert. Also great as editor of Dangerous Visions anthology
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I confess I haven't read a word by this author, but the list we are compiling is Greatest not Favorite - unfortunately I was made to suffer through more Tough Sxxx Eliot than anyone should have to. A hateful, bigoted, rascist, PAB - but where does he rank in the scheme of Greatest, very high up
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I would have gone with Ray Bradbury. He influence a good many of those who followed in this genre.
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12.

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Herman Melville Report Abuse
267 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 6 comments
Comments:
Moby-Dick is without a doubt greater than the sum of many of the authors on this list's entire outputs
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Moby Dick is one of the most powerful novels in the language. The poetic richness of the prose and the mythic grandeur of the narrative convince me that it is the greatest American book of all
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will likely never be widely understood and thus underrated.
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Sinclair Lewis should be in the top 10. Winner of Nobel Prize, refused the Pulitzer. Exposed many American myths.
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Just read the first three pages of Moby-Dick again....wow!
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Definitely one of the best American Novelists, and, in my opinion, should be ranked right below Edgar Allen Poe.
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13.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Report Abuse
217 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
It is shocking (and, might I add, disappointing) to see arguably the greatest essayist of history hardly cracking the top 20...
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The "father" of American Literature deserves a top ten position.
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I'm writing an essay on you now waldo!
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14.

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Kurt Vonnegut Report Abuse
216 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 12 comments
Comments:
Read SL 5 and CC . . . Not changed
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I'm only 17 and Vonnegut is my favorite author. I've read his top 3 books (we all know those) and just got Sirens of Titan and Mother Night. He's also the King of Satire! RIP
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It is Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and please make a note of that. He preferred it with the Jr. Thank you. Captain Anastasia
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Greatest American novelist and public intellectual of the 1950's through 1990's.
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is kilgore trout on this list? :)
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To whoever feels Vonnegut is a "self-impressed' child, I can only question your validity to criticize any literature. Vonnegut was without a doubt one of the greatest authors of all time but you had to be able to following more than one thread per book to appreciate the fact.
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In all my reading experience, no writer has ever matched Kurt's ability to say more with fewer words. His writing literally sings off the page to me. I only regret that I've read all his books, some several times and that he's now passed on.
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Maybe you two could get together for a cage match.
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The idea that Vonnegut does not belong in the top 500 just goes to show how ignorant some people can be. Either this person does not understand his writing, or is a 16-year-old snot. Vonnegut may be the greatest of all American writers. At his best his work is ingaging, thought provoking and hilarous. At his worst his work is only great.
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Kurt Vonnegut is a self impressed child who has convinced the world he is brilliant. I wouldn't put him in the top 500.
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I feel as if he is the best writer of all time.
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possibly the best writer ever. as bold as that sounds, there is no man or woman that wouldn't be changed by Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, or Slaughter-House Five
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15.

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T.S. Eliot Report Abuse
213 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
Shocking that Eliot is so low down. Really should be in top five. His essays and poetry, for adults and children, are far reaching in their scope and style. A Modernist genius who challenged the face of poetry. 'The Waste Land' alone should get him into the top five. One of the most important poems of the last century. His influence cannot be denied.
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Just a matter of opinion, and it's probably going to be seen as prosaic, but "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand American poetry.
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16.

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Jack London Report Abuse
While today his books are mostly read by children and young adults in school, in his day London was one of the most famous authors in the world. The majority of his stories center around the wilderness and the tough, down to earth characters that live off the land.
206 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
Definitely must be higher on the list, in the top ten. We grew up on his stories. Come on guys help me on this. He is much as great as Hemingway, Twain, Dreiser and Poe.
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Some of London's best work is political. The Iron Heel, for instance. Parts of Martin Eden. He's known for Call of the Wild, White Fang and some great short stories, but he was a (socialist) radical in many of his other works.
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London should be moved up to the top of this list. The Sea Wolf is an all-time classic, well over the head of "children and young readers." No where is the juxtaposition between religion and the existence of a higher power versus atheism more well laid out. Wolf Larsen may be the best literary character ever. We are all "in the yeast."
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17.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne Report Abuse
202 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
He is most famous for his novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables both fantastic novels, but he has written several fine short stories too.
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In addition to the first comment, which is right on for the most part, I find it also quite readable today because of its keen descriptive style. While I do admit that I had to keep 'Websters' close at hand for the first couple of reads, I still have not read anyone as descriptive as our illustrious Puritan son!
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His best is The Scarlet Letter. It explores the mind of the puritan. The insights of the story are applicable today.
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18.

