What Your Favorite Pretentious Novel Says About You

It might be the asshole Barista at your local fair-trade coffee spot or the bomb dot com Asian bitty you’ve been trying to chat up at your local corporate coffee spot, but sooner or later somebody is going to ask you what your favorite book is. If you’re coming with some 19th century classic you only read because it was assigned in high school—and even then you only got 30 pages deep, said fuck it, got stoned and played Xbox for a month then Sparknoted the shit the day before the paper was due—some arrogant English major biter WILL make you feel like a dumb shit. Believe me, the free-range organic milf in yoga pants at the co-op grocery is going to know if you’re bullshitting on misogyny in Hemingway and the bespectacled high-school hipster working your independent video store will laugh in your face if you mix up Tolkien’s timeline with Peter Jackson’s movie chronology. Make no mistake, the answer to this question will frame someone’s opinion of you for all eternity, and if you’re sticking with any of these go-to pretentious classics, I’ve got a pretty solid idea of the lifestyle each selection suggests.

Angelo Spagnolo is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter here.

  • ZRA

    No great gatsby? yo, fuck this website right now, B.

  • fence

    you should give this bro one of your ‘ongoing’ ‘features’

    • lawrences

      One step ahead of you, fence.

  • http://junctionelle.tumblr.com Jay

    My favourite book is Animal Farm. Idgaf.

  • Huitzilopochtli Marcos Marron

    No existentialist satires or Ayn Rand, really? Good article though, keep on writing these type of pretentious articles.

  • Dahveed

    It’d be great to see more books included in a similar feature, as this one definitely found an audience. Perhaps put Crime and Punishment on there so Ushanka stunting is not neglected.

  • B

    You forgot the ultimate, Infinite Jest

  • RG

    Agreed, Angelo needs to be a regular on here

  • Drake

    Yo this was awesome. No Heart of Darkness though?

  • Matilda

    As a certified English major, I can tell you that these books are hardly pretentious. Gravity’s Rainbow comes close, but The Catcher in the Rye? About as pretentious as Twilight

  • Benjamin Graham

    3/4 of these books are required reading at American high schools. Only Pynchon could be construed as pretentious. How’s that associates degree going?

  • http://mbarkman.tumblr.com/ Michael

    I dont know why people are hatin. I thought this was hilarious. Ok a few books I wouldn’t label as pretentious but not the point. People taking your list way too seriously rather than enjoying it.

  • ZB

    Great, these really are pretentious books…for a third grader.