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10 Most Quintessentially American Books That You Should Read, Have You?

There are many great works of American literature to choose from, but some stand out more than others for their uniquely American themes and characters. A user asked the forum, “What do you think is the most quintessentially American book?”

Here are some responses he got!

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

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“It’s probably the best American novel.”

GRAPES OF WRATH OR ON THE ROAD

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“I agree with on the road, but I might substitute east of Eden for grapes of wrath.”

HUCK FINN

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“Definitively American, in every way. Of its time, for all times.”

MOBY DICK

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“Moby Dick is a novel about a rag-tag team of eccentric nobody’s seeking naught but adventure and money; by joining the crew of a whaling ship led by a romantic madman driven by hatred, and despite their differences they can synthesize and work together, bringing out the strongest suits in each other to make their voyage as successful as they can, for each their own sake.”

NO FROU-FROU SYMBOLISM

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“My favorite book: No frou-frou symbolism, just a good, simple tale about a man who hates an animal.”

EAST OF EDEN

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“I always will think of Steinbeck as the quintessential American author. East of Eden is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

THE WIZARD OF OZ

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“Feels like one of our first fairytales told through an American lens.”

MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN

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“My Side of the Mountain” made me who I am today. Oh, and Hatchet, of course, but I think that mainly occurs in Canada.”

THE MONKEYWRENCH GANG

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“The Monkeywrench Gang by Edward Abbey.”

ON THE ROAD

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“Still touches American pop culture while bridging the gap from the Great Depression. Illustrates what was still possible for any American even as Elvis was breaking (just using Elvis as a historic touchstone).”

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