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Emily Dickinson Report Abuse
202 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
7 poems of hers was published in her life time but she disliked how the publisher edited her work. Some of the poems she wrote were on nature and while her poems seem light and happy many have deep and sometimes dark thoughts.
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She was never published in her lifetime. Her sister was her only, posthumous, editor.
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She hated editors
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19.

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Walt Whitman Report Abuse
A poet rather than a writer of fiction, Whitman's Leaves of Grass stands as a testament to the American experience. Whitman sent years traveling the country, experiencing everything America had to offer and revising his work. He was the voice of America for many years and no work better captures the spirit of his age.
202 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
Poets and writers should be separated. Make two lists guys.
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Far too low down on the list. Should be in the top ten. Probably the greatest American poet in terms of his lyricism and his ability to depict the beauty and suffering of real life. Surely one of the criteria for determining 'greatest' should be the degree to which they have influenced other writers and the enduring nature of their work. These qualities alone should boost his score. What an amazing man he was.
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Getting to heaven faster than anyone on this list!
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20.

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J.D. Salinger Report Abuse
197 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 9 comments
Comments:
how can you say salinger is dated but whitman is not?
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the guest below put it well. read "nine stories" and "franny and zooey", as well as "raise high the roof beam, carpenters and seymour: an introduction" catcher is still a very good, very original novel, but too often readers stop there with salinger.
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Catcher has nothing to do with a "disaffected youth." It is about a desperate desire to preserve the innocence of children in a world where to grow up is to lose one's individuality and the qualities of good character, and the subsequent depression that results from such a tragic view of life. Take a look at how Holden interacts children in the book in comparison with the adults, or how any other of his characters interact with children in any of his short stories. "Phoniness" is the only way Caulfield knows to describe the b.s. he sees in the world, something paralleled in his conversations when he admits to a lack of articulation. Salinger is also a master of the third-person narrative and the short story; read Nine Stories.
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'Catcher in the Rye' is overrated. If you want disaffected youth, read 'Ask The Dust' by John Fante. A superior novel by a superior writer.
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10 spots higher than Jack...20 spots higher than Walt! You have to read this list upside down to get right...
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Contextually dead? Are we serious? Pervasive phoniness and the lack of catchers and the subsequent depression in that very few are rising to be catchers, the text is more relevant today than most texts.
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Catcher in the Rye seems juvenile in today's context, but in historical terms is a classic. That being said, Salinger's true mastery is in his short stories. Every major university studies his short fiction with exhaustive detail. Anyone who thinks his work is outdated and overrated has clearly only read Catcher.
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You are an absolute nut! Franny and Zooey is truly one of the greatest american novels of the 20th century! And the Catcher in the Rye? C'mon! I do agree with you though about Walt Whitman.
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Unfortunately, his work is dated and over-rated. Would not put him in the top 50. Also it is a travesty that Walt Whitman is not in the top five.
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21.

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Henry David Thoreau Report Abuse
180 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 2 comments
Comments:
Beautiful prose, spiritual and uplifting. Far out.
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Thoreau? 18??? And no one has even commented on this amazing man? People, please, where are your minds?
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22.

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Henry James Report Abuse
177 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 3 comments
Comments:
Dry as a popcorn fart.
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The Bostonians and Daisy Miller: A Study capture the essential American expatriates, including those who feel isolated even though they are still in America
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Did most of his writing and living in England.
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23.

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Harper Lee Report Abuse
wrote To Kill a Mockingbird
163 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 4 comments
Comments:
I love her book to kill a mockingbird.
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she only wrote one book, and it was mediocre at best. there are a lot of much better writers below her on this list.
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i'm doing a paper on youuuu!!!!!!
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im reading harper lee book to kill a mocking bird and it is really good book and i love it
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24.

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Joseph Heller Report Abuse
Catch-22. Need I say more?
163 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 4 comments
Comments:
That's some catch, that Catch-22. Yep. It's the best there is.
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liked catch-22, but loathe his annoying habit of assigning 3 adjectives to every noun. it's as if he went back during editing and just filled in unnecessary 50 cent words to meet some sort of maddening quota.
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Catch 22 is one of the best books, easy to read, highly amusing, wonderfully constructed, appropriately rated novels of all time. Heller also wrote Closing Time.
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Catch-22 figured prominently in a list by the Independent of the most unreadable famous books. I have to agree. I have given up on it again. It is massively dated, poorly constructed, not remotely amusing, although it thinks that it is. Totally overrated. And apparently, no one can think of anything else Heller has written that might justify his inclusion in this list.
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25.

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Arthur Miller Report Abuse
162 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 1 comment
Comments:
you make meh giggle.. (:
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26.

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Dr Seuss Report Abuse
159 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
inspirational
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27.

