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(Guardian)   The 100 greatest novels of all time   (observer.guardian.co.uk) divider line 549
    More: Unlikely  
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26717 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Oct 2003 at 2:24 PM (11 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-10-13 02:59:43 PM  
Woo hoo! I've read 34 of them!

I can't believe that Les Miserables by Victor Hugo didn't make the cut. Hmmm...go figure.
 
2003-10-13 02:59:48 PM  
Wait, now I posted twice, too. What the heck is going on here?

/some sort of government conspiracy methinks
 
2003-10-13 02:59:54 PM  
WTF? No "Choose your own Adventure" titles?!
 
2003-10-13 02:59:57 PM  
2003-10-13 02:54:42 PM SkyDog
I have no idea how that got posted twice.
Though it does stress my point.


That's been happening to me all day. If I hit refresh after posting (without leaving the thread) it will post again. It's driving me nuts.
 
2003-10-13 03:00:17 PM  
This was a VERY surprising list, considering in most of these top 100 lists, Lord of the Rings ranks first, and rightfully so.
 
2003-10-13 03:00:24 PM  
where is the "Left Behind" series??

pure greatness...
 
2003-10-13 03:00:52 PM  
Richard Russo pwn3z.
 
2003-10-13 03:00:53 PM  
9. Emma Jane Austen
Near impossible choice between this and Pride and Prejudice. But Emma never fails to fascinate and annoy.


Then Pride and Prejudice should be 10 right? No. The lister apparently decided only one entry per author. That is annoying.

50. Men Without Women Ernest Hemingway
He is remembered for his novels, but it was the short stories that first attracted notice.


Hemmingway's one entry isn't a novel? I thought it was a list of novels. My list of favorite dogs has one cat.

89. The Periodic Table Primo Levi
A prose poem about the delights of chemistry.


A poem? My list of favorite dogs has one cat and a fish. I agree with patricula. Slaughterhouse Five and Cats Cradle should have been high on the list. I have read twelve of the listed "novels." Fortunately, have have read alot more.
 
2003-10-13 03:00:56 PM  
Just re-read the list: Things Fall Apart? SUCKED. In fact, Arrow of God and Home and Exile SUCKED, too, so I'm pretty sure it's not just a fluke. Lebowsky was right: They chose importance over quality.

Even still, there's no excuse for Things Fall Apart.
 
2003-10-13 03:01:00 PM  
No George Eliot?

And a good thing to. Ugly biatch couldn't write to save her life. Middlemarch is the most boring novel in the English language.
 
2003-10-13 03:01:12 PM  
Hm, there's no Douglas Adams on this list. That's gotta be wrong in one way or another.
 
2003-10-13 03:01:52 PM  
No Confederacy of Dunces?
 
2003-10-13 03:02:01 PM  
Why are you so against Catcher in the Rye?! I think that it's a great novel because in all of us there is a little bit of Holden Caulfield. Sure, everybody who reads it in high school might be able to relate to it and those who haven't grown up. (looking around nervously)
We all have our own opinions on tastes in books and may not agree on them but that's fine.... at least it's nice to know that there are still people out there who have read books like these, even if it was only in school.
 
2003-10-13 03:02:12 PM  
screw Atlas Shrugged... too long with a ridiculous ending... but I will say where is either Anthem or Fountainhead?

Left Behind? HA!
 
2003-10-13 03:02:14 PM  
This list should be called "The Top 80 Most Boring and Never-Read Books of All Time, With 10 Not So Bad, 5 Pretty Good and 5 Really Great Books." Ulysses is unreadable and Wuthering Heights is poke your eyes out with a fork bad.
 
2003-10-13 03:02:17 PM  
East of Eden ??
 
2003-10-13 03:02:18 PM  
blameitonchemo

\begin{sarcasm}
Yeah, who can go wrong with a hero named Rayford Steele
\end{sarcasm}

Then again, I shouldn't talk. Not when I write about a deicidal maniac who calls himself "Morgan Stormrider".
 
