Books picked by David Foster Wallace for his syllabus in 1994

Aim of the course? In less narcotizing words, English 102 aims to show you some ways to read fiction more deeply, to come up with more interesting insights on how pieces of fiction work.
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The Big Nowhere

by James Ellroy

About the book:  Los Angeles, 1950 Red crosscurrents: the Commie Scare and a string of brutal mutilation killings. Gangland intrigue and Hollywood sleaze. Three cops caught in a hellish web of ambition, perversion, and deceit. Danny Upshaw is a Sheriff's deputy stuck with a bunch of snuffs nobody cares about; they're his chance to make his name as a cop...and to sate his darkest curiosities. Mal Considine is D.A.'s Bureau brass. He's climbing on the Red Scare bandwagon to advance his career and to gain custody of his adopted son, a child he saved from the horror of postwar Europe. Buzz Meeks-bagman, ex-Narco goon, and pimp for Howard Hughes-is fighting communism for the money. All three men have purchased tickets to a nightmare.

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Where Are The Children?

by Mary Higgins Clark

About the book:  Nancy Harmon has a new home, a loving husband and two beautiful children. The thing is, she's had all this before . . . Seven years ago she escaped from a volatile marriage and the devastating deaths of her first two children. Now, she's trying to start afresh. The accusations. The newspaper stories. The blame. That's all behind her. Or so she thinks. For someone has not forgotten. Somebody who is determined to bring the terror and the pain hurtling back. One cold morning, Nancy leaves her children to play outside - but when she returns, they have disappeared. With growing terror, she realises it has begun again . . .

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Rock Star

by Jackie Collins

About the book:  Rock Star International bestselling sensation Jackie Collins, "the queen of glamour fiction" (San Antonio Express-News) captures the raw, electric thrill of life in the spotlight in this pulse-pounding novel. Three talented, ambitious dreamers have struggled for super-stardom - and lived hard and fast in a mind-bending whirl of parties, drugs, and sex. Now their fates collide at the plush Los Angeles estate of a powerful music industry magnate, where one man's secret vendetta will trap them in its sudden, murderous heat…

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Black Sunday

by Thomas Harris

About the book:  An Arab terrorist group engages an American Navy pilot to bomb the Super Bowl football game.

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The Silence of the Lambs

by Thomas Harris Thomas Harris

About the book:  "A stunningly repackaged edition, with a new introduction from the author, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thomas Harris's legendary Hannibal Lecter bestseller. Now fans of the new Sky Living TV series Hannibal can read the book that launched a legend. b> b> b>SEEN THE FILM? NOW READ THE BOOK THAT LAUNCHED A LEGEND. FBI trainee Clarice Starling walks down the state asylum's deepest keep, through the moans and whispers of the criminally insane. She is here to meet the monster in the final cell. He knows she is coming. She finds Dr Lecter reading the Italian Vogue. He looks up, looks into her. His gaze seems to pulse in her head, but she is only hearing her heartbeat. He listens to it too. MEET HANNIBAL LECTER"

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Carrie

by Stephen King

About the book:  In this classic tale of psychic power and human cruelty, a tormented teenage girl reigns terrible vengence down on her enemies at the prom. Reprint.

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Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe

by C. S. Lewis

About the book:  When this adaptation of C. S. Lewis’s classic children’s story opened at the RSC Stratford in November 1998, it received rave reviews and broke box office records. Four children are evacuated from London during the Blitz. While exploring the Professor’s house, they stumble across the gateway to another world, and the adventure begins. The land of Narnia is under the spell of the wicked White Witch, and the four very quickly find themselves caught up in a deadly struggle between good and evil.

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Lonesome Dove

by Larry McMurtry

About the book:  A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.

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