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Charles Bukowski Report Abuse
157 points - added 4 years ago by juki64 - 8 comments
Comments:
He certainly should never have been below Martin or Rand.
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There is no reason why Bukowski shouldn't be number one.
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Bukowski's the best poet of his generation. Frank, honest, and polarizing. That, and I love that he wouldn't give a damn if he's on this list or not.
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the only reason i scrolled this list was to see if he was included. frequently left off lists like this to leave room for more 'literary' choices, Buk does not get the respect he clearly deserves. i've read almost everyone but i always come back to Bukowski.
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Oh come on, I LOVE Buck, absolutely love him, but the best American writer? Idiotic. Somewhere in the top 100 would have been fine with him I'm sure.
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i definitely agree with those above. he's either the best writer to come out of our 50 states, or the worst, depending on the reader. you either savor his bleak outlook and lack of faith in humanity, or you can't stand it. i think he should be right up there with hemingway
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No one writes like Bukowski, though many have tried. He is in a class of his own and should be hoisted to the top of this list.
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Should be number one or not here at all
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28.

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Thomas Pynchon Report Abuse
148 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
I would place him much higher on the list
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And here ends the credibility to this list. Thomas Pynchon (though some believe John Updike) is the next American favorite for the Nobel Prize in Literature. How could he possibly be beneath Dan Brown and on the same list as J. K. Rowling? Both humorous and scary that American readers prefer Stephen King.
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the king of postmodern fiction
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29.

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Hunter S. Thompson Report Abuse
Seriously? I was disturbed when he wasn't in the top 20 let alone top 70. Also Vonnegut should be further up on the list.
146 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 6 comments
Comments:
Making this list would be an exhaustable task for me, so I know that I disagree on placement, but as long as my favs aren't overlooked, bravo. Thompson compared to Poe and F. Scott Fitz., tough, such different times, styles, etc. I would put Thompson much higher on the list, but I never cared for Whitman, not to say that he doesn't deserve his placement, but it's so personal sometimes.
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#1 New American Writer - america as america (the america I know) seen through his eyes changed my life
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A great writer to be sure, but to complain that Hunter S isn't sharing the stage with authors like Poe, Twain or Hemingway is just drug-addled. Hunter S is akin to Slavador Dali, both great artists to be sure, but Dali is mainly appreciated by teenage heads and not serious art afficionados...
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Thompson at 32. This is a travesty, This is like putting Michael Jordan as the 32nd basketball player that ever lived
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VONNEGUT AND THOMPSON SHOULD BE ATLEAST IN THE TOP TEN.
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Seriously? I would think that an author has to be heard of by main stream folks, and for him to be as rated as high as Harper Lee? I think not.
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30.

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HP Lovecraft Report Abuse
Besides Poe, the most read and critiqued author of the macabre and horror. Tales from the Crypt, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Wes Craven all consider HP Lovecraft as their main influences.
146 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
his writing blows my mind. i want to write like that someday.
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He is the best. Others are behind. He is my favourite american writer.
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31.

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Jack Kerouac Report Abuse
His books defined and continued to define a generation that is now known for it's literary importance.
141 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 5 comments
Comments:
Sad that most people only read 'On the Road.' His essays are interesting explorations into language and syntax. Some of his lesser well known novels are also very good. Try 'Tristessa,' 'Visions of Gerard,' 'Lonesome Traveller,' and 'Desolation Angels.' There is far more to Kerouac than the image presented within 'On the Road' and his jazz writing, whether or not you appreciate the youthful content, is a supreme example of writing trying to be innovative in its sounds and rhythms. It captures a spirit and enables the reader to 'feel' the place being described. That is not something that all writers manage, not even good ones.
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Yes the ego of us all brings out our beautiful ignorance
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Really? Kerouac's lacks a definitive style, his work is for weak-minded pseudo-intellectuals, and hipsters who invoke "On the Road" as their favorite novel. How Walt Whitman is below him perplexes, and frankly disgusts me.
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Eastern Philosophy in the Western world is the Beats lasting contribution and Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs all had to look up to catch a glipse of N.C.
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Then Allen Ginsberg deserves to be much higher on the list than JK since his poetry [r]evolutionized so much of what had become staid and stale, whereas K's work, as Truman Capote noted, "That's typing, not writing," as even the briefest comparison of K with TC will quickly and readily reveal. The most lasting contribution of the Beats would seem to be at this juncture, the growing love of marijuana. God bless them all.
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32.

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Washington Irving Report Abuse
136 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 1 comment
Comments:
irving washington
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33.

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Truman Capote Report Abuse
light years ahead of some of the lesser figures on this list.
134 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
IN COLD BLOOD is most definitely a novel. It was the first of its kind. Although it is based on a true event it is considered a novel.
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In Cold Blood is not a novel.
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In Cold Blood is one of the finest & cleverest novels of all times. Capote deserves more than a 29!
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34.

