Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
When Faulkner completed this book, he handed it to his friend and apparently said, “I think it’s the best novel yet written by an American.” It is for this reason and no other that it has earned such a low ranking on this list, because there is something terrible in me that thrives on contradiction. Sorry, William Faulkner. Your book was good; it's just that I am awful.