1. The book that best defines the 20th Century for me is unquestionably Anthony Burgess’ ‘Earthly Powers’–not a popular choice, no doubt, but a book that has the right scope and humour–but little navel gazing and no 30-something angst.

  2. “[A] book that best represents the escalation of technology, the horrors of Hitler and Stalin, McCarthyism, mass production, the influence of Freud and feminism, and too many 20th century ideologies and innovations here to list.”

    You couldn’t be talking about any one book other than Gravity’s Rainbow. Mind you, I don’t think one book can get the whole job done, but this one comes closest.

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