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Ayn Rand Report Abuse
A big surprise at not seeing her in the top 10 list. This quentissential american writer not only juxtaposed her philosophical thought with her characters, but also elevated american literature to its noble height
132 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 7 comments
Comments:
top 10? really? i wouldn't even put her in the top 100. she is widely considered to be a bad writer, and her philosophy is ridiculous. if you want to read a great writer who was also a great philosopher, read albert camus, or william gass
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Brilliant, very flawed writer. Too extreme to actually live your life by, but makes terrific points on individualism and flaws in past ethical standards. One of my favorites, even though she was kind of crazy...
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I have enjoyed Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. However, whenever I think I want to read something over 3 pages that could be said better in one, Ayn Rand is the first author that comes to mind.
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Terrible writer...she elevates nothing....philosophically vacant...she is a narcissistic, manipulative sociopath.
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Scrooge and Mr. Gradgrind pretty much covered Ayn Rand's so-called "philosophy" about 100 years before she wrote anything. The thing is, Dickens didn't run around demanding people call him a philosopher.
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Brilliant philosopher, terrible literary writer.
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pedestrian style, vapid "philosophy"
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35.

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Raymond Chandler Report Abuse
Father of his genre
121 points - added 4 years ago by Rocker704 -

36.

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Steven King Report Abuse
118 points - added 4 years ago by tboneya - 16 comments
Comments:
he's good nuff said
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He is a great writer. I love the darkness he writes with.
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I will not say he is the best because he will never be due to his genre restraints. Personally, I feel he right very vividly and honestly, given any situation, which warrants him a great writer. Will I say he is better than Ginsberg? No, never; however, I will give him a top 25 rating. Bestsellers are one thing, but the reputation to get every book he writes a best seller takes serious dedication and greatness to his craft. I wont say he is the best, but Stephen King is one of the great writers of our generation(1975-2000) and one of the best writers of the past 100 years, way better than 40 on this list.
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How can Stephen King not be in the top 20? Whith novels such as It, The Dark Tower, The Stand, Insomnia and even recent top sellers like Under the Dome, Lisey's Story, Duma key and 11/22/63. The list goes on and on. Some of the authors listed above him on this list surely can't compare to Stephen King. Whoever made this list didn't even bother to find out how to spell his name.
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Stephen, not Steven. At least that's what it says on the cover of his books.
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i dislike this author. i find nothing he writes to be scary in the slightest.
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King is a very good writer but,he doesn't belong in the top 20.
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best writer ever. by far. have read most of his books and reread them often. tried to find some other good writers, but failed. compared to stephen they suck. if you like stephen king read "it", "eyes of the dragon", "long walk", "misery", "christine". These are exceptionally great.
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If being a 'snob' means getting irritated at reading every character's every thought (including the unnecessarily perverse in often historically inaccurate slang) over 500 pages rather than seeing them take action over a terse 200 pages...then, yes, I'm a snob. And Stephen King is an awful writer.
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did you also know hes gay :D
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definately a great writer, anyone who says otherwise is a snob.
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spell his name right
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His name is Stephen please fix this
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classical canon of literature my ass :)
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Is it not Stephen???
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he may not be part of the classical canon of literature however there is no doubt about it that he writes incredibly. His characters are vividly unparalled
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37.

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Sylvia Plath Report Abuse
Perhaps the greatest American poet of the 20th century.
118 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
Sylvia Plath, one of the greatest poets to have ever lived, deserves far better than 64th on a list of greatest AMERICAN authors! Wow...
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I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air -Sylvia Plath Lady Lazarus
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38.

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Jean Auel Report Abuse
Earth's Children Series: The Clan of the Cave Bear 1980, The Valley of Horses 1982, The Mammoth Hunters 1985, The Plains of Passage 1990, The Shelters of Stone.
117 points - added 4 years ago by pandora - 1 comment
Comments:
Her stories are remarkable, but she is NOT a major writer. She repeats herself and the plot of the last two novels of the series was weak. I love to read her but she is not a great writer.
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39.

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Ken Kesey Report Abuse
111 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
Sometimes a Great Notion & One Flew Over are two of the greatest tales ever.That man could write!!
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Dig a lttle deeper? Several people on this list are but tones of a single voice. " Listen to the river sing sweet song to rock my soul"
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40.

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Edna Ferber Report Abuse
So Big - Pulitzer Prize 1925. Show Boat 1926, Giant 1952, Ice Palace 1958, Saratoga Trunk 1941, Cimmarron 1929, Dinner at Eight 1932. 3 novels turned into musicals.
105 points - added 4 years ago by pandora -

41.

