Friday, May 16, 2008

American Trilogies

You know that forlorn feeling you get when you read the last paragraph of a book that you really enjoyed? When the characters have grown as close to you as family members, or maybe even closer? To keep the story going a little longer, next time read a trilogy, and even better, a trilogy that not only captures a character, but also the American experience.

My favorite American trilogy (pus one) is the Rabbit novels by John Updike, which are a tribute to the average American guy who peaked as a high school athlete.
Rabbit, Run
Rabbit Redux
Rabbit is Rich
Rabbit at Rest

Other American trilogies that are considered masterpieces are:

Richard Ford - Frank Bascombe Trilogy
Spanning about 20 years, real estate agent Frank Bascombe’s meditation on American life tells us that life is fraught with trials and somehow we learn to cope as we go along.
The Sportswriter
Independence Day
The Lay of the Land

Cormac McCarthy – Border trilogy
Lives of two young men coming of age in the Southwest and Mexico, poised on the edge of a world about to change forever.
All the Pretty Horses
The Crossing
Cities of the Plain

Peter Mathiessen - Florida Trilogy
Account of the real life and death of renegade cane-grower Ed Watson in southwest Florida at the turn of the century. The three books have recently been condensed into one novel by the author – Shadow Country.
Killing Mr. Watson
Lost Man’s River
Bone by Bone

Reynolds Price - Mayfield Trilogy
Slow, inextricable twining of the Mayfield and Kendal families from 1903 to early 1990s.
Surface of the Earth
Source of light
Promise of Rest

Philip Roth - American Trilogy
America’s loss of innocence since 1945.
American Pastoral
I Married a Communist
The Human Stain


April Boland said...

I've read "American Pastoral" but didn't realize it was the first in a trilogy - thanks!

Don't forget "Lord of the Rings" :)

La Princesse de Clèves said...

I chose books that portrayed the American experience, but you are right, that LOR is one of the greatest trilogies.