Good luck on Finnegans Wake! Do you read it with help?
The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon.
Shorter than V., it is also quite different in the way it questions itself. V.'s quest for "V", whose essence and point we never really discover, so I often found it quite confusing. Here, Oedipa is more aware of what she is doing, thinking, seeing or imagining than Stencil Jr., and so, although strange occurences do happen, I felt less lost, because the sense of truth was itself being questioned by the characters, but then I also had less of a sense of being somewhere completely different.
What I like about Pynchon's style are the oddball characters that seem to come out of nowhere, and the way he can suddenly go from wacky humour to a more heart-felt tone. The reflections of Mucho Maas on old cars is beautiful and ridiculous at the same time: "and when the cars were swept out you had to look at the actual residue of these lives, and there was no way of telling what things had been truly refused (when so little he supposed came by that out of fear most of it had to be taken and kept) and what had simply (perhaps tragically) been lost: clipped coupons promising savings of 5 or 10c, trading stamps, pink flyers advertising specials at the markets, butts, tooth-shy combs, help-wanted ads, Yellow Pages torn from the phone book, rags of old underwear or dresses that already were period costumes, for wiping your own breath off the inside of a windshield with so you could see whatever it was, a movie, a woman or car you coveted, a cop who might pull you over just for drill, all the bits and pieces coated uniformally, like a salad of despair, in a grey dressing of ash, condensed exhaust, dust, body, wastes - it made him sick to look, but he had to look." Says a lot about our knack for looking for signs of life in inanimate things, signs of something bigger (a truth? a conspiracy?) in words and symbols, and that there's something addictive about it.
The whole Courier's Tragedy summary is extraordinarily funny and imaginative ("They also cut off [the cardinal's] big toe, and he is made to hold it up like a Host and say "This is my body," the keen-witted Angelo observing that it's the first time he's told anything like the truth in fifty years of systematc lying.")
Another one: "They are stripping away from me, she said subvocally - feeling like a fluttering curtain in a very high window, moving up to then out of the abyss - they are stripping away, one by one, my men. My shrink, pursued by Israelis, has gone mad; my husband, on LSD, gropes like a child further and further into the rooms and endless rooms of the elaborate candy house of himself".
Have now started Moby Dick, 2 pages in and... WOW. I haven't read many English classics so I have to say I've never come across something quite as "poetic" (for want of a better word) as this. "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul." And all these alliterations and wonderful images seem to come out of his pen really naturally, incredible. "Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way". He even iambic hexametered my ass with "and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke". And like I said, it doesn't feel artificial at all. And Ishmael seems a intruguing person indeed, more than just the character-narrator people seem to call him. I hope I'll have the courage to go through all 500 pages.