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Margaret Mitchell Report Abuse
Wrote Gone With the Wind
105 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!
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Ah yes! The personal story of love and a woman's determination [read 'love of power and greed'] to achieve the success denied her by the Old South. And by the way, slavery, if addressed at all. "Oh please, Miss Scahlet, could i lick yo toes?" But you're kidding, right? jmc
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Pulitzer Prize 1937.
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42.

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John Updike Report Abuse
The author of the Rabbit Chronicles touches upon the struggles that exist in a typical American family in a completely original way.
99 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
Probably the best next to Hemingway. Between his style and his narrative sense, he's a master of the craft of fiction. I'm honestly not a huge fan (preferring a more postmodern style), but I can't deny his talent. In fact, two sentences later, I'm going to say that he may even be better than Hemingway.
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Updike's fluid prose is better than anyone else's. He was the master.
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43.

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Toni Morrison Report Abuse
Probably the best living American writer. Wrote Beloved (Pulitzer Prize for fiction), Sula (nominated for the National Book Award), and Song of Solomon (National Book Critics Circle Award)
93 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 5 comments
Comments:
Here in Scotland, her works are cherished. Some of the most beautiful, lyrical prose in modern writing.
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The most overrated writer ever, I mean EVER! - Miss Nobody outside USA. All her honours and achievements because Oprah and the colour of her skin.
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Indeed the best living American writer to also be canonized!
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It seems that you're basing your definition of "best living American writer" by awards for the writer. If that's the case, then maybe Roth seems a better candidate - winner of the Pulitzer, two-time National Book Award winner, and two-time National Book Critics Circle winner. Morrison is unfortunately not regarded by the American literary community as the greatest living writer. Until recently, John Updike held that reputation, and currently Pynchon and McCarthy are being debated heavily.
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I still strive to write how she wrote in Song of Solomon, so vivid and lyrical.
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44.

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William Saroyan Report Abuse
93 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 5 comments
Comments:
One of the few writers who could be called great and still be very comfortably published.
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Deep enough to seem primitive.
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one of the most intellectual writers of all times. His poems are full of passion.
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one of the greatest writers in the world. his "my heart is in highlands", "human comedy" and"hey, who is there?" are on highest level of intellectual and humanitarean level.It"s a shame he's not very well known to public now times.
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Amazing writer, too little known today, wrote with a style all his own.
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45.

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Henry Miller Report Abuse
Writes Best About Life Of An Artist.
92 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
This ranking shows how puritan America still is. Miller loved Europe (brr so decadent!), women (brr this is not moral at all) & literature (but not the one you praise).
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God, I second that. Miller was the wellspring of all raw, unbridled thought in American letters, and still the most goddamned original of any that followed his giant steps. Any and every artist in any medium, should absorb the body of Henry Miller's work; he is the great example of tapping directly into the individual engine of creation. His writing is alive, swimming even on the page. The instituions of literary criticism have yet to give him his due.
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Thank god he made it here. He should be much higher; he laid down the framework for future writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg. Miller told it how it was and Bible belters couldn't handle it so he was banned in the US for 34 years. Now, his books are among the greatest of the 20th century.
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46.

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Saul Bellow Report Abuse
90 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 5 comments
Comments:
Most scholars rate him higher than Faulkner, who is your #1. So much for the integrity of the list.
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Bellow, while great, was born in Canada.
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This is a Nobel Prize winner; what is he doing this far down on this list?
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way low here
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Read Herzog and Henderson, the Rain King. He's brilliant and he constructs his works--from individual sentences to the characters themselves--masterfully.
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47.

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Langston Hughes Report Abuse
90 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 1 comment
Comments:
WHAT?!?!? There is no way that Hughes should be this low.
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48.

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John Irving Report Abuse
One of the best of modern writers.
83 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

49.

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Thomas Wolfe Report Abuse
NOT Tom Wolfe.
80 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 8 comments
Comments:
Hard to judge Wolfe. He died before he was 40 with only two finished novels and how much was Wolfe and how much was Max Perkins? Goes from lyrical to forgettable in the blink of an eye--but those lyrical scenes are amazing. Certainly deserves better than the mid 40s.
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Thomas Wolfe 55? Has to be the top 7 or 8.
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London, Hemingway ,Wolf are greatest american writers...
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Agree with Faulkner to some degree. He is the best Southern writer ever. Fantastic, always makes my head spin. I guess he is under read. Certainly underrated here.
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according to Faulkner, Wolfe was the best American writer
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I was worried he might not be here at all... too bad he's so low, but then Wolfe seems to be criminally under rated in general
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Not sure why Thomas Wolfe fallen so much out of favor - You
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More than any writer I know you have to read Thomas Wolfe out loud! Then he moves to the top of the list.
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50.

