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The English Teacher's List of Defiance: Popular Genre Books That Are Better Than "Literature " - Page 2

I was once asked during a job interview who I thought were the 3 greatest American Novelists of the 20th Century. I said Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Elmore Leonard. I didn't get the job. (I learned later that I was supposed to say Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner.Mea Culpa.) In my subsequent career in Academia, I have held to two principles:1) Drama is not Literature - it is its own separate form; and 2) The best writing is found in the genres. I don't discount mainstream literary fiction; "Gatsby", for example, is a great book. It's just that "The Glass Key" is just as good, and Hammett is a better storyteller AND writer than Fitzgerald. So here are a bunch of genre titles that meet the criteria of "Literature", and are better than some of the crap I was required to teach.
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41
Farewell My Lovely (Raymond Chandler)
Farewell My Lovely (Raymond Chandler)
42
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Philip K. Dick)
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (Philip K. Dick)
43
The Forever War (Joe Haldeman)
The Forever War (Joe Haldeman)
44
From Hell
From Hell
45
Funeral in Berlin (Deighton)
Funeral in Berlin (Deighton)
46
Get Shorty (Elmore Leonard)
Get Shorty (Elmore Leonard)
47
Ghost Story (Peter Straub)
Ghost Story (Peter Straub)
48
The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
49
The Glass Key (Dashiell Hammett)
The Glass Key (Dashiell Hammett)
50
The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson)
The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson)
51
The Hemingway Hoax (Joe Haldeman)
The Hemingway Hoax (Joe Haldeman)
52
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (Tiptree)
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever (Tiptree)
53
Hornblower Series (C.S. Forester)
Hornblower Series (C.S. Forester)
54
The House Next Door (Anne Rivers Siddon)
The House Next Door (Anne Rivers Siddon)
55
The Hunter
The Hunter
56
Hyperion Cantos
Hyperion Cantos
57
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, by Harlan Ellison
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, by Harlan Ellison
58
I Married a Dead Man (Cornell Woolrich)
I Married a Dead Man (Cornell Woolrich)
59
In a Lonely Place (Hughes)
In a Lonely Place (Hughes)
60
The Ipcress File (Len Deighton)
The Ipcress File (Len Deighton)
61
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
62
Journey Into Fear (Ambler)
Journey Into Fear (Ambler)
63
The Last Good Kiss (James Crumley)
The Last Good Kiss (James Crumley)
64
Laura (Vera Caspary)
Laura (Vera Caspary)
65
The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
66
The Listeners (James Gunn)
The Listeners (James Gunn)
67
The Long Goodbye
The Long Goodbye
68
The Long Tomorrow (Leigh Brackett)
The Long Tomorrow (Leigh Brackett)
69
Lord of Light (Roger Zelazny)
Lord of Light (Roger Zelazny)
70
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Böll)
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Böll)
71
The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)
The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)
72
The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick)
The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick)
73
The Mexican Tree Duck (Crumley)
The Mexican Tree Duck (Crumley)
74
The Ministry of Fear (Graham Greene)
The Ministry of Fear (Graham Greene)
75
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (Robert A. Heinlein)
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (Robert A. Heinlein)
76
The Moonstone (Collins)
The Moonstone (Collins)
77
Mother Night (Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)
Mother Night (Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)
78
Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie)
Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie)
79
Mystic River (Dennis Lehane)
Mystic River (Dennis Lehane)
80
The Name of the Rose (Eco)
The Name of the Rose (Eco)
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