Truly New Stories: Are There Any Left?

For these past couple of years, the majority of my reading has included non-fiction and classical literature. I did very little "popular" or new fiction reading. Then, I decided to start crackedspines.com in an effort to provide book reviews, analysis, etc. all in one place on everything that I read. That led me to try moving out of my comfort zone and start reading some new novels to provide other readers with more than just non-fiction and classic book reviews. As the title suggests, the road has been a little bumpy.

My first endeavor into popular fiction was the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. It went better than expected, but it still left me with a sense of deja vu. Yes, deja vu. I am starting to feel like I have read everything before. It is very difficult for novelists to come up with anything refreshing these days and it is hardly their fault, but it makes my endeavors into "new" fiction rather boring. I have put down at least three books and never bothered to pick them back up again since I have started this. I know there is uncharted territory left in the literary world. What I want to know is why none of us writers ventures there anymore.

You may want to mention the fact that I am always talking about how much I love classical literature. The thinking being that I am already reading stale novels. Why am I not complaining about them? The thing is, classical literature is not stale. Most of the novels I read were written by men and women who took literature places it really had not been before, at least not in the English language. It is not the same old boring thing. It is the original. Take, for example, the vampire novel *gag.* Why is Dracula still so much better to me than newer vampire novels? It is better because Bram Stoker was being daring and you can feel it in his writing. He was not writing something tried, tested, and likely to rake him in a few bucks. He was a pioneer. Today, you can feel the lack of pioneering spirit in 90% of new novels. At least, that is my experience.

So, I am on a quest for a novel that is taking literature to the next level. In other words, like most readers, I am looking for the next Dune, Dracula, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. I am looking for a novel that makes me feel like I am going somewhere I have never been before. I want to provide you with a review or analysis of a gem that is just waiting to be found among the heaps of new rubbish. I do not want to read something the writer knew was safe. I want something dangerous. I want a book that pushes the boundaries. However, I do not want to read a book that pushes boundaries for the sake of pushing boundaries. I want a book that pushes boundaries because that is where the writer's imagination pushed the writer. I want to find a writer who dares to put his or her unhindered story on paper. By unhindered I mean unimpeded by the expectations of the reader. You, if you are a true reader and lover of the written word, know exactly what I mean. Oh, and if you find it, please post the name in the comments section. I want to read it desperately.

Shelly Barclay

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