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Whatever book resides in the pantheon of grand literature defies dictionary-free reading, unlike one of those faddish, modern commercial novels.

This structure is beyond me. What is the syntax here and is this a valid sentence from a grammatical point of view? I think the subject-verb strcture is suspicious.

  • Was it written by a non-native speaker? – snailcar Aug 7 '14 at 13:13
  • What makes you think so? Yes it was. – user2492 Aug 7 '14 at 13:23
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Whatever book resides in the pantheon of grand literature defies dictionary-free reading, unlike one of those faddish, modern commercial novels.

This is a perfectly valid and grammatical sentence, and does make perfect sense. Can you please tell where you find the problem, especially the sub-verb agreement one? Knowing this will help me answer the question from the perspective of your confusion. And what is the source of the sentence?

Anyways, still I will give an answer.

I am now breaking this sentence like the following -

1. A = Whatever book resides in the pantheon of grand literature.

2. B = One of those faddish, modern commercial novels.

Now forming the sentence using A and B, it comes down to this form -

A defies dictionary-free reading, unlike B.

Though it's better to write this as following -

Unlike B, A defies dictionary-free reading.

Meaning - A and B are not alike. A defies dictionary-free reading.

Does my answer address your problem area?

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