The New York Times' 5 Best Books of 2008 (Fiction)

shelved under Best of... and Fiction

It's that time of year again... the time of year when the Gray Lady — that is, the New York Times — comes out with what they think are the best novels of 2008. Here they are; what do you think?

Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories

Dangerous Laughter: Thirteen Stories

by Steven Millhauser

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A Mercy

A Mercy

by Toni Morrison

Kim Thornton says:

I just recently read this. While it can be difficult to get into, it's well worth it. The story is tragic, the writing beautiful, and the characters heart-wrenching. Finally, it's very different, and the colonial backdrop is unusual ó not the typical picture one has of the colonial lifestyle.

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This book also appears on A Collection of Books on Sorrow and Loss

 
 
Netherland

Netherland

by Joseph O'Neill

Seachanges says:

This book — so well written and full of unease and questioning about where one lives or belongs — made it to the long list of the Booker Prize. Despite the title, the story is mainly set in New York and England, although there is a wonderful evocation of the main character skating along the empty canals, as I have done, away from school. There's a question throughout about what and who we are, when we so dislocate ourselves. The title is a clever play on The Netherlands and at the same time evokes the underworld, unknown existences that people lead when dislocated. The setting is New York, cricket, immigrant communities, and a failing marriage. Itís a great book.

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2666

2666

by Natasha Wimmer, Roberto Bolano

Mike McQuillian says:

This behemoth of a novel is a fictional telling of the murders of women in Juarez, Mexico. But it is so much more. Cop drama, academic treatise on art, love story — it’s all there. This is a book for those that love high literature but also love a good quick read. Both are represented in parts of this book.

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Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed Earth

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Monera from Menlo Park, CA says:

These eight stories are like art photographs; snapshots with a back story but still leaving you wanting more. She writes well and it is a peek into a world that seems sometimes closed off to outsiders. Reminds me of an Indian Amy Tan.

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This book also appears on Every Book by Jhumpa Lahiri