2003-10-13 03:02:29 PM  
A more interesting book lover's site: The One Book List (at http://www.go2net.com/internet/onebook/ if I screwed up the HTML tags)
 
2003-10-13 03:02:31 PM  
I read 10 of them. They missed:

Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck
Labyrinths by Borges -- not a novel, but lots on their lists aren't novels either
Ender's Game by Card

Also, the list is in chronological order. Don Quixote is not the best.
 
2003-10-13 03:02:45 PM  
My pick for the great American novel:
"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace

(Hates lists, didn't read the article)
 
2003-10-13 03:02:45 PM  
94. Haroun and the Sea af Stories. Salman Rushdie.
In this entrancing story Rushdie plays with the idea of narrative itself.


that was an odd choice.
 
2003-10-13 03:02:56 PM  
ChicoWalker


No Confederacy of Dunces?


Good call
 
2003-10-13 03:02:58 PM  
Still can't get the fark through to the site. Is Remembrance of Things Past on there?

41. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
An unforgettable portrait of Paris in the belle epoque. Probably the longest novel on this list.
 
2003-10-13 03:03:06 PM  
What the hell is up with the Great Gatsby. That is just the dullest, most pointless novel of all time. Why do people keep reading it?

Just wondering.
 
2003-10-13 03:03:32 PM  
No Confederacy of Dunces?

Hooray!
 
2003-10-13 03:03:50 PM  
I never saw the big deal about Catcher in the Rye. The only thing memorable about it was the decaying teacher, the incident with the pimp, and "you can never erase all the fark you's in the world."

Atlas Shrugged would probably have been up there except it fell apart in the third act. If you can get through Galt's speech without skipping ahead, you've got a higher tolerence for boring crap than I. I loved the first 2/3 of the book though.
 
2003-10-13 03:04:11 PM  
And although it's a play and not a novel per se, I think that Voltaire's Candide should have been there.
 
2003-10-13 03:04:24 PM  
The Great Gatsby is still required reading in American high schools, baddriver. Some of the prisoners end up liking it.
 
2003-10-13 03:04:28 PM  
"And a good thing to. Ugly biatch couldn't write to save her life. Middlemarch is the most boring novel in the English language."

Where I come from, mister, them are fightin' words!

Seriously though she was a very bleak writer, but I think she was very good. "The Mill On The Floss" is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever read.

I want "This life's too much for me" engraved on my gravestone.
 
2003-10-13 03:04:55 PM  
Twonk:

I agree 100%. The Aubrey-Maturin series by O'Brian is awesome. I went through withdrawl when I finally finished them all.

Have you seen this?
 
2003-10-13 03:04:58 PM  
How many have read Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy? It's not well known, so I'm surprised it made any list.

Where's Rushdie's Midnight's Children and Douglas Coupland's Generation X?
 
2003-10-13 03:05:14 PM  
What, no Dr. Suess?
 
2003-10-13 03:05:14 PM  
YES

Confederacy of Dunces. Hard to imagine that not ending up on a top 100 list for english-speaking people.

As has been noted, the sampling is light on American authors.
 
2003-10-13 03:05:18 PM  
Everyone is convinced they are right when it is a matter of opinion. Myself, I am surprized more naturalist were not on the list, such as Hemingway, Stephen Crane or Emile Zola. But maybe it is because naturalists tend to not write "feel good" novels.
 
2003-10-13 03:05:25 PM  
My pick for the great American novel:
"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace


Yea Mr. Frinky!!
 
2003-10-13 03:05:25 PM  
Candide is not a play

but you're right, it probably should be on there.
 
2003-10-13 03:05:36 PM  
Some of these do not belong on the list. Catcher in the Rye, for example. Terrific writing, but a very poor story. When you finish that book, it feels like you've been making love with the partner of your dreams for an hour and before you climaxed, your partner just got up, got dressed and left without a word. Very frustrating.
 
