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Top Ten

10 Best Books: Mahinder Kingra

Top Ten 2000

The Year in News 1. We Have a Winner?Our annual listing of all that's most fit to print is usually an exercise in... | By Michael Anft

All the News Not Fit to Print The Year in Non-News

The Year in Film Science-fiction author Theodore Sturgeon once fashioned a maxim about the genre that came to be... | By Ian Grey

10 Best Films: Ian Grey 1Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, United States) Four very different souls go to Consumer... | By Ian Grey

10 Best Films: Heather Joslyn 1Chicken Run (Peter Lord and Nick Park, United Kingdom/United States)* A thrilling, inspirational... | By Heather Joslyn

10 Best Films: Luisa F. Ribiero 1Urbania (Jon Shear, United States) This kinetic, provocative tale of a catastrophic day in the... | By Luisa F. Ribeiro

The 10 Most Annoying Things About Music in 2000 . . . 1Lists As a dyed-in-the-wool, former-record-store-clerk music geek, I love a good list as much as... | By Lee Gardner

. . . and the 10 Best 1D'Angelo, Voodoo (Virgin) Sure, better songs would have been nice. | By Lee Gardner

10 Best Albums: Rjyan Kidwell 1Outkast, Stankonia (Arista/LaFace) Outkast knows precisely when to throw you a curve ball and when... | By Rjyan Kidwell

10 Best Albums: Daniel Piotrowski 1Modest Mouse, The Moon and Antarctica (Epic) Although it is by no means a departure for the... | By Daniel Piotrowski

10 Best Albums: Vincent Williams 1Jill Scott, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. | By Vincent Williams

10 Best Albums: John Lewis 1Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars, From Senegal To Senatobia (Birdman) A trio of African... | By John Lewis

The Year in Television IN TV LAND, 2000 TURNED OUT TO BE THE YEAR WHEN GOING TO THE TROUBLE OF MANUFACTURING FICTIONAL... | By Adele Marley

The Year in Books Like many wannabe serious writers, I've long felt the need to visit Paris. | By Eileen Murphy

10 Best Books: Michael Anft Plowing the Dark, by Richard Powers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Split between the heady digital… | By Michael Anft

10 Best Books: Mahinder Kingra 1Tulipomania, by Mike Dash (Crown) An elegant and entertaining work of popular history that... | By Mahinder Kingra

10 Best Books: Eileen Murphy 1The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) Atwood hasn't abandoned her... | By Eileen Murphy

The Year in Theater FIVE SCRIBES, 10 SHOWS-- CITY PAPER THEATER CRITICS MICHAEL ANFT, ANNA DITKOFF, MIKE GIULIANO,... | By Michael Anft, Anna Ditkoff, Mike Giuliano, Brennen Jensen and Jack Purdy

The Year in Art 1Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930, Walters Art Museum There were... | By Mike Giuliano

10 Best Albums: John Lewis 1Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars, From Senegal To Senatobia (Birdman) A trio of African drum... | By John Lewis

By Mahinder Kingra | Posted 12/20/2000

1
Tulipomania, by Mike Dash (Crown) An elegant and entertaining work of popular history that dissects Holland's 17th-century tulip obsession and chronicles the rise and sudden collapse of its volatile flower market, in which vast fortunes were made through the sale of a single bulb. Although his story can easily be read as a cautionary fable about today's stock market, the author's real achievement lies in his deft re-creation of such an unfamiliar time and place.

2
Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik (Random House) These sophisticated, witty, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny New Yorker dispatches from Paris perfectly capture a city no longer convinced of its cultural superiority in the world. Whether describing a tour of the taxidermy museum with his son, a fight to save a local café, or a surreal parade in honor of France's World Cup victory, Gopnik's prose blends detached bemusement with a sense of wonder at actually living in the City of Lights.

3
The Cave, by Tim Krabbe (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) This spare and emotionally devastating thriller set in Europe and Southeast Asia explores the complicated friendship between a decent if insecure professional and a seductive, self-confident rogue whose drug- and sex-fueled lifestyle destroys everyone around him. As in his previous novel, The Golden Egg (adapted into the chilling Dutch film The Vanishing), Krabbe is interested less in action and violence than in a far more gripping Nietzschean contest of wills.

4
Long John Silver, by Björn Larsson (Harvill Press) A delightfully bloody and surprisingly philosophical pirate tale, narrated by literature's greatest pirate himself. Robert Louis Stevenson's fearsome but ultimately lovable villain, in hiding on Madagascar, relates the events of his life (to no less august a listener than Daniel Defoe) before and after the events of Treasure Island.

5
The Romantics, by Pankaj Mishra (Random House) A literate and moving first novel set in contemporary Benares, India's holiest city, in which a young and callow Indian student, caught between two cultures, befriends an older English woman, begins a transformative affair with her young ward, and falls in with a reckless and dangerous compatriot.

6
Scar Vegas: And Other Stories, by Tom Paine (Harcourt Brace) A delightfully eclectic collection of stories that spurn the minimalism found in too much American short fiction with ambitious narratives, colorful characters, and blackly comic situations that the author's daring prose makes entirely believable.

7
Mr. Wroe's Virgins, by Jane Rogers (Mariner Books) A beautifully realized historical novel (based on real events) about a self-appointed religious prophet in 1830s England who demands that his congregation provide him with seven virgins to care for him and be cared for by him. Narrated by the virgins (whose diverse voices are convincingly rendered by Rogers), this novel explores the edges of religious faith and human fallibility as accusations of immorality are leveled at this unorthodox "family."

8
The Crook Factory, by Dan Simmons (Avon) This strangely plausible and immensely satisfying thriller set in Cuba during World War II envisions Ernest Hemingway and an accomplished FBI agent working together to monitor Nazi activities on the island and uncovering a vast conspiracy that leads them to the corridors of power in Washington. Simmons deftly weaves fiction and history (Hemingway did, in fact, propose just such an operation), offering both an accurate portrait of the writer and an exhilarating espionage adventure.

9
The Book of Revelation, by Rupert Thomson (Knopf) In this disturbing novel, a successful male ballet dancer is kidnapped by three mysterious women who proceed to sexually exploit and humiliate him. More frightening than his treatment, however, is his obsessive need, once he is released, to find the women responsible.

10
A Small Death in Lisbon, by Robert Wilson (Harcourt Brace) The brutal murder of a young woman in 1990s Lisbon sends a melancholic detective looking into the events of Portugal's wartime past, when Nazis and Allies mingled uneasily in the officially neutral country. This exciting and evocative mystery makes brilliant use of dual narratives present and past to explore the legacy of collaboration.

Related stories

Top Ten archives

More Stories

The Year In Tracks (12/15/2009)
. . . just in the case the album really is dead.

The Year in News (12/9/2009)

The Year in Movies (12/9/2009)

More from Mahinder Kingra

Dazzlement, Enchantment, and Trash (9/25/2002)
Alfred Bester, Philip K. Dick, and the Apotheosis of Pulp Science Fiction

The Man Without a Country (10/17/2001)
New Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul and His Critics

Goodbye to All That (9/26/2001)

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