With what velocity the news spread. What ferocious respondents. It might be argued that there are too few major opportunities to recognize writers without taking a bold stance against. Is the system weighted that committees are growing fusty? I say a little bombast opens the dialogue. Is it reasonable that a single author prize might be qualified because disqualified because its editor completed it? Inarguably by one of the most gifted writers of his generation, still it was completed by cobbling together notes, marginalia, correspon-dence. Had it been finished, it is David Foster Wallace's book for which I would have voted. Readers are so various and vociferous, so subjective, let me propose that a Swiftian purge would send out alarums, clear the collective pipes of easy concurrence. I think disputation bracing. I read into all these books. No disgrace wrote Calvino to embark and put down. I'm chary with my time, seek a world inside the covers of books whose voice has what feels to me surpassing authority, a theme with heft. To be excellent is insufficient. An original plot line is insufficient to magnetize this reader. Well-crafted prose? I expect it of a Pulitzer nominee. Why do I have the impression the books on this year's list lacked a sense of necessity generated from within. I'm not seeking story however original so much as embedded ideas that give me a sense of exhilarated consciousness. A great short story is about distillation, compression. A novel? Expanse. I want to weep when the characters have departed. I want cadence that dazzles my circuitry. Although I read eclectically in many genre--the novel casts a beam across my personal night sky. I rarely read new fiction but re-read the greats. This doesn't bode well for agents, editors, publishers, bookstores, especially not for debut novels. I wait for the second to consider the first. Despite surface shine. I don't mind a rumple on the page. Should beauty be roughed up a little? I open a novel I commit to a world. Any prose that does not levitate above a page turner with fillers, and upholstery or expository digression I lay down. I ask, if I'd gone on, would the writer have hit high C?did the writer hit high C? Shattered the crystal? Would I re-read this book or re-sell it? I'm looking for an indefinable something that enraptures me. I can't speak for you but I'm tired of self-consciously clever, of fantasy because the marketing department knows what sells. Books with literary themes and allusions? What's lacking? A voice you'd carry like a bride into the lantern-lit pavilion. The Pulitzer stands alone. A beacon. Yester-day I visited a friend in her new apartment. I noted with surprise a stack of best sellers on the coffee table. Are you reading theseI asked with some surprise. No, she said. They were left behind by the last tenant. Brand new, spines not splayed. Would any of the books on the 2012 list stand the test of re-reading. Do you wish you were opening to the first page for the first time almost as soon as you put it down? If you have a stack of books you're planning to re-sell ... isn't there a question here? Would you listen to a great musical work but once? Expanse. The prospect of a cathedral in your brain, is why you turn the lamp low and settle into your favorite chair.