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James Michener Report Abuse
epitomizes American Writer!
78 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

51.

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Vladimir Nabokov Report Abuse
Russian born American author of Pale Fire, Lolita, and other highly regarded English language books.
75 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
I agree. He is Russian
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he's russian...
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52.

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Don DeLillo Report Abuse
White Noise is best novel of the 1980s, and Underworld is one of the best of the 1990s.
75 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
Should be much, much higher. Above Stephen King undoubtedly along with many others on the list. His style and rhetoric defeats many modern writers in consistency when it comes to philosophy, plot, characters, humor...dare I say more?
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The maths need fixing by Ratner. Adjusting the Libran scales by minusing (sic) the six. DeLillo is number one.
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53.

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Ben Hecht Report Abuse
A true child of the century, he was equally at home with reality or the imaginary.
75 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

54.

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James Clavell Report Abuse
The Asian Saga
74 points - added 3 years ago by guest -

55.

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Willa Cather Report Abuse
74 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
Should definitely be in the top 10... my vote would be #3 (although I'd rather read her before Twain and Faulkner any day). At least she's ahead of Grisham(?) Silly list
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Willa should be at least in the top 20. I would have her around #10, but to have her outside the top 20 is almost as silly as having Stephen King at #18.
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Willa should be ranked much higher.Like Steinbeck, her prairie series records an important piece of passing americana. Her novels were continually good, original, and complex ; and she was also her own editor .
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56.

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George R. R. Martin Report Abuse
Most known for A Song of Ice and Fire Series.
73 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
A Song of Ice and Fire is a very enjoyable read, but the writing is much closer to the level of Rowling or Collins than it is to Updike or Sinclair. Martin's a solid writer who, to his credit, pushes himself to provide great imagery to the reader and often strikes out trying.
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ASOIAF is one of the Greatest Fantasy series there is.
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57.

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Pearl Buck Report Abuse
Human nature hasn't changed - we stil try to rise above difficulty and help future generations
71 points - added 3 years ago by guest -

58.

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Chuck Palahniuk Report Abuse
The modern master of minimalistic "monster"pieces
67 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

59.

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James Baldwin Report Abuse
Harlem Renaissance writer who captured the plight and inner turmoil of African-American males during his day. His style blended the everyday speak of the average man with the prophetic oratory cadences of a Black pastor. Great works include: "Go Tell It on The Mountain" and "Notes of a Native Son."
67 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 3 comments
Comments:
truly a great writer!
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he was born to late to be part of the Harlem renaissance .
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from the ivory coast i felt his heartfelt sympathy for women, universal love and even his indulging in feminism. great among the greatest
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60.

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Norman Mailer Report Abuse
The Naked and the Dead
67 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 4 comments
Comments:
Norman Mailer didn't write "Sophie's Choice." While his later novels are usually ignored, Mailer retain his abilities and his epic visions.
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Sophie's choice is the story of the most god-forgiven event of all times. Mailler trods in Sophocles' shadow. Yes this note is much too low!
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absurdly low
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60: he may have a little guy syndrome the size of Texas, and a chip on his soldier bigger than Alaska, but this guy should easily be in the top 20.
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61.

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Stephen Crane Report Abuse
64 points - added 2 years ago by guest -

62.

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Zane Grey Report Abuse
62 points - added 4 years ago by guest -

63.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Report Abuse
62 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 2 comments
Comments:
Today, Uncle Tom's Cabin is viewed as revolutionary and racist. Over the years, the characters, events, and underlying themes have been distorted. However, one cannot dipute the overall impact that Stowe's work had on American Society and the eventual conflit of the Civil war that resulted, in part, from the picture Stowe painted of the cruel and injust system of slavery that plauged the United States. All in all, UTC is a classic American work, and its social impact can be placed in the rankings of Sinclair's The Jungle and Carson's Silent Spring.
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The space between Whitman and Kesey should be filled with something a lot bigger than Uncle T's cabin, no?
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64.

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Thornton Wilder Report Abuse
Known primarily as a playwright, Wilder's novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, is a masterfully woven web of faith, love, guilt, and doubt.
60 points - added 4 years ago by jakemanspiff -

65.

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John Cheever Report Abuse
Self explanatory.
58 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
A better short story writer than a novelist though he did produce some real gems of novels.
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66.

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Ralph Ellison Report Abuse
55 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
How is he so far down on this list? He may not be one of the best, but he is far greater than most of the writers on this list. I am grieved whenever I take a look at his low quantity of published work. His short stories are wonderful. Invisible Man (although a tough read and a victim of repetitive, redundant motifs) with its epically sophisticated structure and style, immortal cultural themes, and beautifully artistic construction, can only be truly appreciated and loved trough a thorough close-reading, yet still admired by a curious casual reader.
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67.

