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by Nicholas Carr
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Literature could not find itself in a better place from which to escape the confining and picayune interiority of the last half-century.
Shandy makes the Cervantes/Fielding/Dickens picaresque look like a straight walk down a well-lit road. It is both a challenge to read and a sustained work of jumpy, distracted hilarity. Attention deficit, for Sterne, is not something to be feared in the reader — it is the basis for his process of composition.
With four books graduating to our Half of Fame, we have a new number one, three debuts and one returning title on our list.