17th Century – Don Quixote
18th Century – The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
In Laurence Sterne’s book we hear very little of the life of Tristram himself. The narrator is so often distracted (with very humorous consequence) that he does not even reach the moment of his birth until one third of the way through
19th Century – The Brothers Karamozov
Dostoyevsky’s final novel is a book of depth that goes beyond the very engaging plot and asks that the reader consider the nature of concepts like faith and free will. In the novel’s most famous chapter, Ivan narrates a poem that puts God on trial at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
20th Century - Ulysses
James Joyce wrote one of the most celebrated books that most people don’t actually finish. Elements of the novel parallel Homer’s Odyssey and individual chapters employ varied literary styles, from stream of consciousness, to the script of a play (with stage directions). Once banned for obscenity, Ulysses was known as a “dangerous” book. The novel follows a day in the life of Leopold Bloom (June 16, 1904 - now known as Bloomsday) as he wanders through Dublin.