X No Thanks

Fiction Map of the World – USA

by Travelbag on 21 August 2014, 15:08PM

The United States of America is arguably the central global hub of activity within every branch of the arts. The difficult thing in this regard is not finding the hidden gems but attempting to do justice to a place that has produced so much of the greatest works of the last century and more.


Essential Holiday Reading

 For holiday reading I’m going to recommend a novel that has been adapted for the screen many times. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is today viewed as one of the great American novels, but at the time of its release it didn’t garner the acclaim it deserved, so much so that Fitzgerald sadly passed away believing his work to be a failure.The novel itself is told from the viewpoint of Nick Carraway, recently moved to the affluent West Egg, and details his friendship with the initially mysterious Jay Gatsby, his neighbour famous for throwing regular lavish parties at his mansion. Dealing with themes of the American dream and the recklessness of youth and love and tragedy, it is an expertly moulded novel with both style and substance and, quite frankly, should be read by all.


Notable American Books

You may have heard the term the ‘Great American Novel’. It is one attached to several novels that capture the spirit and feeling of the American nation of the time. Great novels such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Moby Dick by Herman Melville and many others.This tradition has continued throughout the last century with further novels such as Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness of the West by Cormac McCarthy and American Pastoral by Philip Roth all being mentioned with the title.In recent times there have been several novel series such as The Twilight saga and The Hunger Games trilogy that have taken the world by storm, just to show American literature is still fresh and capable of capturing the public consciousness.


Notable American Authors

Beyond those already mentioned there are plenty more names to mention, some of which are amongst the best-selling authors of all times worldwide. Names like Stephen King (Carrie, The Shining), master of horror and one of the most prolific writers around today, James Patterson the king of the modern thriller or Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms). For classic noir thrillers try Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely) or Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon), both pioneers of the hard-boiled detective novel.In poetry there’s Ezra Pound, Walt Whitman and the ‘beat generation’ guys such as Jack Kerouac (On The Road), William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch) and Allen Ginsberg (Howl). Or playwrights such as Pulitzer Prize winning Arthur Miller (The Crucible, Death of a Salesman). The list of American writers is littered with towering figures of global literature.

Notable American Films

 American cinema immediately brings to mind a single word: Hollywood. From the famous sign to the walk of fame, it symbolises the glamour and pomp that is Hollywood. The first thing to mention is the big Hollywood blockbusters that Steven Spielberg popularised with films like Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. What most tend to associate with American cinema are big-budget films, leading on to the proliferation of superhero films beginning with the success of Batman Begins, the first in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and the modern day box office domination such franchises command.There’s also what some might refer to as the ‘golden age’ of American cinema that included epics such as Gone with the Wind, Casablanca or Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, often mentioned as one of the greatest films of all time (though it missed out on winning the Best Film Academy Award). This leads nicely onto the Academy Awards, the glamourous annual ceremony that, in its familiar format since 1929, is still the greatest accolade in the world of cinema.  


Holiday Listening

It’s would be appropriate for holiday listening to choose arguably the best pop album by one of America’s biggest ever superstars. I’m referring to the king of pop, Michael Jackson, and the album in question is Thriller. It remains to this day the best-selling album of all time and understandably so. Blending a mix of pop, funk, R&B and disco it is a superior collection of tracks that produced seven singles and gave us some of Jackson’s finest moments in Billie Jean, Thriller and Beat It. It also contained four tracks penned by Jackson himself proving there was more to his talents than meets the eye.


Notable American Musicians

America has again produced many of the biggest names in music. It is notable how many genres of music radiate from the US, sometimes from particular states. When you think of jazz you think of New Orleans, when you think of Motown you think of Detroit. Looking closer at those two particular genres the greatest exponents were American; jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane or Miles Davis, or Motown groups such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Jackson 5 or even Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.Moving on there’s the rock and roll breakout of the 50’s with Bill Haley and the Comets and Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley through to disco and rock and right through to modern pop there have been ground-breaking artists like Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica and many more. The production line for talent is seemingly endless in the U.S.

Click here to go back to the Fiction Map of the World

Click here to read more about the United States of America.

How to Spend 40 Days in Southeast Asia

Read More

For the ‘gram: the truth behind travel photos

Read More

How to Spend 40 Days in South America

Read More

How to Spend 40 Days in Australia and New Zealand

Read More
Post of the month
by Tourism Australia More

Email sign up

Register to receive holiday offers, cheap flights deals, hotel offers and more.

Travelbag Travel/Leisure London

01 Jan 00:00 Read More
Travelbag's Twitter
Common Tags
24 Hours 3 days in 48 hours in 5 Reasons Abu Dhabi Activities Adventure Holiday Africa Alaska America Antigua Architecture Argentina asia Auckland Australasia Australia bahamas Bahrain Bali Bangkok Barbados Beach Holidays Beaches Bolivia Bora Bora Botswana Brazil Caibbean California Cambodia Canada Cancun Cape Town Caribbean celebrity Central America Chicago Chile China City Breaks Coffee Costa Rica Cruise Holidays Cruises Cuba culture Dining Dominican Republic Dubai Ecuador Europe Events Family Holidays Festivals Fiji Florida food Food Trip Gold Coast Greece Hanoi Hawaii hiking Ho Chi Minh City holiday reading Honeymoon Hong Kong India Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Luxury Holidays Indonesia Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Koh Samui Krabi kuala lumpur Laos las vegas Latin America Literature los angeles Luxury Holidays Macau Majorca Malaysia Maldives Mauritius Melbourne Mexico Miami Middle East money Montreal music Myanmar Nature New York New Zealand North New Zealand Northen Territory Oman Orlando Pattaya Perth Perth Beaches Peru Phuket Qatar Quebec Queensland Queenstown quiz Rail Travel Ras Al Khaimah Reading on holiday Royal Jubilee Safari Samoa scenic Scuba Diving Self-Drive Seychelles Shopping Sightseeing Sightseeing Trip Singapore snorkelling South Africa South America South Australia South New Zealand Southeast Asia Sri Lanka St Lucia Surfing survey Sydney Tahiti Tasmania Texas Thailand Things To Do Tokyo Top 5 Things to Do Toronto tour Travel Travelbag trekking UAE UK United States USA USA Roadtrip Vancouver Vietnam Virginia Western Australia whale watching Wildlife Winter Sun
Please Wait...

We use cookies Read more

Cookies: We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our site cookies. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.