Author Topic: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?  (Read 734 times)

Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« on: August 11, 2020, 07:02:10 PM »
I really like long rambling encyclopaedic novels with lots of digressions, like Ulysses, Moby Dick, Tristam Shandy, Gravity's Rainbow etc, are there any really good post 2000 novels people have read in that style?

buttgammon

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Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 07:13:17 PM »
You could put Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann in this category; it's very focused on one character, but it packs in lots of digressions over its 1000 or so pages, and owes a bit of a debt to Joyce, albeit one some people have perhaps exaggerated to the detriment of the book's originality (mainly because her dad literally wrote the book on Joyce - namely the flawed bastard of a biography that has never been surpassed).

Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 07:39:31 PM »
Novel Explosives (Jim Gauer)
City on Fire (Garth Risk Hallberg)
The Book of Numbers (Joshua Cohen)
A Naked Singularity (Sergio De La Pava)
The Pale King (David Foster Wallace)
Jimmy Corrigan (Chris Ware)

buttgammon

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Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 07:47:45 PM »
I refrained from mentioning this before because it's from 1998 but fuck it: Don DeLillo's Underworld is a brilliant brick of a book that sprawls across a few decades of American history.

Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2020, 09:52:18 AM »
Thanks, I'll give those a try.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2020, 02:47:04 PM »
Novel Explosives (Jim Gauer)
I just had a quick look at Goodreads, and wow does one of the main reviewers not like it. Having struggled with many of the pomo generation (with the exception of David Foster Wallace, who was too good a writer) I'm not sure it would be my cup of tea.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 03:04:19 PM by Famous Mortimer »

Wet Blanket

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Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2020, 04:49:07 PM »
2666 by Roberto BolaƱo is as encyclopaedic and digressive as they come, although be warned it goes to some very dark areas.

I haven't started it yet but Antkind by Charlie Kaufman seems to be in this vein too.

Re: Any good recent novels in the Moby Dick encyclopaedic vein?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2020, 05:51:22 PM »
I can't believe nobody's said Infinite Jest yet, probably the meatiest footnotes section of any book I've ever read

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