2003-10-13 03:05:53 PM  
2003-10-13 03:02:17 PM Arch Stanton

"East of Eden ??"

You know, I haven't read that yet. I got it from the library earlier this year and started it, then the war started so I laid it aside to watch the festivities. When the war ended I planned to pick it back up, but danged if Oprah didn't feature it in her "Book Club" and the library was throwing a fit for me to return it.

I'll get to it soon I hope.
 
2003-10-13 03:06:29 PM  
P.S. I can see why the people who read that book became serial killers.
 
2003-10-13 03:06:34 PM  
Yeah, Kurt Vonnegut kicks ass and one of his novels should have made the list (I'd vote for Cat's Cradle, personally).

I saw Vonnegut once at a reading, and a young kid (pre-teen) got up to ask a question, something like "how does one convey their uniqueness in their writing?" Vonnegut said, "So, do you think you're unique?" and the kid said "Yes." Vonnegut said, "Well, you aren't." In front of hundreds of people. Ouch!

/glad I stayed quiet
 
2003-10-13 03:06:58 PM  
I am surprised at the unexpectedly large number of responses to an article about books.

And it is a VERY white-guy-dominated list. And any attempt to make a best 100 is bound to cause more argument than agreement. Unless, of course, we can find an adequately random sample of people who have read every novel ever written and ask them.

And so:

The First Man is better Camus than The Plague.

The Mysterious Stranger is better Twain than Huckleberry Hound.

Not near enough African or post-war Japanese work.

"Influential" is not the same as "good".

Tristram Shandy is a piece of crap.

For pure historical hilarity, you just can't beat the Malleus Malificarum.

And I've read almost half the list.
 
2003-10-13 03:07:08 PM  
Ha, I had to go down to #59 before I even came across one I'd read.

Well, I've got some books to check out. Thanks for the list.

As far as the Englishness of most titles goes -- the English are obviously the master race and would write the best literature.

Have you ever read Russian literature? Tripe, pure tripe, those commie bastards.
 
2003-10-13 03:07:33 PM  
minoridiot

Everyone is convinced they are right when it is a matter of opinion. Myself, I am surprized more naturalist were not on the list, such as Hemingway, Stephen Crane or Emile Zola. But maybe it is because naturalists tend to not write "feel good" novels.

There's no arguing with taste -- or tastelessness. For my part, I'm glad that the romanticists are being represented. Dumas knew how to deliver the goods.
 
2003-10-13 03:07:50 PM  
Still can't get the fark through to the site. Is Remembrance of Things Past on there?

41. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
An unforgettable portrait of Paris in the belle epoque. Probably the longest novel on this list.
 
2003-10-13 03:07:54 PM  
Philip Roth may or may not belong on a list of great novelists, but American Pastoral is not a novel that belongs on there. What a piece of crap that book is.

There's no literary rhyme or reason to anything that the book contains; it's all just a bunch of stuff that happens, interspersed with depressing (and accurate) descriptions of Newark, NJ.

And BFG? BFD. Roald Dahl wrote much better young-adult novels than that.
 
2003-10-13 03:08:40 PM  
Okay, well if you won't put Ayn Rand on, what about Judy Blume? She helped shape millions of womens lives by helping them through their first menstrual period. That's more than Hemingway did!
 
2003-10-13 03:08:53 PM  
Where the fark is Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse 5 should be on here somewhere, I mean Jane Eyre made the list. The editors may be English but thats inexcusable. At least Catch 22 and On the Road made it.
 
2003-10-13 03:08:56 PM  
You can tell this list was written by a Brit. Lot's of really gay books.
 
2003-10-13 03:09:13 PM  
ashamed to say i've only read 13 of them...

/doesn't really like fictional lit
 
2003-10-13 03:09:30 PM  
Fah. Nothing by Theodore Dreiser?
 
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