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Cantemir -- I got about 100 pages or so into Wallace's book and gave up. I liked the humor and style of the thing, but it seemed that I was waiting in vain for an actual story to kick in.

Father, bless,

I recommend David Foster Wallace's /Infinite Jest/, which is about the war against cosmic evil.

"Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Dickens, James, Eliot and Conrad all believed that the moral reality of their story was the central and enabling extension that defined their novel as form."

Fr. Jonathan, have you read Mark Helprin at all? He seems to be one modern fiction writer who still writes in this way. I've read one of his novels so far, Memoir From Antproof Case, and many of his short stories, and they all have a strong moral sense present in them. They are not moralistic, didactic, or preachy, but the moral current is present there nevertheless, embedded in the story. In addition, he's quite the wizard with words, a true stylist.

To paraphrase one critic, Helprin is one of the few modern authors who writes convincingly about such old-fashioned virtues as courage, hope, and sacrificial love.

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