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Ray Bradbury Report Abuse
54 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes,
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68.

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Philip K. Dick Report Abuse
THE COLLECTED STORIES 1952-82 I-V (‘87) Solar Lottery (‘55) The World Jones Made ('56) Eye in the Sky ('57) Time Out of Joint ('59) Dr. Futurity (‘60) The Man in the High Castle (‘62) The Game-Players of Titan (‘63) Martian Time-Slip (‘64) The Simulacra ('64) The Penultimate Truth ('64) Dr. Bloodmoney; or How We Got Along After the Bomb ('65) The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (‘65) Now Wait for Last Year (‘66) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ('68) Ubik (‘69) A Maze of Death ('70) Our Friends from Frolix 8 ('70) Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (‘74) A Scanner Darkly (‘77) The Divine Invasion ('81), VALIS (‘81) & The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (‘82)
54 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

69.

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Edith Wharton Report Abuse
53 points - added 3 years ago by guest -

70.

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Philip Roth Report Abuse
51 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
What more could one want? Well, female prose springs to mind. Or perhaps stories which do not involve academic older men shagging their young attractive students - so obvious, so unoriginal, so dull.
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Harold Bloom is right when he says Roth is in the top league of american literature. Postmodernist, masculine, muscular prose. What more could one want?
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71.

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Sidney Sheldon Report Abuse
Prior to his novels, he created The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart. Novels include The Other Side of Midnight 1973, Rage of Angels 1980, Master of the Game 1982 and Windmills of the Gods 1987.
50 points - added 4 years ago by pandora - 2 comments
Comments:
Jacqueline Suzanne, Sidney Sheldon... Ah. The giants.
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So Sidney ranks above Salinger, Chandler, et al. Not in your lifetimes, folks. jmc
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72.

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John Grisham Report Abuse
45 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
Perhaps not the greatest American author of all time, but he is definetly prolific! Not to mention popular (I know, I know, popularity doesn't mean "great")
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73.

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Sinclair Lewis Report Abuse
Winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
42 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

74.

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Raymond Carver Report Abuse
His short stories are well written, genuine, human, unsentimental, and memorable.
42 points - added 3 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
this short story writer captures humanity with a quality of mystery and power that is rarely attained in literature. everyone should read carver's stories
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75.

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O. Henry Report Abuse
40 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

76.

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Dashiell Hammett Report Abuse
"The Maltese Falcon", "Red Harvest", "The Thing Man". 'nuff said
40 points - added 2 years ago by guest -

77.

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Upton Sinclair Report Abuse
wrote "The Jungle"
39 points - added 3 years ago by guest -

78.

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Bret Harte Report Abuse
The Luck of Roaring Camp, The Outcasts of Poker Flat - both written in the late 1800s.
39 points - added 4 years ago by pandora - 1 comment
Comments:
At one point, the highest paid writter in the US and someone Mark Twain looked upto- sould be ranked higher.
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79.

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Isaac Asimov Report Abuse
Most prolific American author ever. Nobody else even comes close! Known for his Sci Fi stuff, but wrote hundreds of books on nearly everything.
37 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

80.

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Tom Robbins Report Abuse
34 points - added 4 years ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
In my top 10. Another Roadside Attraction, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life With Woodpecker are unique, intriguing, brilliant books, and just the tip of the iceberg. He's a national treasure.
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81.

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Robert A. Heinlein Report Abuse
The second greatest science fiction writer of all time (Behind Arthur Clarke). His works like, "Starship Troopers", "The Moon is a Harsh Misstress", and "Stranger in a Strange Land" changed the landscape of science fiction. Do not judge his abilities by the 'Starship Troopers' movie - completely different than the book. Needs a reboot.
28 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 2 comments
Comments:
I believe Heinlein is above Clarke, and is the greatest writer of all time, from any country
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Heinlein gets overshadowed by the bigger names in sci-fi. Stranger in a Strange Land may be the best sci-fi book period. Other than Azimov himself he was the best science fiction writer of all time.
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82.

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Allen Ginsberg Report Abuse
28 points - added 2 years ago by guest -

83.

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William S. Burroughs Report Abuse
An essential American writer. A member of the Beat Generation and friend of Kerouac and Ginsberg. His book "Naked Lunch" is a classic.
27 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

84.

