Well I was going to say pretty much everything you just said... several times becasue my password wasn't working all day(problem was on my end). So I'll just commend your taste, especially:
Henry James technically being a Victorian writer...LOL!
Ken Follet stop being Clancy and Getting Back to Pillars...
The only American "classic" authors I can handle are salinger, heller, and all the beatnick guys.
Mark Twain? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Poe(to a lesser extent)?
My 2-late-cents on recomendations,
My theory was that if there was no way i could read every book ever written then I should fall back on the classics.
My thoughts exactly. Which is why when indulging my geek side I like to read what I think will be a classic tommorrow.
Stephen Kings' Dark Tower, I just can't recommend enough. Since you haven't read him I suggest you do. Start in from the fantasy angle with 'The Stand' or 'It.' I actually would consider "The Stand" to fit perfectly on a shelf of Fantasy works.
I haven't read a lot of his work because I'm something of a completist as well, and the scope of that is difficult unless you're a die-hard. But I find that King tends to write everythign in certain categories, he has his 'Stand by Me Kids'(IT, Stand By Me(the body), Dreamcatcher) his 'Creepy reality'(Misery, Rose Madder) and the best example 'Bachman Books'(The Long Walk, The Running Man). Concentrating on either a single category or just reading the classics are what I tend to do. As he is extremely repetitive in his themes and trademarks. Don't think of him as just one author in the approach, think of him as and entire genre of his own.
The two Covenant Trilogy are definitely what I would have suggested after reading quite a bit of the fantasy genre, it sets above the others. It also stands out to me because although it manages to borrow more from Lord of the Rings and D&D than most other recent works(I think the gold ring clinches that)It uses it in a less repackaged and unique way. Not to knock any series I don't mention, but for me when I think back on the Fantasy that I've read the others that stand out with their own unique 'flare' are
Terry Pratchett, whose book written with Neil Gaiman is being made into film by Terry Gilliam
Robert Jordan, Even with the longwindedness and questioning him as an author I have to finish it. It does have a level of depth and story quality rarely found. Although I do wonder if what we do end up with will be lower quality than we would have gotten if he had written say... 8 books in the time that it will take him to finish all 12+.
Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth. I'm surprised noone mentioned this. The man tells a great story. The quality(in my opinion) goes down as you progress in the series, but not in the same rehashed way as Jordan does it. I can't suggest the whole series for these reasons while sticking to time constraints, but I can suggest the first book "Wizards First Rule."
Also, I don't suggest getting involved in many of the D&D series' but "Dragons of the Summer Flame" is just amazing, especially if you know a a touch of the backstory. But as far as completism goes... just pretend that there aren't any other books. Not that there aren't others of quality.
And just because I think he's underapreciated,
Iain M. Banks
His books are hard to find outside of Britain(where I've seen entire Bookshelves dedicated to him), but I'd suggest "Feersum Endjinn" Which is basically a post-technological Fantasy (think Final Fantasy past 6) thing, "Player of Games" and my favorite, a classic example of a space-opera "Consider Phlebas". He also writes contemporary fiction as Iain Banks. It's on and off, and usually incredibly odd. Start with the Wasp Factory if you feel the need.
(Apologies for wasting anyones space or time with this message.)(ed. cutting
)This comment was edited on Oct 25, 02:33.
(Apologies for wasting anyones space or time with this message.)