Confederacy Of Dunces was a funny and very readable book, but had Toole not killed himself he probably should have gotten an editor to cut all the extraneous crap out of it. He was a very talented writer I think but it's a tribute to how much has changed since he wrote it that my version of the book started with some other writer proclaiming that they thought it was wonderful that there was a Southern writer who could write black characters without lapsing into stereotypes--uh, didn't Toole (however inadvertantly) do exactly that? Not that I care that much, but I bet the woke sissy crowd would tear him a new butthole over the black characters in this book (then they could go read some Tom Wolfe, heh-heggggh.)
Cat's Cradle ranks probably sixth or seventh on my list of the best books I've ever read, an easy five-stars that I read the first time in about two sittings because it was that panoramically awesome. His best book and the one where his cynicism is earned the best and beats the stuffing out of Slaughterhouse-Five.
I've heard of The Alchemist and its writer but looking up details on Wikipedia are a bit off putting:
"Coelho wrote The Alchemist in only two weeks in 1987. He explained that he was able to write at this pace because the story was "already written in [his] soul."
That's not promising, though I guess there have been great books that have been written painfully quickly (A Clockwork Orange, On The Road).
"The book's main theme is about finding one's destiny, although according to The New York Times, The Alchemist is "more self-help than literature". The advice given to Santiago that "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true"
Uhhh...this really, REALLY isn't promising. The kind of thing I don't believe in at all. You don't even have to be a modern cynic to not believe that sort of thing. And, uh, if it's a CHRISTIAN book that tells you that you'll get what you want if you really really want it, well, zigga zig ha, Sammy clammy. I mean, uh, are Christians really supposed to believe that? (don't answer that)