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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 2, 2009 @ 11:24 am

    Flick back

    Fiona McCann

    Having woken up in nightly cold sweats about whether Cormac McCarthy should be in Jonathan Franzen’s place, or whether Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident should bump out Dave Eggers’ Hearbreaking Work, and prevaricated over the inclusion of Freakonomics or Collapse, I made a list, I checked it twice, and here it is. Detractors, do your worst.

    • Darth Dawkins says:

      Thats a best of list,? Jesus wept

    • Fiona says:

      Darth: It’s a “most influential” rather than best of, list. Definitely not a best of list!

    • Darth Dawkins says:

      Most influential where fiona? the irish times canteen?

    • Darth Dawkins says:

      These are not the most influential books, if they were there would be more economists,,?and where Obamas and the non anglo stuff.Objectivley Dawkins is the only really influential book there and thats a maybe,The Da Vinci code was a bestseller but its influence?In any case as a society we are influenced by images a thousand times more than books,This is not a best of OR a most influential list ,of anything but random bestselling books some good and some bad and a completly irrelevant exercise in cyber fluff

    • Derek says:

      ya see Darth, if you actually read the first sentence it might have helped you to understand what the list was, you know the bit where she says ‘They wouldn’t all make a list of the best books of the decade’.
      IMO the list seems fairly accurate, though I would have thought a Marian Keyes book should be there for kick-starting the ‘chick-lit’ phenomena, though actually trying to remember when books were first published is a pain.

    • Markham says:

      Darth, I think you should know I’ve added all three of your comments to my ‘Top ten most influential snarks on a blog this decade’ list.

      You have changed the world with this in-depth input, my friend. Thank you for being.

    • Eleanor says:

      I applaud the interesting twist in the list – choosing Influential rather than the far more subjective concept of “best”. I’m broadly in agreement with those listed & I’ve never even seen the inside of the IT canteen let alone sampled it’s undoubted delights. However, I am a little ashamed to admit that a number of those listed made it on to my bookshelves as a result of hype but were never/hardly read. Must revisit them.

    • mise says:

      Yes, good call. Very much of their time, as befits a list of influential books of a decade. And the weighting toward Irish books is fair enough – God knows someone has to read our books. Of the 10, I’ve read 5, dismissed another 4 with a grand gesture, and one passed me right by. Of the 5 I’ve read, not one bears rereading. ‘No Logo’ was particularly disappointing, saying so little so laboriously. But yes, they were the ones we talked about over our wine and very good chips in the IFC, as it was called for much of that decade. Already it seems so long ago.

    • I mean to say Cecelia Ahern too. Did you ever notice that the covers of other women’s fiction often had the same design and fonts as the covers of Cecelia’s?

    • Andrew says:

      A pretty fair list from the looks of it. I loved A Heartbreaking Work…but the missus gave up on it after growing frustrated with the massive preamble. I’ll get her back to it one day.
      It’s also a shame that No Logo wasn’t a whole lot more influential.

      And as a side note, why do these kinds of lists seem to flush out the most angry bastards on the internet?

    • Markham says:

      Of the ten, I’ve read four. The fifth, the Da Vinci Code, I put down after 80 pages (Is this a record, etc….) and never felt compelled to return to it.

      If you’re talking domestic influence only, then the Pope’s Children and Rosser justifiably feature, but globally, sadly, I think Declan is probably right in that Cecelia Ahern’s predictable urban mush has had more ‘influence’.

      I read PS I Love You for work – and work it truly was.

    • Guy says:

      Yawn…the country is sheganged

    • Reg Cashgood says:

      Oh Please Darth has a point, Its the usual aimless random stuff and fluff.Wheres the French, German south American writers and by what criterion does Fiona judge influence,?Dan Browns ability to piss off the vatican, McWilliams ability to piss off everyone who cant stand the smartest boy in the class routine yet again!

    • Marie says:

      No Cormac McCarthy? No wonder you woke up in cold sweats…

    • says:

      That list is pants no matter what level you approach it from.
      Apart from Gladwell and Klein the rest are not influential. They are just an Oprah reading list

      jesus didn’t just weep…he sent flowers

      Da vinci code is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force, out the nearest window preferably.!
      Sorry but that’s my thoughts, have you heard of GabrielGarciaMarquez, or David Foster Wallace even?

    • says:

      perhaps it was this list, that most influenced you.
      Did ya start at the bottom and choose every (Roughly) third book love?


    • Fiona says: Yes, but DFW’s best – Infinite Jest – was a nineties book, and GGM hasn’t written his best work this decade either, IMO. Tada!

    • says:

      I would put forward that “best” is a subjective term. I picked to authors off the top of my head.

      I agree “infinite jest” is his best, but Oblivion” and “Consider the lobster” particularly the latter were influential.
      “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” is a fine work, in many ways better than 100 years…
      the point was, your list, to me, seemed pedestrian.

      But then, its all subjective isn’t it.
      Happy christmas.

    • says:

      (btw) at the top of this thread you made very clear that “Best” was not the issue?

      At the bottom of this thread you chide me by stating that these authors didn’t write there “best” works in the 90′s.
      So one of us is confused, no?

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