20th Century > 1980s

    Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

The novel follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With nothing but goodwill, controlled substances, and wit to sustain him in this anti-quest, he runs until he reaches his reckoning point, where he is forced to acknowledge loss and, possibly, to rediscover his better instincts.

Year: 1984
Genre: 1980s

    Brightness Falls by Jay McInerney

As he maps the fault lines spreading through the marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway and chronicles Russell's wildly ambitious scheme to seize control of the publishing house at which he works, Jay McInerney creates an elegy for New York in the 1980s. From the literary chimeras and corporate raiders to those dispossessed by the pandemonium of money and power, Brightness Falls captures a rash era at its moment of reckoning and gives reality back to a time that now seems decidedly unreal.

Year: 1992
Genre: 1980sDomestic SuspenseFamily Drama

    Forrest Gump by Winston Groom

Six foot six, 242 pounds, and possessed of a scant IQ of 70, Forrest Gump is the lovable, surprisingly savvy hero of this classic comic tale. His early life may seem inauspicious, but when the University of Alabama’s football team drafts Forrest and makes him a star, it sets him on an unbelievable path that will transform him from Vietnam hero to world-class Ping-Pong player, from wrestler to entrepreneur.

Year: 1986
Genre: 1960s1970s1980s

    Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy

It's the early 1980s--and historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine Jack Ryan is now a CIA officer on loan to the British SIS. On his very first day, an extraordinary document crosses his desk. Because of government repression in Poland, the new Pope, John Paul II, has threatened to resign his papacy.

Year: 2002
Genre: 1980sCIACold War

    Story of My Life by Jay McInerney

A hilarious, sobering portrait of 1980s New York City featuring twenty-something actress Alison Poole and her coterie of club-hopping, coke-addicted friends. As Alison races toward emotional breakdown, McInerney gives us a funny yet oddly touching portrait of a postmodern Holly Golightly coming to terms with a world in which everything is permitted and nothing really matters.

Year: 1988
Genre: 1980sComing of Age

    Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

Year: 2013
Genre: 1980sCourtroom Drama

    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

This bitingly hilarious American satire will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style. Tom Wolfe's bestselling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress, until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward in a humiliating fall from grace.

Year: 1987
Genre: 1980sLegal ThrillerSatire

    The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

A vividly told story of Dylan Ebdus growing up white and motherless in downtown Brooklyn in the 1970s. In a neighborhood where the entertainments include muggings along with games of stoopball, Dylan has one friend, a black teenager, also motherless, named Mingus Rude. Lethem creates an overwhelmingly rich and emotionally gripping canvas of race and class, superheros, gentrification, funk, hip-hop, graffiti tagging, loyalty, and memory.

Year: 2003
Genre: 1970s1980sComing of Age

    The Innocent Man by John Grisham

In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron's home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson.

Year: 2006
Genre: 1980sTrue Crime

 

TitleAuthorSeriesGenres & Tags

Bright Lights, Big City Jay McInerney 1980s, New York City
Brightness Falls Jay McInerney Calloway Trilogy1980sDomestic SuspenseFamily Drama
Forrest Gump Winston Groom 1960s1970s1980s
Red Rabbit Tom Clancy Jack Ryan1980sCIACold War
Story of My Life Jay McInerney 1980sComing of Age
Sycamore Row John Grisham Jake Brigance1980sCourtroom Drama
The Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe 1980sLegal ThrillerSatire, New York City
The Fortress of Solitude Jonathan Lethem 1970s1980sComing of Age, New York City
The Innocent Man John Grisham 1980sTrue Crime