Writers The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History  

Alan Smithee
6k votes 1.3k voters 24k views 31 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.

list ordered by

1
408 173
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
242 128
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
116 41
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
144 63
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
109 47
Jonathan Safran Foer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals

6
142 77
David Foster Wallace is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
94 44
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
107 61
Norman Mailer is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Naked and the Dead, The Executioner's Song, Ancient Evenings

9
175 126
Jack Kerouac is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Desolation Angels

10
126 86
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegans Wake

11
84 56
Thomas Pynchon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Gravity's Rainbow, The Crying of Lot 49, Mason & Dixon

12
69 42
Philip Roth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
American Pastoral, Portnoy's Complaint, The Human Stain

13
179 148
J. D. Salinger is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, Nine Stories

14
101 74
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
115 108
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
39 30
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
54 48
John Updike is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Rabbit, Run, Rabbit at Rest

18
31 24
Jonathan Lethem is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Motherless Brooklyn, Kafka Americana, The Wall of the Sky

19
104 109
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
17 10
Malcolm Gladwell is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
41 38
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
154 172
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
34 37
Don DeLillo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
White Noise, Underworld, Libra

24
19 20
Joe Meno is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Joe Meno BrickJournal Compendium Volume 1, Demons in the Spring, How the Hula Girl Sings

25
105 138
Chuck Palahniuk is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Fight Club, Haunted, Choke

26
60 83
Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
A Clockwork Orange, Inside Mr. Enderby, Joysprick

27
30 45
Dan Simmons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
Hyperion, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort

28
73 111
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Resurrection

29
55 87
Nathaniel Hawthorne is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, The Marble Faun

30
33 58
Nick Hornby is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
High Fidelity, A Long Way Down, Click

31
148 242
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Unbearably Pretentious Authors In Literary History
George Ripley added Needful Things, The Stand, The Shining