Great Iowa Novels

Des Moines Dinner Out
by Philip K. Dick
Synopsis: Worker drones frolic in a simulacrum of a real restaurant, eating gruel while happily programmed to perceive a banquet. Outside, it’s Mars.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Professional
by James Joyce
Synopsis: Stephen Daedelus drinks beer at trivia night until he ages out, then he leaves town.

Slaughterhouse Drive
by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Synopsis: Billy Pilgrim gets stuck in the Dahl’s parking lot as the wind blows out of the South, carrying the odor of a rendering plant. Forever.

Animal Confinement
by George Orwell
Synopsis: Two legs, bad . . . four legs, good . . . 40,000 legs, very profitable!

The Reaper-Binder in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
Synopsis: Holden Caulfield jumps into a metaphorical rye field, and is crushed by a machine clearing it for ethanol corn planting.

Jonathan Livingston Vulture
by Richard Bach
Synopsis: Bored with hovering over carrion, a buzzard masters acrobatic flight and thereby achieves a higher plane of understanding, then flies into a wind turbine.

Diary of Some Wimpy Kids
by Jeff Kinney
Synopsis: Behind-the-scenes story of the Iowa Democratic Party’s 2014 campaign and electoral season.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Synopsis: A cute baby caterpillar hatches from an egg, tries to eat pest-resistant DuPont-Pioneer corn, fails, and dies.

100 Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Synopsis: A full history of the Iowa State University football team’s bowl game and other post-season highlights.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Sharper Shooter Lee
Synopsis: An illustrated pamphlet from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, free with your mockingbird license. (Note: Includes field dressing instructions).

The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exuterry
Synopsis: A petite mustachioed monarch sagely rules his tiny sphere, eventually befriending a corn snake, which eats him.

The Bridge of Ringgold County
by Robert James Waller
Synopsis: Robert Kincaid returns to Iowa, hits on another farmer’s wife, gets beaten up by her husband, and left under a culvert on Highway 169.

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