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Gene Wolfe Report Abuse
The Fifth Head of Cerberus ('72) Peace ('75) The Devil in a Forest (‘76) THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN I-V (’80-87) THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN I-IV (’93-96) THE BOOK OF THE SHORT SUN I-III (1999-00-2001) THE SOLDIER TRILOGY (1986-89-2006) There Are Doors ('88), Castleview ('90) & Pandora, by Holly Hollander ('90) The Wizard Knight (2004) An Evil Guest (2008) The Sorcerer's House (2010) Home Fires (2011) COLLECTIONS: The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories (‘80) Gene Wolfe's Book of Days (‘81) Storeys from the Old Hotel ('88) Endangered Species (‘89) Strange Travelers (2000) Innocents Aboard (2004) Starwater Strains (2005)
26 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

85.

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James Fenimore Cooper Report Abuse
First American Adventure! LEATHERSTOCKING SAGA! I-V (1823-41)
25 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

86.

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Ambrose Bierce Report Abuse
Can Such Things Be? (1893) & In the Midst of Life (1898), at least.
24 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

87.

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Tom Wolfe Report Abuse
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test ('68) The Right Stuff (‘79) The Bonfire of the Vanities ('87) A Man in Full (‘98) I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004) Back to Blood (2012)
24 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

88.

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RICHARD YATES Report Abuse
Oh,he writes with amazing language-layered one -it lets you think more than it tells about the most difficult things in the life of Americans.I have read at least two of his novels and i could not stop finding more about this author.However, i have come to know that ones the apple of greatest of writers on this list like like Kurt V.,Julian Barnes,David Hare.His 'Eleven Kinds of Loneliness' is often viewed as the best short story fiction of all times. His first novel, Revolutionary Road (1961), was an instant success, a finalist for the National Book Award alongside Catch-22 and The Moviegoer, and equally deserving. As a chronicler of mainstream American life from the 1930s to the late ’60s
22 points - added 2 years ago by guest -

89.

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Andrew Mason Report Abuse
His 2011 novel "86 Hours in England" speaks for itself!
21 points - added 2 years ago by carnydrew -

90.

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E.B. White Report Abuse
Great American voice, wrote fantastic non-fiction as well as children's literature: Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.
20 points - added 12 months ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
She is an amazing author. Loved reading her books when i was young.
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91.

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Shelby Foote Report Abuse
20 points - added 4 years ago by tboneya -

92.

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Tom Clancy Report Abuse
19 points - added 4 years ago by tboneya - 2 comments
Comments:
This guy should be number 1 in all of American Literature... The best writer of all time.
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He shouldn't be here at all. Dude has a ghostwriter and produces nothing of substance. It's pure plot, nothing deeper.
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93.

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Robert Penn Warren Report Abuse
16 points - added 5 years ago by pxc0 - 1 comment
Comments:
I'd argue that All the King's Men is one of those truly quintessential American stories. It contrasts the rise of a politician, Willie Stark (based on Huey Long, governor of Louisiana) with a truly personal story of Jack Burden. It deals with a lot of complex issues, but it delivers them in a compelling way that draws the reader in.
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94.

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Robert E. Howard Report Abuse
15 points - added 1 year ago by guest - 1 comment
Comments:
He created Conan the Barbarian.
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95.

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Laura Hillenbrand Report Abuse
The author thus far of "Seabiscuit, An American Legend", and "Unbroken" is on a clear trajectory towards making her mark as an American writer. Two of her noted influences as a writer are F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway, and she has been blessed with insight into human suffering and surviving as she herself has had to survive chronic fatigue syndrome and even vertigo which makes her skip writing some days when it becomes too difficult.
13 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

96.

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John Fante Report Abuse
Ask the Dust alone should easily have him in the top 50, but the expanse of his works and the character of Arturo Bandini put him in the top 25. If he'd expanded more beyond Bandini, he'd be near the top of this list. The fact he's not even on it is a travesty.
13 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

97.

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Elmore Leonard Report Abuse
Novels and short stories that pack a gritty punch with tremendous dialogue. "Rum Punch", "3:10 to Yuma", "Out of Sight", and more. Yes, he's been highly publicized for film adaptations of his work. And yes, it's deserved. From western to crime fiction to suspense thrillers, Leonard is at the forefront of contemporary realist writing.
13 points - added 1 year ago by guest -

98.

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Kate Chopin Report Abuse
Spectacular short story writer. One of the best feminist and anti-racist writers of our country.
13 points - added 2 years ago by guest -

99.

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Edgar Rice Burroughs Report Abuse
12 points - added 9 months ago by guest -

100.

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Sherwood Anderson Report Abuse
Sherwood Anderson is not read as much as some of the other early modernists, but he was one of the most important, influencing writers like Hemingway, Faulkner and Steinbeck. Modern Library ranked his novel/story collection "Winesburg, Ohio" 24th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
12 points - added 10 months ago by guest -
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Similar Top lists
ShareRanks is about ranking things that are top, most, greatest, or even worst in all categories.
Use arrows to rank one item in versus another.
Top 10 Greatest American Writers are especially marked