Culture The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History  

Alan Smithee
6.7k votes 1.4k voters 26.4k views 34 items

List Rules Vote up the authors whose next book should be an apology letter.

No matter how brilliant or groundbreaking or bro-appealing a piece of literature may be, it fails to make up for the pretentious authors behind them. The most pretentious writers of the world, despite their ways with written words, fail terribly when it comes to opening their mouths, usually because their foot is in the way. Many authors who are douches retain any semblance of literary cred only due to the equally douchey masses who praise their often overrated books. Relying heavily gimmicks or "their own personal style" instead of true substance, numerous douchey writers give off an air of trying to be deep (read this back-and-forth between Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer to get an idea).

The annoying writers of this list frustrate the world for a number of reasons. Some actively embodied the term "hypocrite," taking support from the very systems their works admonished (hello, welfare recipient Ayn Rand). Others simply ride the coattails of their past works to remain relevant, unable to understand no one's actually read American Psycho. But what unites all these writers are their acolytes, who will stop their fixed-gear bikes to tell you "Well, actually," your negative opinion of their books is wrong. Never mind them though, for you know the truth: that Walden pond was nowhere near the wildnerness.

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list ordered by

1
463 185
Ayn Rand is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Philosophy: Who Needs It

2
288 140
Dan Brown is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Digital Fortress

3
133 49
Jonathan Franzen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Corrections, The Twenty-Seventh City, The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History

4
163 71
Bret Easton Ellis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
American Psycho, Less Than Zero, Glamorama

5
167 83
David Foster Wallace is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Infinite Jest, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

6
120 52
Jonathan Safran Foer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals

7
102 50
Dave Eggers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What Is the What, A Hologram for the King

8
160 99
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegans Wake

9
122 67
Norman Mailer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Naked and the Dead, The Executioner's Song, Ancient Evenings

10
195 136
Jack Kerouac is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Desolation Angels

11
207 165
J. D. Salinger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories

12
93 63
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Gravity's Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49, Mason & Dixon

13
79 50
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
American Pastoral, Portnoy's Complaint, The Human Stain

14
114 87
Salman Rushdie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Satanic Verses, Midnight's Children, Shame

15
123 117
Charles Bukowski is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Post Office, Ham on Rye, Women

16
45 33
Miranda July is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
No One Belongs Here More Than You, Learning to Love You More, Tin House

17
63 54
John Updike is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Rabbit, Run, Rabbit at Rest

18
25 12
Malcolm Gladwell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
rankerous added The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Outliers: The Story of Success, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

19
119 119
Henry David Thoreau is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Walden, Civil Disobedience, Faith in a seed

20
178 188
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls

21
49 42
Michael Chabon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys, The Yiddish Policemen's Union

22
34 25
Jonathan Lethem is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Motherless Brooklyn, Kafka Americana, The Wall of the Sky

23
22 21
Joe Meno is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
BrickJournal Compendium Volume 1, Demons in the Spring, How the Hula Girl Sings

24
38 41
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
White Noise, Underworld, Libra

25
0 0
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
WildBonsai added A Coney Island of the Mind, City Lights Journal Number Four, Berlin